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Joseph Campbell: The Power (And Redundance of) Myth

Last week's service featured an account of my trip to the preserved library of Joseph Campbell at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, which for me was like a pilgrimage. 35 years ago this summer I was lucky to see the 6-part documentary "The Power of Myth" on PBS Channel 2 in Boston. It was a simple yet riveting conversation between the masterful Bill Moyers and the great professor himself.

This month at UUVerdugo we are talking about the 7th Principle—the one with all that stuff about the "interdependent web of all existence," etc., and Joseph Campbell's lifelong scholarship, as first revealed to me in that documentary, is all about patterns repeating, the universality of familiar narratives, and the scaleable nature of heroes' journeys (I can also say "scaleable" because dragons are often involved).

Campbell died in 1987. This documentary was filmed in the two summers immediately prior to his death (five of the interviews were conducted at George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch, as Lucas credited Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" for the structure of "StarWars").

Got six hours? Then treat yourself to what remains one of the most popular broadcasts in public television history.

Episode 1: The Hero's Adventure

Ep;isode 2: The Message of the Myth

Episode 3: The First Storytellers

Episode 4: Sacrifice And Bliss

Episode 5: Love And the Goddess

Episode 6: The Masks of Eternity

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