Joseph Campbell

Jul 1, 2021
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I am late to reading this guy but I can see a connection with Karen Armstrong's books and thinking.
Myth and mythology. Metaphors. The hero's journey.
Now my Christian self might take offence that the story of Jesus is just a myth. The hero's journey. Ultimate symbol of love being self sacrifice on the cross.
Christians believe that the story of Jesus is a true myth. That he performed all those miracles, taught wisdom, died on a cross and rose from the dead. Part of me insists this all actually occurred. But the new part of me thinks it might be just a powerful metaphor to teach sacred spiritual truths.
I can't help thinking different cultures all express their own version of truth. Their sacred story. We all need a sacred myth to make sense of our lives .
So I'm reading Campbell at the moment, with dread. Dread that I am on an heretical path. That Satan is distracting me from the ultimate truth, Jesus Christ.
But then a benevolent God wouldn't feel threatened or dismayed by me searching like this. Surely??
Are the fundies right? Those of us unsaved are destined for Hades??? Hope not
 
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Jul 1, 2021
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You know that some talented people use the hero's journey to strive to be the best in their field? Was micha l Jordan one? Or is it Kobe Bryant?
 
Jul 1, 2021
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A Christian might say that none of us are heroes. It's not about us. "Our" journey. It's about the God potential in us. If we succeed , we owe it to Him. The heroic Christian journey is one of self forgetfulness. Credit goes to God . Always.
Whereas a non Christian is inclined to give himself credit for his hero's journey. The self made man/woman.
 
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Jul 1, 2021
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Campbell said "follow your bliss".
I think this can be misleading advice for some. It could mean "only do what you enjoy".
Well some days you don't enjoy even learning a musical instrument. I love guitar but there were tough days learning scales when it wasn't blissful. Just hard work.
And sometimes your guitar teacher gives you music to learn that you hate. I quit one teacher because they were just preparing me for music exams.
Try to get a job you like most days. You won't love it every day. But hopefully the majority of days you do.
 
Jul 1, 2021
55
21
A Christian might say that none of us are heroes. It's not about us. "Our" journey. It's about the God potential in us. If we succeed , we owe it to Him. The heroic Christian journey is one of self forgetfulness. Credit goes to God . Always.
Whereas a non Christian is inclined to give himself credit for his hero's journey. The self made man/woman
 

AgnosticBoy

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Christians believe that the story of Jesus is a true myth. That he performed all those miracles, taught wisdom, died on a cross and rose from the dead. Part of me insists this all actually occurred. But the new part of me thinks it might be just a powerful metaphor to teach sacred spiritual truths.
I can't help thinking different cultures all express their own version of truth. Their sacred story. We all need a sacred myth to make sense of our lives .
So I'm reading Campbell at the moment, with dread. Dread that I am on an heretical path. That Satan is distracting me from the ultimate truth, Jesus Christ.
A Christian once told me that she avoids doubt by staying away from doubters and their writings. Her thinking was that being exposed to it would cause her to stray from her beliefs. She did not want to give them any place in her mind.

You brought up a similar concern but you took a different route by continuing to read different perspectives. I believe that's the best route. Those who are afraid to get into different perspectives may not have strong faith afterall.

The way I look at it is that the foundations of your belief is just as important as your belief. If your belief is founded only on what your parents told you or tradition, then that tends to be weak. But if it's founded on logic, evidence, experience, emotional satisfaction, etc, then such a foundation can not be easily shaken when it encounters other perspectives.

On another note, I appreciate you sharing your sources and insight on myth. I think a lot of Christians and even atheists underestimate the power of myth. Both groups tend to dismiss it because they simply associate it with being false which leads them to look at it as being valueless and meaningless.
 
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Jul 1, 2021
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I am obsessing about this hero's journey recently.
For Christians Jesus is the hero.
I can't help thinking how I have met some very humble decent people in my life. I suspect they had "Jesus" in them. By that I mean, they had depth and selflessness and love I guess. They never aspired to become heroes themselves. Yet their lives may seem heroic, if we look at it from the outside.
Maybe I want to be a hero. That sounds so immature. I want to lead a more courageous life anyway. I'm not as decent or honest or humble as the people I've mentioned. But
I want earn more self respect. I want to reach a stage where I only need supernatural love. The love that is apparently in me already. That hidden treasure.
I felt a glimpse of it today. I want more of that. Ironically it was while listening to a Justin Bieber song.
 
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AgnosticBoy

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After doing some reading on the topic, one thing that interests me is that Joseph's Campbell 'hero's journey' is like an archetype, but for narratives. Not to mention that some sources mention that George Lucas was inspired by him, and used Campbell's ideas to help structure the story for the Star Wars films. I like to look at the pros and cons of a view before I accept it, but either way, Campbell's view is very interesting and inspiring nonetheless.

I've found two sources that I think does a good job explaining Campbell's view:
1. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/writing-101-what-is-the-heros-journey#what-is-the-heros-journey
2. https://blog.reedsy.com/guide/story-structure/heros-journey/

Enjoy!
 
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MarkD

Member
Feb 2, 2021
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I am late to reading this guy but I can see a connection with Karen Armstrong's books and thinking.
Myth and mythology. Metaphors. The hero's journey.
Now my Christian self might take offence that the story of Jesus is just a myth. The hero's journey. Ultimate symbol of love being self sacrifice on the cross.
Christians believe that the story of Jesus is a true myth. That he performed all those miracles, taught wisdom, died on a cross and rose from the dead. Part of me insists this all actually occurred. But the new part of me thinks it might be just a powerful metaphor to teach sacred spiritual truths.
I can't help thinking different cultures all express their own version of truth. Their sacred story. We all need a sacred myth to make sense of our lives .
So I'm reading Campbell at the moment, with dread. Dread that I am on an heretical path. That Satan is distracting me from the ultimate truth, Jesus Christ.
But then a benevolent God wouldn't feel threatened or dismayed by me searching like this. Surely??
Are the fundies right? Those of us unsaved are destined for Hades??? Hope not

I was a pretty simple minded atheist when Bill Moyer broadcast the Hero With A Thousand Faces program on PBS with Joseph Campbell. I remember even then being as impressed with Moyer as with Campbell. Not long ago if asked for my favorite Christian he'd have been the one I'd name. Now I know quite a few Christians whose opinion I value highly, some of whom will acknowledge their human epistemic position should and does dampen their certainty and incline them to emphasize their faith instead.