Curated Quotes

The 53 Most Inspirational Joseph Campbell Quotes

Tammy Lamoureux from

Joseph Campbell was a brilliant mythologist, writer, and professor. He is best known for his work in comparative mythology and is the profound man behind titles like The Power of Myth and The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Here we put together a collection of his most beautiful and inspiring quotes. Our hope is that they will help you in your own search for meaning and bliss…

Related Quotes: The Most Inspirational Quotes… Ever

Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived. 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

Follow Your Bliss

If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the 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. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else. Joseph Campbell

We cannot cure the world of its sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. Joseph Campbell

You are the hero of your own story. 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

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

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

Dive 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

As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. Don’t bother to brush it off. Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance. Having a sense of humor saves you. Joseph Campbell

He who thinks he knows, doesn’t know. He who knows that he doesn’t know, knows. Joseph Campbell

All life stinks and you must embrace that with compassion. Joseph Campbell

I think it’s important to live life with a knowledge of its mystery, and of your own mystery. Joseph Campbell

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

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure. Joseph Campbell

The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. Joseph Campbell

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

If you’re going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all. 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

Inspirational Joseph Campbell

What is unknown is the fulfillment of your own unique life, the likes of which has never existed on earth. And you are the only one who can do it. People can give you clues how to fall and when to stand, and when you are falling and when you are standing, this only you can know. And in the way of your own talents is the only way to do it. Joseph Campbell

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

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 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

One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that. Joseph Campbell

If we fix on the old, we get stuck. Joseph Campbell

Eternity has nothing to do with the hereafter… This is it… If you don’t get it here, you won’t get it anywhere. Joseph Campbell

Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again. Joseph Campbell

Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths. Joseph Campbell

We are standing on a whale fishing for minnows. 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

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. Joseph Campbell

We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, a monster, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world. 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

Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up. Joseph Campbell

Regrets are illuminations come too late. Joseph Campbell

This is an absolute necessity for anybody today: you must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers this morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes 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 might find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen. Joseph Campbell

The creative act is not hanging on, but yielding to a new creative movement. Awe is what moves us forward. Joseph Campbell

Hell is life drying up. Joseph Campbell

Our life evokes our character and you find out more about yourself as you go on. Joseph Campbell

I think the person who takes a job in order to live – that is to say, for the money [not for purpose or passion]- has turned himself into a slave. Joseph Campbell

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

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 it’s spectacular. Joseph Campbell

Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble. Joseph Campbell

I always feel uncomfortable when people speak about ordinary mortals because I’ve never met an ordinary man, woman or child. 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

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 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. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures, followed by wreckage, were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see this is really true. 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

Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is. Joseph Campbell

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. Joseph Campbell

When people say they are looking for the meaning of life, what they’re really looking for is a deep experience of it. Joseph Campbell

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