Joseph Campbell - Sukhavati
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In this Filmmakers Meditation on Campbells work, excerpts from his filmed lectures are interwoven with exquisite images and other worldly music for an experience that has been called spiritual and hypnotic. Sukhavati means place of bliss, the origin of Campbells famous phrase follow your bliss.
Sukhavati is like an extra-credit master class for anyone who was captivated by Bill Moyers' landmark series Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. Produced, directed, and edited by Maxine Harris with the support of the Joseph Campbell Foundation (as part of a "Collected Works" series of DVDs), this simple, 78-minute program combines soothing imagery and music from around the world with relevant excerpts from some of Campbell's seminal lectures on mythology. The title refers to Campbell's "place of bliss," or his life's calling: To fully grasp and teach mythology as a common trait of humanity--a way of interpreting life experience and philosophy through universal narratives that transcend ethnic and cultural differences. Specifically, these Campbell excerpts emphasize "Sukhavati" as a voluntary shifting of perspective that allows "joyful participation in the sorrows of the world." As Campbell observes, with illustrative examples taken from various mythologies from around the world, "we are in a free fall into the future," and our anxieties about the unknown can be eliminated if we embrace uncertainty and "transform hell into a paradise." This acceptance of life's miseries is enhanced through Campbell's peerless ability to comparatively interpret mythologies related to cycles of life, death, and rebirth. While Campbell himself is shown only briefly in lecture clips, his words serve as voice-over narration to Harris's well-chosen images. The combination is awkward at times (it's not easy to follow Campbell's lecture when you're being lulled into a state of new-age relaxation), but the program succeeds in presenting the essence of Campbell's philosophical worldview. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
Of course the DVD switched from shots of him in front of students to a variety of other settings, often beautiful and very spiritual places he had visited and seen for himself. One of these places was a beautiful cathedral. Although my wife is Jewish and not very religious at all, she was touched by the sight of this cathedral, as was I.
Another place he showed pictures of and described as a place that still emanated a feeling of power, was a cave showing early pictures that depicted religious beliefs of early men who lived in that area.
The whole DVD was well done in my opinion, including background music, art work, and film work. Joseph Campbell: Sukhavati is well worth the small price I paid.
Joseph Campbell: Sukhavati
And the ferryman says, 'Get aboard, but there is a consideration, namely, this is a one way trip.' Now the texts say, unless you are as eager for Nirvanic bliss as a man whose hair is on fire would be for a pond in which to dive, don't start. It's too tough.
Is your hair on fire yet?
This DVD can take you places you can't even begin to imagine, if you let it.
"You hear a pang, mother or something..."
-Freud or Campbell?
"'Very deep is the well of the past, should we not call it bottomless?' And as one who has strived himself to go back to the origins of mythic forms, I can see this, it is bottomless. The mythological themes don't have a beginning, they have the archetypes....And so where is paradise, where do they come from? They come from desilee, the soul. The origin is from the soul of man."
"At present, our world has rejected this world of symbology. It has gone into an
economic and political phase, where spiritual principles are completely disregarded. You may have practical ethics and that kind of thing, but there is no
spirituality in any aspect of our contemporary Western civilization. Our religious
life is ethical, not mystical. The mystery has gone and society is disintegrating as a result."
"The question is whether or not there can ever be a recovery of the mythological,
mystical realization of the miracle of life of which human beings are a manifestation."
Not for everyone, but for anyone who wants to understand the human condition.