Joseph Campbell discussion group discussion

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Do All Mythological Stories Follow The Monomyth?

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message 1: by John (last edited Jun 03, 2016 12:49PM) (new)

John Triptych | 1 comments It's all about the hero's journey about someone who goes on an adventure, and wins a victory during a crisis and then returns back to where he started from into a changed person.

How relevant is this template in real life?


message 2: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (christopherdenny) | 1 comments "...[T]he hero or heroine...[is]someone who has found or achieved or done something beyond the normal range of achievement and experience. A hero properly is someone who has given his life to something bigger than himself or other than himself." --Campbell, Power of Myth

Since the hero is the exceptional person, his or her story is more likely to entertain, enlighten and/or inspire someone, rather than be used as a template for living. But these stories can, of course, help you get through and live a better life--even if your adventures are mostly vicarious ones...However, the opportunity to be a hero is always there, provided that you have the courage; the ability to sacrifice, and the willingness to endure suffering...As for me, I'd rather see than be one.


message 3: by Tobin (new)

Tobin | 1 comments I'm a Nietzschean in the sense that, I 'distrust systems' - because they usually fail at some point due to some sort of exception (or many). For this reason, I have reservations calling most things 'universal.'

However, in literary terms, I think Monomyth is a useful concept for categorization and templating a story.

As it applies to 'life' - I think myth is hugely important in that it can provide social context and a cosmology and therefore: direction.

Many of the challenges of 'modern man' (Jung) is the lack of context. As a result, many walk around myth-less with no sense of up or down, right or wrong, what the future should hold, how they should live their lives. I think that possessing a sense of one's own personal myth can provide this.

It's no surprise that children are more drawn to Star Wars than established religion - because Star Wars is a myth that better fits our current state of being.


message 4: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Kardos | 1 comments I agree that the Monomyth, or Hero's Journey are a very useful terms in literature. Campbell's work that spanned his lifetime shows that humanity's stories are universal and because they are, we are all connected. Religions are full of myths and when we acknowledge that and go to the root of the religion, we will find many of the same ideas found in Star Wars or other stories told or written over a millennia. I challenged myself to write a myth for today and pleased with the reception it is having--I feel I have been true to Campbell's thinking as it is a story of following one's bliss.


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