Hero with a Thousand Faces, The

Campbell, Joseph

Despite their infinite variety of incident, setting, and costume, the myths of the world offer only a limited number of responses to the riddle of life. In this best-selling volume, Joseph Campbell presents the composite hero. Through Campbell’s eyes, we see Apollo, the Frog King of the fairy tale, Wotan, the Buddha, and numerous other protagonists of folklore and religion enacting simultaneously the various phases of their common story. Campbell begins his interpretation of these timeless symbols by examining their relationship to those rediscovered in dreams by depth psychology. The psychological view is then compared with the words of such spiritual leaders as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Lao-tse, and the “Old Men” of the Australian tribes. From behind a thousand faces, the single hero emerges, archetype of all myth. “According to Joseph Campbell, there is only one story in the world, retold in many guises….[he] strips away the masks and shows the Hero to be a cultural code: the universal algorithm for transcending mundane consciousness and plugging into the main starry dynamo of the Mind.” — Howard L. Rheingold

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