August 16, 2020 at 2:36 am #3784
I’m a doctoral student working on a paper about the principle of storytelling. I’m citing Campbell’s work in my paper. I’m also hoping to use these two quotes that are often attributed to him. Unfortunately, I can’t find the exact book or work they come from. Without the precise citation (page number in a book) I won’t be able to use them. Can anyone here help me?
“Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.”
“The job of the educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves.”
August 17, 2020 at 4:13 pm #3790LynnJoined: August 16, 2020Participant
It looks like the first quote is something Deepak Chopra said about Campbell for the film Mythic Journeys — he may have been paraphrasing.
And Campbell has said “mythology is not history” in a few places, for example, in the book The Ecstasy of Being: Mythology and Dance/Page 22. “Now, mythology is not history (the rehearsal of literal fact), but vision (a pictorial symbolization of the backgrounds of existence).”
Also, in the book The Power of Myth/Page 163 Campbell says: “It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth — penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words.”
Hope this helps.
August 18, 2020 at 12:10 am #3796
These certainly reflect Joseph Campbell’s perspective, but finding the exact source can be tricky. Often Campbell “quotes” found on the internet turn out to be truncated paraphrases of something Campbell said, or someone’s comment on a point of Campbell’s that someone else mistakenly assumed were Campbell’s own words and then re-shared them widely – which, as Lynn points out above, is certainly the case with the first quote, which is actually Deepak Chopra discussing Campbell (I happened to be in the room when he said it …), but has mistakenly been attributed to Joe because it does reflect his viewpoint.
So we’ll do our best to track the second one down, but can’t guarantee anything. However, in the meantime, here are a couple related thoughts of Joe’s on myth vs. history:
Wherever the poetry of myth is interpreted as biography, history, or science, it is killed.”
Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces (Third Edition, Copyright © 2008 Joseph Campbell Foundation), p. 213
“Mythology, in other words, is psychology misread as biography, history, and cosmology.”
Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces (Third Edition, Copyright © 2008 Joseph Campbell Foundation), p. 219
tie-dyed teller of tales
August 18, 2020 at 11:40 am #3800
Thank you for your reply and trying to help me. I appreciate the connection to Deepak Chopra. I hadn’t found that. I think it likely confirms that the quote can’t be attributed to Campbell.
On the plus side, I’m so happy I found this website and community. I appreciate how quickly you responded to me!
August 18, 2020 at 11:50 am #3801
Thank you so much for your quick reply. As I said in my reply to Lynn, I’m so glad I found this community of people so devoted to Campbell’s work and legacy!
About the first quote, it’s a bit disturbing (yet not surprising) that it doesn’t belong to him. I found no less than 10 different sites using that same quote. I knew something was wrong though when I couldn’t easily source it.
As for the second, research it only if you have time. I’ve re-worded that portion of my paper and sent it on for review. However, since my program is tied to education and teaching, I’ll likely have an opportunity to use it in the future.
I appreciate the additional quotes and sources. I’ve added them to my “quotes with accurate sources” list.
I appreciate your help!
August 18, 2020 at 9:00 pm #3802MarsJoined: August 16, 2020Participant
The second quote seems to link to The Hero’s Journey about the the life of JC as a teacher. A fast scan…
In THJ 1st ed 1990, page 102: “…You see a student wake up to a whole new life possibility. That’s a wonderful moment in teaching when that happens because…” Close, but a different quote.
No other hits alas. Maybe in a dialogue or interview.
Time is a reciprocal dimension: t'=t*√(1-V²/C²)
August 29, 2020 at 11:09 pm #3828
Linda, I’ll admit curiosity about your thesis on the principles of storytelling. If you don’t mind my asking, where are you matriculating? You mention your Ph.D. program is tied to education and teaching – is that the field your degree will be in?
At JCF we do everything we can to advance the study of myth – but mythology is in many ways the strange bastard child of academia. Only rarely is it its own field (Pacifica Graduate Institute comes to mind, and I believe Sonoma State in California offered a degree in myth at one point); usually mythology is a subset of some other field: cultural anthropology, religious studies, , folklore – heck, even Joseph Campbell himself taught in the literature department at Sarah Lawrence.
As for storytelling, I believe that is essential to teaching. For a number of years I taught English and Literature (and, occasionally, especially when on the wrong side of whomever happened to be principal that year, a section or two of algebra – not exactly my dessert class) in my junior high classroom. Storytelling was key to whatever success I enjoyed (even when teaching math!). In the years since, I fill in a few days a month for old friends and colleagues – and even when subbing, storytelling proves crucial, even when discussing the most mundane matters (heck, the kids respond so much better to an anecdote about little Donnie Gardner’s use of bathroom privileges in my classroom lo so many decades ago, and are far more understanding, than just having the rules laid down for them).
I am curious if you relate the principles of storytelling you uncover to the field of education – and would love to know who else, besides Campbell, you cite (whether Paul Ricoeur’s Time and Narrative, to Shel Silverstein and everything in between.
tie-dyed teller of tales
February 18, 2021 at 8:30 pm #4851LynnJoined: August 16, 2020Participant
The second quote is similar to something Bill Moyers said in the Power of Myth DVD Episode 1 The Hero’s Adventure:
Campbell: …The influence of a vital person vitalizes…
Moyers: That’s the power of the teacher, isn’t it — to bring vitality to others, to make others see the vitality in them?
Campbell: Well, it happens. That’s one of the delights of teaching…
February 19, 2021 at 7:51 pm #4863
Well done, Lynn! That explains the likely source of a quote we are unable to attribute to Campbell.
tie-dyed teller of tales
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