The warrior’s approach to life

The warrior’s approach is to say ‘yes’ to life: say ‘yea’ to it all. Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. When we talk about settling the world’s problems, we’re barking up the wrong tree. The world is perfect. It’s a mess. It has always been a mess. We are not going to change it.

-- Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell Companion, A (p. 17)

A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living

In an intimate seminar gathered at the Esalen Institute for one month in 1983, Joseph Campbell discussed the ways in which myth informs and pervades each of our lives. This popular book gathers together many of Campbell's mind-opening thoughts and observations from this seminar, from his lectures, and from his published work. This is both an inspiring and a very accessible volume to enjoy.
Other quotations from this Title
As a drop of oil on the sea, you must float, using intellect and compassion to ride the waves. [share]
Mythology helps you to identify the mysteries of the energies pouring through you. Therein lies your eternity. [share]
In meditating, meditate on your own divinity. The goal of life is to be a vehicle for something higher. Keep your eyes up there between the world of opposites watching your 'play' in the world.Let the world be as it is and learn to rock with the waves [share]
Once you understand symbolic things, you, too, will see symbols everywhere. [share]
The spirit is the bouquet of nature. [share]
What we are really living for is the experience of life, both the pain and the pleasure. The world is a match for us. We are a match for the world. [share]
We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. [share]
Writer’s block results from too much head. Cut off your head. Pegasus, poetry, was born of Medusa when her head was cut off. You have to be reckless when writing. Be as crazy as your conscience allows. [share]
My writing is of a very different kind from anything I've heard about. All this mythological material is out there, a big gathering of stuff, and I have been reading it for some forty- or fifty-odd years. There are various ways of handling that. The most common is to put the material together and publish a scholarly book about it. But when I'm writing, I try to get a sense of an experiential relationship to the material. In fact, I can't write unless that happens … I don't write unless the stuff is really working on me, and my selection of material depends on what works. [share]
The entire heavenly realm is within us, but to find it we have to relate to what’s outside [share]
This, I believe, is the great Western truth: that each of us is a completely unique creature and that, if we are ever to give any gift to the world, it will have to come out of our own experience and fulfillment of our own potentialities, not someone else’s. [share]
If we think of the Crucifixion only in historical terms, we lose the symbol’s immediate reference to ourselves. Jesus left his mortal body on the cross, the sign of earth, to go to the Father, with whom he was one. We, similarly, are to identify with the eternal life within us. The symbol also tells us of God’s willing acceptance of the cross, that is to say, of his participation in the trials and sorrows of human life in the world, so that he is here within us, not by way of a fall or mistake, but with rapture and joy. Thus the cross has dual sense: one, of our going to the divine; the other, of the coming of the divine to us. It is a true crossing [share]
When looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes. [share]
Nietzsche was the one who did the job for me. At a certain moment in his life, the idea came to him of what he called 'the love of your fate.' Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, "This is what I need." It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment—not discouragement—you will find the strength is there. [share]
All we really want to do is dance. [share]
The aim of all religious exercises is a psychological transformation. You can make up your own meditations and rites based on knowing, loving, and serving the deity in caring for your children, doctoring drunks, or writing books. Any work whatsoever can be a meditation if you have the sense that everything is "brahman": the process, the doing, the thing that is being looked at, the one that is looking—everything. [share]
You become mature when you become the authority for your own life [share]
Work begins when you don't like what you're doing. And if your life isn’t play, or if you are engaged in play and having no fun, well, quit! The spirit of the sacred space is Śiva dancing. All responsibilities are cast off. There are various ways of doing this casting off. and it doesn’t matter how it happens. The rest is play. [share]
I think a good way to conceive of sacred space is as a playground. If what you’re doing seems like play, you are in it. But you can’t play with my toys, you have to have your own. Your life should have yielded some. Older people play with life experiences and realizations or with thoughts they like to entertain. In my case, I have books I like to read that don’t lead anywhere. One great thing about growing old is that nothing is going to lead to anything. Everything is of the moment. [share]
“A bit of advice given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation: “As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think.”   [share]
The warrior’s approach is to say 'yes' to life: say 'yea' to it all. Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. When we talk about settling the world's problems, we're barking up the wrong tree. The world is perfect. It's a mess. It has always been a mess. We are not going to change it. [share]
If you go into marriage with a program, you will find that it won’t work. Successful marriage is leading innovative lives together, 
being open, non-programmed.
 It’s a free fall: how you handle
 each new thing as it comes along. As a drop of oil on the sea, you must float, using intellect and compassion to ride the waves. [share]
It is important to know how old you are in spiritual development, where you are on this path. The function of initiations is to commit one’s whole psychological pitch to the requirements of a particular stage in life. The big initiation is when one has to leave the psychology of childhood behind: the death of the infantile ego, which is dependant and obedient, and the birth of the self-reliant adult participating in the society. [share]
A bit of advice given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation: “As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think." [share]
The hero’s death and resurrection is a model for the casting off of the old life and moving into the new. [share]
If you want resurrection, you must have crucifixion. Too many interpretations of the Crucifixion have failed to emphasize that relationship and emphasize instead the calamity of the event. . . . But crucifixion is not a calamity if it leads to new life. Through Christ’s crucifixion we were unshelled, which enabled us to be born to resurrection. That is not a calamity. So, we must take a fresh look at this event if its symbolism is to be sensed. [share]
When  writing, don't criticize the words coming out. Just let them come. Let go the critical factor: Will I make money? Am I wasting my time? [share]
Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up. The earth must be broken to bring forth life. If the seed does not die, there is no plant. Bread results from the death of wheat. Life lives on lives. Our own life lives on the acts of other people. If you are lifeworthy, you can take it. [share]
The heroine will, of course, encounter difficulties and advantages which are not those that the male meets, but whether one is male or female, the stages of the inner journey, the visionary quest, are the same, even though the imagery is going to be a little different. [share]
The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, "Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there." And so it starts. [share]
The dark night of the soul comes just before revelation. When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed. [share]
Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. Negativism to the pain and ferocity of life is negativism to life. We are not there until we can say "yea" to it all. [share]

"What will they think of me?"

must be put aside for bliss.

[share]
If what you are following, however, is your own true adventure, if it is something appropriate to your deep spiritual need or readiness, then magical guides will appear to help you.... If you are ready for it, then doors will open where there were no doors before, and where there would not be doors for anyone else. And you must have courage. It's the call to adventure, which means there is no security, no rules. [share]
The goal of life is rapture. Art is the way we experience it. [share]
If you follow your bliss, you will always have your bliss, money or not. If you follow money, you may lose it, and you will have nothing. [share]
Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say 'This is what I need.' It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment -not discouragement- you will find the strength is there. [share]
As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. Don’t bother to brush it off.   Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance. Having a sense of humor saves you. [share]
If you follow someone else's way, you are not going to realize your potential. The goal of the hero trip down to the jewel point is to find those levels in the psyche that open, open, open, and finally open to the mystery of your Self being Buddha consciousness or the Christ. That's the journey. [share]
In choosing your god, you choose your way of looking at the universe. There are plenty of Gods. Choose yours. [share]
The god you worship is the god you deserve. [share]
Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for. The damned thing in the cave that was so dreaded has become the center." [share]
Money is congealed energy and releasing it releases life possibilities ... Money experienced as life energy is indeed a meditation, and letting it flow out instead of hoarding it is a mode of participation in the life of others. [share]
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. [share]
The Kingdom of God is within us. Easter and Passover remind us that we have to let go in order to enter it. [share]
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. [share]
Work begins when you don't like what you're doing. Tension, a lack of honesty, and a sense of unreality come from following the wrong force in your life. As an adult, you must rediscover the moving power of your life! [share]