Day #431: Follow Your Bliss: A Collection of Joseph Campbell Quotes

Joseph Campbell was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion.

His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience.

His philosophy is often summarized by his phrase: “Follow your bliss.”

Following is a collection of notable quotes from his talks and published works.

“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

“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

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

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”- 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

“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

“Where you stumble and fall, there you will find gold.”-Joseph Campbell

“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.”-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

“All religions are true but none are literal.”- Joseph Campbell

“Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.”-Joseph Campbell

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”- Joseph Campbell

“If you are falling….dive.”-Joseph Campbell

“Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.”-Joseph Campbell

“Regrets are illuminations come too late.”- Joseph Campbell

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

“Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world.”- Joseph Campbell

“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.”–Joseph Campbell

“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have one before us, the labyrinth is fully known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”-Joseph Campbell

“God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, ‘Ah!”-Joseph Campbell

“The first step to the knowledge of the wonder and mystery of life is the recognition of the monstrous nature of the earthly human realm as well as its glory, the realization that this is just how it is and that it cannot and will not be changed. Those who think they know how the universe could have been had they created it, without pain, without sorrow, without time, without death, are unfit for illumination.”-Joseph Campbell

“The fates lead him who will; him who won’t they drag.”-Joseph Campbell

“You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path.
Where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s path. You are not on your own path. If you follow someone else’s way, you are not going to realize your potential.”-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

“Myth is what we call other people’s religion.”-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

“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

“Now I found it in writing sentences. You can write that sentence in a way that you would have written it last year. Or you can write it in the way of the exquisite nuance that is sriting in your mind now. But that takes a lot of … waiting for the right word to come.”–Joseph Campbell

“We save the world by being alive ourselves.”-Joseph Campbell

“All life stinks and you must embrace that with compassion.”-Josep Campbell

“Not all who hesitate are lost. The psyche has many secrets in reserve. And these are not disclosed unless required.”-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

“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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