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Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation (Easyread Large Edition)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,789 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Joseph Campbell famously defined myth as ''other people's religion.'' But he also said that one of the basic functions of myth is to help each individual through the journey of life, providing a sort of travel guide or map to reach fulfillment - or, as he called it, bliss. For Campbell, many of the world's most powerful myths support the individual's heroic path toward bli ...more
Paperback, Large Print, 402 pages
Published December 24th 2009 by ReadHowYouWant (first published 2004)
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Allan Groves
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic Joseph Campbell at his best. Pathways to Bliss is a collection of lectures, interviews, and seminars that Campbell gave between 1962 and 1983. If you've read Joseph Campbell before, then this book may seem redundant at parts, but for those of us who could use a little reminding and repetition it's good to hear some of the same stories and points that Joseph Campbell is so well known for.

Some of my favorite ideas I'll list below:

A myth isn't a lie... a myth points past itself to somethi
Brian Johnson
“There are something like 18 billion cells in the brain alone. There are no two brains alike; there are no two hands alike; there are no two human beings alike. You can take your instructions and your guidance from others, but you must find your own path.”

“The basic story of the hero journey involves giving up where you are, going into the realm of adventure, coming to some kind of symbolically rendered realization, and then returning to the field of normal life.”

“The scientist knows that at an
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Pathways to bliss" is a must-read for every open-minded person, who is interested in mythology and religions.

After reading this book you will not only unterstand yourself better, but also see other persons from a different perspective. One of the greatest things - and still relevant today - is Campbells approach toward heroines. People tend to forget, that Campbells lectures and books are as valid for women as they are for men.

No matter if its washing dishes, writing book-reviews, reading, br
Jul 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I generally enjoy topics that span across multiple academic areas, like linguistics and anthropology or literature and history, so this collection of Joseph Campbell's lectures tickled lots of neurons at once: the ones interested in mythology, as well as those interested in psychology, philosophy, theology, and even a smattering of literature too. Although the title may scare some people away as being a little too new agey/preachy/self helpy, I hope those people take a second look, because it's ...more
Aug 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a parallel universe, Joseph Campbell is my wise grandfather and favorite adviser (I think we can assume that Campbell is "alive" for the sake of fantasy here), Bill Moyers is my favorite old uncle, and all of us frolic around Skywalker Ranch on long holiday weekends with their BFF, George Lucas, whilst we wax poetic on mythography and the true meaning of Yoda.

In this universe, I have this lovely book, a compilation of Campbell's lectures and papers published posthumously by by the Joseph Camp
Barbara Roma
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're a lost and don't know nothing about your life, you don't believe in religion and urge to find out more about you...
You definitely must read this book!
This is not a esoteric book, it's about how myth were used to help us understand our lives ages ago and how it can be used again.
David Melbie
Dec 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seekers!
Recommended to David by: I'm a big fan.
The ninth book in the ongoing series, The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, this is the one that focuses on my favorite Campbellism: Follow your bliss.

More importantly, this book gathers together all of his lectures that talked abut the pathway to bliss.

As always, after reading Campbell, I feel a renewed vigor and drive to get back onto the pathway. . .--From A Reader's Journal, by d r melbie.
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
The introduction and first chapter about bliss were....blissful - really, sublime. The two chapters on Jung and developing one's own personal myth own story, my own thoughts put into words. Campbell's thoughts really are an extention of Jung's - his conclusions brought to their ultimate destination. A very good read for those interested in "getting into Campbell-ian and Jungian thought. Highly reccomended."
Jun 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Joseph Campbell books. My mom was nice enough to let me steal this book from her even though she was less than half way through it. I love moms.
I think his stuff is a great tool from something we have been losing touch with for a long time, at an exponentially increasing rate. When the modern world has you lost, pick up a campbell book.
Jul 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A life-changing read. This isn't Campbell's magnum opus, but this book puts the purpose of life, religion and the mythic path under glaring illumination. Still, Campbell's wit and gentle prose is enough to "hold the reader's hand" as he leads him down the path to enlightenment.
Teri Temme
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply FANTASTIC. A few of my favorite lines from the book:

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; each human being is a unique phenomenon. The idea is to find your own pathway to bliss.

You must have the courage of your own belief and leave it to somebody else to verify your authority for him or herself.

That is what is given to you - one life to live. Marx teaches us to blame the society for our frailties; Freud
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great

A fantastic introduction to Campbell. It is a collection of speeches he gave later in his life, between his 50s and 70s. The book focuses loosely how to interpret and understand one's own personal mythology...basically making sense of life. Campbell's topics range from Freud to Maslow to Jung (he is a Jung scholar) and their interpretation of the self and what drives the self (Freud, sex; Adler, power; Jung, both) as well as his opinion of how mythology has evolved (devolved?) over time, as rel
Susan Gabriel
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joseph Campbell has left behind a rich legacy in his books, and a body of work that continues to enrich the lives of readers. As a novelist, I can only hope that I leave behind a fraction of what he did. This book is good for someone who has never even heard of Joseph Campbell, as well as those who want to revisit his contribution to the Greater Story of who we are as humans.
Author of The Secret Sense of Wildflower (southern/historical/coming-of-age)
(Kirkus Reviews- starred review- and a Best B
Andrea Paterson
An extraordinary book. Campbell presents a compelling and subtle argument about the importance of personal myth in a world where the major world religions have lost their relevance. With one foot firmly rooted in Jungian psychology and the other in the world of comparative mythology Campbell takes readers on a tour of dreams, images, symbols, and the heroic quest. His message struck a very deep chord, but there is too much packed into this book to explicate here. I suggest you read this one--and ...more
Sarah Rae
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent synthesis of many of Joseph Campbell's recurring themes, a good collection of lectures, very approachable. I would also recommend "Power of Myth" for this reason. The last entry is in a discussion format from one of his lecu lectures ures and they discuss the lack of a female "Hero's Journey" that would paralel the male journey- the conversation doesn't really leave you with any encouraging bits on the matter and presents childbirth and rearing as a primary paralel to the male journey ...more
Kevin Orth
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've become fascinated with the genre of mythology and it's sister topics - world religion and depth psychology. this is a wonderful read to that end. I highly encourage anyone interested in this topic to explore any and all writing by Joseph Campbell. This being a relatively easy one to get through. Starting Hero With a Thousand Faces now and finding it much more dense.
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might be my single, favorite book.

Wide-ranging, Joseph Campbell seeks to tackle the basic questions of direction, purpose and satisfaction in life, all in this one, relatively short volume. I come back to this again, and again. The imagery and truth I've found in it is incredible and beautiful.
Lauren Davis
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A series of lectures by Campbell on the power of myth for personal transformation. Easy to read, lots to inspire. For many already acquainted with the world of Jung and Campbell and mythological studies, this may not seem deep enough, compared to other books by Campbell, but it's a terrific introduction and refresher.
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my mind, Joseph Campbell was one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. This book is a selection of his lectures and dialogues. Reading it was entirely transformative--as in, I could almost physically feel my brain expanding. I'll have to give it another few dozen reads before I really begin to understand what he's saying but that's how compelled I am to understanding his work.
Anna Banana
Apr 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Through the exchange of stories/myths, Campbell suggests, we can discover an understanding of the universal symbols at work in the universe. We can then use these symbols to better understand our purpose as participants in and products of that universe.

I stumbled onto this book in the library in my hometown during a major transition in my life. No other book has shaped my thinking more.
Peter Caputo
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
Joseph Campbell. Need I say more?
Kevin Bunick
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here Joseph Campbell reflects on what all of his knowledge and life experience means to humanity and to each of us as individuals. Not an academic book, not for expanding our knowledge of mythology- it's for personal growth and peaceful living.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The meaning of life explained.
C.K. Brooke
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this 5 stars, I really do. There were some truly amazing passages and thoughts in here, and I found myself applying the highlighter liberally. Yet, a star was retracted because it left a sour taste in my mouth at the end and in the dialogues, when Campbell seems to imply that a woman can't really go on the hero's journey. Or, at least not in the same way that a man does. He also says that a mother cannot pursue a serious career in the arts. A mother raising children, in Campb ...more
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this book for class. I mention because I believe it's important to know the motivation for reading a book, how you came to meet it, for lack of a better description. My personal bookshelf is filled with a lot of various myths, but not many personal psychological empowerment.

What Campbell does well, he does very very well. His cross-cultural comparison of myth and societal interpretations of myth was phenomomenal. He teases out some universal themes that can be found across a wide
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The range of topics is more diverse and less focused in this book compared to other works that I have read. The discussions encourages further contemplation and personal efforts to integrate the wisdom contained within this work.

When I was pursuing a Master's in Business Administration countless classes referred to the Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I often felt that model was lacking but was unable to articulate those missing elements. There is a wonderful segment in this book that finally resolv
Jul 10, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reiteration of some of the points he makes in earlier works, and considering this was published posthumously from some of his notes that's not too terribly surprising. That being said the points stand. What are the myths we live by? As a culture we're losing touch with stories that mean something.

If you examine the movies people rewatch (Star Wars) or books people reread (Lord of the Rings) there are stories there that connect us to something deeper.
Michael Bodekaer
The idea that it's good to have a big ego is very interesting - as long as the ego is a productive one :)
Also interesting that the perception of the word "ego" is very different in the east and the west.
Basically changes my perception a lot on the idea of having a big ego - if it's a productive positive one, then having a big ego will greatly help inspire others around you.
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pour le côté positif, ce livre est vivant et passionnant. Pour le négatif c'est un peu trop simplifié/vulgarisé a mon goût, et je n'aime pas du tout sa façon de voir les différences entre les genres. Globalement j'ai pris beaucoup de plaisir a lire ce livre qui m'a agréablement remis en tête les concepts développés par Freud Jung et d'autres. Étant a la recherche de mon mythe j'y ai également puisé pas mal d'enseignements. J'ai bien envie de poursuivre la lecture des livres de cet auteur !
May 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
After having this recommended to me, I decided to take a look. Not sure if it's the style or the content but I felt that there were some worthwhile applications to life here and there filled by random and sometimes incoherent, disjointed references to different myths. Kind of a frustrating read that I barely finished. Reading a summary of the good quites is sufficient and will save you the reading time. If you are looking for finding your 'bliss' look elsewhere.
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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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