48 Hours of Joseph Campbell Lectures Free Online: The Power of Myth & Storytelling


Pho­to by “Folk­sto­ry” fea­tures Joseph Camp­bell (left) with Jonathan Young, via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons.

You may not be inter­est­ed in pol­i­tics, they say, but pol­i­tics is inter­est­ed in you. The same, if you believe famed mythol­o­gist Joseph Camp­bell, goes for myth: far from explain­ing only the ori­gin of the world as believed by extinct soci­eties, it can explain the pow­er of sto­ries we enjoy today — up to and includ­ing Star Wars.

The man behind PBS’ well-known series The Pow­er of Myth left behind many words in many for­mats telling us pre­cise­ly why, and now you can hear a fair few of them — 48 hours worth — for free on this Spo­ti­fy playlist. (If you don’t have Spo­ti­fy’s soft­ware already, you can down­load it free here.)

“From the Star Wars tril­o­gy to the Grate­ful Dead,” says the Joseph Camp­bell Foun­da­tion, “Joseph Camp­bell has had a pro­found impact on our cul­ture, our beliefs, and the way we view our­selves and the world.” This col­lec­tion, The Lec­tures of Joseph Camp­bell, which comes from ear­ly in his career, offers “a glimpse into one of the great minds of our time, draw­ing togeth­er his most wide-rang­ing and insight­ful talks” in the role of both “a schol­ar and a mas­ter sto­ry­teller.” So not only can Camp­bell enrich our under­stand­ing of all the sto­ries we love, he can spin his life­time of mytho­log­i­cal research into teach­ings that, in the telling, weave into a pret­ty grip­ping yarn in and of them­selves.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Joseph Camp­bell and Bill Moy­ers Break Down Star Wars as an Epic, Uni­ver­sal Myth

The Zen Teach­ings of Alan Watts: A Free Audio Archive of His Enlight­en­ing Lec­tures

How Star Wars Bor­rowed From Aki­ra Kurosawa’s Great Samu­rai Films

Every­thing I Know: 42 Hours of Buck­min­ster Fuller’s Vision­ary Lec­tures Free Online (1975)


Col­in Mar­shall writes on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (18)
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  • Ester Bailey says:

    Look­ing for­ward to the class­es

  • J rottinghaus says:

    Joseph camp­bell

  • noelle uebele says:

    I just down­loaded Spo­ti­fy in order to lis­ten to the Joseph Camp­bell series.

    I still can­not open the lec­ture series. When I try to open the first audio file, I get a screen ask­ing me to sign up and when I do it tells me I already signed up.

    I have a Mac. What do I need to do?

  • Armin says:

    Hey noelle, I have a Mac too. I also down­loaded Spo­ti­fy, free ver­sion, logged in with Face­book, then clicked on the sym­bol above, top right of the lit­tle play rec­tan­gle on this page, copied the link and past­ed into the search field of the Spo­ti­fy app.

  • katalin Gyokeny says:

    I just clicked on search but­ton on Spo­ti­fy and put his name in. then all came up.

  • Deneen says:

    Any­one know if this can be down­loaded some­how to be lis­tened to offline?

  • Rose Jansse says:

    no mes­sage I’ll just wait and see

  • Jimm says:

    Look­ing 4 Laing

  • andrew says:

    this site gives no con­trol of what your lis­ten­ing to, it is dif­fi­cult to use and has com­mer­cials … lis­ten­ing to Camp­bell is always good yet there has to be a bet­ter way …

  • F. U. Openculture says:

    Spo­ti­fy????!!! Real­ly???? Just put them here and let the peo­ple down­load them. Why try to sad­dle us with a service/software WE DO NOT WANT!!!!!!


  • amy says:

    I thought open cul­ture was free source mate­r­i­al not demand­ing that we have sub­scrip­tions to spo­ti­fy?

  • arandomsquirrel says:

    Yeah, what’s with the pro­pri­etary stream­ing ser­vice lock-in?? If you can’t host them direct­ly due to band­width costs, why not upload this to the Inter­net Archive or host a tor­rent? So much for Free Cul­ture.

  • Azzah says:

    Joseph Camp­bell my hero

  • mli says:

    Thanks @ Mr. Col­man for find­ing this and mak­ing it avail­able to all of us, and to those who still have noth­ing bet­ter to do than to com­plain.. Do it bet­ter!!!

  • Tim Douglas says:

    Hi Ya’ll,

    First of all thank you to the per­son who decid­ed to upload these to Spo­ti­fy. You brought to my atten­tion that these oth­er record­ings of Joseph Camp­bell exist­ed!

    Also, if you would like to have access to these same teach­ings but in a form that is unin­ter­rupt­ed by spo­ti­fy adds and pre­sent­ed in a ran­dom order you can go to the below link and down­load any or all of them onto your com­put­er by using their tor­rent.


    Then you could use either itunes or google dri­ve to get them to your phone for easy lis­ten­ing.

    I rec­om­mend Utor­rent if you do not already use a tor­rent­ing soft­ware. Although tor­rent­ing is usu­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with down­load­ing things ille­gal­ly it is also a viable way to acquire legal­ly shared items such as these.

  • Joan says:

    Any new place to down­load all this teach­ings? thanks in advance in name of thou­sands .)

  • Warren says:

    It appears as though these lec­tures, which I love dear­ly, are no longer avail­able on Spo­ti­fy. I’m not sure what hap­pened. Is there any chance they might be brought back?

  • johnny says:

    I ordered the entire series from the watts insti­tute.


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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.