Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

289 Inspiring Quotes by Joseph Campbell

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Joseph Campbell.

Wikipedia Summary for Joseph Campbell

Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987) was an American professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College who worked in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work covers many aspects of the human experience. Campbell's best-known work is his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), in which he discusses his theory of the journey of the archetypal hero shared by world mythologies, termed the monomyth.

Since the publication of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell's theories have been applied by a wide variety of modern writers and artists. His philosophy has been summarized by his own often repeated phrase: "Follow your bliss." He gained recognition in Hollywood when George Lucas credited Campbell's work as influencing his Star Wars saga.

Campbell's approach to folklore topics such as myth and his influence on popular culture has been the subject of criticism, including from folklorists, academics in folklore studies.

pink tulips in clear glass vase

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

--Joseph Campbell

silhouette of people riding bicycle

The role of the artist I now understood as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul, and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth.

--Joseph Campbell


green plants beside brown wooden door

The Fantasy is a reassurance -- a promise that the peace of Paradise... is not to be lost.

--Joseph Campbell




white brick wall planning

Life is but a mask worn on the face of death. And is death, then, but another mask? 'How many can say,' asks the Aztec poet, 'that there is, or is not, a truth beyond?'

--Joseph Campbell

purple, white, and pink floral painting

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

--Joseph Campbell



white sand

Myths are so intimately bound to culture, time, and place that unless the symbols, the metaphors, are kept alive by constant recreation through the arts, the life just slips away from them.

--Joseph Campbell

silhouette of person on top of mountain pointing flashlight on sky filled with stars at night time

Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.

--Joseph Campbell


green leaf tree near mountain covered by snow at daytime

Every story you tell is your own story.

--Joseph Campbell



clear hour glass beside pink flowers

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

--Joseph Campbell

solid background

If you follow your bliss you will find a path laid out before you that has been waiting for you all along and you will begin to live the life you ought to be living.

--Joseph Campbell



orange room with open door

When before the beauty of a sunset or a mountain, you pause and exclaim, 'Ah,' you are participating in divinity.

--Joseph Campbell


brown wooden hanging bridge surrounded by green trees during daytime

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

--Joseph Campbell

white and blue building under clear sky

No tribal rite has yet been recorded which attempts to keep winter from descending; on the contrary: the rites all prepare the community to endure, together with the rest of nature, the season of the terrible cold.

--Joseph Campbell

white stars cutout on black surface with red string

Any god who can invent hell is no candidate for the Salvation Army.

--Joseph Campbell

plain background

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.

--Joseph Campbell




gray cactus plant on white pot

The function of ritual, as I understand it, is to give form to human life, not in the way of a mere surface arrangement, but in depth.

--Joseph Campbell


landscape photography of mountain

All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.

--Joseph Campbell



brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

It is by means of our own victories, if we are not regenerated, that the work of Nemesis is wrought: doom breaks from the shell of our very virtue.

--Joseph Campbell


blue and white abstract painting

It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward.

--Joseph Campbell

Longer Version:

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.





blue flowers in tilt shift lens

Wisdom and foolishness are practically the same. Both are indifferent to the opinions of the world.

--Joseph Campbell

pink and green flower painting

Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up.

--Joseph Campbell

Longer Version:

Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up. The earth must be broken to bring forth life. If the seed does not die there is no plant. Bread results from the death of wheat. Life lives on lives. Our own life lives on the acts of other people. If you are lifeworthy, you can take it.


brown wooden board

The hero, whether god or goddess, man or woman, the figure in a myth or the dreamer of a dream discovers and assimilates his opposite (his own unsuspected self) either by swallowing it or by being swallowed.

--Joseph Campbell

selective photography of green leaf plant

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

--Joseph Campbell

sunset grasslands

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

--Joseph Campbell

white and gray floral bed sheet

The seizure of passionate love can be, in such a context, only illicit, breaking in upon the order of one's dutiful life in virtue as a devastating storm.

--Joseph Campbell

three books on surface

You have to have a feeling for where you are. You've got only one life to live and you don't have to live it for six people. Pay attention to it.

--Joseph Campbell

photo of white and brown bricked wall during daytime

All the old bindings are broken. Cosmological centers now are anywhere and everywhere. The earth is a heavenly body, most beautiful of all, and all poetry is now archaic that fails to match the wonder of this view.

--Joseph Campbell

pink and white roses on white surface

I always feel uncomfortable when people speak about ordinary mortals because I've never met an ordinary man, woman or child.

--Joseph Campbell

orange room with open door

Mythology helps you to identify the mysteries of the energies pouring through you. Therein lies your eternity.

--Joseph Campbell

woman wearing black top standing near yellow wall

The Greeks, it will be recalled, regarded Eros, the god of love, as the eldest of the gods; but also as the youngest, born fresh and dewy-eyed in every living heart.

--Joseph Campbell

woman doing yoga on rock platform next to body of water

At such moments, you realize that you and the other are, in fact, one. It's a big realization. Survival is the second law of life. The first is that we are all one.

--Joseph Campbell

green palm plant during daytime

A bit of advice
Given to a young Native American
At 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.

--Joseph Campbell

Longer Version:

I should have said, 'Follow your blisters.'


purple and black light illustration

You don't have to believe that there was a King Arthur to get the significance of those stories, but Christians say we have to believe there was a Christ, or the miracles don't make sense.

--Joseph Campbell

mountain with tree during daytime

A woman is a vehicle of life. Life has overtaken her. Woman is what it is all about-the giving of birth and the giving of nourishment.

--Joseph Campbell


brown mountain

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

--Joseph Campbell

castle surrounded fog

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

--Joseph Campbell

wall

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.

--Joseph Campbell

full moon in the sky

Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream.

--Joseph Campbell

Longer Version:

Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamic of the psyche. But in the dream the forms are quirked by the peculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problems and solutions sown are directly valid for all mankind.


two clown fishes underwater

God is an intelligible sphere-a sphere known to mind, not to the senses-whose center is everywhere and whose circumference nowhere.

--Joseph Campbell


pink lotus flower on clear body of water

Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes?

--Joseph Campbell


sealion surrounded by rocks during daytime

Suddenly you're ripped into being alive. And life is pain, and life is suffering, and life is horror, but my god you're alive and its spectacular.

--Joseph Campbell


close shot of yellow flowers

The myth is not my own; I have it from my mother. Euripides.

--Joseph Campbell

sunset

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

--Joseph Campbell



man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

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

--Joseph Campbell


silhouette of elephant on brown sand during sunset

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

--Joseph Campbell

golden retriever inside car

There is no way you can use the word "reality" without quotation marks around it.

--Joseph Campbell

photo of white and brown bricked wall during daytime

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.

--Joseph Campbell

shallow focus photography of snowflake

The dark night of the soul comes just before revelation.

--Joseph Campbell

rocks on sea side at daytime

To find your own way is to follow your bliss.

--Joseph Campbell

Longer Version:

To find your own way is to follow your bliss. This involves analysis, watching yourself and seeing where real deep bliss is -- not the quick little excitement , but the real deep, life-filling bliss.



brown and white abstract painting

If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.

--Joseph Campbell

green grass field

Questing... is not an ego trip; it is an adventure to bring into fulfillment your gift to the world, which is yourself.

--Joseph Campbell

sunset

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

--Joseph Campbell

close-up photograph of black dreadnought acoustic guitar

Follow your bliss. The heroic life is living the individual adventure.

--Joseph Campbell

close shot of yellow flowers

Let the world be as it is and learn to rock with the waves.

--Joseph Campbell


orange and white stone fragment

I don't think people are really seeking the meaning of Life. I think we're seeking an experience of being alive…we want to feel the rapture of being alive.

--Joseph Campbell

fan of 1 US dollar banknotes and coins on beige surface

Don't do anything that isn't play.

--Joseph Campbell

white oriental lily flower

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

--Joseph Campbell

pug lying on pet bed

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.

--Joseph Campbell

white wall tiles

I think of mythology as the homeland of the muses, the inspirers of art, the inspirers of poetry. To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what the myth does for you.

--Joseph Campbell

empty gray floor beside pool

The perfect human being is uninteresting-the Buddha who leaves the world, you know. It is the imperfections of life that are lovable.

--Joseph Campbell

woman in white and black stripe long sleeve shirt standing beside brown concrete building during daytime

Eternity is not future or past. Eternity is a dimension of now.

--Joseph Campbell



green leafed vegetable on brown wooden surface

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.

--Joseph Campbell

rainbow

We are standing on a whale fishing for minnows.

--Joseph Campbell

five woman standing on seashore

Trebuie să fim dispuși să renunțăm la viața pe care ne-am planificat-o, pentru a o putea trăi pe cea care ne așteaptă.

--Joseph Campbell


lights

The fates lead him who will; him who won't they drag.

--Joseph Campbell

brown mountains under blue sky

If you are on the right path you will find that invisible hands are helping.

--Joseph Campbell


brown wooden hanging bridge surrounded by green trees during daytime

Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery.

--Joseph Campbell

saguaro

Not all who hesitate are lost.

--Joseph Campbell


pink and white flower in close up photography

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.

--Joseph Campbell

band performing on stage in front of people

Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.

--Joseph Campbell

brown grass field under blue sky and white clouds during daytime

Your bliss can guide you to that transcendent mystery, because bliss is the welling up of the energy of the transcendent wisdom within you.

--Joseph Campbell

woman looking up to the sky while standing on white sand

What we are really living for is the experience of life, both the pain and the pleasure.

--Joseph Campbell


person on road at sunset

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

--Joseph Campbell

man in black bubble hoodie looking at the stars

Mythology is the womb of mankind's initiation to life and death.

--Joseph Campbell


green grass field

You know, when real trouble comes your humanity is awakened. The fundamental human experience is that of compassion.

--Joseph Campbell





white and black soccer ball on grass field

The Deadheads are doing the dance of life and this I would say is the answer to the atom bomb.

--Joseph Campbell

empty gray carpet

It's characteristic of democracy that majority rule is understood as being effective not only in politics but also in thinking. In thinking, of course, the majority is always wrong.

--Joseph Campbell

grass field under cloudy sky

Where is your bliss station? You have to try to find it.

--Joseph Campbell

selective focus photo of woman holding sunflower surrounded by sunflowers

Nothing is exciting if you know what the outcome is going to be.

--Joseph Campbell

brown sands

Each of us has capacities. The real trick is knowing the machinery of the boat in which you are crossing the channel.

--Joseph Campbell


water on seashore

The goal is to live with God like composure on the full rush of energy, like Dionysus riding the leopard, without being torn to pieces.

--Joseph Campbell

tan wallpaper

The problem of the hero is to pierce himself (and therewith his world) precisely through that point; to shatter and annihilate that key knot of his limited existence.

--Joseph Campbell

man standing on cliff under white sky

Enlarge the pupil of the eye, so that the body with its attendant personality will no longer obstruct the view. Immortality is then experienced as a present fact.

--Joseph Campbell

man on running field

For people who are really alive to have life awakened is more important than to get a sandwich.

--Joseph Campbell

Longer Version:

A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth. And since myth is a projection of the depth wisdom of the psyche, by participating in a ritual, participating in the myth, you are being, as it were, put in accord with that wisdom, which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow. Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life. I think ritual is terribly important.


brown wooden hanging bridge surrounded by green trees during daytime

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

--Joseph Campbell

birds flying under cloudy sky during daytime

The 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.

--Joseph Campbell


houses and trees during nighttime

When an idea is important to a person or culture it will find its way into imagery.

--Joseph Campbell

close-up photography of heart shaped fairy lite on brown sand

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

--Joseph Campbell




blue and white striped textile

Survival is the second law of life. The first is that we are all one.

--Joseph Campbell

pink and white tulips on white surface

‎Make your god transparent to the transcendent, and it doesn't matter what his name is.

--Joseph Campbell



tilt shift lens pink fetal flowers

There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss.

--Joseph Campbell


pink and yellow flower painting

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

--Joseph Campbell


landscape photo of mountain during nighttime

The world is perfect. It's a mess. It has always been a mess. We are not going to change it.

--Joseph Campbell


black dragonfly perched on green grass in close up photography during daytime

Every religion, every mythology is true in this sense: It is true as metaphorical of the human and cosmic mystery.

--Joseph Campbell


purple and white petaled flower

Myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human manifestation.

--Joseph Campbell

white wall paint beside white wall

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 old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.

--Joseph Campbell

Longer Version:

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 old skin has to be shed
before the new one can come.

If we fix on the old, we get stuck.
When we hang onto any form,
we are in danger of putrefaction.

Hell is life drying up.


light blue

God is within you. You yourself are your creator. If you find that place in yourself from which you brought this thing about, you will be able to live with it and affirm it, perhaps even enjoy it, as your life.

--Joseph Campbell

white stars in the sky during night time

No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.

--Joseph Campbell

closeup photography of wall

When you follow your bliss a kind of track opens up, that's always been there, waiting for you. And the life that you should be living, is the one that you will be living.

--Joseph Campbell

red rose illustration

Our actual ultimate root is in our humanity, not in our personal genealogy.

--Joseph Campbell


Blue to purple gradient

The experience of Eternity right here and now, is the function of life.

--Joseph Campbell

Longer Version:

The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. Heaven is not the place to have the experience; here is the place to have the experience.


green mountain ]

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

--Joseph Campbell

white and blue sky during daytime

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.

--Joseph Campbell


body of water under blue sky during daytime

What each must seek in his life was never 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

grayscale photo of person's back

You yourself are participating in the evil, or you are not alive. Whatever you do is evil for somebody. This is one of the ironies of the whole creation.

--Joseph Campbell

rock mountain during starry night

When we follow our bliss, we are met by a thousand unseen helping hands.

--Joseph Campbell

Light blue to purple gradient

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.

--Joseph Campbell

person holding yellow sunflower bouquet

God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, 'Ah!

--Joseph Campbell


white beans on white background

You are the hero of your own story.

--Joseph Campbell


red and pink flowers

There is perhaps nothing worse than reaching the top of the ladder and discovering that you're on the wrong wall.

--Joseph Campbell


band performing on stage in front of people

There is a God inside my PC. An Old-Testament God with lots of arbitrary rules and utterly no mercy.

--Joseph Campbell

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

For we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heros of all time have gone before us.

--Joseph Campbell

man standing on cliff under white sky

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder. Fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won.

--Joseph Campbell



brown wooden hanging bridge surrounded by green trees during daytime

He must put aside his pride, his virtue, beauty and life and bow or submit to the absolutely intolerable.

--Joseph Campbell

blue and white abstract painting

The best things cannot be told, the second best are misunderstood. After that comes civilized conversation; after that, mass indoctrination; after that, intercultural exchange.

--Joseph Campbell


person wearing orange and gray Nike shoes walking on gray concrete stairs

We're not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world.

--Joseph Campbell

silhouette of person standing beside bare tree under stary sky

It takes courage to do what you want. Other people have a lot of plans for you... Follow your bliss.

--Joseph Campbell

brown textile

There is what I would call the hero journey, the night sea journey, the hero quest, where the individual is going to bring forth in his life something that was never beheld before.

--Joseph Campbell







flock of birds flying under blue sky during daytime

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

--Joseph Campbell

lightning strike at night

When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed.

--Joseph Campbell

red and black floral textile

When I was in India I met and conversed briefly with Shri Atmananda Guru of Trivandrum, and the question he gave me to ponder was this: 'Where are you between two thoughts?

--Joseph Campbell

yellow flower field under clear sky

You've got to say yes to this miracle of life as it is, not on condition that it follow your rules.

--Joseph Campbell



sunset with storm clouds

We have today to learn to get back into accord with the wisdom of nature and realize again our brotherhood with the animals and with the water and the sea.

--Joseph Campbell

Longer Version:

We have today to learn to get back into accord with the wisdom of nature and realize again our brotherhood with the animals and with the water and the sea. To say that divinity informs the world and all things is condemned as pantheism. But pantheism is a misleading word. It suggests that a personal god is supposed to inhabit the world, but that is not the idea at all. The idea is trans-theological. It is of an indefinable, inconceivable mystery, thought of as a power, that is the source and end and supporting ground of all life and being.




black and gray Canon AE-1 camera on gray sand under brown dock near body of water at daytime

At first you might find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred space and use it, eventually something will happen. Your sacred space is where you find yourself again and again.

--Joseph Campbell


sunset highway

Behind all these manifestations is the one radiance, which shines through all things.

--Joseph Campbell

bare tree on mountain during sunset

Truth is one, the sages speak of it by many names.

--Joseph Campbell

black and gray Canon AE-1 camera on gray sand under brown dock near body of water at daytime

We keep thinking of deity as a kind of fact, somewhere; God as a fact. God is simply our own notion of something that is symbolic of transcendence and mystery. The mystery is what's important.

--Joseph Campbell

rock formation surrounding by body of water

The object becomes aesthetically significant when it becomes metaphysically significant.

--Joseph Campbell

brown tree branch during daytime

When we talk about settling the world's problems, we're barking up the wrong tree. The world is perfect. It's a mess. It has always been a mess. We're not going to change it. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.

--Joseph Campbell

three clear drinking glasses with brown liquid

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

--Joseph Campbell

black wooden louver door window

People who don't have a concept of the whole can do very unfortunate things.

--Joseph Campbell


blue sky

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

red textile on brown wooden table

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.

--Joseph Campbell

closed white painted door with exit signage

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.

--Joseph Campbell

long exposure photography of lights

For Shinto, at root, is a religion not of sermons but of awe: which is a sentiment that may or may not produce words, but in either case goes beyond them.

--Joseph Campbell


black and white window illustration

Respect your curses, for they are the instruments of your destiny.

--Joseph Campbell


three people standing inside Big Ben building

Love your enemies, for they determine who you are.

--Joseph Campbell

light blue

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life
seems most challenging. Negativism to the pain and ferocity of life is negativism to life. We are not there until we can say 'yea' to it all.

--Joseph Campbell

grayscale photography of mountain surrounded by trees

The myth does not point to a fact; the myth points beyond facts to something that informs the fact.

--Joseph Campbell


four handheld gardening tools on rack

If you're going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all.

--Joseph Campbell


brown mountains under blue sky

He who thinks he knows, doesn't know. He who knows that he doesn't know, knows.

--Joseph Campbell

flock of birds flying under blue sky during daytime

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

--Joseph Campbell



brown humming bird flying in mid air

The goal of life is rapture. Art is the way we experience it.

--Joseph Campbell

grey cliff near body of water

Art is the set of wings to carry you out of your own entanglement.

--Joseph Campbell


silver bell alarm clock

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

--Joseph Campbell

pink petaled flower on white surface

The priests used to say that faith can move mountains, and nobody believed them. Today the scientists say that they can level mountains, and nobody doubts them.

--Joseph Campbell

red flowers under the blue sky

Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived. Follow the path that is no path, follow your bliss.

--Joseph Campbell

black pug puppy on green textile

Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it.

--Joseph Campbell

Longer Version:

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.


pink, red, and black digital wallpaper

The realms of the gods and demons -- heaven, purgatory, hell -- are of the substance of dreams. Myth, in this view, is the dream of the world.

--Joseph Campbell



silhouette of man looking towards left

We no longer desire and fear; we are what was desired and feared.

--Joseph Campbell

silhouette of man standing on rock while looking in sky

If you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen.

--Joseph Campbell

snowy mountain

Love is the burning point of life, and since all life is sorrowful, so is love. The stronger the love, the more the pain. Love itself is pain, you might say -the pain of being truly alive.

--Joseph Campbell

black dragonfly perched on green grass in close up photography during daytime

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.

--Joseph Campbell

brown mountain under starry sky

The idea of the Bodhisattva is the one who out of his realization of transcendence participates in the world. The imitation of Christ is joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.

--Joseph Campbell

green-leafed plant

The hero journey is inside of you; tear off the veils and open the mystery of your self.

--Joseph Campbell

assorted-color beach houses

It is not only that there is no hiding place for the gods from the searching telescope and microscope; there is no such society any more as the gods once supported.

--Joseph Campbell

photo of underwater

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

--Joseph Campbell




black dragonfly perched on green grass in close up photography during daytime

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

--Joseph Campbell

Bryce Canyon National Park Sunrise Point at Utah

When your mind is simply trapped by the image out there so that you never make the reference to yourself, you have misread the image.

--Joseph Campbell

brown and white abstract painting

And that Aha! that you get when you see an artwork that really hits you is, 'I am that.' I am the very radiance of energy that is talking to me through this painting.

--Joseph Campbell


trees under blue sky and stars during nighttime photo

And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal --carries the cross of the redeemer-- not in the bright moments of his tribe's great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair.

--Joseph Campbell

white pendant lamp

Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end.

--Joseph Campbell

Longer Version:

Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end. The exclusivism of there being only one way in which we can be saved, the idea that there is a single religious group that is in sole possession of the truth--that is the world as we know it that must pass away. What is the kingdom? It lies in our realization of the ubiquity of the divine presence in our neighbors, in our enemies, in all of us.



gray and white bird on red and yellow leaves

Art is the clothing of a revelation.

--Joseph Campbell

purple flower in macro lens

If you realize what the real problem is-losing yourself-you realize that this itself is the ultimate trial.

--Joseph Campbell

white tulips with green leaves

How teach again, however, what has been taught correctly and incorrectly learned a thousand thousand times, throughout the millenniums of mankind's prudent folly? That is the hero's ultimate difficult task.

--Joseph Campbell

forest trees photograph

Money is congealed energy, and releasing it releases life's possibilities.

--Joseph Campbell


green and white abstract painting

The person who thinks he has found the ultimate truth is wrong.

--Joseph Campbell


shallow focus photography of condenser microphone

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

--Joseph Campbell



a man walks alone in the haze

The departure from the world is regarded not as a fault, but as the first step into that noble path at the remotest turn of which illumination is to be won.

--Joseph Campbell

blue rose with water droplet

Eternity is not the hereafter...this is it. If you don't get it here you won't get it anywhere.

--Joseph Campbell

white desk lamp beside green plant

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.

--Joseph Campbell

clear hour glass

Passion will move men beyond themselves, beyond their shortcomings, beyond their failures.

--Joseph Campbell


white and pink roses on pink wall

We know that Jesus could not have ascended to heaven because there is no physical heaven anywhere in the universe. Even ascending at the speed of light, Jesus would still be in the galaxy.

--Joseph Campbell



brown and white long coated small dog lying on green grass

We save the world by being alive ourselves.

--Joseph Campbell


woman standing between sunflower field during daytime

One can experience an unconditional affirmation of life only when one has accepted death, not as contrary to life, but as an aspect of it.

--Joseph Campbell

pink and white clouds

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.

--Joseph Campbell


brown wallpaper

Breaking out is following your bliss pattern, quitting the old place, starting your hero journey, following your bliss. You throw off yesterday as the snake sheds its skin.

--Joseph Campbell

Arizona landscape

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

--Joseph Campbell


boy standing on grass and facing fence during daytime

The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.

--Joseph Campbell

selective focus of common poppy flower

When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.

--Joseph Campbell



round black clock on linen

Every hero must have the courage to be alone, to take the journey for himself.

--Joseph Campbell



backdrop

Change the focus of the eye. When you have done that, then the end of the world as you formerly knew it will have occurred, and you will experience the radiance of the divine presence everywhere, here and now.

--Joseph Campbell

silhouette of person standing beside bare tree under stary sky

Without passion, men are not willing to pay any price or bear any burden to set the captives free.

--Joseph Campbell




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