George Lucas and Star Wars was inspired by Joseph Campbell’s work “the Hero’s Journey”, while Joseph Campbell was inspired by Carl Jung’s psychological models. Carl Jung developed what we know as shadow work, which integrates the darkness and light into one within an individual. George Lucas was therefore in the mystical lineage of the man who pioneered the Gray Mystic’s (Jedi’s) path to emotional wholeness, balance, and mastery.
Campbell’s ideas regarding myth and its relation to the human psyche are dependent in part on the pioneering work of Sigmund Freud, but in particular on the work of Carl Jung, whose studies of human psychology greatly influenced Campbell. Campbell’s conception of myth is closely related to the Jungian method of dream interpretation, which is heavily reliant on symbolic interpretation.
Jung’s insights into archetypes were heavily influenced by the Bardo Thodol (also known as The Tibetan Book of the Dead). In his book The Mythic Image, Campbell quotes Jung’s statement about the Bardo Thodol, that it “belongs to that class of writings which not only are of interest to specialists in Mahayana Buddhism, but also, because of their deep humanity and still deeper insight into the secrets of the human psyche, make an especial appeal to the layman seeking to broaden his knowledge of life… For years, ever since it was first published, the Bardo Thodol has been my constant companion, and to it I owe not only many stimulating ideas and discoveries, but also many fundamental insights.”
[…] Campbell also made heavy use of Carl Jung’s theories on the structure of the human psyche, and he often used terms such as “anima/animus” and “ego consciousness”.
If you desire to get to the core of who you are and integrate your inner darkness and light, wouldn’t it make sense that Carl Jung’s shadow work process is a necessary journey to explore?
In this interview made in 1999 Bill Moyers discusses with George Lucas how Joseph Campbell and his concept of the Monomyth also known as the Hero’s Journey and other concepts from Mythology and Religion shaped the Star Wars saga:
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