Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell was an American author and teacher best known for his work in the field of comparative mythology. He was born in New York City in 1904, and from early childhood he became interested in mythology. He loved to read books about American Indian cultures, and frequently visited the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where he was fascinated by the museum's collection of totem poles. Campbell was educated at Columbia University, where he specialized in medieval literature, and continued his studies at universities in Paris and Munich. While abroad he was influenced by the art of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, the novels of James Joyce and Thomas Mann, and the psychological studies of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. These encounters led to Campbell's theory that all myths and epics are linked in the human psyche, and that they are cultural manifestations of the universal need to explain social, cosmological, and spiritual realities.

After a period in California, where he encountered John Steinbeck and the biologist Ed Ricketts, he taught at the Canterbury School, and then, in 1934, joined the literature department at Sarah Lawrence College, a post he retained for many years. During the 40s and '50s, he helped Swami Nikhilananda to translate the Upanishads and The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. He also edited works by the German scholar Heinrich Zimmer on Indian art, myths, and philosophy. In 1944, with Henry Morton Robinson, Campbell published A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake. His first original work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, came out in 1949 and was immediately well received; in time, it became acclaimed as a classic. In this study of the "myth of the hero," Campbell asserted that there is a single pattern of heroic journey and that all cultures share this essential pattern in their various heroic myths. In his book he also outlined the basic conditions, stages, and results of the archetypal hero's journey.

Throughout his life, he traveled extensively and wrote prolifically, authoring many books, including the four-volume series The Masks of God, Myths to Live By, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space and The Historical Atlas of World Mythology. Joseph Campbell died in 1987. In 1988, a series of television interviews with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth, introduced Campbell's views to millions of people. (

To learn more about Joseph Campbell's work visit: Joseph Campbell Foundation

Like it Tweet +1 it Pin it Link

Simple Reminders by Joseph Campbell

Amazing Quotes by Joseph Campbell

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. by @jcf_org (15)

Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself. by @jcf_org (26)

The adventure of the hero is the adventure of being alive. by @jcf_org (48)

Love is a friendship set to music. by @jcf_org (72)

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls. by @jcf_org (19)

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature. by @jcf_org (19)

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. by @jcf_org (9)

Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. by @jcf_org (32)

I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive. by @jcf_org (6)

Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again. by @jcf_org (41)

Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is Whatever you ascribe it to be. by @jcf_org (0)

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. by @jcf_org (57)

When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness. by @jcf_org (-9)

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. by @jcf_org (9)

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. by @jcf_org (15)

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. by @jcf_org (3)