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.
If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newsletter, please find it here.
If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks!
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.
Looking forward to the classes
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?
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.
I just clicked on search button on Spotify and put his name in. then all came up.
Anyone know if this can be downloaded somehow to be listened to offline?
no message I’ll just wait and see
Looking 4 Laing
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 …
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!!!!!!
I thought open culture was free source material not demanding that we have subscriptions to spotify?
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.
Joseph Campbell my hero
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!!!
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.
Any new place to download all this teachings? thanks in advance in name of thousands .)
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?
I ordered the entire series from the watts institute.