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Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion

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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inspiring reflections on the art of living in this beautifully packaged book, part of a new series to be based on his unpublished writings. This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Infinity in a flower...

Within the academic world where he spent the better part of his career, the late Joseph Campbell had a somewhat unique approach to the study, interpretation, and understanding of mythology. Whereas his fellow scholars most often approached the subject with an analytic eye, Campbell suggested an alternative way --using the artistic eye. In "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" Campbell suggested myths "were not manufactured" that they were "spontaneous productions of the psyche" and that each reflected the "germ power of the source."In A JOSEPH CAMPBELL COMPANION, Diane Osborn has assembled excerpts from Campbell's many works, and distilled the central ideas Campbell wrote about over the years concerning the origin and purpose of myths. She has organized these excerpts into topical areas: "In the Field", "Living in the World", "Coming into Awareness", and "Living in the Sacred." Although the topics can be viewed as linear, reflecting the progress of the soul or psyche, I suspect Campbell would have suggested they are also cyclical and that one exists in all four simultaneously.I feel the last section of the Campbell Companion, "Living in the Sacred", contains some particularly insightful notions regarding the nature of art and artistic endeavor, and the role of art in affecting human lives. In this section, Osborn has quoted heavily from Campbell's "Myths to Live By" and provided quotations from several of the artists who affected Campbell's own life and writing including James Joyce and Walt Whitman. For example, Campbell describes how the words of the German writer Schiller, in answer to a friend's problem with 'writer's block' -- "Your problem is that you bring in the critical factor before the lyical factor has had a chance to express itself" -- affected his own thinking and writing. Campbell says he had allowed the criticism of other "scholars" to interfere with his artistic processes, and that Schiller's words freed him to get on with "seeing" and "hearing" what myths could teach him. "Mythologies and religions are great poems and, when recoginzed as such, point infallibly through things and events to the ubiquity of a 'presence' or 'eternity'that is whole and entire in each....The first condition, therefore, that any mythology must fulfill if it is to render life to modern lives is that of cleansing the doors of perception to the wonder, at once terrible and fascinating, of ourselves and of the universe of which we are the ears and eyes and the mind."

The Joseph Campbell Companio

Outstanding. This is my Bible. Unbelievable wealth of things to read and re-read for the rest of your life. His best work by far. Almost as good is his 5-tape series hosted by Susan Sarandon and much, much better than his 6-tape set with Bill Moyers which is an elementary introduction to Campbell. Moyers tried hard but couldn't seem to get his brain around Campbell's message. Anyone who wants to be fully engrossed in Campbell can do so with the Sarandon tape series and this book. A rare jewel.

The Truth may set you free but first it will piss you off!

This is one of the most challenging, thought provoking, mind bending, and soul calling books I have ever read. Campbell is so entertaining in his ability to simplify complex religious and social structures that it is not important to already know about the Far East, the Near East, or your local Baptist church, he brings it all into focus on a common human level. I found this book disturbing in it's ability to draw me into the wonder of being human and how utterly connected we all are. It's the kind of book that you can open to any page, read only a few lines, and be pulled into a thought that will chase you the whole day. Campbell is pithy, humorous, practical, fact filled, and inspiring. If you enjoy thinking about God, the nature of being human, or politics, BUY THIS BOOK!!!! You won't be sorry.

A great start on your journey to Joe Campbell & your bliss!

This is a great introduction to, or summation of, Campbell's works. Most of his works are extreemly deep and can be difficult to reach but well worth the effort. If you really want to probe the deapths of Campbell's work but are intimidated by his other books, this will give you a great overview and fire your desire to dig deeper.I have read all of Campbell's books. The amount and breadth of the information and thier implications is staggering. The most amazing thing about this book is that I would have chosen almost exactly the same summative material for this type of book as did Osborn. My background is steeped in science--Osborn's in poetry. Yet we found the same "song of the universe" within Campbell's works. Why? Because the song is transparent to the transendent and there for the everyone.

Like listening to a wise and trusted friend

I was hooked after the first sentence: "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are". Campbell talks to us about work and love and the meaning of life with such clarity that we can't argue, or say "Yes, but..." When Campbell is just talking (and not in college professor lecture mode) he gives tidbits that are reminiscent of Lindbergh's "Gift From The Sea". "Let the world be as it is and learn to rock with the waves." And maybe you can learn something about people in your life. "In choosing your god, you choose your way of looking at the universe. There are plenty of gods...The god you worship is the god you deserve." This is definitely a book to keep and re-read. My favorite thing about it is that you can flip through it, or let it fall open, and you'll find something worthwhile. You don't have to read the whole book all at once to 'get it'.

A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living Mentions in Our Blog

A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living in Transform Your State of Mind
Transform Your State of Mind
Published by KA Scott • March 14, 2017

Dialing in the best possible you is a topic and practice that spans continents and decades. In these thought-provoking reads, you’ll get inspiration from some of the best-loved philosophers and holy people in the world on how to find happiness, success, and fulfillment—even how to maintain your sanity during turbulent times like we’re experiencing today.

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