Joseph Campbell Quotes

** I picked up most of these quotations from the book A Fire in the Mind – The Life of Joseph Campbell, by Stephen & Robin Larsen – one of those books that just kind of jumped off a library shelf into my arms. (Don’t you love it when that happens??) The book was fascinating, as was the life of Joseph Campbell. The man was brilliant…

“It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse. 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 in The Hero with a Thousand Faces [quoted by Guy McPherson here]

“The secret cause of all suffering is mortality itself, which is the prime condition of life. It cannot be denied if life is to be affirmed…. The conquest of the fear of death is the recovery of life’s joy.” – Joseph Campbell, quoted in Broken Open – How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow.

“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.” – Joseph Campbell

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” – Joseph Campbell

“The privilege of a lifetime is to be who you are.” – Joseph Campbell

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell, US folklorist & expert on mythology (1904 – 1987)

“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning of life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re really 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.” – Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth

You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning… a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be.– Joseph Campbell, 1904-1987

“Once you know the difference between right and wrong, you have lots fewer decisions to make.” – Joseph Campbell, quoted in the biography “A Fire in the Mind – The Life of Joseph Campbell” by Stephen and Robin Larsen

“We are at this moment participating in one of the very greatest leaps of the human spirit.” – Joseph Campbell, 1904-1987

“When you follow your bliss…doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors & where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.” Joseph Campbell

** some more dandies here