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The Hero with a Thousand Faces – Commemorative Edition (2004)

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Joseph Campbell's classic cross-cultural study of the hero's journey has inspired millions and opened up new areas of research and exploration. Originally published in 1949, the book hit the New York Times best-seller list in 1988 when it became the subject of The Power of Myth, a PBS television special. Now, this legendary volume, re-released in honor of the 100th anniversary of the author's birth, promises to capture the imagination of a new generation of readers. The first popular work to combine the spiritual and psychological insights of modern psychoanalysis with the archetypes of world mythology, the book creates a roadmap for navigating the frustrating path of contemporary life. Examining heroic myths in the light of modern psychology, it considers not only the patterns and stages of mythology but also its relevance to our lives today--and to the life of any person seeking a fully realized existence. Myth, according to Campbell, is the projection of a culture's dreams onto a large screen; Campbell's book, like Star Wars, the film it helped inspire, is an exploration of the big-picture moments from the stage that is our world. Offered for the first time with beautifully restored illustrations and a bibliography of cited works, it provides unparalleled insight into world mythology from diverse cultures. It is a must-have resource for both experienced students of mythology and the explorer just beginning to approach myth as a source of knowledge.

Comments

A classic, thanks for sharing here!

I was more inspired with psychological aspects of this book, how are people influenced always the same way. I didn't care about mythology and culture, this is above all conspiracy tracker.

Joseph Campbell was also inspired with psychological aspects, which is why he studied comparative mythology and was very interested in the ideas from the psychologist Carl Jung who talked about "archetypes of the collective unconscious".

Okay, I'll bite: how are archetypes a conspiracy tracker?

My guess is something close to mind control or manipulation...

I think he/she meant that ConCen is above all a conspiracy tracker i.e. torrent tracker. And that mythological or religious content is not as appropriate here as conspiracy-related content. More or less...

You could be right, that is definitely a good meaning of "tracker". But I stand by my questions because whether the OP meant it or not it is a powerful idea: "information seeking behavior" is a helpful way to sort out part of the meaning behind why we do what we do. Even mate selection comes down to information seeking. Even the garden of eden, one of the oldest stories in our culture, has "information seeking" behind what it narrates. So for me, when one seeks conspiracy related information you are performing yet another subset of information seeking more broadly. And that, again to me, is an archetype. It is the hero going out looking for new information to bring back to the conventional mindset.

here’s another, to add to langeille’s excellent list below:

https://youtu.be/LZoXb1WDpls

It's a fascinating topic. Take the five types of conspiracy theories according to Jessie Walker:

  • The "Enemy Outside" refers to theories based on figures alleged to be scheming against a community from without
  • The "Enemy Within" finds the conspirators lurking inside the nation, indistinguishable from ordinary citizens
  • The "Enemy Above" involves powerful people manipulating events for their own gain
  • The "Enemy Below" features the lower classes working to overturn the social order, and
  • The "Benevolent Conspiracies" are angelic forces that work behind the scenes to improve the world and help people.
  • That list equally strikes me as a series of problems the individual poses in relation to the world about him. Take the problem of free will:

  • am I being controlled by baser animal instincts as Freud popularized? (the "enemy within")
  • am I being controlled by societal mores as Durkheim popularized? (the "enemy outside")
  • is there such thing as free will at all as many pre-determinists think? (the "enemy above")
  • Once you start thinking of things in this manner it is trivial to find mythological or religious beliefs that support those views. Such as? The belief in "benevolent conspiracies" seems self-evident as a belief in guardian angels or forces beyond the visible realm that we suspect are aiding us. Similarly, if you believe in the devil or in evil just generally, I imagine this will likely predispose your psychological mindset to be more receptive to one type of conspiracy theory over another. If you didn't believe in evil, for example, wouldn't it be hard for you to come to terms with the idea that there are groups of people out there who are intent on doing you harm for no reason whatsoever?

    Thanks for the links, I enjoyed watching that. The idea is not new but I hadn't seen the speaker before.
    I think you may have it backwards, though. Stories do not follow conspiracies, conspiracies (read: beliefs) follow the typical patterns of information flow in our minds. This is partly what I have been arguing on these boards since I joined: one's pet conspiracy says more about the believer than it does about the world. [No one would object if I had just written, your faith in god says more about you than it does about the world] So I am not sure what you are trying to say. Do you believe objectively in conspiracies -- in nefarious control by third parties? Or do you believe subjectively in the semi-automatic flow of patterns and information in our thoughts and mind, of which such conspiracy-beliefs are a part?

    Or put it this way:
    Do you think archetypes are a conspiracy tracker?
    OR
    Do you think conspiracies are an archetype tracker?

    Which is more likely?

    When I wrote conspiracy tracker, I meant torrent tracker with the conspiracy subjects
    Conspiracy - a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful
    When kids do something bad - spoil food on the bed, make carpet dirty etc. - dad conspire to clean and hide so mom won't find out
    Nefarious control by third parties - yes, 70% people which I know are affected by attitudes from media, watching TV and reading news without critical thinking
    Semi-automatic flow of patterns – yes
    Story is an algorithm - if you aren't aware it may affect your decision making
    I witnessed in period of 6 months how two men talk in front of the third one. Their talks where highly controlled, theatrical, with intention to influence the listener in roleplay, some kind of NLP with storytelling. My biggest shock is that they succeeded in what they wanted - they programmed the listener and he developed the behavior they wanted. I saw that in reality, and after I searched what happened and found Stanford lectures...