Skip navigation.

Joseph Campbell

(1904 - )

    Biography:

    American Author on Comparative Mythology, Philosophy

    Videos
    Quotes
    A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. A goal is what specifically you intend to make happen. Dreams and goals should be just out of your present reach but not out of sight. Dreams and goals are coming attractions in your life.
    A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
    A myth doesn't have to be real to be true.
    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.
    All men are competent to know the mind of God. There is no revelation special to any people.
    All religions are true but none are literal.
    Anyone who has had an experience of mystery knows that there is a dimension of the universe that is not that which is available to his senses. There is a pertinent saying in one of the Upanishads: When before the beauty of a sunset or of a mountain you pause and exclaim, ‘Ah,’ you are participating in divinity. Such a moment of participation involves a realization of the wonder and sheer beauty of existence. People living in the world of nature experience such moments every day. They live in the recognition of something there that is much greater than the human dimension.
    Art is the clothing of a revelation.
    Basically, the "vision quest" involves getting past your own limitations, which are within even as they appear to be without.
    But if a person has had the sense of the Call — the feeling that there’s an adventure for him — and if he doesn’t follow that, but remains in the society because it’s safe and secure, then life dries up. And then he comes to that condition in late middle age: he’s gotten to the top of the ladder, and found that it’s against the wrong wall.If you have the guts to follow the risk, however, life opens, opens, opens up all along the line. I’m not superstitious, but I do believe in spiritual magic, you might say. I feel that if one follows what I call one’s bliss — the thing that really gets you deep in your gut and that you feel is your life — doors will open up. They do!
    First Name: 
    Joseph
    Last Name: 
    Campbell
    Birth Date: 
    1904
    Death Date: 
    1987
    Bio: 
    American Author on Comparative Mythology, Philosophy