Hero’s Journey, The (book)

The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work

By Joseph Campbell | Edited by Phil Cousineau, Foreword by Stuart L. Brown

See also: The Hero’s Journey: a Biographical Portrait (video)

Joseph Campbell, arguably the greatest mythologist of the twentieth century, was certainly one of our greatest storytellers. This masterfully crafted book interweaves conversations between Campbell and some of the people he inspired, including poet Robert Bly, anthropologist Angeles Arrien, filmmaker David Kennard, Doors drummer John Densmore, psychiatric pioneer Stanislov Grof, Nobel laureate Roger Guillemen, and others. Campbell reflects on subjects ranging from the origins and functions of myth, the role of the artist, and the need for ritual to the ordeals of love and romance. With poetry and humor, Campbell recounts his own quest and conveys the excitement of his lifelong exploration of our mythic traditions, what he called “the one great story of mankind.”

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One part of the hero's journey is acquiescence. For instance, I am moving toward death, as we all are. That's also yielding. And the hero is the one who knows when to surrender and what to surrender too. The main theme is to yield your position to the dynamic. And the dynamic of life is now this form eats that form. Yield. [share]
I didn't write my books for critics and scholars. I wrote them for students and artists. When I hear how much my work has meant to them––well, I can't tell you how happy that makes me. That means that this great stuff of myth, which I have been so privileged to work with, will be kept alive for a whole new generation. That's the function of the artists, you know, to reinterpret the old stories and make them come alive again, in poetry, painting, and now in movies. [share]
I don't see any conflict between religion and science. Religion has to accept the science of the day and penetrate it to the mystery. The conflict is between the science of 2000 B.C. and 2000 A.D. [share]
What's made up in the head is the fiction. What comes out of the heart is a myth. [share]
I think the best thing I can say is to follow your bliss. If your bliss is just your fun and your excitement, you’re on the wrong track. I mean, you need instruction. Know where your bliss is. And that involves coming down to a deep place in yourself [share]
I have a firm belief in this now, not only in terms of my own experience, but in knowing the experiences of other people. When you follow your bliss, and by bliss I mean the deep sense of being in it, and doing what the push is out of your own existence—it may not be fun, but it’s your bliss and there’s bliss behind pain too. [share]
Just as anyone who listens to the muse will hear, you can write out of your own intention or out of inspiration. There is such a thing. It comes up and talks. And those who have heard deeply the rhythms and hymns of the gods, can recite those hymns in such a way that the gods will be attracted. [share]
There is one phrase in Finnegans Wake that seems to me to epitomize the whole sense of Joyce. He says, "Oh Lord, heap mysteries upon us, but entwine our work with laughter low." And this is the sense of the Buddhist bodhisattva: joyful participation in the sorrows of the world. [share]

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2016 Chinese Hardcover
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