I work out on a veranda—they call it a “lanai” out there—with my back to the ocean and to what’s going on. What’s going on is usually a startling bikini walking past. I couldn’t write about anything but the Goddess if I were looking in the other direction. So mine is a nice sort of forest to retire to.
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This is Joseph Campbell's account of a journey that led him to be an icon in the field of comparitive mythology and religion. Sake and Satori covers his travels through through the second half of his year-long journey through Asia. Written from the unjaded perspective of a remarkably erudite teacher on his first trip to the Asia he had studied for most of his life, this book is a unique snapshot of 1950s Asia and its rapidly changing post-colonial and Cold War tensions. In 1954 and 1955, the famed mythologist traveled to Asia for the first time, at age fifty.
In this second volume of his Asian journals, he continues east after nearly seven months in India, moving through Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and finally coming to rest, for a full five months, in Japan.
The narrative is fueled by Campbell's knack for cultural and mythological comparison. With characteristic wit and compassion, Campbell relates his experiences with a culturally intact Japan, where Noh drama, Kabuki theater, and Geisha houses are still common.
He grapples with his self-discovered prejudices and opinions about how Asia is absorbing and resisting Western notions of gender, pluralism, and wealth. He relates revealing conversations with other travelers, as well as with Japanese from all walks of life, from geishas to scholars. Along the way, he allows passing asides to develop into wide-ranging philosophical explorations, augmented with his photos and specially commissioned drawings.
Campbell's life was at a turning point during his travels and many of the seeds of his transition from professor to cultural icon were planted during this Asian journey.
These journals of Japan, along with its companion volume of Indian journals, Baksheesh and Brahman, impart unique and entertaining insights into both the man who wrote them and the cultures he described.
It also reveals Campbell's mind, just as he was about to embark on the career of public education and popular writing that was to bring him to the notice of a broader audience.
This title is now available, along with its companion volume, Baksheesh & Brahman: Asian Journals India.
For Campbell, religion was a subset of mythology, and the exposure to Japanese Buddhism was important to the next leg of his journey as a scholar. Sake and Satori is a glimpse of a supple mind, mid-career. -- Shambala Sun
Through such embryonic theories, as well as observations of hostesses, yamabushi priests and other colorful characters, Sake and Satori provides a window into both a young postwar Japan and the mind of a "young" Campbell, both of which were to leave their marks on the world in the years to come. -- Yomiuri Shimbun
Journaling is a different kind of writing because it skips consciously between the who of the writer and the what of the subject matter. Having read some seven hundred and fifty pages of Joseph Campbell's reflections on a myriad of Asian countries through which he traveled for one year, beginning in September 1954, I have a much deeper appreciation for the man and the impulses that guided him to become a comparative mythologist.... Always observant, Campbell reveals through his journals the complex interior terrain of a soul who helped put the study of comparative mythology back on the world map." -- Dennis Patrick Slattery, Parabola Magazine
Format: Hardcover • Length: 350 pages
Images: 25 photographs, 6 maps, 27 illustrations
Publisher: New World Library • Date of release: November 13, 2002
Trim Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
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JCF Publications News:
Collected Audio Series I Complete!
Seven lectures have been added to Joseph Campbell Foundation's site, each available for download as our Thank You gift with a donation to the Foundation of $5.99. All 30 lectures in Series I are now accessible at jcf.org. These will eventually be available over iTunes and Amazon; however, if you download from JCF, every dollar of your donation goes to production of the previously unreleased lectures in Series II and III.
Mythos III Now Available!
At long last, after the long, night-sea journey, the whole of Mythos is complete and available for the first time. Acorn Media has released Mythos III: The Shaping of the Western Tradition on DVD.
Filmed over the last years of his life, Mythos captures Joseph
Campbell's final series of public talks, his retelling of humankind's
"one great story." With the release of this third volume, the entire
series will be seen for the first time as Campbell delivered them, and
as he intended them to be seen. Once again, the programs are hosted by
Oscar®-award winner Susan Sarandon.
In Mythos I: The Shaping of Our Mythic Tradition,
Campbell began by looking at the world’s most ancient myths and
symbols, from the evolution of human consciousness to the prehistoric
hunting plains to the civilizations of the Fertile Crescent and the
In Mythos II: The Shaping of the Eastern Tradition, he went on to explore these basic elements as they have expressed themselves in the great religions and philosophies of Asia.
Now, in Mythos III: The Shaping of the Western Tradition , he
moves on to exploring these same mythological motifs as they have
expressed themselves in Western culture. Where the emphasis in the
previous programs has been on the evolution of the human species and
cultures, now Campbell focusses on the artists, writers and thinkers who
have had such a huge impact on the culture of the modern West.
Over half of this series is made up of material that has never been released in any form.
"[Western myths] represented something that is typical to Europe and nowhere else, and that is respect for the individual and the individual path, the individual way." --Joseph Campbell
During the final years of his life, Joseph Campbell embarked on a speaking tour in which he drew together all that he had learned about what he called the "one great story" of humanity. These remarkable talks were filmed and are presented in Mythos in the order and manner in which Campbell himself intended, with enhanced images and in minimally edited form.
Now, in Mythos III: The Shaping of the Western Tradition, he explores these same mythological motifs as they have expressed themselves in Western culture. Where the emphasis in the previous volumes has been on the evolution of the humanity and its cultures, Campbell concludes this series by focusing on the art, literature, and philosophy that have influenced the development of the individual in the modern West.
Mythos III Lectures and Description:
Love as the Guide: The Arthurian Romances
The Path of the Heart: Parzival and the Grail Quest
Beyond Time & Space: The Romantic Philosophers
Between Pairs of Opposites: Thomas Mann and The Magic Mountain
Into the Well of Myth: The Joseph Novels and Modern Myth
Presented and Hosted by Academy Award®-Winner SUSAN SARANDON
Request Mythos III as our Thank You gift when you donate $40 to JCF
TIME Honors The Hero
A Joseph Campbell Companion Now an eBook!
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are—Joseph Campbell
One of Joseph Campbell's most popular, most quoted works, A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living is a treasure trove of insight and inspiration, thought-provoking in its depth, poetic in its scope. Drawn from a month-long workshop at the world-famous Esalen Institute held in celebration of the scholar's eightieth birthday, the Companion captures Campbell at his best: wise, funny, intelligent and inspiring.
Available to the general public as our Thank You with a donation of $9.99, the Companion is available to JCF Associates through the end of August at a $2.00 reduction in minimum requested donation!
Download A Joseph Campbell Companion
Joseph Campbell "Comparative Mythology" mini-eBook
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Joseph Campbell taught Mythology to students at Sarah Lawrence College, just north of New York City, for thirty-eight years. Late in his tenure, Campbell made a proposal to use his introductory course as the basis for the then-new field of cross-cultural studies. This gives a wonderful glimpse into Campbell’s approach to teaching, and to his chosen field. Also included is one of the most-requested downloads from the Joseph Campbell Foundation's website: the reading list that Campbell used in that Introduction to Mythology course.
"Comparative Mythology" and extras are available for download as our Thank You with contributions of $1.99, but JCF Associates may take a dollar off that amount through the end of July.
Download Comparative Mythology
Mythic Dimensions Hardcover / Download Bundle
These pieces, along with nine other essays ranging in subject from the numerology implicit in the Goddess mythologies to the erotic irony of modern novelist Thomas Mann, are included in the collection The Mythic Dimension. This volume was reissued in 2008 by New World Library as part of the Collected Works o Joseph Campbell series.
Donors who request The Mythic Dimension when they contribute at the $20 level are able to download "Comparative Mythology" for free while supplies last; as a special Thank You, JCF Associates are able to request both book and download when they contribute $15.
Request Mythic Dimension Hardcover/Download Bundle
New Campbell Audio Titles - Available Now!
We're excited to announce three new Campbell audio releases, available now for download. This set of lectures features the second release from the highly-anticipated Series II, making available Campbell material which had been extremely rare... until now!
Click on the individual album covers below to access and download each lecture, or visit our audio download page to see other Joseph Campbell lectures currently available as our thank you gift with a donation of $5.99 (these can of course be purchased over iTunes® and Amazon; however, donations to JCF will be spent on Foundation programs).
JCF will continue to release three lectures each month until Series I is complete, and then move on to Series II and III. JCF Associates will be notified of these releases in advance of their appearance on iTunes® and Amazon, and are welcome to join our dedicated Conversations of a Higher Order forums to discuss each individual lecture. Become a JCF Associate! It's free, easy, and quick to register >>
Joseph Campbell's Classic Myths to Live By Now an Ebook
San Anselmo, CA, 6/17/2011 — The Joseph Campbell Foundation (JCF) has released Myths to Live By, the first ebook title in its Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series.
This edition is currently available through Apple's iBookstore®, Barnes and Noble's Nook Store®, Google eBooks®, and Amazon's Kindle Store®. It is also available to donors directly through the Joseph Campbell Foundation website (JCF.org/ebooks).