Notes from The Hero With a Thousand Faces

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KOReader/Exported Kindle Meaning
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The Hero With a Thousand Faces

by Joseph Campbell

1. Myth and Dream

Page 21 @ August 14, 2018

Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream;

4. Atonement with the Father

Page 116 @ January 13, 2019

Such a figure illustrates the function and value of a graven image, and shows why long sermons are unnecessary among idol-worshipers. The devotee is permitted to soak in the meaning of the divine symbol in deep silence and in his own good time. Furthermore, just as the god wears arm bands and ankle rings, so does the devotee; and these mean what the god’s mean. They are made of gold instead of serpents, gold (the metal that does not corrode) symbolizing immortality; i.e., immortality is the mysterious creative energy of God, which is the beauty of the body.

+1 for idolatry. 😁😁😁

Page 127 @ January 13, 2019

There can be no doubt that no matter how unilluminated the stark-naked Australian savages may seem to us, their symbolical ceremonials represent a survival into modern times of an incredibly old system of spiritual instruction, the far-flung evidences of which are to be found not only in all the lands and islands bordering the Indian Ocean, but also among the remains of the archaic centers of what we tend to regard as our own ven special brand of civilization.

Well… stories and myths are important I know, but it is the meaningful stories, the realized myths, that is science, makes a civilization superior.

5. Apotheosis

Page 149 @ January 13, 2019

Similarly, throughout the Orient, throughout the ancient world, and in the pre-Columbian Americas, society and nature represented to the mind the inexpressible. “The plants, rocks, fire, water, all are alive. They watch us and see our needs. They see when we have nothing to protect us,” declared an old Apache storyteller, “and it is then that they reveal themselves and speak to us.”130 This is what the Buddhist calls “the sermon of the inanimate.”

Time to time, I find scholars both atheist and theist bearing the idea that pantheism and polytheism are spiritually/socially superior than monotheism, to be specific, semitic religions.

5. Master of the Two Worlds

Page 205 @ January 16, 2019

Symbols are only the vehicles of communication; they must not be mistaken for the final term, the tenor , of their reference. No matter how attractive or impressive they may seem, they remain but convenient means, accommodated to the understanding.


Page 206 @ January 16, 2019

Mistaking a vehicle for its tenor may lead to the spilling not only of valueless ink, but of valuable blood.


1. From Psychology to Metaphysics

Page 221 @ January 17, 2019

Mythology, in other words, is psychology misread as biography; history, and cosmology.


6. The Hero as World Redeemer

Page 305 @ January 19, 2019

The hero of yesterday becomes the tyrant of tomorrow, unless he crucifies himself today.

Sounds so much accurate.

2. The Function of Myth, Cult, and Meditation

Page 333 @ January 20, 2019

If he presumes to cut himself off, either in deed or in thought and feeling, he only breaks connection with the sources of his existence. The tribal ceremonies of birth, initiation, marriage, burial, installation, and so forth, serve to translate the individual’s life-crises and life-deeds into classic, impersonal forms.


Page 333 @ January 20, 2019

Social duties continue the lesson of the festival into normal, everyday existence, and the individual is validated still. Conversely, indifference, revolt—or exile—break the vitalizing connectives. From the standpoint of the social unit, the broken-off individual is simply nothing—waste. Whereas the man or woman who can honestly say that he or she has lived the role—whether that of priest, harlot, queen, or slave—is something in the full sense of the verb to be .

Can't agree.

Page 335 @ January 20, 2019

anyone in exile from the community is a nothing. From the other point of view, however, this exile is the first step of the quest. Each carries within himself the all; therefore it may be sought and discovered within. The differentiations of sex, age, and occupation are not essential to our character, but mere costumes which we wear for a time on the stage of the world. The image of man within is not to be confounded with the garments. We think of ourselves as Americans, children of the twentieth century, Occidentals, civilized Christians. We are virtuous or sinful. Yet such designations do not tell what it is to be man, they denote only the accidents of geography, birth-date, and income. What is the core of us? What is the basic character of our being?

3. The Hero Today

Page 341 @ January 20, 2019

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.