What power do the universal myths hold on our inner, spiritual lives?
Joseph Campbell was the world’s greatest authority on myth, his monumental four-volume The Masks of God is a definitive work on the subject, and in Myths to Live By he explores how these enduring myths still influence our daily lives and can provide personal meaning in our lives.
Myths are a way of explaining the cosmos, the origin of life and Man’s relationship with their environment; they play a cohesive role in society. Joseph Campbell analyses myth in psychoanalytic terms to reveal their essential qualities and to demonstrate how they continue to reflect human needs, providing reassurance even in today’s world.
Ranging from Zen koans and Indian aesthetics to walking on the moon, Joseph Campbell explores how myth and religion follow the same archetypes, which are not exclusive to any single race, religion or region. Campbell believed that all religion is a search for the same transcendent and fundamental spiritual truths. He shows how we must recognise the common denominators between differing myths and faiths and allow this knowledge to fulfil human potential everywhere.
Joseph Campbell was the leading authority on comparative mythology of the twentieth century. He is best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion but he was also a populist figure who had a lasting impact on popular culture. He died in 1987.
“No other academic has had such a far-reaching effect on mass culture.”
“Campbell has become the rarest of intellectuals… a serious thinker who has been embraced by popular culture.”
“An impressive familiarity with myths from many parts of the world… pointing to unexpected links across cultures.”
‘Love & Language’