Joseph Campbell

Joseph
Campbell
1904
1987

American Author on Comparative Mythology, Philosophy

Author Quotes

For the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly 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 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.

Outer space is within us inasmuch as the laws of space are within us; outer and inner space are the same.

Man's nature... is not corrupt. The idea of God is innate in man's mind from the beginning; so that by reason alone man has arrived, everywhere, at a recognition of God which is sufficient. Religious intolerance is blasphemy, since in their primal ground and ultimate sense, all religions are one, as is mankind.

The elementary idea, likewise, of the Promised Land cannot originally have referred to a part of this earth to be conquered by military right, but to a place of spiritual peace in the heart, to be discovered through contemplation.

The deity of one's worship is a function of one's own state of mind. But it is also a product of one's culture.

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. "Lead us not into temptation."

The macrocosm (order of the universe), microcosm (order of the individual), and mesocosm (order of the attuned society) are equivalent, the social ideas and moral principles by which the individual is constrained to his group are conceived to be, finally, of his own nature. And for the same reason, the visionary realizations of the yogi in solitude would be of the psychological sources out of which the mesocosmic order of his mythologically grounded cultural monad originated.

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 that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

Our true reality is in our identity and unity with all life. This is a metaphysical truth which may become spontaneously realized under circumstances of crisis.

The conquest of the fear of death is the recovery of life's joy. One can experience an unconditional affirmation of life only when one has accepted death, not as contrary to life but as an aspect of life. Life in its becoming is always shedding death, and on the point of death. The conquest of fear yields the courage of life. That is the cardinal initiation of every heroic adventure - fearlessness and achievement.

The Problem - Myth might be defined simply as "other people's religion," to which an equivalent definition of religion would be "misunderstood mythology"... Like dreams, myths are productions of the human imagination. Their images, consequently, though derived from the material world and its supposed history, are, like dreams, revelations of the deepest hopes, desires and fears, potentialities and conflicts of the human will... Its narratives and images are to be read, therefore, not literally, but as metaphors.

To be in the world struggle, that’s what life is.

The virtues of the past are the vices of today. And many of what were thought to be the vices of the past are the necessities of today. The moral order has to catch up with the moral necessities of actual life in time, here and now.

Author Picture
First Name
Joseph
Last Name
Campbell
Birth Date
1904
Death Date
1987
Bio

American Author on Comparative Mythology, Philosophy