Only birth can conquer death—the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new.

Only birth can conquer death—the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new. Within the soul, within the body social, there must be—if we are to experience long survival—a continuous “recurrence of birth” (palingenesia) to nullify the unremitting recurrences of death.

-- Joseph Campbell
Hero with a Thousand Faces, The (p. 11-12)

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

This seminal work has influenced millions of readers since it was originally published in 1949, bringing the insights of modern psychology together with Campbell's revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell formulated the dual schemas of the Hero's Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through all of humanity's mythic traditions, and of the Cosmogonic Cycle, the stories of world-creation and -dissolution that have marked cultures around the world and across the centuries. Translated into over twenty languages, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has sold well over a million copies and continues to find new audiences among professors and students in fields ranging from the history of religion and anthropology to literature and film studies; among creative artists including authors, filmmakers, game designers and song writers; and among all of those interested in the basic human impulse to tell stories.
Other quotations from this Title
Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world. [share]
Only birth can conquer death—the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new. Within the soul, within the body social, there must be—if we are to experience long survival—a continuous "recurrence of birth" (palingenesia) to nullify the unremitting recurrences of death. [share]
Wherever the hero may wander, whatever he may do, he is ever in the presence of his own essence — for he has the perfected eye to see. There is no separateness. [share]
Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world. [share]
No tribal rite has yet been recorded which attempts to keep winter from descending; on the contrary: the rites all prepare the community to endure, together with the rest of nature, the season of the terrible cold. [share]
For when scrutinized in terms not of what it is but of how it functions, of how it has served mankind in the past, of how it may serve today, mythology shows itself to be as amenable as life itself to the obsessions and requirements of the individual, the race, the age. [share]
The tribal ceremonies of birth, initiation, marriage, burial, installation, and so forth, serve to translate the individual’s life-crises and life-deeds into classic, impersonal forms. They disclose him to himself, not as this personality or that, but as the warrior, the bride, the widow, the priest, the chieftain; at the same time rehearsing for the rest of the community the old lesson of the archetypal stages. [share]
It is not only that there is no hiding place for the gods from the searching telescope and microscope; there is no such society any more as the gods once supported. [share]
The modern hero-deed must be that of questing to bring to light again the lost Atlantis of the co-ordinated soul. [share]
Regrets are illuminations come too late. [share]
For the symbols of mythology are not manufactured; they cannot be ordered, invented, or permanently suppressed. They are the spontaneous productions of the Psyche, and each bears within it, undamaged, the germ power of its source. [share]
The idea in the hero adventure is to walk bodily through the door into the world where the dualistic rules don't apply. [share]