“When you find a writer who is really saying something to you, read everything that writer has written and you will get more education and depth of understanding out of that than reading a scrap here and a scrap there and elsewhere. Then go to people who influenced that writer, or those who were related to him, and your world builds together in an organic way that is really marvelous.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life & Work
Joseph Campbell was a preeminent scholar, writer, and teacher who had a genius for finding the unifying symbols and metaphors in apparently distinct cultures and traditions. Campbell explores the enduring power of the universal myths that influence our lives daily and examines the myth-making process from the primitive past to the immediate present, returning always to the source from which all mythology springs: the creative imagination. He had a profound influence on millions of people--including Star Wars creator George Lucas. To Campbell, mythology was the “song of the universe, the music of the spheres.”
Joseph Campbell began his comparative study of the world’s religions with a chance meeting with the renowned Indian theosophist Jiddu Krishnamurti on a trans-Atlantic steamer. Though Campbell was deeply fascinated by mythologies and religions from every continent, Asia’s potent mix of theologies captured his imagination more than any other, and offered him paths to understanding the essence of myth.
Campbell stresses that the borders dividing the Earth have been shattered; that myths and religions have always followed the certain basic archetypes and are no longer exclusive to a single people, region, or religion. He shows how we must recognize their common denominators and allow this knowledge to be of use in fulfilling human potential everywhere.