Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation

Joseph Campbell, Author . New World Library $20 (224p) ISBN 978-1-57731-471-4

This ninth volume of Campbell's previously unpublished material deftly marries his sweeping grasp of myths with the needs of contemporary people looking for meaning and inspiration. Expert editor and seasoned Campbell authority David Kudler makes the mythic-stature-mythicist come alive again. Fans will recognize Campbell's comforting cadence and intimacy, conveyed by use of the second person and by his masterful storytelling. Campbell realized he was essentially saying the same things over more than two decades. As such, this volume breaks no new ground, but does give explicit directions for identifying and connecting oneself to a meaningful mythic overview, unbounded by specific cultures or historical facts. Campbell gives adequate coverage to the historical development of myth as it pertains to the individual, especially through the eyes of Jung. The final chapter, a distilled jewel of the hero's journey mono-myth that Campbell made famous, is followed by "Dialogue," several pages of conversation between Campbell and anonymous people, exploring the application of gender differences to the hero's journey. Campbell assesses life now as pathless: "We are in a sort of free fall into the future." He is, however, perennially hopeful that if we discover our own mythological underpinnings, carried on the wings of artists and poets, we can find our way to individual bliss. This is a fine volume for old friends and new followers. (Oct. 25)

Reviewed on: 09/27/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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