In Pathways to Bliss, Campbell examines this personal, psychological side of myth. Like his classic bestselling books Myths to Live By and The Power of Myth, Pathways to Bliss draws from Campbell’s popular lectures and dialogues, which highlight his remarkable storytelling and ability to apply the larger themes of world mythology to personal growth and the quest for transformation. Here he anchors mythology’s symbolic wisdom to the individual, applying the most poetic mythical metaphors to the challenges of our daily lives.
Campbell dwells on life’s important questions. Combining cross-cultural stories with the teachings of modern psychology, he examines the ways in which our myths shape and enrich our lives. He explores the many insights of Carl Jung; the notion of self as the hero; and how East and West differ in their approaches to the ego. The book also includes an extensive question-and-answer session that ranges from mythological readings of the Bible to how the Hero’s Journey unfolds for women. With his usual wit and insight, Campbell draws connections between ancient symbols and modern art, schizophrenia and the Hero’s Journey. Along the way, he shows how myth can help each of us truly identify and follow our bliss.
“Your bliss can guide you to that transcendent mystery, because bliss is the welling up of the energy of the transcendent wisdom within you. So when the bliss cuts off, you know that you’ve cut off the welling up; try to find it again. And that will be your Hermes guide, the dog that can follow the invisible trail for you. And that’s the way it is. One works out one’s own myth that way.”
—Joseph Campbell, from Pathways to Bliss