Cultures and Their Religious Beliefs: The Power of Myth by Joseph Cambell

explanatory Essay
1904 words
1904 words

In this course I have had the opportunity to learn about new cultures and their religious beliefs that will impact my interactions with others throughout my career. As a psychology major, most of the major contributors to psychology view religion as subjective. For instance Sigmund Freud, father of psychology was an atheist and believed that religion was a form of neurosis. Freud criticizes religion very harshly and I think this is where the misconception of psychology not representing religion stems from. In psychology, there are many perspectives and their sub categories. The main perspectives are psychoanalytic, humanist, behaviorist, and cognitive. Freud was psychoanalytical and during his era there was no way he could prove his theories scientifically. Through these different psychology perspectives there are many reasons for behaviors. I believe it is important to note that all of them have a slightly different view of religion. However, I believe having faith is a significant device to have in one’s life. Having religion to fall back on when times are rough and knowing that some things are out of your control can be therapeutic.
Through this course and understanding many different religions it will help me in my career by sympathizing and considering a person’s ultimate concern in life. For me, religion provides a center compass to my life. When things are difficult, my faith provides a center, a place I can return to and draw inspiration. It is not a crutch, rather a place to refocus and then move forward.
In my growing up there were a number of myths that impacted my life. Some were religious based and some were not. One religious myth I remember from a young age is a lady from church had been diagnosed with cancer....

... middle of paper ... part of the greater society or family, friends and acquaintances. These “others” also impact our personal mythology in a number of ways. First, our interactions with them may influence and change our own views. Secondly, when we suffer losses or defeats in life, these “others” may be there to assist us or to further inflict the loss. Finally, humans are relational and it is this encounter with “others” that plays a role in the development of the overall individual.

Campbell, Joseph. The Power of Myth. New York: MJF Books, 1988.
Eliade, Mircea. The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion. Trans, by William R Trask. Orlando: Harcourt Books, 1987.
Novak, Philip. The World’s Wisdom: Sacred Texts of the World’s Religions. New York: HarperOne, 1994.

Smith, Huston. The World’s Religions. New York: HarperOne, 1991.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that sigmund freud, the father of psychology, was an atheist and believed that religion was a form of neurosis.
  • Explains that religion provides a center compass to their life. when things are difficult, their faith provides inspiration.
  • Explains the myths that impacted their life. some were religious based and others were not.
  • Opines that their personal mythology shapes who they are today in many aspects of life.
  • Explains that they try to emulate numerous people in their lives. their parents are logical thinkers, helpful, intelligent, supportive, loving, and wise; their life experiences have played a role in forming their values.
  • Opines that their number one concern in the future for their life is ultimately being happy. they want to be successful and happy in their career.
  • Explains that buddhism is a nontheistic religion, whereas christianity believes that christ is the only god. mircea eliade addresses the need for sacredness in religion in his book, the sacred and profane.
  • Explains that buddhism was created as a subset of hinduism. buddhists practice the threefold training: morality, concentration, and wisdom until they have reached nirvana.
  • Explains that nirvana in buddhism is reaching enlightenment and is the ultimate and only goal for buddhists.
  • Explains that christianity believes in the holy trinity, which is composed of the father, son and holy spirit.
  • Explains that buddhism believes that renewal begins in the next life, while christianity believes a renewal can occur in baptism.
  • Explains how the story will impact them in their profession as they work with and counsel individuals.
  • Explains that buddhist and christian beliefs in life after death are very different, but it is important to understand both. recognizing a person's religious faith can reveal their ultimate purpose.
  • Explains how their personal story is impacted by their perspective. they grew up christian and understand their values, but buddhism is dissimilar to them.
  • Analyzes how joseph campbell's book, the power of myth, discusses the meaning of individuals and the power they hold.
  • Explains that self does not exist in isolation, as we encounter others in our daily lives. these "others" impact our personal mythology in a number of ways.
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