Joseph Campbell Quotations

-We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

-You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning… a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be.

-When you follow your bliss… doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.

-Eternity has nothing to do with the hereafter… This is it… If you don’t get it here, you won’t get it anywhere. The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. Heaven is not the place to have the experience; here’s the place to have the experience.

-Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.

-I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.

-Myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human manifestation.

-When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.

-If you realize what the real problem is – losing yourself – you realize that this itself is the ultimate trial.

-One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.

-First you must find your trajectory, and then comes the social coordination.

-We’re here to participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.

-I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

-I think the person who takes a job in order to live – that is to say, for the money – has turned himself into a slave.

-If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track, which has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are — if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.

-Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes?

-Myths are clues to the spiritual potentialities of the human life.

-Our demons are our own limitations, which shut us off from the realization of the ubiquity of the spirit…each of these demons is conquered in a vision quest.

-The role of the artist I now understood as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul, and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth.

-The theme of the Grail is the bringing of life into what is known as ‘the wasteland.’ The wasteland is the preliminary theme to which the Grail is the answer. It’s the world of people living inauthentic lives – doing what they are supposed to do.

-We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.

-What each must seek in his life never was on land or sea. It is something out of his own unique potentiality for experience, something that never has been and never could have been experienced by anyone else.

-Economics and politics are the governing powers of life today, and that’s why everything is screwy.

-Whether small or great, and no matter what the stage or grade of life, the Call rings up the curtain, always, on a mystery of transfiguration – a rite, or moment, of spiritual passage, which, when complete, amounts to a dying and a birth. The familiar horizon has been outgrown; the old concepts, ideals and emotional patterns no longer fit; the time for the passing of a threshold is at hand.

-You may have success in life, but then just think of itwhat kind of life was it? What good was it (if) you’ve never done the thing you wanted to in all your life? I always tell my students, go where your body and soul want to go. When you have the feeling, then stay with it, and don’t let anyone throw you off. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.

-The decision as to what your career is to be is a very deep and important one, and it has to do with something like a spiritual requirement and commitment.

-Any life career that you choose in following your bliss should be chosen with this sense–that nobody can frighten you off from this thing. And no matter what happens, this is the validation of my life and action.

-If you really want to help this world, what you will have to teach is how to live in it. And that no one can do who has not himself learned how to live in it in the joyful sorrow and sorrowful joy of the knowledge of life as it is.

-Technology is not going to save us. Our computers, our tools, our machines are not enough. We have to rely on our intuition, our true being.

Joseph Campbell 1904-1987