Pacifica Graduate Institute Mythological Studies Program

Posted by Guest on Jan 22, 2016 1:06:42 PM


Pacifica Graduate Institute Video Breakdown:

Speaker 1: I am part of all mythologies.

V. Walter: Mythology is a study of human nature.

Speaker 2: We all have nests that we come from, family nests, stories that we've been told by our community.

Laura: This legacy of humanity from the religious traditions to the artistic production.

Patrick: Its sources are ancient, but it pulsates right to the present day.

Speaker 3: The real part of a story comes out of the Greek mythologies.

Christine: Fantastic stories that humans have told since the beginning of time.

Laura: Well, I know one of the deepest draws, and we hear over and over again from students is that this program is unique, and it's the thing they've been waiting for, and that seems to find them, and that they feel called to.

Student: There's nothing that I found anywhere in the country quite like the program that I'm in here.

Speaker 4: Discover the power of myth in a unique graduate degree program, Pacifica Graduate Institute's MA PhD in Mythological Studies is the country's only doctoral program devoted to the study of myth.

Laura: I feel that what we're studying is not only myth in the classic sense of a narrative relating to the gods, but we're really studying the mythological imagination, and the psyche. What I like to underscore is that this is an inter [inaudible 00:01:41] interdisciplinary program.

Patrick: The myth program the way we've configured looks in three areas. The first of those are religious traditions. In fact we look at ten of them, sometimes more, but it's a range that is as diverse as Greek and Roman traditions, Egyptian, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, African American, and native traditions of the Americas. These are the standard fare that we look at in the religious tradition area. That can include the classic text, but also the oral traditions, the rituals, symbols, and iconography. That all belongs to one domain.

Now, a second domain would be literary texts both ancient, Greek classics for example, comedies and tragedies, but works such as The Divine Comedy by Dante, or Moby Dick by Melville, or Tony Morrison's Beloved. Works right up to the present day that can be rich mythic themes, archetypal themes about life and the struggles.

The third area of focus is on depth psychology. Particularly the [inaudible 00:02:52] and archetypal lenses looks at a variety of things that includes films, but also motifs that are occurring in contemporary culture.

Dennis: If a person is looking for a broadly based, humanities oriented series of courses that would help them see, for example the same phenomenon from a whole variety of different angles of vision, then the myth program is where they need to be.

Speaker 4: The members of Pacifica's faculty bring a passion for education and a wealth of real world experience into the classroom.

Student: As soon as I got in the classes, I realized that Pacifica had basically assembled the best list of professors I had ever seen. Every class I go to I just feel grateful for it because these people are amazing.

Alumni: Well not only were the faculty very well trained and had a lot of teaching experience in other institutions, but the faculty almost to a person were uniquely gifted teachers.

V. Walter: The students really are better of than the faculty in the end because they get exposed to all of us, and they have a much broader picture of human nature and mythology than each of us individually does because we only have a unique area of interest. They are exposed to all of the different areas of interest from all the different teachers, so it's a very rich experience.

Speaker 4: Pacifica's unique three day learning format makes it possible for students from around the world to pursue a graduate degree.

Dennis: The program allows people to maintain their home, come in once a month for three days of eight hour classes in which they take a third of a class each day, they disappear for a month, return for the second third, disappear for a month, then return for a third time, and that's the quarter.

Student: When we come together, we all look forward to it like a whole week leading up to it, it's like, "I can't wait for myth camp."

Speaker 4: Students in the mythological studies program gather once a month for three days of study on one of two Pacifica campuses, both of which are located between the coastal foothills and the pacific ocean a few miles south of Santa Barbara, California.

Speaker 5: Both campuses are magnificent. The program is extraordinary. It is a real gift to give ones self to come here and experience this in depth, intellectual program.

Speaker 6: You owe it to yourself to just come and see. Just have a look because it's magnificent.

Speaker 4: On the campuses of Pacifica graduate institute is OPUS archives and research center, a non-profit, living archive which houses Joseph Campbell's collected works.

V. Walter: I think Joseph Campbell in some ways should be the patron saint of the, certainly of the mythological studies program, because people read his books on comparative mythology. He wrote it 1000 Faces, but most of all, many people saw, or remember seeing The Power of Myth.

Student: I was handed the Joseph Campbell interviews with Bill Moyers and told to watch them. I'd watched them years ago when they first came out just because I was a writer, and everybody did, and I'd just finished watching them, and I heard somebody talking about this great school they were going to that they'd just gotten accepted to that had the Joseph Campbell archives, and I thought, "Wow, what a great place."

Christine: It just amazes me that when we have an opportunity to teach myth, we're having an opportunity to talk about the way in which stories, and I've always loved stories, but they way in which stories somehow have a power to structure society, to define morality, to describe the human relationship to the outer world, to the natural world.

Maybe most significantly to describe us to ourselves in a deeper and more complex, and maybe even a more challenging way than any other kind of talking, any other kind of description. We have students coming who are psychologists, we have students coming who are business people who are lawyers, who are physicians, and so on. Although it's academically rigorous, we do have a sense that we want to gradually introduce people into what academic rigor in a humanities kind of program entails.

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Topics: Mythology