Joseph Campbell - Mythos IIAnyone who’s done any poking into the topics of mythology, religion, and religious history is most likely more than familiar with the name Joseph Campbell. Easily the greatest mythologist of our time, Campbell also made a name for himself as a great storyteller, speaking on the topics that popularized his works. Near the end of his life, summing up all that he had learned about what he called the “one great story” of humanity, Campbell toured and gave lectures on numerous philosophical, mythological, and religious topics. This new set, Mythos II, covers five such lectures. They are as follows:

The Inward Path – The core myths of the great Asian religions
Enlightened One – The Buddha and enlightenment, East and West
Our Eternal Selves – Yoga and transcendence
The Way to Illumination – Kundalini yoga and the seven chakras
The Experience of God – Tibetan Buddhism and the spiritual journey that is death

Obviously these are not light subjects, and Campbell, with his vast knowledge and enviable oratory skills, covers them expertly. Though the presentation is a bit grainy (these were filmed in the ’80s afterall), this somehow only adds to the watchability. Imagine the best professor you’ve ever had discussing some of the most interesting subjects and you’ve got a good idea of what’s showcased here. There are numerous slides that come up showcasing things that Campbell discusses, many of exotic locations and infamous Buddhist artifacts.

Campbell makes it clear that the Eastern myths hold a special place in his heart, and while he does tend to focus heavily on them (after all the topic of this collection is Eastern religions) he also manages to compare and contrast Eastern myths with Western, reminding viewers of his “one great story” ideas that he expounded on in such books as The Hero With a Thousand Faces.

Susan Sarandon sits in as narrator and introductioness before each episode. Unfortunately it’s clear that she’s reading from a prompter and though she’s obviously a talented actress, her presenting abilities leave something to be desired. She simply serves as a familiar face for audiences to look to in between lectures and for a bit of interpretation after a particularly heavy statement by Campbell.

Zach’s Rating: A-
Perfect For: Those interested in finding out anything and everything about “the one great story”
Stay Away if: You’ve found your myth and you’re holding fast to it

To purchase Joseph Campbell – Mythos II, visit Amazon

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