There are so many wonderful Joseph Campbell quotes. Here are a few of my favorites about myth:
“…mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical.”
(Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers/Pg. 163)
“…myths are not invented as stories are. Myths are inspired — they really are: They come from the same realm that dream comes from.”
(Bill Moyers Journal/Joseph Campbell: Myths to Live By/Part One)
“What the mythic image shows is the way in which the cosmic energy manifests itself in time, and as the times change, the modes of manifestation change.”
(Introduction/Pathways to Bliss/Edited by David Kudler)
What are some of your favorite Joseph Campbell quotes?
I love Campbell’s quotes on myth, poetry, and dreams all coming from the same realm. I also like this one:
“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. It is beyond words. Beyond images, beyond that bounding rim of the Buddhist Wheel of Becoming. Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
Often, the word “myth” is used to mean something false as in “Oh, no, that’s not true–that’s just a myth.” I find that to be a rather sad misapplication that sometimes leads to a misinterpretation of of the study of mythology. Some people seem to back away from mythology because of thinking that it is “false” and therefore superfluous and unnecessary rather than being at the central heart of matters. Perhaps too the words then around that “core” or “center” are a matter of style–of the poetry in the myth-telling or story. One might be minimal and another full of detail, yet both are full.
I am feeling bliss in that quote you posted Stephen–reminding me to spend time in play! It reminds me too that when we do what brings us bliss, it doesn’t feel like work anymore! I have enjoyed playing with Campbell’s quotes–serious as they can be, they can bring also revelry! After reading one of Campbell’s quotes or sections in a book or hearing his lectures I often feel like a fun or interesting riddle or puzzle has been solved.