Saturday, December 17, 2011

Joseph Campbell on Reincarnation

Joseph Campbell, was the world’s foremost authority on mythology, a preeminent scholar, writer, and teacher, and his works had a lasting and profound effect on millions. Many of us came to know Joseph Campbell when the PBS television series of six interviews of him by Bill Moyers aired.

For those not familiar with Joseph Campbell’s mythological writings or teachings may be familiar with this well known quote of his, one of my favorites:

“Follow your bliss!”

In The Power of Myth book, with transcripts of the interviews, in the chapter, The Journey Inward, Bill Moyers asks, “And what does the idea of reincarnation suggest?”

Joseph Campbell replies, “It suggests that 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. But you can live in terms of that depth. And when you experience it, you suddenly see that all the religions are talking of that.”

He had so much to say that it is difficult to share only a small portion of his words. This is also another of my favorite quotes of his, and it has been valuable in my life several times: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Campbell began his teaching career at Sara Lawrence College in 1934 and taught there for nearly forty years. He died in 1987, at the age of eighty-three. Two of his classics are The Hero With a Thousand Faces and The Masks of the Gods.

The Power of Myth DVD at Amazon


1 comment:

Nancy said...

Thank you, Linda. His name lives on with his work.