The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
Love your enemies, for they determine who you are.
The Fantasy is a reassurance -- a promise that the peace of Paradise... is not to be lost.
It is only when a man tames his own demons that he becomes the king of himself if not of the world.
Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.
Your bliss can guide you to that transcendent mystery, because bliss is the welling up of the energy of the transcendent wisdom within you.
Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up.
Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up. The earth must be broken to bring forth life. If the seed does not die there is no plant. Bread results from the death of wheat. Life lives on lives. Our own life lives on the acts of other people. If you are lifeworthy, you can take it.
What each must seek in his life was never on land or sea. It is something out of his own unique potentiality for experience. Something that never has been and never could have been experienced by anyone else.
For Shinto, at root, is a religion not of sermons but of awe: which is a sentiment that may or may not produce words, but in either case goes beyond them.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.
We must be willing to get rid of
the life we've planned, so as to have
the life that is waiting for us.
The old skin has to be shed
before the new one can come.
If we fix on the old, we get stuck.
When we hang onto any form,
we are in danger of putrefaction.
Hell is life drying up.
For the bliss of the deep abode is not lightly abandoned in favor of the self-scattering of the wakened state,.
If you want to understand what's most important to a society, don't examine its art or literature, simply look at its biggest buildings.
When I was in India I met and conversed briefly with Shri Atmananda Guru of Trivandrum, and the question he gave me to ponder was this: 'Where are you between two thoughts?
Christianity isn't moving people's lives today. What's moving people's lives is the stock market and the baseball scores. What are people excited about? It's a totally materialistic level that has taken over the world. There isn't even an ideal that anybody's fighting for.
The role of the artist I now understood as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul, and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth.
Myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human manifestation.
I think of mythology as the homeland of the muses, the inspirers of art, the inspirers of poetry. To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what the myth does for you.
They thought that it would be a disgrace to go forth as a group. Each entered the forest at a point that he himself had chosen, where it was darkest and there was no path. If there is a path it is someone else's path and you are not on the adventure.
Enlarge the pupil of the eye, so that the body with its attendant personality will no longer obstruct the view. Immortality is then experienced as a present fact.
The realms of the gods and demons -- heaven, purgatory, hell -- are of the substance of dreams. Myth, in this view, is the dream of the world.
Poets are simply those who have made a profession and a lifestyle of being in touch with their bliss.
The myth is the public domain and the dream is the private myth. If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group. If it isn't, you've got a long adventure in the dark forest ahead of you.
Myths are so intimately bound to culture, time, and place that unless the symbols, the metaphors, are kept alive by constant recreation through the arts, the life just slips away from them.
It is by means of our own victories, if we are not regenerated, that the work of Nemesis is wrought: doom breaks from the shell of our very virtue.
And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal --carries the cross of the redeemer-- not in the bright moments of his tribe's great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair.
The function of ritual, as I understand it, is to give form to human life, not in the way of a mere surface arrangement, but in depth.
The senses are a kind of reason. Taste, touch and smell, hearing and seeing, are not merely a means to sensation, enjoyable or otherwise, but they are also a means to knowledge -- and are, indeed, your only actual means to knowledge.
Man should not be in the service of society, society should be in the service of man. When man is in the service of society, you have a monster state, and that's what is threatening the world at this minute.
Read myths. They teach you that you can turn inward, and you begin to get the message of the symbols. Read other people's myths, not those of your own religion, because you tend to interpret your own religion in terms of facts -- but if you read the other ones, you begin to get the message.
Each of us has capacities. The real trick is knowing the machinery of the boat in which you are crossing the channel.
One can experience an unconditional affirmation of life only when one has accepted death, not as contrary to life, but as an aspect of it.
A woman is a vehicle of life. Life has overtaken her. Woman is what it is all about-the giving of birth and the giving of nourishment.
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.
You are not on your own path.
If you follow someone else's way,
you are not going to realize
No tribal rite has yet been recorded which attempts to keep winter from descending; on the contrary: the rites all prepare the community to endure, together with the rest of nature, the season of the terrible cold.
There's something inside you that knows when you're in the center, that knows when you're on the beam or off the beam. And if you get off the beam to earn money, you've lost your life. And if you stay in the center and don't get any money, you still have your bliss.
Suddenly you hit on something that the student really responds to, you can see the eyes open and the complexion change. The life possibility has opened there. All you can say to yourself is, I hope this child hangs on to that.
The images of Myth are reflections of Spiritual and Depth potentialities of every one of us. Through contemplating those we evoke those powers in our own lives to operate through ourselves.
In America we have people from all kinds of backgrounds, all in a cluster, together, and consequently law has become very important in this country. Lawyers and law are what hold us together. There is no ethos.
Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life
seems most challenging. Negativism to the pain and ferocity of life is negativism to life. We are not there until we can say 'yea' to it all.
If you see your path laid out in front of you -- Step one, Step two, Step three -- you only know one thing ... it is not your path. Your path is created in the moment of action. If you can see it laid out in front of you, you can be sure it is someone else's path. That is why you see it so clearly.
Life is but a mask worn on the face of death. And is death, then, but another mask? 'How many can say,' asks the Aztec poet, 'that there is, or is not, a truth beyond?'
The actual point in question, throughout the centuries of Christian persecution, has never been faith in God, but faith in the Bible as the word of God, and in the Church (this Church or that) as the interpreter of that word.
Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end.
Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end. The exclusivism of there being only one way in which we can be saved, the idea that there is a single religious group that is in sole possession of the truth--that is the world as we know it that must pass away. What is the kingdom? It lies in our realization of the ubiquity of the divine presence in our neighbors, in our enemies, in all of us.
How teach again, however, what has been taught correctly and incorrectly learned a thousand thousand times, throughout the millenniums of mankind's prudent folly? That is the hero's ultimate difficult task.
Questing... is not an ego trip; it is an adventure to bring into fulfillment your gift to the world, which is yourself.
It takes courage to do what you want. Other people have a lot of plans for you... Follow your bliss.
Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.
The Garden is a metaphor for the following: our minds, and our thinking in terms of pairs of opposites -- man and woman, good and evil -- are as holy as that of a god.
Just as anyone who listens to the muse will hear, you can write out of your own intention or out of inspiration. There is such a thing. It comes up and talks. And those who have heard deeply the rhythms and hymns of the gods, can recite those hymns in such a way that the gods will be attracted.
The notion of this universe, its heavens, hells, and everything within it, as a great dream dreamed by a single being in which all the dream characters are dreaming too, has in India enchanted and shaped the entire civilization.
But the makers of legend have seldom rested content to regard the world's great heroes as mere human beings who broke past the horizons that limited their fellows and returned such boons as any man with equal faith and courage might have found.
Mythology tells us that where you stumble, there your treasure is ... The world is a match for us, and we're a match for the world. And where it seems most challenging lies the greatest invitation to find deeper and greater power in ourselves.
You don't have to believe that there was a King Arthur to get the significance of those stories, but Christians say we have to believe there was a Christ, or the miracles don't make sense.
The goal is to live with God like composure on the full rush of energy, like Dionysus riding the leopard, without being torn to pieces.
He must put aside his pride, his virtue, beauty and life and bow or submit to the absolutely intolerable.
At such moments, you realize that you and the other are, in fact, one. It's a big realization. Survival is the second law of life. The first is that we are all one.
It's characteristic of democracy that majority rule is understood as being effective not only in politics but also in thinking. In thinking, of course, the majority is always wrong.
Quotes by Joseph Campbell are featured in:
You Yourself Quotes
Short Inner Peace Quotes