The Power of Myth
After watching Zeitgeist, I was compelled to do some research into Part One of the documentary, which argues that Jesus is in fact the same god as Horus (the Sun God for Egyptians) and numerous other gods from other religions and myths such as Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra, Orus and Cadmus. While I was researching online I developed an interest in comparative mythology which lead me to a great documentary series called “The Power of Myth.”
In “The Power of Myth,” Joseph Campbell , a leading scholar in mythology is interviewed by Bill Moyer, who discusses deep issues with Campbell concerning the meaning of life, heaven, good, evil, and even god. Campbell draws on his extensive knowledge of mythology to answer these questions, often offering striking similarities between mythology and religion.
During one of the interviews Campbell stresses that we should not take a myth or religion as prose but rather as poetry, and that we often read the metaphors in terms of their “denotations instead of connotation,” leading to many of the issues we have today. He believes that every time has it’s myth or religion which is capable of explaining the universe, and existence in terms of the knowledge available at that specific time.
Later during the interview Campbell emotionally says that “the real horror today is what we’re seeing in Beirut, where the three great western religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) who have three different names for the same biblical god can’t get on together. They’re stuck with their metaphor, and don’t realize its reference.”
I truly think that if we all thought like Campbell the world would be a much better place. The first example that comes to mind is the interpretation of the “Promised Land,” which without argument has lead to one of the messiest situations in recent history.
I totally recommend watching “The Power of Myth” if not for Campbell’s deep insight, then for the great myths that he narrates during the documentary.