Category Archives: Joseph Campbell

Hero Journey

There is a general pattern to the hero journey – the quest of the hero into unknown realms, the powers that he meets there and overcomes, the stages of his crisis of victory, and his return then, with some boon he has gained, for the founding of a city, religion, dynasty, or whatnot; or, on the other hand, his failure and destruction.

—Joseph Campbell

Where have all the heroes gone? Somehow it seems that there is a tremendous shortage of real life heroes in our world – the type of people who take risks for others, face danger, fight evil and most importantly, win! We yearn for someone or something to look up to and feel secure. The greatest motivator in the 21 st century is fear.

Super_HeroesThe most common headline tells us of the failure of some leader or celebrity who had brought hope to their followers. Perhaps that is the reason that Hollywood has a fascination with the “super hero,” hero’s so powerful that they can’t fall. Sadly, such people don’t exist. I truly wish they did. Life would be so much more pleasurable if we knew who to call for the challenges we face. Today it might be Green Lantern, tomorrow Spiderman, but at least we would have someone to call. Joseph, the mythologist, gives us a very good pattern for the journey of a hero.

Heroes are not born, but rather, they evolve. The journey of every hero indeed begins with a quest – a drive or vision that sends them out of their comfort zone. They are driven to be bigger, better, and at the same time, selfless and humble. Perhaps the reason we have a hero shortage is that we don’t value the things that make a hero. Our children are not taught to take risks, or to put others before themselves, rather they are taught to be cautious and self protecting. Campbell’s words give us a great pattern for a hero, and if we dare model them or teach them, the world could be a better place.

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Religious Sanity

“Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies”

—–Joseph Campbell

Radical humorThough Campbell wrote these words many years ago, they are ever so true today. America’s increasing number of agnostics and “spiritual but not religious” all think that much of religion is a bold faced lie. This knowledge, coupled with the rise of fanatical fundamentalism, leaves little room for spiritual balance in our day. Perhaps we could all use a good dose of simple religion.

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Filed under Christian Jokes, Christian Journey, Christian Living, Joseph Campbell

March 14 — Day 9

1 Corinthians 13:1, 11-13

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.


Campbell pic“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.

When people get married because they think it’s a long-time love affair, they’ll be divorced very soon, because all love affairs end in disappointment. But marriage is a recognition of a spiritual identity.

—–Joseph Campbell

Prayer Starter — Lord help me to understand the meaning of love.

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Filed under Devotional Quotes, Joseph Campbell, Lent, Lenten Prayer Guide

Alive Now

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February 26, 2014 · 4:15 pm

Metaphor and Truth

Campbell one

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January 24, 2014 · 11:38 am