Category: NewsBlast

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Meditation in a Former Chapel

On my first day of graduate school I became aware that the auditorium in which we gathered had formerly been a church. Despite efforts to secularize the place, a clear liturgical signature remained: a...

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Truth or Consequences

All that you touch You Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth Is Change. God Is Change. This is the central verse of Earthseed, a religion promoted by the teenage...

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At the Party: My Selves and Sundries

From Correspondence: 1927 – 1987 (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell): [Barbara Morgan (July 8, 1900 – August 17, 1992) was an American photographer best known for her depictions of modern dancers. She was...

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Releasing the Dreamings

  When I was in graduate school studying mythology, I volunteered in the archives that housed Joseph Campbell’s papers. My job was to create high-resolution scans of Campbell’s personal photos—baby pictures, childhood, youth, adulthood,...

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Why Not Dance?

Stories of heroes and their exploits occupy an important place in the collective imagination. The hero leaves the familiar, struggles through the dreaded dark night of the soul, and emerges as savior, role model,...

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Living Myths for Transformation

“The axiom is worth recalling here, because mythology was historically the mother of the arts and yet, like so many mythological mothers, the daughter, equally, of her own birth. Mythology is not invented rationally;...

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Love Will Make You Do Crazy Things

Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said. I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things....

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Reflections upon a Hawaiian Graveyard

I am standing in a Hawaiian graveyard looking down at the final resting place of Joseph Campbell. My wife is in the car with our eleven-month-old grandson, waiting. Waiting for me to come to...

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Reimagining Boundaries and the Gods Who Inhabit Them

Who’s not intrigued by boundaries? The markers of where a thing ends and another begins. Or they can be approached as meeting places where distinct phenomena bump up against each other. Or they can...

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The Sacredness of Rituals

“Individualism is perfectly fine if the individual realizes that the grandeur of his being is that of representing something,” writes Joseph Campbell in The Hero’s Journey. “Even representing a system of ideals and images...

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Temptations of Clarity

Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius. William Blake, Proverbs of Hell The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason. G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy...

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The Boundary-Blurring Nature of Myth

This month in the MythBlast Series, we’re exploring the relationship of blurred boundaries to heroism. Anyone who has ever been in psychotherapy is likely to be familiar with the no-nonsense injunction to have clear,...

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The Rhythmic Cadence of Life

In this MythBlast, I want to contrast the words of the dancer Isadora Duncan (as quoted by Joseph Campbell in The Ecstasy of Being) with my own thoughts on rhythm. Rhythm in art and...

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Fools Rush In

In the first essay of his collection The Ecstasy of Being, “The Jubilee of Content and Form,” Joseph Campbell writes that after fairy tales and folklore were shoved to the wayside in favor of...

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When Mythology Meets Dance and Sounds

I first heard of the 11th-century bronze Shíva Naṭarāja statue in 1991, while watching Power of Myth—the television series that made Campbell famous in Brazil, at least to me and others of my generation....

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Heroic Fear, Foolishness, and Creative Ecstasy

To begin, I offer you two words:  Atychiphobia. Kakorrhaphiophobia.  Dive into them past the vague gloss of vowels and consonants as we are wont to do with unknown words; say them aloud, and you...

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When the Adventure is a Drag

The Joseph Campbell Foundation MythBlast Series has spent March musing about The Adventure and reading Campbell’s Pathways to Bliss which, let’s face it, sounds exciting: filled with presentiment, and descriptive of that happy flow...

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A Call to a Collective Adventure

In 1968, singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson tried to make a phone call and heard a sound familiar to anyone that remembers the age before cell phones. Beep, beep, beep, beep. The sound not only informed...

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Tossing the Golden Ball

Myths do not ground, they open. James Hillman In The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Campbell revealed the myth of the hero’s transformation and invited us to locate our lives in this myth. When...

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Changing Our Self-Perception As A Compassionate Deed For The World

Joseph Campbell reminds us in Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation: Perfection is inhuman. Human beings are not perfect. What evokes our love – and I mean love, not lust – is the...