Mythologies New, Old & Today (Audio: Lecture II.5.1)
When people ask me what is the myth today, I always have the feeling there is no myth, there can be no myth anymore. A mythology requires a homogeneous population, a group of people within a horizon who will have had equivalent experiences for whom certain specific images will continue to have, independently, the same sense, the same meaning, the same affect value. Whereas in our world, with the great miscellaneous people in this room, I dare say there are so many different backgrounds here that your responses to images would be quite particular to yourselves, so each of us is, as it were, thrown into the requirement to develop out of his own depth, to learn what his own driving grounds are, and you can’t take them from elsewhere. — Joseph Campbell
Campbell explains how “Man” is viewed as the giver of meanings, the source of all the gods and all the hells, and is that One who must be recognized today, in love, as the sign to yourself of your transcendence of your own secondary ego. He takes us through the interior life of humans today and relates that to primitive myths, mysticism, and, more recently, flights in space.
This lecture was recorded at the Blaisdell Institute – Claremont Colleges in 1975.