Forty years ago, renowned scholar Joseph Campbell sat down with veteran journalist Bill Moyers for a series of interviews that became one of the most enduringly popular programs ever on PBS. In dialogues that adroitly span millennia of history and far-flung geography, the two men discuss myths as metaphors for human experience and the path to transcendence, touching on topics as diverse as world religion, the virgin birth, and pop culture.
Filmed at George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch and New York’s American Museum of Natural History and, this series demonstrates that, despite superficial differences between cultures, all stories are humanity’s story.
Long before medieval knights charged off to slay dragons, tales of heroic adventures were an integral part of all world cultures. Campbell challenges everyone to see the presence of a heroic journey in his or her life.
Campbell compares the creation story in Genesis with creation stories from around the world. Because the world changes, religion has to be transformed and new mythologies created. People today are stuck with myths that don’t fit their needs.
Campbell discusses the importance of accepting death as rebirth as in the myth of the buffalo and the story of Christ, the rite of passage in primitive societies, the role of mystical Shamans, and the decline of ritual in today’s society.
Campbell discusses the role of sacrifice in myth, which symbolizes the necessity for rebirth. He stresses the need for every one of us to find our sacred place in the midst of today’s fast-paced, technological world.