70+ Joseph Campbell Quotes on the Link Between Life & Myths

Joseph Campbell, one of the most famous and influential writers of our time, had a profound impact on society. His work revolves around mythological stories and how they relate to modern life. He’s written books and essays that teach people about the meaning and power of myths, but he also wrote practical books that help people live better lives by better understanding themselves. The most important thing Campbell taught was that mythology is a living, inspiring force in each one of us. It’s a set of ancient stories that have been told again and again throughout the world for thousands of years, so they have a timeless quality to them. However, what’s fascinating is that they apply to different situations and cultures because the stories were originally based on basic human experiences like birth, sex, death, love, or heroism. Campbell was never one to write stuff that he didn’t believe. Everything he wrote was written with the express purpose of making people understand how they deserved to be treated and why trying to conform to society’s standards wasn’t the way to go. Myths are for everyone, but it’s very hard for most people to realize this because of society’s indoctrination.

Since Campbell’s work is very detailed, there are many things you can quote him on. His most famous quote is often used as a motto by those who believe in following their bliss or passion. In books like The Hero With A Thousand Faces, The Power Of Myth, and The Companion, his entire oeuvre is full of invaluable words that create this captivating collection of Joseph Campbell’s quotes presented here.

Joseph Campbell’s Best Life Quotes

  • The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. Joseph Campbell
  • You are the Hero of your own Story. Joseph Campbell
  • It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. Joseph Campbell
  • The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure. Joseph Campbell
  • If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path. 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
  • Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls. Joseph Campbell
  • Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. Joseph Campbell

Inspirational life quote by Joseph Campbell to note and share.

We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. Joseph Campbell


Inspirational life quote by Joseph Campbell to note and share.

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. Joseph Campbell


Inspirational healing quote by Joseph Campbell to note and share.

Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again. 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
  • When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness. Joseph Campbell
  • 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. Joseph Campbell
  • Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. Joseph Campbell
  • Perhaps some of us have to go through dark and devious ways before we can find the river of peace or the highroad to the soul’s destination. Joseph Campbell
  • I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive. Joseph Campbell
  • The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. Heaven is not the place to have the experience; here is the place to have the experience. Joseph Campbell
  • It is only when a man tames his own demons that he becomes the king of himself if not of the world. Joseph Campbell
  • 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. Joseph Campbell
  • The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. Joseph Campbell
  • Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. Joseph Campbell
  • Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again. Joseph Campbell

Inspirational healing quote by Joseph Campbell to note and share.

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. Joseph Campbell


Motivational life quote by Joseph Campbell.

You are the Hero of your own Story. Joseph Campbell

  • If you are falling….dive. Joseph Campbell
  • All religions are true but none are literal. Joseph Campbell
  • God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, ‘Ah! Joseph Campbell
  • The psychotic drowns in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight. Joseph Campbell
  • The job of an educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves. Joseph Campbell
  • Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy. Joseph Campbell
  • When you are on the right path, invisible hands will come to your aid. Joseph Campbell
  • All life stinks and you must embrace that with compassion. Joseph Campbell
  • We save the world by being alive ourselves. Joseph Campbell
  • The fates lead him who will; him who won’t they drag. Joseph Campbell
  • How does the ordinary person come to the transcendent? For a start, I would say, study poetry. Learn how to read a poem. Joseph Campbell
  • If you want to understand what’s most important to a society, don’t examine its art or literature, simply look at its biggest buildings. Joseph Campbell

Inspirational Quotes by Joseph Campbell

  • We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. Joseph Campbell
  • All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you. Joseph Campbell
  • A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. Joseph Campbell
  • The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light. 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
  • We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes. Joseph Campbell
  • Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward. Joseph Campbell
  • The creative act is not hanging on, but yielding to a new creative movement. Awe is what moves us forward. 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
  • There is perhaps nothing worse than reaching the top of the ladder and discovering that you’re on the wrong wall. Joseph Campbell
  • 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? 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
  • As Freud has shown, blunders are not the merest chance. They are the result of suppressed desires and conflicts. They are ripples on the surface of life, produced by unsuspected springs. Joseph Campbell


Joseph Campbell’s Quotes on the Meaning of Myth

  • Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths. Joseph Campbell
  • Myth must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are the artists of one kind or another. Joseph Campbell
  • Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is. Joseph Campbell
  • We need myths that will identify the individual not with his local group but with the planet. Joseph Campbell
  • Mythology is not a lie, mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical. It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth–penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. Joseph Campbell


Joseph Campbell’s Quotes on Love

  • Love is a friendship set to music. 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. […] But love bears all things. […] Love itself is pain, you might say – the pain of being truly alive. Joseph Campbell
  • In marriage you are not sacrificing yourself to the other person. You are sacrificing yourself to the relationship. Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell love quote to note and share.

Love is a friendship set to music. Joseph Campbell

  • Marriage is not a love affair. A love affair is a totally different thing. A marriage is a commitment to that which you are. That person is literally your other half. And you and the other are one. A love affair isn’t that. That is a relationship for pleasure, and when it gets to be unpleasurable, it’s off. But a marriage is a life commitment, and a life commitment means the prime concern of your life. Joseph Campbell
  • Modern romance, like Greek tragedy, celebrates the mystery of dismemberment, which is life in time. The happy ending is justly scorned as a misrepresentation; for the world, as we know it, as we have seen it, yields but one ending: death, disintegration, dismemberment, and the crucifixion of our heart with the passing of the forms that we have loved. Joseph Campbell


Follow Your Bliss Quote

This may be the most famous quote by Joseph Campbell. It summarizes his approach to life and philosophy eloquently in only a few words and that’s the reason it became so famous.

  • 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. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. Joseph Campbell

Moving on quote to inspire you.

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls. Joseph Campbell


The Hero With A Thousand Faces Quotes

Quotes from the Iconic Book that brought Joseph Campbell into prominence and even helped George Lucas shape the stories in Star Wars.

  • Regrets are illuminations come too late. Joseph Campbell
  • Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world. Joseph Campbell
  • Not all who hesitate are lost. The psyche has many secrets in reserve. And these are not disclosed unless required. Joseph Campbell
  • Wherever the poetry of myth is interpreted as biography, history, or science, it is killed. Joseph Campbell
  • The hero of yesterday becomes the tyrant of tomorrow, unless he crucifies himself today. Joseph Campbell
  • Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamic of the psyche. But in the dream the forms are quirked by the peculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problems and solutions sown are directly valid for all mankind. Joseph Campbell


The Power Of Myth Quotes

The book that brought Joseph Campbell back in the spotlight is based on a six-part PBS series hosted by Bill Moyers. A fascinating read that is also very accessible because of it’s QnA style.

  • People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. 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 with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. 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
  • 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. Joseph Campbell
  • 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, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen. Joseph Campbell
  • The demon that you can swallow gives you its power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply. Joseph Campbell
  • Heaven and hell are within us, and all the gods are within us. This is the great realization of the Upanishads of India in the ninth Century B.C. All the gods, all the heavens, all the world, are within us. They are magnified dreams, and dreams are manifestations in image form of the energies of the body in conflict with each other. That is what myth is. Myth is a manifestation in symbolic images, in metaphorical images, of the energies of the organs of the body in conflict with each other. This organ wants this, that organ wants that. The brain is one of the organs. Joseph Campbell


Joseph Campbell’s The Companion Quotes

The Companion is a beautiful book based on the unpublished writings of Joseph Campbell.

  • You become mature when you become the authority of your own life. Joseph Campbell
  • Destruction before Creation. Joseph Campbell
  • The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature. Joseph Campbell
  • One great thing about growing old is that nothing is going to lead to anything. Everything is of the moment. Joseph Campbell
  • 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. Joseph Campbell


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