Joseph Campbell: Mythos II

| April 10, 2008

In this second installment of Joseph Campbell: Mythos released by Acorn Media, Campbell presents aspects of Eastern religion that transcend doctrine and location. Relating the commonalities of Eastern religions to Western traditions, Campbell gently prods his audience toward the universal core of religion. Recorded in the last years of his life and minimally edited, these lectures are presented as Campbell intended.
Through many specific examples in religious art, writing, as well as humorous anecdotes, Campbell stresses that “one wax, many molds” is what humanity has created to explain the relationship of self to the world. At root, myth is the human joined to the environment, and if we lose touch, we lose our understanding of our environment. Although the amount of spiritual ground he covers is wide, this is not a survey course. He does not seek to present a full history of religions east of Greece, but to show that “names don’t matter; it is the reference.” As Campbell continues to discuss each symbol, a seamless image becomes apparent through the jigsaw pieces.
As in the first volume of lectures, Mythos II features five lectures, as well as host Susan Sarandon at key break points in each lecture to summarize Campbell’s points. Campbell’s pacing and verve make the lectures engaging without Sarandon’s CliffsNotes versions, though some viewers may appreciate her commentary. Overall, this new release continues to share Joseph Campbell’s vital energy and thoughts, and is well-worth the time spent watching it. Two more volumes of lectures are planned for an unknown release date.

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