Sunday, May 24, 2009

PBS: The Power of Myth

The Power of Myth is a book and six part television documentary first broadcast on PBS in 1988 as Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. The documentary comprises six one-hour conversations between mythologist Joseph Campbell and journalist Bill Moyers.

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth has six episodes:

Episode 1: The Hero’s Adventure (first broadcast 6/21/1988 on PBS)

About Campbell, hero types, hero deeds, Jesus Christ, the Buddha, movie heroes, Star Wars as a metaphor, an Iroquois story: the refusal of suitors, dragons, dreams and Jungian psychology, “follow your bliss,” consciousness in plants, Gaia, Chartres cathedral, spirituality vs. economics, emerging myths, “Earthrise” as a symbol


Episode 2: The Message of the Myth (first broadcast 6/22/1988 on PBS)

Creation myths, transcending duality, pairs of opposites, God vs. Nature, sin, morality, participation in sorrow, the Gospel of Thomas, Old Time Religion, computers, religion as “software,” the story of Indra: “What a great boy am I!,” participation in society


Episode 3: The First Storytellers (first broadcast 6/23/1988 on PBS)

Animal memories, harmonization with body and life-cycle, consciousness vs. its vehicle, killing for food, story: “The Buffalo’s Wife,” buffalo massacre, initiation ritual, rituals diminishing, crime increasing, artists, the Shaman, the center of the world.


Episode 4: Sacrifice and Bliss (first broadcast 6/24/1988 on PBS)

Chief Seattle, the sacred Earth, agricultural renewal, human sacrifice, sacrifice of the Mass, transcendence of death, story: “The Green Knight,” societal dictates vs. following bliss, “hidden hands” guiding life’s work


Episode 5: Love and the Goddess (first broadcast 6/25/1988 on PBS)

The Troubadours, Eros, romantic love, Tristan, libido vs. credo, separation from love, Satan, loving your enemy, the Crucifixion as atonement, the Goddess, the Earth-mother, virgin birth, the story of Isis, Osiris and Horus, the Madonna, the Big Bang.


Episode 6: Masks of Eternity (first broadcast 6/26/1988 on PBS)

Identifying with the infinite, the circle as a symbol, clowns and masks, epiphanies and James Joyce, artistic arrest, the monstrous as sublime, the dance of Shiva, that which is beyond words.


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