Joseph Campbell Quotes
Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) is perhaps the greatest mythologist of the 20th Century. Campbell focused on a specific area of mythology that he termed Comparative Mythology. His work served to demonstrate how mythological stories - ancient and modern - followed a common thread he called the monomyth. This is a series of steps that hero stories always seem to follow in mythology.
George Lucas acknowledged that he was a fan and later a friend of Joseph Campbell’s. He consciously sought to match the Star Wars storyline with the monomyth. Campbell’s classic work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), became popular among the counter-culture in the 1960s, as people in the West sought connections between their western spiritual traditions and those of the East.
Campbell was a strong proponent of Jungian psychology and its links to mythology. He taught Comparative Mythology at Sarah Lawrence College in New York from 1934-1972. He was very versed in the mythologies of India and Asia.
He attained the greatest fame of his life when the PBS series The Power of Myth aired about a year after his death. The famed series of a lengthy discussion between Campbell and Bill Moyers where he elucidated the conclusions of his lifelong work.
Here are some of my favorite Campbell quotes.
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.
The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.
Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.
Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.
The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.