Joseph Campbell Foundation - The Collected Lectures

From the Star Wars trilogy to the Grateful Dead, Joseph Campbell has had a profound impact on our culture, our beliefs, and the way we view ourselves and the world.

Provocative and exhilarating, the approx. 90 titles that will ultimately comprise The Collected Lectures of Joseph Campbell offer a glimpse into one of the great minds of our time, drawing together his most wide-ranging and insightful talks.

Always at his best as an impromptu speaker, Campbell shines in these recordings, both as a scholar and as a master storyteller.  

What's Old Is New Again!


Though the thirty lectures that comprise the bulk of Series I were previously released on cassette and CD, we are working with Roomful of Sky Records to digitize and remaster these classic recordings, optimizing them for today's higher quality consumer audio equipment.

At the same time we are preparing for the staggered release of Series II & Series III, featuring previously unavailable recordings of sixty additional lectures! Though the Collected Lectures are designed so that offerings fit within the context of a themed volume, each selection is able to stand alone.

Each talk purchased through this page generates income that helps maintain JCF programs.

Lecture Details

Lecture I.1.1 -
The Celebration of Life
by Joseph Campbell
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Lecture Description

"In the human heart and in the human mind -- no matter what the race, the culture, the language, the tradition -- there is at least the sense of a mystery, and an awesome and a very terrifying mystery inhabiting the whole universe: the very mystery of being itself." -- Joseph Campbell

Early shrines and cave art suggest that human beings were aware of a grand mystery far beyond themselves more than 100,000 years ago. Modern investigations into early mythologies have revealed basic motifs and recurring themes. Joseph Campbell shows how these ancient myths and symbols celebrate the mysteries of life and can sustain us today.

Track Listing
1. The Awesome Mystery of Being
2. Universal Motifs, Particular Differentiation
3. Life Kills Other Life to Live
4. The First Function of Mythology
5. The Second Function of Mythology
6. The Third Function of Mythology
7. Heresy is the Life of a Mythology
8. The Fourth Function of Mythology
9. An Australian Initiation Rite
10. Adult Behavior and Changing Social Orders
11. Old Age and Death
12. Myths Give Inspiration for Aspiration
13. The Animal World: Humankind's First Inspiration
14. Out of Death Comes Life: the Plant World as Inspiration
15. As Above, So Below: the Cosmic Order as Inspiration
16. The Mythology for Today: the Other as Inspiration
17. Mythology's Song: That's Life
Lecture Details
  • Date: March 1, 1967
  • Venue: The Cooper Union
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Archive Number: L166
Previous Release History
  • Previously Issued as part of: The Joseph Campbell Audio Collection, Vol. 1
  • Publisher: HighBridge Audio
  • Editor: Mark Watts
  • Release Date: 1996 (cassette); 2002 (CD)

Go to the Collected Lectures Main Page  |  See the other lectures in Volume 1