The Power of Myth – The Hero’s Adventure with Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers (# 456) – Author Tim Ferriss’ blog BUSINNESS

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When people in psychological therapy find out what makes them tick, they will. . . . I think mythological thinking has helped people.

Joseph Campbell

Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Showwhere it’s usually my job to interview and deconstruct world class artists of all kinds.

This episode flips the script, but you get a masterful interview in the process. It contains the first program or chapter entitled “The Hero’s Adventure” in the six-part series The power of myth. The show is just amazing and I found it strange and deeply comforting.

Here is a brief description:

Forty years ago, renowned scholar Joseph Campbell sat down with veteran journalist Bill Moyers for a series of interviews that became one of the most enduring and popular programs on PBS. In dialogues that cleverly span millennia of history and distant geography, the two men discuss myths as metaphors for human experience and the path to transcendence. ”

You can hear the whole series on Audible. It has an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars with nearly 4,000 reviews. I can only recommend you check it out. You will not be disappointed.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Covered, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcastsor on your favorite podcast platform.

This podcast is made available to you by the book How to lead by David Rubenstein.

This episode is brought to you through the book How to lead by David Rubenstein. David Rubenstein is one of the visionary founders of the Carlyle Group and host of The David Rubenstein Showwhere he talks to leaders from all walks of life about who they are, how they define “success” and what it means to lead. Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Phil Knight and Oprah – all and more – are featured in his new book, entitled How to lead. This comprehensive guide book illustrates the principles and guiding philosophies of the world’s greatest game changers. On its pages you can discover the secrets of the experts to be effective and innovative leaders.

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.




  • The Hero’s Journey is a story that is universally recognizable across time, geography and cultures. The map is drawn with familiar lines, but the destination discovered is not always the expected destination. [03:21]
  • In this story, the hero has worn (at least) a thousand faces – from Moses to Odysseus to King Arthur to Frodo and Luke Skywalker. Why? [06:12]
  • Two types of deeds common to the hero’s journey. [07:54]
  • Who is the hero [09:43]
  • What causes the start of the trip? [10:45]
  • Does heroism have a moral goal? [12:10]
  • How do these stories of the hero differ from culture to culture? [13:30]
  • The purpose of the trials the hero endured in this story. [17:38]
  • How the hero myth adapted to be told in a world that has been fully mapped. [18:51]
  • Can a traveler still be considered a hero on an adventure of chance? [23:12]
  • Setting for adventure: the legendary cantina scene from Star Wars and the beginning of Treasure Island. [24:42]
  • How the Death Star’s trash compactor is like the biblical Jonah in the belly of the whale – and its mythological meaning. [25:36]
  • The consequences of a hero losing touch with his own humanity on a failed journey, and how we can avoid that fate when we embark on our own journeys in real life. [27:43]
  • Can we rely on our higher nature to save ourselves from the dangers of the unknown and improve ourselves to survive the ordeal, or will we succumb to these dangers by trusting the instincts of our lower nature? This is how the heroine of an Iroquois story behaved in this scenario. [31:28]
  • What is the therapeutic value of mythology? [37:38]
  • Where to find and kill the dragons that annoy us. [39:22]
  • Is the desire to find a place of rest and relaxation typical of the hero’s journey? [45:01]
  • What did awareness mean to Joseph Campbell? [47:30]
  • How do we increase our awareness? Some people meditate. Joseph Campbell loved visiting cathedrals. [50:23]
  • What can we expect from the mythologies to come? [56:27]

Mentioned people

The Tim Ferriss Show is a of the world’s most popular podcasts with more than 500 million downloads. Voted three times for “Best of Apple Podcasts,” is often the # 1 interview podcast on all Apple Podcasts, and has been ranked # 1 among more than 400,000 podcasts on many occasions. Watch to listen to any of the past episodes for free this page.

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