Joseph Campbell and the Skywalker: Meetings with George Lucas

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 21, 2015 3:47:42 PM

A guest post by Pacifica's Special Collections Librarian Richard Buchen.

"... the first axiom of all creative art -- whether it be in poetry, music, dance, architecture, painting, or sculpture -- which is namely, that art is ... a presentation of forms, images or ideas in such a way that they will communicate, not primarily a thought or even a feeling, but an impact.

"The axiom is worth recalling here, because mythology was historically the mother of arts and yet, like so many mythological mothers, the daughter, equally, of her own birth."

Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology (New York: Penguin, 1976; first published 1959)

In April of 2002, the Joseph Campbell Library on the campus of Pacifica Graduate Institute was visited by a film crew directed by Tsukuru Matsuki from Kyodo Television of Tokyo. They were filming for an episode in a television documentary series called "Passion for Arts" which was aired nationally in Japan that year via TV Tokyo, and the broadcast included footage of the Joseph Campbell Library, as well as its Special Collections Librarian talking about The Hero with a Thousand Faces. The subject of this episode was not Campbell, but rather a man who had been deeply influenced by him, the filmmaker George Lucas.

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Posted in: Joseph Campbell, Mythology, film

Approaches to the Study of Myth (MP3)

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 14, 2015 3:10:46 PM


The library has digitized Mythological Studies professor Dr. Christine Downing's lecture Approaches to the Study of Myth from five analog cassettes into eight freely available MP3 files. The lecture includes a general overview of the study of myth and several historical views on how myths were made and what their functions were thought to be. Individual topics discussed included Claude Levi-Strauss, James George Frazer, Jane Ellen Harrison, animism, mythology, and ritual.

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Posted in: Mythology

We Are All Parisian

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 25, 2015 3:09:22 PM

A guest post by Dr. Susan Rowland, Chair of Pacifica's M.A. Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life Program.

Dear Everyone,
Ten years ago when Al Quaeda bombed London, the Mayor of Paris said: “today we are all Londoners.” The following day, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said “We are all Londoners” in Trafalgar Square packed with all of London’s multicultural communities. As a Londoner, then a resident, always by birth, no one speech or event did more to lessen the sense of trauma I felt.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Trauma, Mythology

Exploring Your Personal Myth Through Literary Classics

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 28, 2015 5:03:03 PM

"Mining the Myth from Memory" from the Introduction to Our Daily Breach: Exploring Your Personal Myth Through Herman Melville's Moby-Dick (2015) by Dennis Patrick Slattery

It may seem strange to speak of literary classics as ancestors, but they are. Akin to voices from the past, they have the capacity to shape our present by helping us to discern what in our contemporary world we continue to struggle with: power, violence, murder, vengeance, fidelity, homelessness, excess, slavery, resentments, prejudice, love, family, order, rebirth, fate, destiny, freedom, the power of the past, to name a few. Contemplating these human qualities, gifts, weaknesses and action through poems like Moby-Dick can be as initiating as they are illuminating and enjoyable.

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Posted in: Mythology

Pacifica Graduate Institute | The Mythology of Business: East vrs. West

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Sep 30, 2015 4:43:00 PM

The way in which a company conducts business is constructed by the culture of the people who have built the corporation and continue to operate under those cultural beliefs. As businesses move towards a global platform it is important to understand the myths and stories behind different cultures in order to fully understand the history behind such business models as well as how one engages with a customers holding different cultural beliefs. This understanding of cultural mythologies enables us to be more empathetic to differing ideas and perspectives, allowing us to understand that we may live in one subjective truth, but so does the other person sitting across from you.

In an insightful TED Talk Devdutt Pattanaik explores the mythologies that exist behind east and west thinking and how these stories have shaped differing nation's business models and company culture.    

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, Mythology

Psyche's Knife: Archetypal Explorations of Love and Power

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 28, 2015 1:06:00 PM

A guest post by Elizabeth Éowyn Nelson. The following is excerpted from her book Psyche's Knife: Archetypal Explorations of Love and Power.

1

LOST KNIFE

Simple things are always the most difficult.

—C. G. Jung, Alchemical Studies

At dusk, the silence of the lonely rooms grows thick. A young woman walks down the broad stone corridor, caressing the smooth glass of the oil lamp in her hands. The viscous liquid sloshes lazily from side to side as she enters their room. She knows he won’t arrive for many hours yet, not until it is dark. It has always been this way. With trembling hands, she sets the lamp behind the luxurious bed and gently touches the cold black wick. Then she turns her attention to the knife.

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Posted in: The Psyche, Psychotherapy, Mythology

Going for the Gold: A Psyche-Centered Education

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 13, 2015 12:48:00 PM

A guest post by Dr. Aaron Kipnis, Ph.D.

For many people, a graduate degree marks one of their greatest achievements. As the first in my family to gain one, some described my journey from high school dropout to PhD as, “going for the gold.” How did high attainment come to be associated with gold? Why don’t we tell Olympic athletes to: “go for the stainless steel?” It’s shiny too—but gold prevails.

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Posted in: The Psyche, Mythology, transformative

The Rebirth of the Hero: Mythology as a Guide to Spiritual Transformation

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 15, 2014 4:33:00 PM

A guest post by Dr. Keiron Le Grice

Modern-day cinematic portrayals of myths old and new are etched in our collective imagination. Who can forget the 1960s film depiction of the Greek hero Jason and the crew of the Argo boldly sailing their ship between the Clashing Rocks or Luke Skywalker unmasking his father, Darth Vader, in Star Wars? And how many of us were enthralled watching Frodo Baggins accepting his fateful mission to carry the Ring of Power away from the Shire or were enchanted by the other-worldly experiences of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz? Such films comprise a set of shared cultural reference points and have inspired audiences the world over. Yet beyond their capacity to entertain and stir the imagination, mythic films also possess an instructive metaphorical significance. Skilfully interpreted, they can provide invaluable guidance for the process of deep psychospiritual transformation that Carl Jung called individuation. It is this way of reading and using myth that is the focus of my 2013 publication, The Rebirth of the Hero.

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Posted in: Joseph Campbell, Mythology

Greek and Roman Mythology with Dr. Christine Downing

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 17, 2014 1:39:00 PM

We are excited to have our first open lecture for the Pacifica Post be Dr. Christine Downing's lecture from her class Greek and Mythology in Pacifica's M.A./Ph.D. Mythological Studies program. Click the play button arrow below to listen to the full lecture.

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Posted in: Mythology, goddesses