All of the great cathedrals of Europe were built during this lunatic century between 1150 and 1250. People didn't have enough money then to buy two cows, let alone two cars—what were they living for? And you mustn't think of slave drivers; that isn't what built the cathedrals. It was a community seizure, a mythic zeal.
Joseph Campbell famously compared mythology to a kangaroo pouch for the human mind and spirit: "a womb with a view." In Myths to Live By, he examines all of the ways in which myth supports and guides us, giving our lives meaning. Love and war, science and religion, East and West, inner space and outer space-Campbell shows how the myths we live by can reconcile all of these pairs of opposites and bring a sense of the whole.
This classic book has been newly illustrated and annotated in its first new edition since its original publication, which also marks the first ebook in the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series. In the tradition of The Power of Myth and Pathways to Bliss, Myths to Live By remains one of Joseph Campbell's most enduring, popular, and accessible 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
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.
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
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
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).
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
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!
Joseph Campbell "Comparative Mythology" mini-eBook By David_Kudler
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.
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.
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).
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).