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am 22. Juni 2000
Of my two favorite memories of Campbell's talks with Bill Moyers of PBS, which is what this book transcribes and encapsulates, the one that comes to mind is an introduction between Campbell and a Catholic Priest, perhaps a Cardinal, that he retells. After they are introduced and the Priest is told who Dr. Campbell is and a little about his life, he asks him, "Are you still Catholic?" To which he replies "No, Father." He then asks- and Campbell was impressed by his specificity- "Do you believe in a *personal* God?" To which Campbell replies, "No, Father."
The Priest then replies, almost as if to engage in a debate and denigrate the atheist's worship of the rational mind uber alles simultaneously (and an atheist is what you are led to assume he thinks Campbell is), "Well, I guess there is no way to logically prove the existence of God." And Campbell answers, calmly, "If there were Father, what would be the value of faith?"
"It's been a pleasure meeting you Dr. Campbell, have a nice day."
Regardless of your faith, interest, background or education, you will find yourself in the same shoes of that Priest when you read this. Campbell's erudition and knowledge of the many ideas, subtexts and similarities inherent in the world's treasure trove of mythology is daunting to say the least, and his approach is designed to have it all make sense to the modern human's heart. THE POWER OF MYTH may be the best Campbell book to serve as the doorway to his world, his incredible mind, and the eternal wisdom of mythology, as it manifests itself in every culture- not to mention our personal lives.
To say it will make you think is almost denigrating it; it will make you ponder. It will lead you (after quite possibly confusing the hell out of you, as you try to absorb it into a preexisting way of thinking that may become obsolete via what he teaches) to wonder the way children wonder. And in the end, you will smile from the soul, not just the heart. I highly recommend this as a Joseph Campbell and Mythology primer- and recommend HERO OF A THOUSAND FACES after this has whet your appetite's soul.
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am 26. Mai 2000
Do not begin this book with a closed mind. Joseph Campbell can lead you into a new passage of your life if you are ready for it.
The question and answer format can be, at times, ponderous and tedious, however this is the best introduction to Mr. Campbell's work. There were sections that I longed to be able to interject my own questions following the direction that I felt the conversation was naturally heading, but Mr. Moyers felt that it was going another way. This can be my only complaint.
Mr. Campbell goes into explaining many symbols that saturate our society. Some symbols we are experiencing everyday, but are unconscious of them. This is the collective unconscious of things that we have stored in our collective memory banks. Mr. Campbell attempts to explain some of these. He also draws many parallels between a variety of sources including poetry, literature, and art. This book is an overall culture lesson that everyone needs. The basic "knowledge" that is in-bred in each of us needs to be examined. However, only a small amount of people today even attempt to understand that. My point is, those symbols and experiences are our bonds as human beings. This is important to humanity.
Read this book if you are prepared to dwell on the things that he has put before you. Have a highlighter ready to remind yourself of those most important quotes from the book!
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am 27. März 1998
Moyers and Campbell's conversation first aired on the PBS special: "The Power of Myth." The tapes capture the relaxed and entertaining essence of six programs: The Hero's Adventure; The Message of the Myth; The First Storytellers; Sacrifice and Bliss; Love and the Goddess; and Masks of Eternity. There is something very comforting in hearing Campbell's voice respond with ease to Moyers questions about myth: questions that anyone might ask. Campbell was a great storyteller, but it is his range of stories and depth of insightful interpretation that will keep the listener engaged - maybe awed. Taking place on George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, "The Hero's Adventure" discussion has an interesting piece where Campbell laments the paucity of modern heroes and its consequences for adults and children alike. Then he relates the plot from the Lucas film "Stars Wars" with elements of the hero's journey; the listener can hear Campbell's optimistic excitement as he links the film's characters and plot to the Hero's rite of passage. The listener can sense Campbell's hope for future hero/heroine role models with universal appeal as his voice trys to keep pace with his thoughts. After listening to a tape individuals may feel a sense connectiveness to all that surrounds them: touched by the wisdom of myth. Campbell's words still echo in my ears, "If you follow your bliss . . .the life you ought to be living is the one you are living." For those who need to see the words and visually hold them in space and time, Moyers and Campbell's book "The Power of Myth" [edited by Flowers] provides the orginal PBS transcipt and additional material that was edited out. In addition to the six topics detailed on the tapes, the book includes the program on The Journey Inward.
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am 27. April 2014
A marvellous and highly sophisticated trip through the world of mythodology encompassing a wide range of topics - presented in the format of an extended interview that gives the whole story a little more juice than it would have received without the nonchalant chat between two elderly "silverbacks" who star the dissussion of archetypical motivs that make up good stories to the present day.

Campbell excells in giving us a kaleidoscopic insight into evergreens of narration that people love to hear about for ages - ranging from the expatriation of adam & eve from paradise to the more contemporary adventures of luke sykywalker.

A history of mythodology that evolves in the course of a sometimes very personal and at other times sober and academical but always well balanced and here and there also ironic and humorous disscussion.

It my be stated that the book has a - it my be justified to sa so - enlighting quality to it in that it discusses and reflects with profound knwowledge and wisdom the everlasting quest of people of all ages, cultures and ethnics for sense and guidance in their being - and Campbell knows the stories to tell the stories of the quest. It is truly a good read.
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am 8. Februar 2000
I am usually a men of many words, but I will be very concise here.READ THIS BOOK.JUST READ THIS BOOK.If you don't read anything else in your life, READ THIS BOOK.I believe that this book should be mandatory reading for any college philosophy,psychology, or religion course.I believe it is also an asset for artists, musicians and writers.Anyone who deals on a day to day basis with the world of the human mind.Life just made so much more sense to me after I read this book.But beware...if you have been braiwashed in any way by organized religion, you may have to learn to think rationally and clearly before you can get the message in this book.So free your mind, and open a great book.
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am 20. April 2008
This is the 1st. book I read from Joseph Campbell. In this interview (buy the DVDs with the original interview as well) Campell discribed the heroes path and compare the importance of myths over the ancieant civilizations until today and how the humanity got these myths lost and the consequences for us. He talks about the mistery of Life and Death and the connection to a higher power seen from the point of view of different and isolated cultures and how similar (or even the same) in their essence. It is not a religious book, since Campbell does not preach for a religion but for values that held preserved the humanity over the centuries. To importance of rituals and the myths, sometimes bizzar on today world, where finance and individual pleasure overcome the truly meaning of life.
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am 31. Juli 1999
I've looked at the other reveiws of this book and some on other works by Campbell, and I've noticed that those who don't like his books don't understand some of the primary messages they contain. These are things that cannot be explained in 1,000 words so I won't go into it here, but I would recomend reading Alan Watts, Abraham Maslow, Robert Anton Wilson, Hermann Hesse, Aldous Huxley, and Buckminster Fuller. If you still don't get it then you never will from reading a book so you might as well quit. As for the comments about it being New Age crap, I would say read it again...the stories and ideas he addresses are not New at all. They have been asked since the day humans became conscious and will probably be asked until the day we are wiped out. It seems to me that the phrase New Age is derogatory and is used by those who don't understand the ideas. Looking at a New Age section in the book store I see that most of it is Crap (BTW I found this book in the philosophy section) and is probably just a result of people trying to make money, but once in a while there is a book, put there because somebody doesn't understand it, that has a good message and can help people out. Also I want to point out that there is no claim made in this book that cannot be confirmed by science, unless your idea of science is screwed up (feel free to challenge me on this or anything else in the review and I will be happy to look into it).
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am 3. Juli 1999
I picked up this book because I wanted to know more about how mythology relates to the human mind, hoping that this would allow me to be a better storyteller. I haven't gotten through the entire book as of yet, but so far it is pretty good. As a note to somebody like the previous reviewer, it is obvious that he has missed the entire point of the book. There is much in this book about the conflict inside a person and the quest to understand it. If you get nothing else from this book, you should understand that life is about contribution. If you contribute to the general welfare of your nation and people, then you've lived a full life. How is that new age? I especially liked what Campbell had to say about the military in that one should judge the actions of its members, by the responsibility that its society presents to it. Society requires protection and security, and to do so it creates a military culture to protect it. To judge the military as a destructive force within a society because of the job that society requires it to preform, is ludicrous. As a masters student in anthropology and a former Marine, I think this book has something for all people... whether conservative, liberal, intellectual, or lay-person. I wonder if MR. even read the book. Since he found it so disdainful, I doubt he could have.
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am 10. August 1998
One of the best books I've ever read. Campbell's insights and interpretations supercede religious doctrines, while fully respecting them. The conversational style of the book makes it a quick read. Bill Moyers' role should not be overlooked. His preparation was impeccable. A great follow-up Campbell book might be "Transformations of Myth Through Time," (ISBN 0-06-096463-4) consisting of 13 lectures. Again, Campbell brings out the similarities among cultures brilliantly and positively.
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am 25. Januar 1999
The book and the tapes on the power of myth are very interesting and interpret mythology and religion within the same paradigm and concepts - that myth flows from the contrary and contradictory stresses and strains of the body and society. The thesis is tightly explored by Campbell in numerous of his works and explains why he sometimes cannot explain (sorry) variations in conceptual problems among myths. Campbell had a tremendous impact on my study of comparative religion at university over 10 years ago, in a positive way, howver since then I've realized that his ideas are worn and flawed in many respects. Thinking outside of his parardigm of mythic evolution will raise many more questions than he attempts to answer. All in all I think Campbell is one of the greatest philosophers of comparative religion and mythology and someone who stood at a crossroads of academic insight over many decades.
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