The Power of Myth

In a series of interviews that took place in the years 1985 and 1986, journalist Bill Moyers spoke with the famous scholar and teacher of mythology, Joseph Campbell. Their conversations were wide-ranging, recursive, and packed with pops of lucidity from Campbell, whose vision of what ails our world was radical, provocative, and deeply hopeful. Campbell (who died before the book was released) believed that we live in a demythologized world, one that has lost all connection to the great myths and dreams that animate all human lives. Among the things I take from his remarkable worldview is a sense of myth as the magic that threads through all cultures and eras—a connection we have regrettably learned to ignore. To Moyers, Campbell noted, “To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what myth does for you.”