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Weekend Watching: The Hero With 1,000 Faces

We are all on a journey, a collective journey that we experience individually. We all walk our own path, ultimately alone. This is the meaning of individual liberty - the freedom to experience yourself in all of your glory.

The hero's journey is one of self discovery and transformation. If you do not know yourself, you cannot possibly know the world in which you live, or your relationship to it.

The hero has 1,000 faces. One of them is yours.

Bill Moyers with Joseph Campbell: The Power of Myth - The Hero's Adventure

The Power of Myth - The Hero's Adventure from John Allen Bell on Vimeo.


After the first 10 minutes, you can decide if this has meaning for you or not.

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Michael Nystrom's picture

Looks like it got taken down, but there is this

Finding Joe


Just heard about it today.

He's the man.

this is just the trailer. where's the movie?


Found it


I remember watching all of this back in '07. Was led to it (of course) from a comment in a post here on the DP. Don't remember what the post was about and it doesn't matter. I do remember learning more than my little 1 and a 1/2 percent of brain power could take back in those days.

One might consider following this up with The Power of Nightmares.


Thanks for the post. The star wars references were cool but it only got better and better after that. Just a great discussion!

Why I love this place.

The Daily Paul is my center.

The chaos of the world is in constant circular motion, each of us in the center of the chaos with our computers. Our discussions on the Daily Paul help in understanding the dragons and how they operate. Our pro active efforts help expose the dragons and their lair where they have hidden the worlds wealth and freedoms captive. The lair is guarded by the dragons faithful rats who have the ability to be viewed as handsome princes and princesses.

Anyone who draws near the dragons lair is distracted away from the lair by screams of terror or giggles of laughter. People of the world are not aware of the dragons sinister intentions or of their power and influence but we here are aware. Our heroes are those who step forward with truth and positive activism, this breaks the spells the rats dispense through the air waves.

I have to leave, will save the world after supper.
Thanks, Michael for the thread very interesting and fun.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

Read the book in high school.

Or I tried to read it. The book is probably the deepest thing I have ever read. The footnotes themselves are pages long. It's hard to recognize the explanations and parallels with cultures and religions that you're not familiar with at all, so the footnotes have to do a lot of explaining. It's really an incredible piece of literature. One of the best.

I love it

thanks for posting!

Napolitano: "We need Ron Paul now!"

Great Watch

I think the antidote to this might be G.K. Chesterton - they can compliment each other...but I get the idea that Joseph Campbell is stuck looking in at the wonder - while G.K. Chesterton invites you to join the adventure, NOW.

Get the book, Orthodoxy.
- the chapter, The Ethics of Elfland:
Here it is: http://www.chosunjournal.com/ethics.html

Check out http://iroots.org/
"If you’re into political activism, at least for Ron Paul if not for anyone else, I strongly recommend spending some time with iroots.org." - Tom Woods

...I'm familiar with his work...

...and deeply impressed with his insight...
...However, the more I read and viewed of his works, the more convinced I became that he was really basically just saying there is some truth in all religions...and they share a universal truth but no one religion is really "right"...
...and this is where we parted ways on our journey's because I find this to be very dangerous...
...because if we follow his view, it really just leads to a rejection of any one religion as the real truth, and that this amalgamation of "some" truths taken from them all, are nothing but the calling, by default, for a new world religion...which I find to be extremely deceitful...and as I said very dangerous...
...I know the New World Order also wants a New World Religion...
...I'm not suggesting Campbell was knowingly working to bring about their plans, but it is disturbing to me all the same...
...The Romans pretty much did the same thing...
...In my opinion, this is nothing but the calling for a new religion to replace all the other ones...
...I assume he believed that THEN, we would all have FINALLY gotten it right. ...LOL
...Nothing new under the sun...
...as soon as anything becomes a "religion", you can count me out...

RON2012PAUL...The r3VOLution continues...
"I always win"
+GOLD and SILVER are money+

Michael Nystrom's picture

Belief is the death of knowledge

Interesting insight. I agree with you - count me out on any kind of religion. By that I mean anything that requires blind faith, adherence to received beliefs and the inability to question authority. In that sense, there is a lot more 'religion' in the world than just at the churches.

I like what Robert Anton Wilson said:

Belief is the death of knowledge.

Once you believe, you stop searching.

I will say this about religion. It is the product of humans, and it most of them agree this: There is but one true God. What they disagree on is who/what that is.

He's the man.

Belief is no such thing


Belief is no such thing. Whatever knowledge I have is not going to die because I believe there is one God that is the source of all that knowledge and the maker of the brain that takes in that knowledge, and the giver of the ability to learn that knowledge.

Yes, God asks for obedience, but there is nothing blind about it. God's creation is knowable, God's law is knowable, God's nature is knowable, and He wants us to know and learn these things.

The use of the phrase "blind faith" usually indicates an unwillingness to accept responsibilities that adhering to a religion usually requires. That's why something like the UU religion is so appealing - all of the warm fuzzies without having to actually stand for anything.

I agree you shouldn't believe blindly, but when you've studied the tenets of a religion, and they seem logical to you, and you see the consequences of not following those tenets, and you see the fruits of following them, then *decide* based on knowledge and experience - there is nothing blind about that.

If one can make an informed decision, then how can you make a blanket statement that religious followers are blind? I'm sorry, but that is what you are saying, and it's wrong. How can you look at St. Thomas Aquinas, and call him a blind believer, with no reasoning? How can you say that about St. Theresa of Avila? Of St. Catherine of Sienna? Of St. Augustine? Blind believers? Have you read their works? Disagree if you must, but calling them blind or without knowledge because they adhere to a religion that requires something of them is ridiculous.

Call this what it is - unwillingness to take on responsibility and to take a stand. It is not blindness on the part of all believers.

Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Mary, Our Mother, protect us under your mantle.

Michael Nystrom's picture

I think you misunderstood me (but I'm not sure)

When I say that belief is the death of knowledge, it does not mean that your knowledge will die because of what you believe. It means that what you are able to know is limited by your beliefs.

Without getting personal, because religion tends to be such a touchy subject (why is that?), I'll give you an example from science, which is a religion in its own right.

Let's say someone believes that the earth is flat. Because they 'believe' it, they 'know' it. Because they 'know' it, they are blind to any evidence of the contrary. This limits what they are actually able to know about the world they live in. This is what I mean by "Belief is the death of knowledge."

If you read my comment carefully, I was not attacking religion per se, but what I defined as:

blind faith, adherence to received beliefs and the inability to question authority. In that sense, there is a lot more 'religion' in the world than just at the churches.

See the comment below about the person who underwent a transformation after discovering they didn't have to send their children to school. This is an example of transformation from a formerly held (and wrong) belief that 'all children must go to school.'

To address your last question

If one can make an informed decision, then how can you make a blanket statement that religious followers are blind?

My answer is simple: It is impossible to ever have all the information. Can you have all the knowledge that God has? If not, the best you can do is make a stab at the truth - an informed guess. But if your premise is wrong, everything that follows will be wrong as well.

The man who wrongly believes the earth is flat will be terrified of falling off the edge and will live his life accordingly. An entire world view will be created based on that single false premise.

Belief is the death of knowledge.

That man will never have to check whether the world is flat or round, because he already 'knows' it. (But that man can still 'know' plenty of other things, and still live a useful and happy life.)

Likewise (again, only as an example), to say that God's creation is knowable, God's law is knowable, God's nature is knowable, and He wants us to know and learn these things, presupposes the existence of God, which is a fundamental act of faith.

Maybe there is no God.

He's the man.

My main point

My main point is that it is possible to have at least some of the information. A person can read the Catholic Catechism, for example, and see not just the shoulds and shouldn'ts, but the whys behind the shoulds and shouldn'ts. There is reasoning behind what is taught, as well as faith. If a person is asked "why do you want to be part of this or that religion," and they answer "just because" or "my family has always been this or that", yes that's blind. If a person can say "I see the consequences of this, or the fruits of that, or the logic in this" then that is not blind. Adherence to a religion's tenets is not always blind, and indeed shouldn't be if one is mature about pursuing their faith. If someone just is told "the earth is flat," and there is nothing else said or given to back that up, of course you shouldn't take that on faith. The Catholic faith anyway is not like that. Again, just look through the latest Catechism, and look at the whys offered along with the beliefs.

I have more to say about Teilhard de Chardin, but later!

Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Mary, Our Mother, protect us under your mantle.

Best comment so far, JSM.

Best comment so far, JSM. There is no such thing as "no ideology" or "no doctrine". Its like saying you don't have a philosophy or an opinion on anything. It's stupid.

Michael Nystrom's picture


"It seems stupid to me" is a better, and more accurate way of phrasing.

He's the man.

I insist that I know it is

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
1 Corinthians 1:20 (KJV)

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colossians 2:8 (KJV)

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.
Psalms 53:1 (KJV)


St Augustine says in his Confessions, God is “more inward to me than I am myself.”

Thank you both Michael and JSM for your respectfully cogent articulations of what too often appears ( as a result of the course of human history so far) as a dialectic of incompatibility between religion vs. free inquiry.

" But when we do experience this, if only partially—what it is to be real as ourselves, the pristineness of freedom and love—we discover something that’s clearly more important than what conventional religion talks about. Something that transforms one’s life and one’s world from inside out and enables one to embrace them without any reservation is certainly more deeply important than something that (if it were real) would merely wield great power over one’s life from outside it. For what transforms one’s life from inside affects not only what one has to deal with, but what one is.

Conventional religions all claim to speak both about what’s truly free and divine, and about what’s most deeply important for us as human beings. So if the transformation from inside really is free, divine, and most important, then the charitable thing to suppose is that this transformation is what conventional religions have really been trying to draw our attention to, all along, though in misleading ways. "


May I urge you each to consult this final link in the following post to see where it might lead:


" ... the human epic resembles nothing so much as a way of the Cross."

Michael Nystrom's picture

Teilhard de Chardin and the Noosphere

If this is the link you were referring to:


I found it fascinating. Teilhard de Chardin went though his own Hero's journey and transformation:

In midst of a particularly ghastly fulfillment of the dictum "War is hell," Pierre Teilhard de Chardin struggled to hold on to a hope for the human future. Ultimately, he found it in noogenesis and in the future of the noosphere.

I found his treatment by the church to be an example of the idea that 'Belief is the death of knowledge.'

He had continued to explore the lines of thought that had begun with his "Cosmic Life." Perhaps inevitably, his observations came to the attention of Church authorities. The reaction to some of Teilhard's ideas was ultimately severe. He was deprived of his teaching position and admonished not to publish his observations on religion and science. He observed that restriction until his death in 1955. It was only afterward that collections of his essays were published as well as his central work, The Phenomenon of Man.

The church wanted to maintain its own belief system and structure. New knowledge was not allowed, even suppressed. He was forced out, to walk his own path, to see through his own eyes. Another Hero's journey. An individual must be very strong to endure such a journey, and it is a tragedy that he died before he was able to see his work released to the world.

But his insights are fascinating.

Teilhard maintains that evolution has a definite direction, an "Ariadne's Thread" as he calls it. "Obviously, Teilhard disagrees, maintaining that evolution has a direction, an "Ariadne's Thread" as he calls it. That "thread" is the increasing complexity of living beings, the focus of which is their nervous systems, more precisely, their brains. Following the growth in "cerebralization" we are led to the mammals and, among them, the anthropoids. The complexity of their brains is paralleled by the complexity of their socialized behaviour. Recent studies of the great apes has only increased our appreciation of their remarkable acuity. Yet, though we are not a radical departure physically or genetically from these marvelous creatures, we nevertheless transcend them in some essential manner.

And just what is the source of this transcendence? For Teilhard, it is "thought" or "reflection." He describes it as "the power acquired by a consciousness to turn it upon itself, to take possession of itself as of an object endowed with its own particular consistence and value: no longer merely to know, but to know oneself; no longer merely to know but to know that one knows."

This is intelligence looking at intelligence itself.

Is evolution a theory, a system or a hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, as systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforth if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow.

He has an incredibly open mind, and this is an tremendous synthesis. But believing it still requires a measure of faith.

He's the man.

Tremendous !!!

Thank you, Michael, for showcasing this. You summed it up precisely -- This is exactly what the r'Evolution is !!!! [ I look forward to viewing it ].

I recall the impression this interview series made upon me when it first aired 20 years ago. I've always forgiven Moyers for all his liberalness because of the excellent journalistic curiosity and wonder he brought to the project... and the judgment he displayed in staying largely out of the way.

I was thrilled to see my oldest son reading a copy of the interview in book form 6 months ago. When, at the conclusion of my son's visit, I saw him leave with the not-quite-finished book tucked with his carry-on ... well ... perhaps you can appreciate my ambivalence. ;-)


“In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.”

. --- Ayn Rand

I liked his insight about Darth Vader.

The fact that the world is full of frustrated little Imperial Stormtroopers who really DON'T WANT to fight for the Galactic Empire, but you know, they have "no choice".

They have mortgages on studio apartments in Courosant, landspeeder payments, utility bills, etc. Plus they can't even shoot straight ;-)

Dr Zhivago was right:

"Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike...Our nervous system isn’t just fiction, it’s part of our physical body, and it can’t be forever violated with impunity."

Here's Darth Vader in Love (part 1):


I made it past

the first 10 minutes ~ easy, and will be watching this tonight ~ thanks Michael!

The Good Food Revolution

A Storied Land
Mythologists like Joseph Campbell tell us that many creation myths are stories about how a food plant or animal came to people, usually as a gift from their creator.
But invariably, these gifts came with instructions about maintaining respect for and reciprocity with the sources of one’s food, to assure its continuing productivity. These stories are central to the formation of a culture’s core values. And they affect us now, not just in how we feed ourselves, but in how we relate to the natural world and each other.

“Welcome to the Mutant Garden Island.” Instead of being a source of health and well-being for the land and people, the American system of industrial agriculture has become a source of problematic food and even fear.


And never forget, “Humans, despite our artistic pretensions, our sophistication and many accomplishments, owe the fact of our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.”

Michael Nystrom's picture

Nice insight

Myths are narratives.

There is a great (and narrow) battle going on now. That battle is over who will control the dominant narrative of our culture. It is being fought in the media and is being waged between two of the largest corporations in the world: News Corp (Fox) and Microsoft/GE (MSNBC).

Something for TV watchers to remember. You're only pawns in their game.

I encourage everyone to turn off the TV, engage with the world in front of you, and define your own mythology.

It is easier said than done.

He's the man.

Shintoism has a theology: racism

Wiki really tries to water down the racist aspect of Shintoism as honoring the Japanese culture and land, but...

"The Japanese islands are to be considered a paradise as they were directly created by the gods for the Japanese people, and were ordained by the higher spirits to be created into the Japanese empire."

You have to be Japanese to be Shinto.

Like any blood-based belief system that elevates a group of people to God, the Shinto Japanese thinks non-Japanese people aren't as good as Japanese...due to blood.

We must end ALL blood-based belief systems.

How much of this is the devil

How much of this is the devil counterfiting. I'd say some is Gnosticism. which is pretty much a dead religion.I'm familiar with cambell though I haven't had time to watch this yet. I highly recomend the online book the. Two Babylon's.

photoshopwiz's picture

refreshing change

and much needed life-affirming information.

Thanks for posting, Michael.

I have seen this whole series at least twice and it made a huge impact on my life. I was utterly captivated by Joseph Campbell, a great and wise teacher, patient and humble, like Dr. Paul. To think that Campbell died at the age of 83 and that "this was recorded during the last two summers of his life".

Ron Paul 2012 !

The Matrix - Joseph Campbell Monomyth

A hidden easter egg from "The Roots of The Matrix" DVD

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thank you for the positive feedback & wonderful video

I will check out the rest of the series.

It is also available on Netflix, for those who have it.

Thanks also for the wonderful video! Posted again here, embedded:


The hero's journey summarized

1. The hero finds himself in an uncomfortable environment. He realizes that something is wrong
2. A call to adventure
3. Refusal of the call / fear of change
4. Overcoming the fear, meeting a mentor
5. Crossing the first threshold
6. Entrance into a new world: Testing allies & enemies. Learning lessons.
7. The approach. Preparation for the big one
9. Reward - If you survive
10. The road back home
11. Resurrection
12. Return with the Holy Grail that brings back life to the culture

Does this sound familiar to anyone here?

Thanks again photo, for sharing this!

He's the man.
photoshopwiz's picture

arigato gozaimasu, michael-san

7b. the battle ... a moment of preparation and rehearsal ...

    Neo: "guns, lots of guns." LOL!


Really appreciate the cool video embedding and
written breakdown! I also found this in even greater detail ...

The Hero's Journey Outline

We need more focus on the journey, and what we can control
and less focus on the bad news, because ...
sorry, had to say it ...

We've always had the power ... :>

~ /wiz

yes, it's familiar

because I got to experience this process over the question "is there a law that requires me to send my children to school?" I had two mentors who showed me the law (Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) and the conclusion reached was that there can be no such law. Case dismissed...

But I never felt like a hero...rather just someone glad to leave confusion behind and grateful to those who patiently showed me the law until the penny dropped.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Now you know

You're a hero.


And I don't say that in jest. You actually took all the steps and underwent a transformation. You weren't just a sheep, listening to what others told you. You found your own truth.

That indeed is heroic.

He's the man.