CONSCIOUSNESS, MYTH AND PSYCHE

AN INTERDISCIPLINARY CONSIDERATION of JOSEPH
Campbell’s CONTRIBUTION to CONTEMPORARY ANTHROPOLOGY & PSYCHOLOGY

The Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness and the Joseph Campbell Foundation have collaborated to honor the legacy of Joseph Campbell in this interdisciplinary discussion of myth and consciousness and the pivotal role they play in understanding the human condition.

Joseph Campbell did more to popularize the study of myth and its relationship to human consciousness than almost any other figure of his time. Since his death in 1987, however, much has changed in the disciplines of consciousness studies, neuropsychology, hemispheric science and evolutionary biology. This panel seeks to create a dialogue about the lasting influence of Campbell’s work. More specifically we will explore: 1) The nature of the human psyche and its relationship to myth 2) How Campbell’s theories relate to contemporary psychology 3) The inner psychic journey and connecting it to one’s social world. While anthropology, and particularly the anthropology of consciousness, has often focused on cosmological and cognitive systems within and between cultures, it has less often focused on the formation or construction of self-knowledge, which underlies these systems of belief, ritual, and practice. The panel will explore how mythology, in particular Campbell’s view on how it creates and informs culture, contributes to the development of personal and collective identity. New research has increasingly emphasized the role of epigenetic factors such as: environment, experience, evolution, and behavior in shaping organic brain development and function.  Neuroscientists, anthropologists and other social scientists are actively working on integrated models that provide some insight into how mythology, narrative map making and other cognitive technologies inform and underscore the emergent properties of consciousness and culture. Papers will demonstrate a wide range of scholarship from both anthropologists and other experts who cross boundaries of research, practice and cultural activism in the arts, social sciences, education, narrative medicine, and religious studies to explore the ways Campbell’s ideas are still operative in the study of the human psyche.   [Originally Published in the AAA 2013 Conference Program]

Panel Chair: Robert Walter (Joseph Campbell Foundation)

Panel Organizer: Bryan Rill (Florida State University)

Discussants: Robert Alan Segal (University of Aberdeen); Shawn Tassone (Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Center at World Institute of Scientific Exploration); Stephen Schwartz (Samueli Inst);

Presenters: Robert Walter (Joseph Campbell Foundation); Donald Patrick Moss (Saybrook University); Dennis L. Merritt (Jungian Analyst); Andrew Dean Gurevich (Mt. Hood Community College)

Presentations Include:

The Scholar With a Thousand Faces: Joseph Campbell’s Enduring Legacy
Robert Walter (Joseph Campbell Foundation)

The Hero’s Journey and Personal Mythology As Pathways in Mind-Body Healing
Donald Patrick Moss (Saybrook University)

Hermes Adds A Mythic Dimension to Complexity Theory, Attachment Theory, and Ecopsychology
Dennis L. Merritt (Jungian Analyst)

“The Four Functions of Myth & the Divided Brain: How Campbell’s Model Nourishes the Hemispheres.”
Andrew Dean Gurevich (Mt. Hood Community College)

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