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Articles and Essays

The Masks of God
Volume 4: Creative Mythology
by Joseph Campbell


Note: This series is currently "out of print."  Amazon occasionally has used copies for sale of both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

Table of Contents

Descriptions taken from http://www.sfsu.edu/~avitv/AV.mediacatalog.html

Mythos, Vol. 1: Psyche and Symbol, The Spirit Land, On Being Human, From Goddesses to God, The Mystical Life

1:1. Psyche and Symbol (56 minutes)
Introducing the series of lectures in this first video, Campbell explains the universality of psyche and symbol, how universal themes emerge from the unconscious in all peoples and all cultures. These themes are then transformed into myths which guide individuals through the cycle of life.

1:2. The Spirit Land (55 minutes)
Using Native American stories as a base, Campbell explains in this second lecture how American Indian myths can make people aware of the mystery of life, and form the basis for rituals which prepare them for dealing with the real world. The difficulties of living in a society without a mythology are also considered.

1:3. On Being Human (57 minutes)
Characteristics which humans share with the animal world are studied in this third lecture, as well as the point where animal behavior ends and human behavior begins. Starting from the cave paintings at Lascaux, France, the emergence of the myth and the importance of the goddess in early hunter-gatherer societies is described.

1:4. From Goddess to God (57 minutes)
...Connections between ancient societies and the origins of the Western Judeo-Christian tradition, as reflected in the replacement of earth goddess mythology with war-like male deities when agriculture and the first great empire - Egypt - emerge, are the subject of this program.

1:5. The Mystical Life (59 minutes)
...Using texts and artifacts from the ancient Greek mystery religions centered at Eleusis, Greece, Campbell in this fifth lecture traces the translation of these traditions into an " unofficial " Christian mythology.

Mythos, Vol. 2: The Shaping of the Eastern Tradition

[Each blurb includes the words: "In this series of five seminars Professor Joseph Campbell explores mythic images in Hinduism and Buddhism, images central to the shaping of the eastern tradition."]

[Comments labeled "Back Cover" are from Amazon]

Back Cover: Joseph Campbell's exhilarating story-telling and masterful teachings continue in this second volume on the One Great Story of our human adventure. The remarkably successful The Power of Myth, introduced Joseph Campbell and his extraordinary ideas to millions. Now, journey with this remarkable man as he takes you through The Shaping of The Eastern Tradition and examines spirituality through the mythic images of Hinduism and Buddhism.

2.1. The Inward Path (58 minutes)
In this first program Campbell introduces the basic concept of elementary ideas and the concept of spiritual emancipation, following it through the Vedic literature and the Upanishads to the development of the concept of Nirvana and the arrival of the Buddha.
Back Cover: Campbell introduces us to the core ideas at the heart of the Eastern traditions and explores what Aldous Huxley called the Perennial Philosophy and how it is realize in Hinduism and Buddhism. He traces the development of the idea of spiritual emancipation from the early Indus Valley civilizations through the Vedic literature to the Upanishads. Campbell identifies the point of departure between the Eastern and Western traditions. Finally, Campbell explains the concept of Nirvana and sets the stage for the arrival of the Buddha.

2.2. The Enlightened One (57 minutes)
Focusing on stories of the life of the Buddha, Campbell explains the differences between Theravada ( Hinayana ) and Mahayana Buddhism in this second tape. Differences between Eastern and Western religion, and between Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism are also considered.
Back Cover: Campbell uses stories of the Buddha's life and enlightenment to reflect the essence of the Buddhist religion. He explains the difference between the two principal types of Buddhism - Theravada (Hinayana) and Mahayana. Campbell also probes the differences between Eastern and Western religion by focusing on Buddhism as a religion of "identification with" the divine rather than on of "relationship to" it. He also compares Buddhism with Taoism and Confucianism and explores an ancient collision of East and West.

2.3. Our Eternal Selves (54 minutes)
Campbell explores yoga in this third video, explaining how yoga, as a form of meditation, b rings the practitioner to ever higher stages of consciousness and eventually to unity with eternal undifferentiated consciousness.
Back Cover: Our Eternal Selves introduces us to the systems of yoga that grew out of the mainstream of India spiritually. Campbell demonstrates how the Eastern way of perceiving consciousness is radically different from how it is perceived in the West. He demonstrates how yoga acts as a mediation to bring the practitioner to ever-higher stages of consciousness, to unite one's personal consciousness with the eternal, undifferentiated consciousness of the divine.

2.4. The Way to Illumination (58 minutes)
The seven chakras (symbolic centers of psychic energy) of Kundalini Yoga are outlined in this fourth video. The chakras are then compared to Western psychology and Christian concepts.
Back Cover: Perhaps the most sophisticated form of yoga, Kundalini Yoga, concentrates on the seven chakras or symbolic centers of our psychic energy. Campbell explains the full chakra system of Kundalini Yoga and makes comparison with modern Western psychology and Christian concepts. Explore how this system teaches rituals and mediation practices so unit the spiritual power in the human being with the spiritual force of the universe.

2.5. The Experience of God (54 minutes)
The focus of this fifth lecture is on the art, philosophy and mysticism of Buddhism in Tibet. Campbell traces the downward passage through the chakras (centers of energy in Kundalini Yoga) - the ritual journey of death described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Back Cover: Campbell demonstrates how Tibetan Buddhists turns the ritual experience of death into a spiritual exercise. Trace with him the stages of the Tibetan Book of the Dead in which the Llama prepares a dying man and his family for the final moments of life. This passage, in fact, is a journey downward through the chakras, the centers of energy of Kundalini Yoga. Campbell reveals how the Eastern tradition reaches its most sophisticated expression in the art, philosophy and mysticism in the Buddhism of Tibet.

Contents (C) 2006 James Baquet


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