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, Jungian & Archetypal Studies

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

In Thanksgiving: The Presence of a Mentor, Dr. Louise Cowan

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 30, 2015 4:28:46 PM

A tribute to my mentor Dr. Louise Cowan. A guest post by Dr. Dennis Patrick Slattery.

A mentor is a complex hybrid human being; she (and I will use that pronoun because I am speaking in my case of a woman), is an amalgam of a parent, a teacher, a companion and a guide. Choosing our parents or our children allows either of us little choice; but with a mentor and student there is a choice on both sides.

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Posted in: Mythology, leadership

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, Engaged Humanities

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

My First Days of Graduate School: Pacifica Graduate Institute Faculty Reflections

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Sep 16, 2015 1:41:00 PM

At this time of year Pacifica welcomes 11 new groups of students to campus for their first year of graduate school. We are excited to share some personal stories from Pacifica faculty members who reflect on their first days of graduate school. 

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Posted in: Mythology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Community, Liberation, Indigenous & Ecopsychology

The Wandering Heroine: A Quest of a Different Kind

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Aug 26, 2015 3:00:00 PM

A guest post by Jody Gentian Bower, Ph.D. The initial quote is from her book Jane Eyre’s Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine Story.

"The Aletis represents a feminine archetype every bit as important as the masculine archetype of the hero. This is why people keep writing her story, trying to put down in words something felt and understood unconsciously, something important about women."

Ever since Joseph Campbell published The Hero with a Thousand Faces in 1949, the story of the Hero’s Quest has informed the thinking and writing of countless authors, scriptwriters, folklorists, mythologists, and depth psychologists. Campbell’s work forms one of the pillars of education at Pacifica Graduate Institute and continues to be amplified by and inspire the work of many Pacifica students and faculty.

The Hero is almost always male, however, and so there has been a concurrent effort to either re-vision the Quest story from a female perspective, or to find another story that fits a woman’s journey to individuation better. Works such as The Heroine’s Journey by Maureen Murdock and The Bridge to Wholeness by Jean Benedict Raffa fall into the former category, while Christine Downing, Jean Shinoda Bolen, and Clarissa Pinkola Estés are examples of authors who have sought wisdom in myths and folktales featuring goddesses, princesses, and witches.

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Posted in: Joseph Campbell, The Psyche, Mythology, literature

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, clinical psychology

10 Must See Jungian Psychology Themed Films

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 17, 2015 8:32:00 PM

We asked our Pacifica faculty for a list of films that have a Jungian theme in them and here are the top 10 movies that they came up with. I have to add that Lionel Corbett said "all movies have a Jungian theme." Tou·ché Dr. Corbett, tou·ché. 

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Posted in: Mythology, C.G. Jung, film, Jungian & Archetypal Studies