There is an Indian fable of three beings who drank from a river: one was a god, and he drank ambrosia; one was a man, and he drank water; and one was a demon, and he drank filth. What you get is a function of your own consciousness.

Navigating the Works database...
The Complete Works Home
View all works alphabetically
Viewing Work Details
Title Hero's Journey, The
Sub-title Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work
Language English
Series The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell
Creator Campbell, Joseph
Co-creator Cousineau, Phil (editor); Brown, Stuart (producer/foreword author)
Publisher New World Library
Pub. City Novato, California
Pub. Year 2003
Edition 3rd (Centennial)
Format Hardcover
Category Print
Length 288 pp.
Catalog/ISBN 1577314042
Description

Joseph Campbell, arguably the greatest mythologist of our time, was certainly one of our greatest storytellers. This new cloth edition of The Hero’s Journey, published to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Campbell’s birth, recounts his own quest and conveys the excitement of his life-long exploration of our mythic traditions, what he called “the one great story of mankind.”

This masterfully crafted book interweaves conversations with Campbell and some of the people he inspired, including poet Robert Bly, anthropologist Angeles Arrien, filmmaker David Kennard, Doors’ drummer John Densmore, psychiatric pioneer Stanislov Grof, Nobel laureate Roger Guillemen, and others. Behind the man who spent his life journeying through the mythologies of the world was someone whose life was a deep personal quest for his own immortal hero. Through a series of interviews The Hero’s Journey follows the footsteps of Joseph Campbell as he tells stories of his life, his love, and his passion. Following Campbell’s own themes from The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Phil Cousineau, as editor, lets that story unfold.

First comes “the Call to Adventure” in which the young child, sensing the mystery and the poetry inherent in life, makes the first of his many discoveries, the Native American. Campbell immerses himself completely in this world, reading everything he can find. He then moves on, through his student days, along his own “Road of Trials” and his “Vision Quest,” searching out those places where his experiences, his own taste of life will be heightened. An athlete, traveler, and avid scholar, he moves to Paris, where he comes in contact with his very deepest passion, the world common to all of mankind—the world of inner transformation. He finds the immortal questions revealed in mythology, art, and literature and he begins to lecture and to write as he dedicates himself to the mythology of his own personal journey.

Campbell reflects in The Hero’s Journey on subjects ranging from the origins and functions of myth, the role of the artist, and the need for ritual, to the ordeals of love and romance. With his poetic and pragmatic language, Joseph Campbell stands as a signpost in a time when we have lost our connection to mythology.

Reviews:

The man behind the myth is lovingly revealed in this collection of interviews with the late Joseph Campbell. Using Campbell's format for the "hero's journey," editor Phil Cousineau organized these interviews so that they reflect Campbell's own chronological life quest. He begins with "The Call to Adventure," in which Campbell speaks to his fascination with Native American myth as a child, and moves through "The Road of Trials" (his years in college and as a young professor at Sarah Lawrence) and the "Meeting with the Goddess" (referring to meeting his wife of 50 years, the modern dancer Jean Erdman).

Since most of the book is written in a question and answer format (with a few excerpts from lectures), much of the text is in Campbell's own words. It is a feast for any fan to hear Campbell speak so personally about his own life while also imparting his usual insight and wisdom on every topic he discusses. A few morsels of this feast can be found in the following tidbits: for example, readers may be surprised to discover that Campbell considered his half-mile track races in college to be the "peak" experiences of his life. (Campbell was an esteemed track star at Columbia University in the mid-1920s.) Or that it was the famous Paris-dweller and bookseller Sylvia Beach who helped Campbell understand the meaning behind Ulysses in 1928 and was influential in steering Campbell into the realm of mythology and heroes. Or that Campbell believed that his uncanny ability to relate myths to contemporary life came from teaching female students at Sarah Lawrence.

"They always wanted the material to relate to themselves, to life," he explained to interviewer Stuart Brown. "I attribute the popular aspects of my writing to the training I got from these students." Or that The Hero with a Thousand Faces inspired numerous artists, including George Lucas of Star Wars fame and Richard Adams, author of Watership Down. This is also a generously illustrated book, with numerous photos of Campbell, many of which are shown in their authentic sepia tones. Numerous full-color images of famous artwork and images speak to each mythological theme in the book, such as the "Death of Socrates" (Jacques Louis David, 1787) and the painting of "Sacred and Profane" (Titan, circa 1514). -- Gail Hudson, Amazon.com

For anyone who would like a reminder of Joseph Campbell and his important contribution to our understanding of myth and our own lives, I can't think of a better place to begin than with this book. If you are already familiar with the movie, or the earlier edition, this revised edition is a good refresher. But, for all of us this volume can be an opening into the wondrous and exhilarating world of Joseph Campbell's own works. I can think of no better beginning for enriching your own or anyone's life than a growing familiarity with the life and work of this man. Here is an excellent place to start! -- Ralph Walker, New Friends Review

Action Purchase  |  Obtain a copy by donating to the JCF
Back to Works

If you are interested in licensing the rights to republish or permission to quote or extract from one of the works of Joseph Campbell, please visit our Rights and Permissions page.

JCF Publications News:

Goddesses Now Available
By David_Kudler

Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine by Joseph CampbellIn 1980, when JCF president Robert Walter was working as Joseph Campbell's editor, the two men drew up a list of books that Campbell felt were important to publish. At the top of that list was a book on the feminine divine. 

For more than thirty years, that project languished.

Edited by Dr. Safron Rossi, a Goddess scholar as well as the archivist at OPUS Archive and Library's Joseph Campbell Collection, Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine brings that dream to life. Rossi pulled together Campbell's writing and lectures on the subject of the history of the mythologies of the feminine and created a sweeping narrative of the Goddess as She has appeared in the myths of the world's cultures. As far back as we have records of mythic thinking — back to the days of the cave dwellers — the image of the divine feminine as creator, as nurturer, and as devourer has been a prime expression of our species' metaphysical worldview. In this volume, Campbell explores the development of that mythologem, that fundamental mythic image, from the paleolithic Venus figurines, to the goddesses of Old Europe and the first human cities, to the subjegation of the feminine through the Bronze Age, through to the renaissance of the feminine in the late Classical and European traditions.

Heavily illustrated, thought-provoking and entertaining, Campbell's Goddesses is a book for the ages. 


Read More...



Collected Audio Series I Complete!
By David_Kudler

Lecture I.6.5
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. Read More...



Mythos III Now Available!
By David_Kudler

Mythos III cover

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 classical world.

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
By David_Kudler

Hero with 1000 Faces

TIME Magazine has named Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces one of the "All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books." This list is comprised of the best and most influential works in the English language written in English since 1923 (the year TIME was founded).  

Read TIME's description

View TIME's complete list

Request The Hero with a Thousand Faces as our thank you gift when you donate $25 to JCF





A Joseph Campbell Companion Now an eBook!
By David_Kudler

A Joseph Campbell Companion

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
By David_Kudler

Mythic Dimension

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!
By David_Kudler

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 >>





Lecture I.2.5 -
The World Soul

by Joseph Campbell
$5.99



 

 





Joseph Campbell's Classic Myths to Live By Now an Ebook
By David_Kudler

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). 

 

Myths to Live By Cover

Read More...