By Joseph Campbell, Edited by Phil Cousineau
New World Library, $19.95, 304 pages
Mythology, psychology, philosophy, history and personal experience all come together in The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work. Joseph Campbell is best remembered for his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which charts the basic story of every enduring myth from around the world. Through his research, Campbell provides readers and writers with a stronger understanding of how stories work and conveys people are the heroes of their own lives. Campbell wrote many volumes on the subject of mythology, however, one of his last works before he passed away was on a documentary about his own intellectual and spiritual journey.
“Every deity is a metaphor, a mask, for the ultimate mystery ground, the transcendent energy source of the universe, that is also the mysterious source of your own life — and everyone else’s.”
The interviews and conversations from the film were transcribed into this book, The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work, edited by Phil Cousineau. Although there is something universal about popular stories, transcending age, culture, and other binaries, readers may agree or disagree with Campbell’s theories. However, readers are bound to gather and consider applying new ideas and insights on how to live their own lives.
Reviewed by Sarah Hutchins