Insights into the ideas of a mythologist
(more about Joseph Campbell)

Sources #8: Pop Culture

Most of what we've said so far is kind of, I don't know, high-falutin'. It makes Uncle Joe sound like some kind of Ivory Tower type.

And although he certainly became a kind of "grand old man" in his later years, you can't discount the effect of having taught college for decades on his youthfulness.

The activities of his younger days prove hime to be a "regular Joe":

  • He ran on a track team
  • He played jazz saxophone
  • He liked swashbuckler movies

Two interesting co-incidences with pop culture stand out, though.

One is his well-known influence on George Lucas, who attributed the structure of the Star Wars saga to The Hero with a Thousand Faces. We'll be digging into that eventually. And he's only one of countless filmmakers that have shaped their work around Campbell's thought, especially since the publication of Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey.

The other is less well known, but I think more fascinating. In 1986, he presented a discussion along with Jerry Garcia and Mickey Hart of "The Grateful Dead." Its title was, "Ritual to Rapture, from Dionysus to the Grateful Dead."

Prior to that, however, he had attended a concert by The Dead, of which he said: "The Deadheads are doing the dance of life and this I would say, is the answer to the atom bomb."

Read more about Joe and the Dead here.

While classics and great art were certainly his main sources, we cannot discount the influence of popular culture on his ideas.

Next time: German Philosophy

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I know what I’m about to say may seem absurd but PLEASE hear me out before you write me off or stop reading what I say. The greatest scholar ever in the field of comparative religion/mythology Joseph Campbell (JC) is Back (Reincarnated) and he’s proving everything he wrote about! Don’t believe my words see for yourself! His name is Mikese Morse, and fittingly he was born the day Joseph Campbell died 10/30/87. If you want quick verifiable proof look at the explanation he gives on his non private Facebook page on January 2nd. That day he spoke of the Koran Surah 75 (The Resurrection) and then explained in detail how he was resurrected from the dead. His karmic background or the events of his life perfectly match Campbell’s! (Read the comments under the statuses). If you want another quick way to verify or become convinced that he was him look at his website (, click on the “Miracle” tab. Under the miracle tab he not only explains how he and Campbell’s lives are interconnected but he also shows mathematical miracles involving him and his Twin Soul that No man could possibly produce even if he wanted to. His “Miracles” prove that there is some type of Universal Organizing Intelligence, GOD! Over the last several months he has fulfilled the prophecies of almost all religions and documented/explained them on his Facebook page. He has taken what Joseph Campbell called “The Hero’s Journey”, the journey all Prophets or World Saviors took. Campbell in his most famous book The Hero With a Thousand Faces explained the Hero’s Journey and how the trials and tribulations of almost all prophets or Saviors were the same, and Morse has shown that to be true by simply living HIS LIFE! I dare you to take 10 minutes out of your day and see for yourself the truth of my words as well as HIS! As is evidenced by his FB page many Religious studies professors, and all sorts of spiritual teachers are now flocking to him to get a look at THE miracle HE IS! I’m trying to let everybody I can know about him because he single handedly holds the Key to Peace on Earth for Man!