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.2.2 -
The Inward Journey
by Joseph Campbell
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Lecture Description

"When one studies primitive mythologies, the imagery of the mythological world derives from the psychological experiences of the shamans. The source of the imagery of primitive myths is the shaman's psychological crisis. The shaman is a person who in his early puberty has cracked off, broken off and gone into what we would today call a psychosis." -- Joseph Campbell

In the imagery of the schizophrenic's experience, Joseph Campbell recognized a synthesis of mythological motifs similar to Jung's archetypes. He recounts Dr. John Weir Perry's analysis of an individual's descent into madness: the break away or departure from everyday reality, a retreat inward with dark encounters of a symbolic kind, and finally -- in the most fortunate cases -- a return journey of rebirth and renewal.

He then follows the uncanny parallels between these stages and the "universal formula" of the hero's journey gathered from mythologies of cultures around the world, and reveals how the phases of the schizophrenic's crisis correspond to the separation, initiation, and the return of the shaman's experience during his voyage into other worlds. In later years, Campbell would learn that filmmakers George Lucas and Stanley Kubrick modeled their own work on his Hero with a Thousand Faces, the groundbreaking book that explores this "monomyth" of the hero journey.

Track Listing
1. Parallel Imagery in Mythology and Schizophrenia
2. The Schizophrenic Journey
3. Psychosis and Shamanism
4. The Voice of the Universe
5. Symbol and Psychosis: Essential vs. Paranoid Schizophrenia
6. LSD, Psychosis and Mysticism
7. Mystical vs. Psychotic Experience
8. Instinct in the Animal World
9. Mythology: Reconciling Nature and Culture
10. The Four Functions of Mythology
11. A Womb with a View: Mythology and the Stages of Development
12. Schizophrenic Journey: Regression and Crisis
13. Schizophrenic Journey: Sacred Marriage, Father Atonement, Seeking the Center
14. Schizophrenic Journey: Apotheosis and Psychosis
15. Schizophrenic Journey: the Return
16. The Divided Divine: the Young Man and the Elephant
Lecture Details
  • Date: March 4, 1970
  • Venue: The Cooper Union
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Archive Number: L308
Previous Release History
  • Previously Issued as part of: The Joseph Campbell Audio Collection, Vol. 2
  • Publisher: HighBridge Audio
  • Editor: Mark Watts
  • Release Date: 1997 (cassette); 2002 (CD)

Go to the Collected Lectures Main Page  |  See the other lectures in Volume 2