Mythos is a multi-part documentary that consists of a series of lectures given by Joseph Campbell. Campbell conceived of the original lectures, filmed over the last six years of his life, as a summation of what he had learned about the human mythic impulse, in terms of psychology, ethnology and comparative mythology—what he called "the one great story of mankind."
Transformations: A False Step
After Campbell's death and the posthumous celebrity brought by the airing in 1988 of The Power of Myth, the filmmakers who had recorded the lectures quickly cobbled together a much-abridged, hastily edited series for PBS entitled Transformations of Myth Through Time. An even-more-highly redacted version was briefly released under the title The World of Joseph Campbell.
Campbell's estate, represented by his widow Jean Erdman and, eventually, by the Joseph Campbell Foundation (JCF), asked that these versions, which were unlicensed and did not accurately represent Campbell's thoughts, be pulled from the market, and proposed the production of a twenty-hour television series in four parts that followed Campbell's original vision more closely: Mythos.
Volume One of Mythos was released in 1999. Volume Two was released in 2000. Both parts are narrated by Susan Sarandon.
After these initial releases, the original distributor, Unipix, promptly went bankrupt, and production on the series halted.
The JCF rerealeased the first two volumes in 2007 and 2008 in conjunction with Acorn Media as part of the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series; they plan to release the remaining two volumes in 2009-2010.
Mythos: Vol. 1, The Shaping of Our Mythic Tradition (1999)
"The material of myth is the material of our life, the material of our body, and the material of our environment. A living, vital mythology deals with these." -- Joseph Campbell
During the final years of his life, Joseph Campbell embarked on a lecture tour in which he drew together all that he had learned about what he called the "one great story" of humanity. These remarkable lectures were filmed and are presented here in the order and manner in which Campbell himself intended, with enhanced images and in minimally-edited form. As seen on PBS.
* Mythos - 1.1: Psyche & Symbol - The psychological impulse for and response to myth.
* Mythos - 1.2: The Spirit Land - How myths awakened American Indians to the mystery of life.
* Mythos - 1.3: On Being Human - The emergence of myth in early hunter-gatherer societies.
* Mythos - 1.4: From Goddesses to God - The gradual shift from the Goddess to male, warlike deities.
* Mythos - 1.5: The Mystical Life - Non-biblical mythic strains that helped shape the Western spirit.
Presented and Hosted by Academy Award® - Winner SUSAN SARANDON
Thank heaven someone had the good sense to tape one of Joseph Campbell's final lecture series before his death in 1987. Though this set, to quote hostess Susan Sarandon in her introduction, "isn't for everyone," for those with an abiding interest in the nooks and crannies of the human psyche, and Campbell's lifelong quest to knit together mythic strands from all of the world's cultures (itself a mythic feat), this first two-disc volume, subtitled Shaping Our Mythic Tradition, is a treasure-trove of information coupled with Campbell's unique insight. — Jeffrey Kaufman (DVD Talk)
Mythos: Vol. 2, The Shaping of the Eastern Tradition (2000)
"Myth comes from the same zone as dream... from the great biological ground, whatever it may be. They are energies and they are matters of consciousness." -- Joseph Campbell
Mythology scholar Joseph Campbell spent his life learning the "one great story" of humanity. In his final years, he gave a remarkable series of talks exploring all he had learned about myths, symbols, spiritual journeys, and more. Hosted by Oscar® winner Susan Sarandon, presented in the order Campbell intended, each is an invitation to sit at the feet of a master storyteller. Seen on public television. Close-captioned.
* Mythos - 2.1: The Inward Path - The core myths of the great Asian religions.
* Mythos - 2.2: The Enlightend One - The Buddha and enlightenment, East and West.
* Mythos - 2.3: Our Eternal Selves - Yoga and transcendence.
* Mythos - 2.4: The Way to Illumination - Kundalini yoga and the seven chakras.
* Mythos - 2.5: The Experience of God - Tibetan Buddhism and the spiritual journey that is death.
Presented and Hosted by Academy Award® - Winner SUSAN SARANDON
Joseph Campbell, the late mythologist who became a household name among public television viewers in the 1980s, embarked on a series of final lectures for TV audiences before his death. Joseph Campbell: Mythos II is part of that effort, with a special emphasis on the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Campbell begins the five programs on this two-disc set by reminding us that the purpose of myths is to relate human beings to their world. Early myths, says Campbell, connect humans to their place in the plant and animal world; later myths relate human society to the workings of astronomical cycles. It's an evolving process. When we're in accord with nature, says Campbell, we reap nature's bounty. Hinduism and Buddhism are both efforts to relate people to their place in a cycle of existence that does not end until one transcends that cycle. Hinduism, Campbell says, is to Buddhism as Judaism is to Christianity: the older religions are traditions, while Buddhism and Christianity are "credo religions," i.e., newer, "I believe" faith systems. Campbell spends some time discussing the development of Buddhism from monastic beginnings to its later appeal to millions of people, from an era of no images of the Buddha to the creation of beautiful sculptures of him immersed in transcendent consciousness. Campbell goes on to discuss, at length, the workings of yoga and their connection to increasingly sophisticated orders of love. (He also explains why the lowest cakras--pronounced chakras--are ruled by Dharma.) Finally, Campbell explains why the moment of death is the moment of illumination in Buddhism, and why the Boddhisatva of Compassion (i.e., the Dalai Lama to some people) is so important. This is a wonderful collection underscoring how unique Campbell was to a Western understanding of the role of myths in our lives. --Tom Keogh, Amazon