Joseph Campbell 2
Joseph Campbell 2
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Early Photo of Joseph Campbell


Campbell relied on the texts of Jung as an explanation of psychological phenomena, as experienced through archetypes. But Campbell didn’t agree with Carl Jung on every issue, and certainly had a very original voice of his own. Campbell didn't believe in astrology or synchronicity as Jung had. Campbell's true study and interpretation is in the melding of accepted ideas and symbolism. His iconoclastic approach was as original as it was radical. His take on religion has been compared to Einstein's idea of science in his last days: the search is for a unifying theory. Joseph Campbell believed all the religions of the world, all the rituals and deities, to be “masks” of the same transcendent truth which is “unknowable.” Here we see Campbell as an agnostic, and he also shows his world view to be relativistic at times. He claims Christianity and Buddhism, whether the object is 'Buddha-consciousness' or 'Christ-consciousness,' to be an elevated awareness above “pairs of opposites,” such as right and wrong. Needless to say, many religious exclusivists find his ideas heretical.

CONFERENCES & EVENTS  Upcoming Foundation Events
News & Links
Campbell Corner
poetry contest at Sarah Lawrence College named after the former professor
Joseph Campbell Festival--New Hampshire
"What we need is a common story that connects us to Creation..."
Spring Publications republished and illustrated afrobrazilian orishas, originally published in Spring.
Ares Press
Harvest: Journal for Jungian Studies- the first Jungian journal
Parabola Online Magazine 
Myth, tradition and the search for meaning.

A story can change the world.  
Like the famous Salons of Paris, we hope to spark a broad cultural movement for positive change. Won't you join us?

An Open Life : Joseph Campbell in Conversation With Michael Toms
by Joseph Campbell, Michael Toms, Dennis Biggs (Editor)

The Masks of God : Occidental Mythology
by Joseph Campbell

"Truth is one, the sages speak of it by many names," he often quoted from the Vedas. Joseph Campbell was fascinated by what he viewed as universal sentiments and truths, disseminated through cultures which all featured different manifestations. He wanted to show his idea that Eastern and Western religions are the same on a very basic level, and that nobody is right but everyone is searching for the same unknown, and indeed unknowable, answer. Paradoxically, he began to look at moral systems as both incorrect and necessary. Like the postmodern relativists he believed such things as 'right' and 'wrong' are just contrived ideas, but also like them he understood a moral system is necessary from the perspective of a student of mythology and psychology. In this wa,y he melded also the concepts of modernism and postmodernism, although some interpretations place him as a postmodernist before his time.

In his four-volume series of books, The Masks of God, Campbell tried to summarize the main spiritual threads of the world, in support of his ideas on the "unity of the race of man." Tied in with this was the idea that most of the belief systems of the world had a common geographic ancestry, starting off on the fertile grasslands of Europe in the Bronze Age, moving to the Levant and the "Fertile Crescent" of Mesopotamia, and then back to Europe (and the Far East), where it was mixed with the newly emerging Indo-European (Aryan) culture.

He believed all spirituality is searching for the same unknown transcendent force from which everything came and into which everything will return. He referred to this transcendent force as the connotation of what he called "metaphors", the metaphors being the various deities and objects of spirituality in the world.

Heroes played a crucial role in his comparative studies. In 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces set out the idea of the monomyth, a streamlined version of all the archetypal patterns Campbell recognized (Campbell's archivist at the Pacifica Graduate Institute says he borrowed the term from James Joyce's novel Finnegans Wake). Campbell wrote that almost all hero myths, throughout history and across cultures, can be shown to contain at least a subset of these patterns. In contemporary popular culture, three film series, Star Wars, The Matrix, and The Lord of the Rings (along with Tolkien's original book series) hew very closely to Campbell’s archetypal pattern. Heroes were important to him because they conveyed, to him, universal truths about how one should live one's life and about an individual's role in society.

Here are some of Campbell's key beliefs:

“Participate joyfully in the sorrows of life” - this was not an endorsement of masochism, but rather a recognition that life contains hardship and an individual should embrace the experience of being alive by living affirmatively in the face of inevitable sorrow and suffering. This was an echo of a Buddhist teaching that calls for "joyful participation in the sorrows of the world."

“Follow your bliss.” - Campbell believed that at the heart of every hero myth was just that message. After the Power of Myth series aired it became a bit of a catch-phrase. Campbell intended it to mean that one should follow the natural order and cycles of life. Like Aleister Crowley's “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,” it has been misunderstood by critics as a call to craven libertinism.
Joseph Campbell explains his maxim to Bill Moyers:

BILL MOYERS: Do you ever have the sense of... being helped by hidden hands?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time - namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.

"Especially interesting is the explication of James Joyce's definitions of 'proper' and 'improper' art."

"Improper art is of two orders: art that excites desire for the represented object, and art that arouses loathing or fear of it. Art that excites desire, Joyce calls pornographic. All advertising art is in this sense pornographic...."

"All improper art, whether pornographic or didactic, thus moves one to action... whereas proper art is static. We speak of esthetic arrest. One is not moved to physical action of any kind, but held in sensational (esthetic) contemplation and enjoyment."

"It is this elevation of mind and, with the mind, the eye, above desire and loathing, desire and fear, that brings the way of art and the artist inot relation to that of the mystic."
(pp. 123-4)

The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion

'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
  'To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --
  Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
  And whether pigs have wings.'

'But wait a bit,' the Oysters cried,
  'Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
  And all of us are fat!'
'No hurry!' said the Carpenter.
  They thanked him much for that.

Who is the Carpenter and Walrus at the Wondering Minstrels

“Campbell has become one of the rarest of intellectuals in American life: a serious thinker who has been embraced by the popular culture.” -- Newsweek


Mystic Fire - Joseph Campbell Videos
Our DVDs are region free and in NTSC format.

“Region free” means that our discs will play on any DVD player, worldwide.

However, the video signal on our DVD is in "NTSC" format, the format used in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan and other countries around the world.

The video format in Europe and other countries is PAL.  New television sets sold in Europe are capable of receiving in multiple formats, but the older sets are not.  So, even though a European DVD player is capable of playing our DVD, a European TV set might not be able to display it, unless it is a newer set.

If you live in a "PAL" country, please check your TV set's manual to find out if it is a multi-format set or not.

This DVD will play in any computer world-wide, Windows or Mac.


Power of Myth, The - Vols. 1-6 (1988)
Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers  Excerpt from The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers

 Goddesses to God, The Mystical Life (1987)
Joseph Campbell, Susan Sarandon Mythos II: The Inward Path, The Enlightened One, Our Eternal Selves, The Way to Illumination, The Experience of God (1997)
Joseph Campbell, Susan Sarandon Hero's Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell Mythos: Psyche and Symbol, The Spirit Land, On Being Human, From Sukhavati-Place of Bliss (1998)
Joseph Campbell

Star Wars (1977)



The Hero With a Thousand Faces
by Joseph Campbell (Reader), Ralph Blum (Reader)

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth (6 Cassettes)
by Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers (Contributor)

Man and Myth (40-Hour Series , Vol 4)
by Joseph Campbell (Reader)

Myth and Metaphor in Society: A Conversation with Joseph Campbell & Jamake Highwater

The Wisdom of Joseph Campbell
by Joseph Campbell, Michael Toms (Contributor)

World of Joseph Campbell: The Soul of the Ancients
by Joseph Campbell

World of Joseph Campbell: The Western Way
by Joseph Campbell

The Eastern Way : Oriental Mythology, the Mystical Traditions of India, Hinduism, Buddhism, Creativity in Oriental Mythology [ABRIDGED]
by Joseph Campbell (Reader)

Hero With a Thousand Faces : The Cosmogonic Cycle/Two Audio Cassettes
by Joseph Campbell

Myths and Masks of God [UNABRIDGED]
by Joseph Campbell (Reader)

The Way of Art
by Joseph Campbell

Wings of Art : Joseph Campbell on James Joyce/Cassettes
by Joseph Campbell

Wisdom of Joseph Campbell/Audio Cassettes
by Campbell

The World of Joseph Campbell : Transformations of Myth Through Time : The Wisdom of the East/Audio Cassettes
by Joseph Campbell || Joseph Campbell at big sur tapes
No longer is able to sell their best selling speaker Joseph Campbell; however, you can still find hundreds speakers on similar subjects. Big Sur Tapes preserves and publishes a treasury of spoken audio recordings of wisdom and sacred inspiration arising from psychological, esoteric, religious, and shamanic traditions from around the world.

“No one in our century—not Freud, not Thomas Mann, not Levi-Strauss—has so brought the mythical sense of the world and its eternal figures back into our everyday consciousness.” - James Hillman, at Campbell's 1985 awards ceremony for the National Arts Club Gold Medal of Honor in Literature.

Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization (Mythos)
by Heinrich Zimmer, Joseph Campbell (Editor)
Philosophies of India (Bollingen Series, 20)
bby Heinrich Zimmer, Joseph Campbell (Editor)
Myths of Greece and Rome
by Thomas Bulfinch, Joseph Campbell (Designer), Christopher Holme
The Mystic Vision : Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks
by Joseph Campbell (Editor), R. F. Hull (Translator), Ralph Manheim (Translator)
Spiritual Disciplines : Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks (Bolligen Series,  Xx:4)
by Joseph Campbell (Editor), R. F. Hull (Editor), Ralph Manheim (Translator) 
The Mysteries : Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks, Vol 2
by Eranos, Joseph Campbell (Editor), R. F. Hull (Editor), Ralph Manheim (Translator)
Spirit and Nature (Princeton/Bollingen Paperbacks)
by Joseph Campbell (Editor), R. F. Hull (Editor), Ralph Manheim (Translator)
Portable Jung
bby Carl Gustav Jung, Joseph Campbell (Editor), R. F. C. Hull (Translator)
The Universal Myths : Heroes, Gods, Tricksters and Others
by Alexander Eliot, Joseph Campbell (Contributor), Mircea Eliade (Contributor)
Divine Horsemen : The Living Gods of Haiti
by Maya Deren, Maya Devea, Joseph Campbell (Designer)

Politics of Myth : A Study of C.G. Jung, Mircea Eliade, and Joseph

by Robert S. Ellwood

Paths to the Power of Myth : Joseph Campbell and the Study of Religion
by Daniel C. Noel (Editor)

Myth & the Body
by Stanley Keleman

Last Update: 28NOV2005
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