Category: MythBlast

Joseph Campbell at his home office in Honolulu c. 1987 0

MythBlast | The Lively Art of Letter Writing

I have on a wall in my study at home in New Braunfels, Texas, a professionally framed letter from James Hillman to me dated 20 November 2000. It is one of several precious letters...

Thou Art That cover 0

MythBlast | Death, Eggshells, Zombies

Myths that involve resurrection span cultures from the Pharaohs to the Pagans. We see them appear, be forgotten, and then reappear throughout history. From Passover to the Paschal Mystery, we continue to celebrate them...

Joseph Campbell, circa 1982 0

MythBlast | 70 Years of the Hero’s Journey

The deeper my relationship with Joseph Campbell, the more I see him everywhere—and not just what I come across for the Campbell in Culture posts I help curate. The references we hear about, the overt mentions,...

The Emblem of Avicenna: the eagle and the toad (also known as Ibn Sinna. From Daniel Stolcius, Viridarium Chymicum, Prague, 1624.) 0

MythBlast | Sustaining the Celebration

With the 1949 publication of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell accomplished the rare task of uniting wisdom with mainstream interest, presenting foundational patterns of human experience through the archetypal content embedded...

Festival procession in Kandy, Sri Lanka. (Photograph by Joseph Campbell, 1955. From Asian Journals — India & Japan, copyright © 2002 and 2018 by Joseph Campbell Foundation. All rights reserved.) 0

MythBlast | The Mythology of Celebration

As we celebrate Joseph Campbell’s birthday this month, we can use the occasion to consider the mythological roots of our rituals of celebration. Sometimes we celebrate a one-time occasion, like a college graduation, getting...

Pygmalion and Galatea by Jean-Léon Gérôme, circa 1890. (Public domain image provided by the New York Metropolitan Museum) 0

MythBlast | Myths We Love By

A love of wonder: according to Aristotle, this is what brought the lover of wisdom (Greek, philosophos) and the lover of myth (Greek, philomuthos) together. For Socrates, love was that most ancient of gods,...

Tristan and Isolde: the love-death 0

MythBlast | The Power of Love Story

In Creative Mythology (Masks of God, Vol. IV), Joseph Campbell’s exquisite musings on love offer a palliative to the Hallmark-style simulacrum of Valentine’s Day love drenching this month in heart-shaped candies, teddy bears, and...

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MythBlast | What Will Be, Is

In his 1944 preface to A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake, Joseph Campbell calls Joyce’s book “…a kind of terminal moraine in which lie buried all the myths, programs, slogans, hopes, prayers, tools, educational...

The Hero's Journey® 0

MythBlast | Why We Rise

The Role of Story in Crafting New Beginnings for Our Lives Most attribute the foundations of Western story structure to Aristotle. His simple idea that stories should have a beginning, a middle, and an...

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MythBlast | Joyce, Campbell, and Jim Morrison

I recently had the pleasure of reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming—a story, eponymously, about Michelle’s “becoming,” grateful for the accessibility of an autobiography that models the unfolding nature of finding one’s purpose. I think how...

Mexico, Aztec, first–second century A.D. Teotihuacan - Pyramid of the Sun. Photo: Joel Bedford via Flickr.com. Creative Commons Logo Used under a Creative Commons: Attribution license. 0

MythBlast | The Transparency of the New Year

Many years from now, at the crossroads of our lives, our souls will want to remember the day our lives were given a fresh start. In such moments of reflection, the past, future, and...

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MythBlast | A Toolbox For the New Year

This month, the first month of the new year, we begin again; and beginning again is, in fact, our theme for January at JCF. No doubt we’ll soon be inundated by numberless lists extolling...

Cornhusk mask of the Seneca (Iroquois) "Bushyheads" or Husk Face Society. 0

MythBlast | El Niño Dios, the Goddess, and the Cross

There is nothing more mythic than the ceremonies and stories that have gathered around the winter solstice. They are powerful metaphors that are present across cultures, irrespective of time and places, with the vastness...

Winter Solstice at Stonehenge (Photo by Mark Grant. Used through a Creative Commons license.) 0

MythBlast | The Winter Solstice and Other Metaphors

The winter solstice approaches and soon the sun’s course will reach its lowest noon altitude and its shortest day, marking both the end and beginning of another solar year. Hence, this day aligns itself...

Earthrise 0

MythBlast | The Vicarious Reaches of Cyberspace

1986 saw the publication of three seminal books: The Society of Mind by MIT cognitive scientist Marvin Minsky, On the Plurality of Worlds by philosopher David Lewis, and The Inner Reaches of Outer Space...

Joseph Campbell, c. 1953 (Photo by B.S. Wise) 0

MythBlast | Joseph Campbell: Virtuoso of the Sublime

There is a saying attributed to Hermes Trismegistus: “As above, so below; as within, so without” (The Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean, p. 47). This means that whatever happens on any level of reality...

Handwritten fragment from a piece of Joseph Campbell's fiction (Copyright © 2018 Joseph Campbell Foundation) 0

MythBlast | Thus Were the Meditations of the Serviceable Mind

W.H. Auden once remarked that a real book reads us, an observation that seems right enough to me, and certainly seems right to apply to the work of Joseph Campbell. After all, Campbell spent...

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade by Peter Roan/peterj1961@flickr | Used through a Creative Commons license 0

MythBlast | The Season as Sacred

As we move into the holidays, experiencing the passage of seasons, the weather shifts to a cooler disposition, the world darkens early, and the sun’s transit diminishes, foretelling the coming winter lull. We light...

Mythic Imagination: Collected Short Fiction by Joseph Campbell 0

MythBlast | Where Do Stories Come From?

For every profession, there’s a question people ask that isn’t the real question. When I was an actor, the question audience members asked was, “How do you learn all those lines?” when what they...

Thou Art That cover 0

MythBlast | Tat Tvam Asi: The Blessing of Compassion

For the month of November, we at the Joseph Campbell Foundation are exploring the theme of blessings. The comfortable blessings of bounty, family, and health are certainly likely to spring to mind, but there...