Joseph Campbell Quotes

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Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.
Joseph Campbell (The Masks of God - Creative Mythology, 1962 - 1968)
What each must seek in his life never was on land or sea. It is something out of his own unique potentiality for experience, something that never has been and never could have been experienced by anyone else.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth, 1988)
One thing that comes out in myths is that at the bottom of the abyss comes the voice of salvation. The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth, 1988)
All cultures … have grown out of myths. They are founded on myths. What these myths have given has been inspiration for aspiration. The economic interpretation of history is for the birds. Economics is itself a function of aspiration. It’s what people aspire to that creates the field in which economics works.
Joseph Campbell (Mythology and the Individual, 1997)
If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth, 1988)
Eternity isn't some later time. Eternity isn't a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. This is it. And if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere. And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth, 1988)
People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That's what it's all finally about.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth, 1988)
Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have one before us, the labyrinth is fully known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.
Joseph Campbell (The Hero with a Thousand Faces, 1949)
The image of the cosmos must change with the development of the mind and knowledge; otherwise, the mythic statement is lost, and man becomes dissociated from the very basis of his own religious experience. Doubt comes in, and so forth.You must remember: all of the great traditions, and little traditions, in their own time were scientifically correct. That is to say, they were correct in terms of the scientific image of that age.
Joseph Campbell (Mythology and the Individual, 1997)
We're in a freefall into future. We don't know where we're going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you're going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It's a very interesting shift of perspective and that's all it is... joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.
Joseph Campbell
This is the threat to our lives. We all face it. We all operate in our society in relation to a system. Now is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes? ... If the person doesn't listen to the demands of his own spiritual and heart life and insists on a certain program, you're going to have a schizophrenic crack-up. The person has put himself off center. He has aligned himself with a programmatic life and it's not the one the body's interested in at all. And the world's full of people who have stopped listening to themselves.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth, 1988)
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Joseph Campbell Biography

Born: March 26, 1904
Died: October 30, 1987

Joseph Campbell was an American mythologist, writer and professor. He is best known for his comprehensive works in comparative mythology and comparative religion.

Notable Works

The Masks of God (1968)
The Flight of the Wild Gander
(1969)
The Inner Reaches of Outer Space
(1986)
The Power of Myth (1988)
Historical Atlas of World Mythology
(1989)