The Function of Mythology 1 1/2 Hours
Campbell speaks of how, in today’s society, we face a unique problem because belief in our myths has broken down. We have failed to recognize that myths are psychic in origin, a vehicle of communication between the conscious and the unconscious mind, and that when we destroy the vehicle, we alienate ourselves from psychic reality. Campbell goes on to explore the four functions of mythology in a society.
Mythology East & West 1 1/2 Hours
Campbell illuminates the differences between the Oriental traditions, which are primarily matriarchal, and the Occidental traditions, which are primarily patriarchal. The dominant theme in Oriental mythology is an awareness of the transcendent and immanent nature of all being. The mystery of the individual’s being is identical with the mystery of all being. In Occidental mythology, there is a basic split between the creator and the created. The individual is not considered to be identical with the deity, but rather exists in a state of relationship to the deity.
India & Yoga 1 1/2 Hours
Campbell describes the fundamental principals of Tantra that are involved in the chakras or lotus ladder of Kundalini Yoga, a form of yoga that developed in India during the 4th and 5th centuries AD. Campbell also traces the wanderings of the spirit through the various states of awareness, which the different chakras symbolize, described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
China & Buddhism 1 1/2 Hours
The religious and philosophical spirit of China, Campbell tells us, presents a strong contrast to the spirit of India, being less concerned with metaphysics and more concerned with the problems of everyday existence. Chinese Buddhism has been heavily influenced by Taoism, with its emphasis upon flow and non-interference with nature and by Confucianism, with its stress upon correct social relationship and ritual.
Western Psychology 1 1/2 Hours
Campbell explains that the chief difference between the Occidental and the Oriental concepts of the ideal human being is that the Occidental ideal includes a strong and well-developed ego, where as the Oriental ideal is the abolition of the ego. Even though the Western hero may seek and find mystical experience, he is expected to remain an individual and bring back the fruits of his endeavors to share with his society.
Jungian Psychology 1 1/2 Hours
Campbell addresses Jung’s view of myths as verbal mandalas, personifications of the individual’s attempt to throw off the limits of social conditioning and attain full self-knowledge. The Jungian concepts of archetype, self, introversion, extroversion, animus. anima, ego and shadow are discussed in detail and related to mythology.
Thomas Mann & fames Joyce 1 1/2 Hours
Cambell focuses on the work of Thomas Mann and |ames Joyce, two authors who have combined mythological themes and symbols with a naturalistic style of writing. For Mann, the contradictions of life are resolved through the attitude of “erotic irony”, the loving but critical acceptance of reality as it is, whereas for Joyce, the resolution is to be found in the conscious creation of artistic symbols that transcend duality.
The Grail Legends 1 1/2 Hours
Campbell discusses the Grail legends and their concern with the conflict between the free spirit of nature and the organized structure of society. In these legends, the Grail, a symbol of spiritual freedom and enlightenment, is hidden in an enchanted castle. Campbell describes the quest of the knights in King Arthur’s court, who seek to release the Grail from its enchantment.
Man & Myth Through the Ages – I & II 3 Hours
Campbell describes how mythology reflects culture, and how one of the best ways to understand the changes humanity has gone through during the last two million years is to look at the evolution of mythical symbols. Our present culture is experiencing alienation because the scientific method has stripped our mythology of historical and cosmological significance.
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