'All life,' said the Buddha, 'is sorrowful'; and so, indeed, it is. Life consuming life: that is the essence of its being, which is forever a becoming. 'The world,' said the Buddha, 'is an ever-burning fire.' And so it is. And that is what one has to affirm, with a yea! a dance! a knowing, solemn, stately dance of the mystic bliss beyond pain that is at the heart of every mythic rite.
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JCF is now re-releasing the Historical Atlas of World Mythology — Digital Edition
Watch for news!
Joseph Campbell's multivolume Historical Atlas of World Mythology, his magnum opus, marked the culmination of his brilliant career as scholar, writer, teacher, and one of the foremost interpreters of our most sacred traditions.
Campbell described his work as an attempt to tell humankind's "One Great Story" — our saga of spiritual awakening and the subsequent development of the many different mythological perspectives that have shaped us throughout time. His central theme is that our seemingly disparate spiritual traditions are neither discrete nor unique, but rather each is simply an "ethnic manifestation" of one or another of those "elemental ideals" that have forever transfixed the human psyche.
There were to be four volumes in the completed work, each with several subparts:
- The Way of the Animal Powers
- The Mythologies of the Primitive Hunters and Gatherers
- The Mythologies of the Great Hunt
- The Way of the Seeded Earth (Published posthumously)
- The Sacrifice
- The Mythologies of the Primitive Planters: The Northern Americas
- The Mythologies of the Primitive Planters: The Middle and Southern Americas
- The Mythologies of the Primitive Planters: Africa (Unfinished)
- The Mythologies of the Primitive Planters: Southeast Asia (Unfinished)
- The Way of the Celestial Lights (Bronze Age ï¿½ Unfinished)
- The Way of Man (Classical to Modern ï¿½ Unfinished)
Beginning in the summer of 2013, JCF has begun to re-release this extraordinary work once again as a series of ebooks.
The table of contents, release schedule, index, and other information about this new edition are available here.
To download sections of the new Digital Edition as they come out, go to JCF's ebook download page
No one but Joseph Campbell could conceive of such a scheme or carry it out as boldly as he does in this extraordinary book. He has woven an intricate and beautiful web in which one can trace the threads of a number of basic religious concepts through time and space.... [T]he overwhelming impression of The Way of the Animal Powers is majesty and ecstasy.— Wendy O'Flaherty, The New York Times
For anyone interested in world mythology in all its ramifications this book contains quantities of information that he would not come across otherwise except in a lifetime of reading, and specialized reading at that. Thus, it is an invaluable contribution to contemporary knowledge.— Winthrop Sargeant, The New Yorker
Well done, and thank you, Joseph Campbell. — The Times of London
JOSEPH CAMPBELL is embarked upon an enterprise of the first importance: nothing less than a history of the human mind from its earliest beginnings, an account of how man has understood himself and symbolized in myth the meaning of his existence. In its four volumes, Campbell's majestic work will take us from the now silent cultures of prehistory through the present. It will follow the human odyssey from the original cross-over from the anthropoids, who did not create symbols for death or awe, to the early humans, who did, and on through subsequent modes of understanding to modern man with his computers and space voyages. [...]
Campbell's latest enterprise is clearly a summa of his career as a student of myth, and also... one of the great works of our time. It has the epic sweep of Pound's Cantos or Joyce's Ulysses.— Jeffrey Hart, National Review
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JCF Publications News:
The Romance of the Grail Coming Soon
Throughout his life, Joseph Campbell was deeply engaged in the study of the Grail Quests and Arthurian legends of the European Middle Ages. In this new volume of the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, editor Evans Lansing Smith collects Campbell’s writings and lectures on Arthurian legends, including his never-before-published master’s thesis on Arthurian myth, “A Study of the Dolorous Stroke.” Campbell’s writing captures the incredible stories of such figures as Merlin, Gawain, and Guinevere as well as the larger patterns and meanings revealed in these myths. Merlin’s death and Arthur receiving Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake, for example, are not just vibrant stories but also central to the mythologist’s thinking.
Goddesses Now Available
In 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.
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).