Joseph Campbell was an American comparative mythologist and comparative religion scholar who taught at Sarah Lawrence College.

His art encompasses a wide range of human experiences. Campbell’s most well-known work is The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), in which he outlines his monomyth theory, which describes the journey of the archetypal hero shared by world mythologies.

We have listed down some of the best quotes from Joseph Campbell for you.


Motivational Joseph Campbell Quotes & Sayings You Should Read

1. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

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2. “If you are falling, dive.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

3. “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

4. “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).

5. “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).

6. “You are the hero of your own story.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

7. “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

8. “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

9. “All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

10. “Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

11. “If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

12. “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

13. “Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

14. “The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

15. “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).

16. “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).

17. “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).

18. “There is perhaps nothing worse than reaching the top of the ladder and discovering that you’re on the wrong wall.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

19. “The job of an educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

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20. “The call to adventure signifies that destiny has summoned the hero.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

21. “The fates lead him who will; him who won’t they drag.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

22. “Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

Popular Joseph Campbell Quotes

23. “Passion will move men beyond themselves, beyond their shortcomings, beyond their failures.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

24. “People forget facts, but they remember stories.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

25. “Suddenly you’re ripped into being alive. And life is pain, and life is suffering, and life is horror, but my god you’re alive and its spectacular.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

26. “Regrets are illuminations come too late.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

27. “When you follow your bliss, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

28. “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).

29. “The ultimate dragon is within you, it is your ego clamping you down.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

30. “To find your own way is to follow your bliss.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

31. “The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

32. “The warrior’s approach is to say ‘yes’ to life: ‘yes’ to it all.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

33. “If you are on the right path you will find that invisible hands are helping.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

34. “He who thinks he knows, doesn’t know. He who knows that he doesn’t know, knows.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

35. “Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

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36. “The dark night of the soul comes just before revelation.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

37. “Every hero must have the courage to be alone, to take the journey for himself.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

38. “There is what I would call the hero journey, the night sea journey, the hero quest, where the individual is going to bring forth in his life something that was never beheld before.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

39. “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).

40. “Truth is one, the sages speak of it by many names.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

Top Joseph Campbell Quotes

41. “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.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

42. “No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

43. “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).

44. “Nothing is exciting if you know what the outcome is going to be.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

45. “You’ve got to find the force inside you.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

46. “Every story you tell is your own story.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

47. “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).

48. “A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. A goal is what specifically you intend to make happen. Dreams and goals should be just out of your present reach but not out of sight. Dreams and goals are coming attractions in your life.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

49. “In choosing your god, you choose your way of looking at the universe. There are plenty of Gods. Choose yours.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

50. “All religions are true but none are literal.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

51. “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

52. “Whatever the hell happens, say, ‘This is what I need.’” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

53. “Respect your curses, for they are the instruments of your destiny.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

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54. “The place to find is within yourself.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

55. “The key to the Grail is compassion, ‘suffering with,’ feeling another’s sorrow as if it were your own. The one who finds the dynamo of compassion is the one who’s found the Grail.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

56. “At the darkest moment comes the light.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

57. “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).

58. “If you follow your bliss you will find a path laid out before you that has been waiting for you all along and you will begin to live the life you ought to be living.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

59. “The function of artists is “the mythologization of the world.”” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

60. “Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

61. “Breaking out is following your bliss pattern, quitting the old place, starting your hero journey, following your bliss. You throw off yesterday as the snake sheds its skin.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

62. “We save the world by being alive ourselves.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

63. “It is within you that the divine lives.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

64. “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).

Famous Joseph Campbell Quotes

65. “You can’t have creativity unless you leave behind the bounded, the fixed, all the rules.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

66. “The images of Myth are reflections of Spiritual and Depth potentialities of every one of us. Through contemplating those we evoke those powers in our own lives to operate through ourselves.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

67. “The god you worship is the one you’re capable of becoming.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

68. “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).

69. “Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

70. “The hero journey is inside of you; tear off the veils and open the mystery of yourself.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

71. “The conquest of fear yields the courage of life. That is the cardinal initiation of every heroic adventure – fearlessness and achievement.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

72. “In marriage you are not sacrificing yourself to the other person. You are sacrificing yourself to the relationship.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

73. “The call to adventure is the point in a person’s life when they are first given notice that everything is going to change, whether they know it or not.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

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74. “Participate joyfully in the sorrows of life.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

75. “First you must find your trajectory, and then comes the social coordination.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

76. “When an idea is important to a person or culture it will find its way into imagery.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

77. “How to get rid of ego as dictator and turn it into messenger and servant and scout, to be in your service, is the trick.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

78. “The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

79. “There is no way you can use the word “reality” without quotation marks around it.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

Short Joseph Campbell Quotes

80. “There is no security in following the call to adventure.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

81. “Follow your bliss. The heroic life is living the individual adventure. There is no security in following the call to adventure. Nothing is exciting if you know what the outcome is going to be.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

82. “Life is a guy trying to play a violin solo in public, while learning the music and his instrument at the same time.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

83. “The ultimate aim of the quest must be neither release nor ecstasy for oneself, but the wisdom and the power to serve others.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

84. “We are kept out of the Garden by our own fear and desire in relation to what we think to be the goods of our life.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

85. “The goal is to live with God like composure on the full rush of energy, like Dionysus riding the leopard, without being torn to pieces.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

86. “A temple is a landscape of the soul.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

87. “If you want to see what a society really believes in, look at what the biggest buildings on the horizon are dedicated to.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

88. “The object becomes aesthetically significant when it becomes metaphysically significant.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

89. “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).

90. “You yourself are participating in the evil, or you are not alive. Whatever you do is evil for somebody. This is one of the ironies of the whole creation.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

91. “The schizophrenic is drowning in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight. Edgar Cayce made the same observation in his readings.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

92. “And that Aha! that you get when you see an artwork that really hits you is, ‘I am that.’ I am the very radiance of energy that is talking to me through this painting.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

93. “Life is but a mask worn on the face of death. And is death, then, but another mask? ‘How many can say,’ asks the Aztec poet, ‘that there is, or is not, a truth beyond?’” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

94. “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).

95. “What the artist must render is a living moment somehow, a living moment actually in action or an inward experience.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

96. “All the old bindings are broken. Cosmological centers now are anywhere and everywhere. The earth is a heavenly body, most beautiful of all, and all poetry is now archaic that fails to match the wonder of this view.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

97. “When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

Best Joseph Campbell Quotes

98. “Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

99. “We keep thinking of deity as a kind of fact, somewhere; God as a fact. God is simply our own notion of something that is symbolic of transcendence and mystery. The mystery is what’s important.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

100. “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).

101. “If you live with the myths in your mind, you will find yourself always in mythological situations. They cover everything that can happen to you. And that enables you to interpret the myth in relation to life, as well as life in relation to myth.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

102. “Sin always finds it’s root in our own selfish desires and self-gratification.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

103. “The function of the society is to cultivate the individual. It is not the function of the individual to support society.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

104. “Don’t do anything that isn’t play.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

105. “When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

106. “Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

107. “Wherever the poetry of myth is interpreted as biography, history, or science, it is killed.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

108. “You know the rule: If you are falling, dive. Do the thing that has to be done.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

109. “Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

110. “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).

111. “Love is perfect kindness.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

112. “What will they think of me? Must be put aside for bliss.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

113. “I think of mythology as the homeland of the muses, the inspirers of art, the inspirers of poetry. To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what the myth does for you.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).

114. “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).

115. “Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and door will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” ~ (Joseph Campbell).


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