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A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living
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A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  1,342 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Celebrated scholar Joseph Campbell shares his intimate and inspiring reflections on the art of living in this beautifully packaged book, part of a new series to be based on his unpublished writings.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 12th 1995 by Harper Perennial (first published 1991)
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Campbell is the first voice I've heard that reconciles what I've been taught about God (religion) and what I feel about God (spirituality). Campbell and his views are a revelation to me that made me feel both justified for my doubts, and confident in where I'm going with my relationship with God. And on top of that, a lot of the typcial guilt associated with not being a by-the-book Catholic disspated.
This collection of Joe Campbell writings, quotes and lectures is a bit chaotic and disorganized.
After reading two of his books already, I am sad that I did not start reading them so much earlier in my life. I have used what I have learned so far to go through a Vision Quest of who I am and where I am going and who and what I want in my life. I now have a much clearer picture of who I really am and it has been through a great deal of pain and sacrifice that I am coming out on the other side knowing what I want to truly fight for and how the studies of Myths would have shown me a better path ...more
“As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm.
It is not as wide as you think.” [p. 298]

Tammy Sadorus
Dec 09, 2007 Tammy Sadorus rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who tend to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders
This book changed my life. Joseph Campbell has a gift for de-mystifying the hidden meanings in mythological stories. I would kill for another book like this.
As a fan of Joseph Campbell's writings I was excited to see a book titled "A Joseph Campbell Companion", especially prefixed by the words "Reflections on the Art of Living". It sounded like something right up my alley. How could you possibly go wrong with a title like that?

The short answer is that this book is not organized in a helpful way. I was expecting something akin to Anne Charter's "Portable Beat Reader" where each section is well organized and documented and each entry is titled and dat
In 1984, Joseph Campbell and ten students gathered for thirty days in Big Sur, California at the Esalen Institute to immerse themselves in an intensive exploration of the "mythological dimension". Poet Diane Osbon was one of those students, and as a result of that experience she was inspired to write this book. It's a collection of quotations, excerpts, and her own musings, rather loosely strung together in a stream-of-consciousness manner; more of a diary of random thoughts than a narrative or ...more
Billie Pritchett
Joseph Campbell's Art of Living book is quite similar to his Myths to Live By. I liked Myths to Live By better, though. If Campbell's writings were jazz, Myths to Live By would be traditional but Art of Living would be acid. My feelings otherwise are the same for this book as Myths to Live By. Basically, Campbell advocates a kind of religious ideal that blends certain universal features from other world religions and belief systems, with the heaviest blends being from Buddhism and what looks lik ...more
Joseph Campbell's books (the power of myth, hero of a thousand faces, the champion) got me through a couple of dark periods in my life. Opened my eyes to things I had already thought to be true and at times felt he was talking directly to me through his books. Crazy, I know!! To this day, when something is bothering me and I can't shake it, I pick up one of the 3 listed above and open to any page and randomly pick a spot and starting reading. Within a few pages my mind is at ease and somehow my ...more
This is a fantastic view of Joseph Campbell in how he integrated his experience in mythology with building his own personal life. It's more than an autobiography and more than a self-help book, it's his journey and there are lessons that can be found by reading it. Finding a way to put aside the "Thou Shalt"'s is something I can use in my own life; especially in today's world where it can seem that one aspect of life takes over every other element.

This is a book I will read again and again.
Well, hello, Joseph Campbell. Where have you been all my life? I should have started with this book rather than The Hero with a Thousand Faces because although I am enjoying reading it, Hero is a straight-up, bourbon on the rocks, serious, grown up mental exercise in reading and this is more like the kegger version of JC which, sadly, is where I need to start right now. The book is comprised of short, 1-3 page distillations of Campbell's other works. Every. single. time I picked this up, I felt ...more
John Jacob
Joseph Campbell has been a major revelation and a guru every since I first saw and heard him on the Bill Moyers special on Mythology. Campbell was a world famous scholar of mythology, but his works on mythology are not what you should read (unless you too are a mythologist). It is the wisdom that Campbell picked up as a mythologist that is what needs to be read. He wrote several “wisdom” books, but some of his best stuff was his verbal teachings, and the compilations of his sayings that abound i ...more
Rarely does one come across a book as important as this one. A Joseph Campbell Companion is the perfect book to live by. I chose this book because it was recommended to me by my uncle. I am extremely glad that I read it. This book provided answers to all questions I had about life. It put me on the right track on the way to finding my place in the world. I found myself underlining and taking notes on almost every page because Campbell is so insightful. Although almost every line in this book is ...more
As I tend to discuss forbidden subjects such as politics and religion with people, a friend at work highly recommended me Campbell's writings on the latter.

I guess myth, mythologies, fortune cookies and Bazooka Joes were never my strong suit, and I found this book to be somewhat boring; needless to say I was not spiritually inspired as I guess I was meant to.
Absolutely perfect for when you are going through a big transition in your life. It eases your nerves and puts things in perspective. You don't have to be all stressed out about making the right decision, just follow your bliss, participate in the joyful sorrows of the world, and everything you want or need will come to you.
Adam Fleming
Is it fair to rate a book you haven't finished? I found it jumbled and disjointed. I got just far enough to find out that Campbell hung around with Steinbeck. Not sure it makes much difference. I couldn't get into this guy's guru-ship or whatever you call it.
My Bible.
A collection of the insight and wisdom of Joseph Campbell edited by a poet. What could be better?!
To me, this one deserves six stars.
Stanley Turner
Another interesting book from Joseph Campbell. I have to agree with a couple of reviewers at times it was hard to follow where Campbell was going with material. Over all I enjoyed the book, even if I had to stop a re-read certain sections because I set the book down before his train of thought was over for a topic. I found myself highlighting many areas that I wish to follow up on now that I have completed the book. I would recommend this book to everyone...
I don't often give out perfect fives, but this deserves it. Maybe it was just the right book at the right time, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am so sad that it is over that I might just start reading it again!
Chris Fitzgerald
Campbell's ideas - as always - are brilliant and right on the money. While the organization of certain parts of this book are slightly flawed and in a couple of places annoyingly "artsy" (please, don't try to turn his prose into poetry by using the return key! Goofy spacing does not poetry or haiku make...), it's still a great intro to Campbell's thinking for those who may not have the patience for longer and more monothematic works like "The Power Of Myth" and "Hero With a Thousand Faces". This ...more
i read parts of this book all. the time. it was given to me for my b-day maybe 10 years ago and it's been one of the most interesting thought provoking books ever. i love Joseph Campbell's book and this author takes his lectures on comparative mythology and organizes them to reflect our everyday lives. i especially LOVE the chapter about marriage it contains one of my favorite quotes of all time- "marriage is not a love affair. it's an ordeal." sounds bad, right? WRONG! this one chapter has been ...more
I've read a number of books by Joseph Campbell, including some interview books (The Power of Myth, An Open Life). This is a good distillation of much of his thought (religion/myth as metaphor for the psychological/existential challenges of life). I like to read a few pages and then put it aside. There's certainly enough interesting ideas to ponder, such that I feel no need to try to finish a particular chapter or chunk in one sitting. The book mixes quotes from his writings (or others' writings) ...more
A selection from Joseph Campbell's work that is good for dipping into for inspiration. The selections cover the range of his thought from the "Heroic Journey" to the mystery of art. We read his thoughts on perennial human concerns including the challenges of living in the world, the process of spiritual awakening, the struggle to come into awareness, and the art of living in the sacred. While this is an excellent summation and reminder for those who have read his works, there are excellent notes ...more
Derek Pyle
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.


It is not as wide as you think."

This book blew my mind when I read it, my last year in high school. Thought about these passages very day for the next many it slowly I didn't want to finish

compiled from speeches of Campbell, many jewels shining. Much more approachable to me than some of his other work, which can be pretty heady.
Nathan Satterlee
Sep 08, 2010 Nathan Satterlee marked it as shelved
Campbell argues that our ultimate duty in life is to turn inward, disengage from society, and leave behind the community in order to discover our true depths. The heroic life is about living this "individual" adventure, shaped by our own unique destiny. Studying mythology involves becoming better acquainted with the cultural images associated with these experiences and actions leading to fulfillment of the human spirit, and also helps us identify those powerful and mysterious energies when they ...more
This series of vignettes by Joseph Campbell gives his thoughts and perceptions on many aspects of life. A fascinating read from a giant of the 20th century. Campbell was a sage of mythology and the ways we seek to understand our world, and through this book we can see the ways he sought to understand the world around him. All the stories are short tand one can’t truly get a heavy, substantive read out of them. They are quick reflections on life more than treatises on reality, but still worth exa ...more
My new guru!

It's interesting thinking about the saying that a teacher presents him/herself when the student is ready. I've been exposed to joseph campbell many times before, but I've only just recently been able to access his beautiful story of being human.

And these days I try to remember and live by...

"The warriors approach to life is to say "yes" to it all... For the warrior, every moment is a challenge to be genuine."

Agnes J
The concepts on how to achieve ultimate happiness and fulfillment in life reflect authors like Eckhart Tolle in "The New Earth", and the book called "Follow Your Bliss". It is gratifying and inspirational that the great sages echo each other on the way to find wholeness. But the statement that one must become the God you worship is a clearer statement than any I have read although it is suggestive of others.
Great bedtime read or meditation practice. I always fall asleep feeling happy and looking forward to the possibilities of tomorrow. I always find JC to be so eloquent with his words and lessons about life. It's like he just had it all figured out and he knew how to share it so that it makes all the hard stuff make sense! lol! This book is arranged in a perfect representation of his teachings.
There are some broad brush concepts collapsed under the mythological sphere. excellent for crossing religious boundaries through symbols and mythological meaning.
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Joseph John Campbell was an American mythology professor, writer, and orator best known for his work in the fields of comparative mythology and comparative religion.
More about Joseph Campbell...
The Power of Myth The Hero With a Thousand Faces Myths to Live By Primitive Mythology (The Masks of God, #1) Oriental Mythology (The Masks of God, #2)

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