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Paperback Transformations of Myth Through Time Book

ISBN: 0060964634

ISBN13: 9780060964634

Transformations of Myth Through Time

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. This illustrated collection of thirteen lectures covering mythological development around the world-from the origins of myth in the distant past to familiar European medieval legends-captures...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

One of the best storytellers of our time!

This was required reading for a graduate course in the Humanities. This is a great book written by a very engaging storyteller. Joseph Campbell describes the monomyth in his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces as embodying all the necessary elements of the hero's journey in the many myths in human history. Campbell discovered through extensive research that humankind shares a universal monomyth in its various religions and legends especially pertaining to the creation of the world and humankind. Campbell borrowed the term monomyth from James Joyce's book Finnegan's Wake. Campbell's intuitive insight in human myth proves that for thousands of years these myths display a certain standard structure, which he summarizes beautifully in his book. A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man (Campbell 30). There are at least four major stages that a monomyth has however, in his book, Campbell goes on to describe seventeen stages that some monomyth's posses. The four stages making up the cycle of a monomyth are "passage: separation-initiation-return:" In the passage stage the hero is summoned to journey or embark on an adventure by some kind of event that takes place or from a message, he receives. The hero may embark on this passage willingly or reluctantly. During the separation stage, the hero meets with a mentor or wise man who gives the hero either an amulet or some words of wisdom to be of help to the hero on the adventure. It is during this stage that the hero will go through his first transformation, also known as "crossing the first threshold," as he crosses over to another world or dimension leaving behind the old world. In the initiation stage, the hero goes through several trials or tests. The hero often receives help in these ordeals along the way by allies or from a supernatural force. As the hero completes these ordeals successfully, he proves himself more worthy to continue the adventure. Most importantly, during this stage the hero must pass through a major ordeal that will expand his consciousness, and thereby change his character forever. Often, this ordeal entails the death of an ally or enemy. Once the hero successful accomplishes his ordeal he is rewarded with a gift, it could be intrinsic like the "holy grail, or it can be new found knowledge to better the world with. The last stage the hero travels is that of the return whence he came. Often the hero will undergo further trials on his return before he is permitted to cross the threshold back to the world he left. During his return journey, the hero will use his newfound wisdom or gift to make a safe return home. Once home the gift is used to cure some ill in the hero's home or to impart new wisdom to his neighbors. Campbell points to the si

A very good Read

I have read a number of Prof. Campbell's books, and found this to be one of the best. I enjoy very much his lectures on compact disk or DVD generally more than his written work, and this book is a compilation of lectures. Once you are familiar with some of his work, a particularly good read is his recent biography--A Fire in the Mind--excellent and organized insight to both his extraordinary life as well as his work and thoughts!

Thirteen essays of first level!

To read this book is a real proud . The multiple annotations and clever observations of this renowned master of the mythology make us transport immediately to this unusual universe He makes an amazing journey from the origins of the myth in the distant past to familiar European medieval legends . The fertile wisdom and powerful intelligence of this extraordinary thinker is a real invitation to enter and cross the line for knowing one of the most ambitious essays ever written . Thirteen chapters all the way depicted with visible commitment are : In the beginning :Origins of the man and Myth. Where People Lived Legends: American Indian Myths. And the Washed Our Weapons in the Sea: Gods and Goddesses of the Neolithic Period. Pharaoh' s Rule : Egypt , the exodus and the Myth of Osiris . The Sacred Source : the Perennial Philosophy of the East. The Way to Enlightenment: Buddhism. From Id to the Ego in the orient: Kundalini Yoga , Part I. From Psychology to Spirituality : Kundalini Yoga , Part II The Descent to Heaven: The Tibetan Book of the Dead. From Darkness to Light: The Mistery Religions of Ancient Greece. Where There Was No Path: Arthurian Legends and the Western Way. A Noble Heart : the Courtly Love of Tristan and Isolde. In Search of the Holy Grail: The Parzival Legend. The material of myth is the material of our life , the material of our body , and the material of our environment , and a living , vital mythology deals with these in terms that are appropriate to the nature of the knowledge of the time . There are two types of human beings . There is the animal human who is practical and there is the human being who is susceptible to the allure of beauty which is divinely superfluous . This is the distinction . This is the first little gem of a spiritual concern and need , of which the animals know nothing. The illustrations are of first order and support the text in a very helpful way . Do not think it over and buy this supreme golden book.

This one also ties for the most important book I've read:

This was another of those synchronist events that happens in the form of the written word. Actually, I got ahold of these videos through my local library at a time when I was searching for questions instead of answers. This book is a tour de force of the mythological evolution of the human species. Campbell addresses what the elemantary ideas of myth are and how they present themselves uniformly throughout all cultures, historical and present, of the world equally. The thesis--there is only one mythology that is inflected in various folk manifestations, comes across beautifully. Campbell will challenge you to rethink about religion and mythology and what it means to you as a human being. This one is a must read.

Transformations of Myth Through Time is Must Read/See

Read this if you can't afford the tapes of this excellent PBS series (though it gets a little dry in some spots)! It is a (now deceased) esteemed archeologists's comparisons of myth with the actual excavations that he and other archeologists have made. He can validate or repudiate claims made by some religions that their version is the best, only, or earliest version, and can also show how some myths evolved from actual real events or places. Once you are done reading this, go ahead and read the older work The Women's Encylopedia of Myths and Secrets (written by Barbara G. Walker), another heavily referenced work, which looks into the literature of the ancients, right on through to the Middle Ages, highly exposing information that has been supressed by later religions, politicians, and peoples.
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