Joseph Campbell

Distinguishing Reality from Illusion

BY J. DOUGLAS KENYON

As David Childress points out in his piece on crystal skulls elsewhere in this issue, there is some truth to the story in the latest Indiana Jones epic, even if the producers did get somewhat carried away. The same can be said for many Hollywood productions, including some that are even more outrageous. The producers of Tinseltown like to grab a fact or two as their starting point and then to venture into the imaginary. Mutant powers, as in X-Men, are based on actual medical…

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Heroic Drama for the World

BY J. DOUGLAS KENYON

In mid October 2010, as a worldwide audience of over a billion watched in fascination, 33 miners, after spending a record 68 and 69 days trapped in the darkness, were rescued from the ruins of a collapsed mine almost half a mile be­neath the desolate Acapana desert of Chile. The operation went off without a hitch and the triumphant result was hailed everywhere as one of the most inspiring stories in memory. In fact, the saga of Chile’s rescued miners seemed virtually miraculous to all,…

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The Hero’s Journey

BY JULIE GILLENTINE

“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.”—Ursula K. Le Guin At the beginning of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, (Princeton University Press, 1949 & 1968) arguably Joseph Campbell’s finest book, the author asserts, “It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the Cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation.” In our time myth is considered to be more like a…

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