Who is Joseph Campbell and what was he known for?
Joseph Campbell (1904 – 1987) was a professor and author, most notable as an interpreter of myth. His work focused on universal motifs in the human experience and found its roots in early world literature.
Campbell’s philosophy, sometimes known as the monomyth or hero’s journey , centers around the theory that mythic patterns exist across cultures, revealed in stories including but not limited to: religious texts, folk tales and especially the narratives of individual lives.
He suggested that one common denominator shared by various heroes and figures was a desire to make contact with the spiritual or divine —a concept known as the hero’s journey . He believed that this drive is ultimately expressed through an – often difficult – inward journey, not through some outward struggle.
His philosophy was encapsulated in his often-used phrase ‘follow your bliss.’
The following quotes by Joseph Campbell help to inspire one’s own individual journey in life.
Famous Joseph Campbell Quotes
“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.” Joseph Campbell
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. Fear of the unknown is our greatest fear. Many of us would enter a tiger’s lair before we would enter a dark cave. While caution is a useful instinct, we lose many opportunities and much of the adventure of life if we fail to support the curious explorer within us.” Joseph Campbell
“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” Joseph Campbell
“Change the focus of the eye. When you have done that, then the end of the world as you formerly knew it will have occurred, and you will experience the radiance of the divine presence everywhere, here and now.” Joseph Campbell
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.” Joseph Campbell
“You are more than you think you are. There are dimensions of your being and a potential for realization and consciousness that are not included in your concept of yourself. Your life is much deeper and broader than you conceive it to be here. What you are living is but a fractional inkling of what is really within you, what gives you life, breadth, and depth.” Joseph Campbell
“You don’t ask what a dance means. You enjoy it. You don’t ask what the world means. You enjoy it. You don’t ask what you mean. You enjoy it.” Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell Quotes To ‘Follow Your Bliss’
“The way to find out about your happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you really are happy-not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self-analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what I call “following your bliss.” Joseph Campbell
“Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived. Follow the path that is no path, follow your bliss.” Joseph Campbell
“The fates guide those who will and drag those who won’t.” Joseph Campbell
“When you follow your bliss a kind of track opens up, that’s always been there, waiting for you. And the life that you should be living, is the one that you will be living.” Joseph Campbell
“If you are on the right path you will find that invisible hands are helping.” Joseph Campbell
“I think a person who takes a job in order to live – that is to say, for the money – has turned himself into a slave. Work begins when you don’t like what you’re doing. There’s a wise saying: make your hobby your source of income. Then there’s no such thing as work, and there’s no such thing as getting tired. That’s been my own experience. I did just what I wanted to do. It takes a little courage at first, because who the hell wants you to do just what you want to do; they’ve all got lots of plans for you. But you can make it happen.” Joseph Campbell
Funny Quotes by Joseph Campbell
“Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.” Joseph Campbell
“Midlife is when you reach the top of the ladder and find that it was against the wrong wall.” Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell Quotes On Life
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell
“The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.” Joseph Campbell
“You must have a place to which you can go in your heart, your mind, or your house, almost every day, where you do not owe anyone and where no one owes you – a place that simply allows for the blossoming of something new and promising.” Joseph Campbell
“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. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow.” Joseph Campbell
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” Joseph Campbell
“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’re not going to change it. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.” Joseph Campbell
“Let the world be as it is and learn to rock with the waves.” Joseph Campbell
“Love is the burning point of life, and since all life is sorrowful, so is love. The stronger the love, the more the pain. Love itself is pain, you might say -the pain of being truly alive.” Joseph Campbell
“Where you stumble and fall, there you will find gold.” Joseph Campbell
“We’re in a freefall into future. We don’t know where we’re going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you’re going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It’s a very interesting shift of perspective and that’s all it is… joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.” Joseph Campbell
“Sit in a room and read and read and read. And read the right books by the right people. Your mind is brought onto that level, and you have a nice, mild, slow-burning rapture all the time.” Joseph Campbell
“You become mature when you become the authority of your own life.” Joseph Campbell
“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” Joseph Campbell
“Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.” Joseph Campbell
“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” Joseph Campbell
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