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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  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,614 Ratings  ·  124 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inspiring reflections on the art of living in this beautifully packaged book, part of a new series to be based on his unpublished writings.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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Jul 15, 2009 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
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.
Jul 28, 2012 Rick rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 11, 2008 Donna rated it it was amazing
“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 it was amazing  ·  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.
Jun 27, 2015 Tarina rated it it was amazing
Ugh. This book. I love Joseph Campbell. I want to be Joseph Campbell when I grow up.

This book is amazing, but I fear the majority of people won't get it, as they are too caught up in the material, competitive Western complex to really let it resonate within them, down to their subconscious where their brain can start to grasp at it, embrace it. Even in saying that, I am sure some people will grow annoyed at me or label me pretentious, but it's true. All we care about is how we appear, all we nu
Mar 31, 2012 Sage rated it really liked it
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.
Brian Johnson
Sep 23, 2015 Brian Johnson rated it it was amazing
“So that’s what destiny is: simply the fulfillment of the potentialites of the energies in your own system.”

“People say that what we are seeking is a meaning of life. I don’t think this is what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive.”

“Follow your bliss. The heroic life is living the individual adventure.”

~ Joseph Campbell from A Joseph Campbell Companion

Joseph Campbell is awesome.

He sits in the grandpa slot in my spiritual family tree and he’s one of t
May 11, 2014 Vache rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 02, 2008 Joe rated it it was ok
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
Feb 13, 2014 Danna rated it liked it
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
Aug 03, 2012 Deirdre rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 29, 2013 Colin rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 07, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 29, 2014 John Jacob rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 29, 2015 Jake rated it really liked it
A selection of 2 to 3 page excerpts from Joseph Campbell's lectures. Super good. He has a way of looking at tired old worn out concepts in fresh ways that really suck me in. This is a pretty good intro to Joe Campbell. If you take myths and religions as the symbols and psychological archetypes that they are, you can transcend them. If you take them literally, there you will stay as a slave to the rules.

"Ideals are dangerous. Don't take them seriously. You can get by on a few."
Rebecca Clyburn
Apr 24, 2016 Rebecca Clyburn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the integration of Western, Eastern & Aboriginal philosophies. Having just finished a Bhuddist book, I felt like this book was stuck in the duality, and could not give it more than 4 stars. In terms of morality, duality is the second stage, and quite basic. There is right and wrong, but there is also grey. I was also stuck on the fact that Campbell placed so much emphasis on the differences between men and women.

Women have life thrust upon them, and men mu
Mar 02, 2012 Barak rated it it was ok
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.
Adam Fleming
Aug 18, 2014 Adam Fleming rated it it was ok
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.
Oct 15, 2013 Rjb rated it it was amazing
My Bible.
A collection of the insight and wisdom of Joseph Campbell edited by a poet. What could be better?!
Apr 30, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing
To me, this one deserves six stars.
Oct 22, 2015 Marcus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Grandpa being as you studied mythology your whollle life... sit down and tell us what you think matters most in the living of it."

All over the map... joyously broad... probably the closest you could get to having a very personal conversation with one of the foremost scholars of mythology. Campbell seems to have done more than merely study mythology in the cold clinical way I had always assumed... he "bought in" and drew deep life lessons from his studies that he applied to his own life. There
Joyce Wilson-Sanford
Dec 02, 2015 Joyce Wilson-Sanford rated it it was amazing

I admire so much about Joseph Campbell's work and the language he has given us to understand our need for myth and mystery and reverence. Some of his books have depth and complexity which is great and worth the read. I like this book for its usability and practicality. I actually use it as a kind of devotion book. I'll pick a segment or page and read it nad give it some thought and meditation. Perfect dose of Joseph Campbell for the day.
Stanley Turner
Sep 10, 2014 Stanley Turner rated it really liked it
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...
Jul 08, 2015 Eveningstar2 rated it really liked it
Mostly a collection of Campbell's ideas as they apply to life and the practice of living. An attractive cornucopia. Readers who want to dig a little deeper into Campbell's scholarship should pick up one of his other books; this one is an affable, if shallow, survey.
Jake Kaida
Oct 08, 2015 Jake Kaida rated it it was amazing
This collection of various writings by Joseph Campbell has been a traveling companion of mine for many years. I can open this book to any page and be deeply engaged by the world of myth, spiritual initiation and comparative religion. I love that.
Synthia Green
Dec 14, 2015 Synthia Green rated it liked it
“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.”
Mar 17, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 27, 2013 Chris Fitzgerald rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
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
June Ding
Dec 22, 2015 June Ding rated it really liked it
"we cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy."
"opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging."
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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.
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