Top 94 Joseph Campbell Quotes

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.


If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.


The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.


You enter the forestat the darkest point,where there is no path.Where there is a way or path,it is someone else’s path.You are not on your own path.If you follow someone else’s way,you are not going to realizeyour potential.


We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.


The demon that you can swallow gives you its power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply.


Sit in a room and read–and read and read. And read the right books by the right people. Your mind is brought onto that level, and you have a nice, mild, slow-burning rapture all the time.


Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.


Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.


Where you stumble and fall, there you will find gold.


You become mature when you become the authority of your own life.


It may be a species of impudence to think that the way you understand God is the way God is. (60).


The Garden is a metaphor for the following: our minds, and our thinking in terms of pairs of opposites–man and woman, good and evil–are as holy as that of a god. (50)


We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.


When you are on your path, and it is truly your path, doors will open for you where there were no doors for someone else.


When you realize that eternity is right here now, that it is within your possibility to experience the eternity of your own truth and being, then you grasp the following: That which you are was never born and will never die. . . . (90)


Writer’s block results from too much head. Cut off your head. Pegasus, poetry, was born of Medusa when her head was cut off. You have to be reckless when writing. Be as crazy as your conscience allows.


Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before.


Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.


With the moon walk, the religious myth that sustained these notions could no longer be held. With our view of earthrise, we could see that the earth and the heavens were no longer divided but that the earth is in the heavens. (105)


Mythology may, in a real sense, be defined as other people’s religion. And religion may, in a sense, be understood as popular misunderstanding of mythology. (8)


Heresy is the life of a mythology and orthodoxy is the death.


The job of an educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves


What we’re learning in our schools is not the wisdom of life. We’re learning technologies, we’re getting information. There’s a curious reluctance on the part of faculties to indicate the life values of their subjects.


When you translate the Bible with excessive literalism, you demythologize it. The possibility of a convincing reference to the individual’s own spiritual experience is lost. (111)


The images of Myth are reflections of Spiritual and Depth potentialities of every one of us. Through contemplating those we evoke those powers in our own lives to operate through ourselves.


The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.


[T]he experience of mystery comes not from expecting it but through yielding all your programs, because your programs are based on fear and desire. Drop them and the radiance comes. (16)


If you want to change the world, change the metaphor.


A bit of adviceGiven to a young Native AmericanAt the time of his initiation:As you go the way of life,You will see a great chasm. Jump.It is not as wide as you think.


A hero ventures forth from the worldof common day into a region ofsupernatural wonder. Fabulous forcesare there encountered and a decisivevictory is won.


You don’t ask what a dance means. You enjoy it. You don’t ask what the world means. You enjoy it. You don’t ask what you mean. You enjoy it.


It is only when a man tames his own demons that he becomes the king of himself if not of the world.


You can get a lot of work done if you stay with it and are excited and its play instead of work.


In our society of fixed texts and printed words, it is the function of the poet to see the life value of the facts round about, and to deify them, as it were, to provide images that relate the everyday to the eternal.


Man should not be in the service of society, society should be in the service of man. When man is in the service of society, you have a monster state, and that’s what is threatening the world at this minute.


If you want to understand what’s most important to a society, don’t examine its art or literature, simply look at its biggest buildings.


A myth is something that has never happened, but is happening all the time.


Maslow’s five values are the values for which people live when they have nothing to live for. Nothing has seized them, nothing has caught them, nothing has driven them spiritually mad and made them worth talking to.


When you have lived your individual life in your own adventurous way and then look back upon its course, you will find that you have lived a model human life, after all.


Our life evokes our character. You find out more about yourself as you go on. That’s why it’s good to be able to put yourself in situations that will evoke your higher nature rather than your lower.


All of life is a meditation, most of it unintentional.


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.


You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.


It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward, in counteraction to those that tend to tie it back.


How to get rid of ego as dictator and turn it into messenger and servant and scout, to be in your service, is the trick.


in America we have people from all kinds of backgrounds, all in a cluster, together, and consequently law has become very important in this country. Lawyers and law are what hold us together. There is no ethos.


The only way you can talk about this great tide in which you’re a participant is as Schopenhauer did: the universe is a dream dreamed by a single dreamer where all the dream characters dream too.


Every moment is utterly unique and will not be continued in eternity. This fact gives life its poignancy and should concentrate your attention on what you are experiencing now.


Society has provided [children] no rituals by which they become members of the tribe, of the community. All children need to be twice born, to learn to function rationally in the present world, leaving childhood behind.


The first function of mythology is showing everything as a metaphor to transcendence.


A mythological image that has to be explained to the brain is not working.


Myth must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are the artists of one kind or another.


The fundamental human experience is that of compassion.


Mythology is to relate found truth to the living of a life.


With passion you want to possess. The conversion of passion into compassion is the whole problem of marriage.


The imitation of Christ is the joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.


The boy answers, “Don’t ask unless you are willing to be hurt.”Indra says, “I ask. Teach.” (That, by the way, is a good Oriental idea: you don’t teach until you are asked. You don’t force your mission down people’s throats.)


When you don’t have a job (requiring reading) and you are doing your own reading you’ve got deep psychological questions. As deep as those of a little boy.


Reading what you want, and having one book lead to the next, is the way I found my discipline.


The hero, the waker of his own soul, is himself but the convenient means of his own dissolution.


Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.


I think the person who takes a job in order to live – that is to say, for the money [not for purpose or passion]- has turned himself into a slave.


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.


Poets are simply those who have made a profession ans a lifestyle of being in touch with their bliss.


Humor is the touchstone of the truly mythological as distinct from the more literal-minded and sentimental theological mood.


Wherever the poetry of myth is interpreted as biography, history or science, it is killed.


In marriage you are not sacrificing yourself to the other person. You are sacrificing yourself to the relationship.


Life will always be sorrowful. We can’t change it, but we can change our attitude toward it.


One great thing about growing old is that nothing is going to lead to anything. Everything is of the moment.


The psychotic drowns in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight.


For the bliss of the deep abode is not lightly abandoned in favor of the self-scattering of the wakened state,


Only birth can conquer death—the birth , not of the old thing again, but of something new .


Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.


If you do 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.


Follow your bliss. Find where it is and don’t be afraid to follow it.


Follow your bliss. Find where it is and don’t be afraid to follow it.


We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.


A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.


Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.


When people get married because they think it’s a long-time love affair, they’ll be divorced very soon, because all love affairs end in disappointment. But marriage is a recognition of a spiritual identity.


Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.


Computers are like Old Testament gods lots of rules and no mercy.


I think the person who takes a job in order to live – that is to say, for the money – has turned himself into a slave.


It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.


God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It’s as simple as that.


One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.


I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.


Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.


When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.


Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.


Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.


Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.


Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.



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