"Myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human manifestation."

Joseph Campbell, Hero with a Thousand Faces


"... a symbol, a mythic symbol, does not refer to something which is known or knowable in that rational way.
It refers to a spiritual power that is operative in life and is known only through its effects."

Joseph Campbell, The Way of Myth


"The goal is to live with godlike composure on the full rush of energy,
like Dionysus riding the leopard, without being torn to pieces."

Joseph Campbell, Reflections on the Art of Living

Sukhavati.de is a private, noncommercial and independent German website, dedicated to the life and work of the renown American mythologist Joseph Campbell and the rediscovery of the symbols of mythology for today’s world.

The name of this website was inspired by Sukhavati - Place of Bliss, a mesmerizing film that is meant to induct into the world of Joseph Campbell. It is also an allusion to the idea of a spiritual blossoming of the Western world.

The intended purpose of this website is to make Campbell’s books and ideas more familiar in the German-speaking part, and moreover to contribute to a contemporary understanding of mythology. 

We consider the exchange between mythological thinking, arts, scientific research and transpersonal psychology as one of the central challenges of the 21 century.

By providing this brief summary, we hope to enable you to get a general idea of what this site is about.

If you have any questions, please contact us by use of our contact form.

For more information in English we recommend [www.jcf.org], the official website of the Joseph Campbell Foundation


About Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was a mythologist, who interpreted the symbols of myth by means of comparative methods and the tools of depth psychology. His genius, as well as acquaintance with renowned contemporaries like psychologist Carl Jung, Indologist Heinrich Zimmer and author John Steinbeck, allowed him to develope a unique approach to his material. Married with Jean Erdman, choreographer and member of the famous Martha Graham Dance Company, Campbell was inspired by the artistic way of thinking as well as by scientific research.

On our website you will find information about Joseph Campbell, comparative mythology and related books and films in German language. Sukhavati.de is a private, noncommercial and independent website.

If you are searching for information about Joseph Campbell and mythology in English language, please visit the official website of the [Joseph Campbell Foundation].


About the Heidelberg RoundTable

The Heidelberg RoundTable is a Joseph Campbell study group, located in Heidelberg (Germany). Our meetings take place on one evening each month (mostly Friday), depending on the members' availability.

We are discussing myths and symbols of all times and origins with an emphasis on their relevance for today’s world. Our focal point is The Grail and the Wasteland: Based on the mythological research of Joseph Campbell, Mircea Eliade, Carl Jung and Heinrich Zimmer, we try to revitalize the great metaphors of the past for contemporary life and art. Our assumption is, that we are spiritually, intellectually and symbolically in a situation, which is comparable to the world of the Grail stories. With those ideas at the back of our mind, we are studying texts, films, artworks and documentaries. 

Topics of the past and near future are, among others:

Crisis of Myth – Crisis of Man

Carl Jung and the Discovery of the Unconscious  

Death and Dying in Times of atheism - Robert Wilson's La Mort de Molière

Himmler's "Black Knights" of the SS - Mythology in Times of Fascism 

Hamlet - the Hero who fails
(with Hamlet-actor Oliver Stahlheber, Taeter Theater Heidelberg)

Permanence and Transformation – Archetypes and Folk Ideas

Darkness encloses all Things – Carl Orff’s The Moon  

Shaman Myths and Fairy Tales
(with storyteller Erika Deiters)

Myth and Music
(with storyteller Rebecca Armstrong)

James Joyce's Ulysses
(with mathematician and consultant Conor-John Fitzsimons)

The Mystery of Time and Timelessness - Eternity as a "dimension of here and now"

“Lay around and love on you” - Ray Charles and the Art of the Minnesingers

Roots of Monotheism

Desert Gods - Thomas Mann’s Joseph and his Brothers

Cycles of Time – Philip Glass’ Akhnaten
(with art historian and egyptologist Maria L. Weigel)

Journey into the Underworld - Ancient Greek Mystery Cults

Mythology as a Symphony - Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 5 (Choral)

The Power of Fate and Fortuity - Tom Tykwer's The Warrior and the Princess

Technology as a "host of life" - Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi and Naqoyqatsi

"... and beyond: Infinity" - Stanley Kubrick's 2001 - A Space Odyssee

"... where the inner and outer sphere meet" - Novalis and the seat of the soul

The Western Quest - Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parcival
(with Jeremy Kemp)


In addition to our regular meetings, we arrange extraordinary events such as movie screenings, storytelling evenings and excursions to places that are linked to mythology.



If you are interested in further information about sukhavati.de or the Heidelberg RoundTable, please send us your request by use of our contact form.



Sukhavati.de wishes to thank the Joseph Campbell Foundation for permission to use quotes and photographs.

All copyrights for quotes from German language editions by the publishers.

Special thanks also to ...

~ the library of the University of Heidelberg (for permission to reproduce illustrations from the Manessische Liederhandschrift and the Parzival-Handschrift), 

~ Willigis Jäger (Portrait of Willigis Jäger) and the 

~ Kösel-Verlag (Portrait of Karlfried Graf Dürckheim).

Texts, Photographs, graphic works and webdesign by Martin Weyers. All rights reserved.

Additional photographs were kindly provided by Damian Keenan, Martin Schmauder, Connor John Fitzsimons, Oliver Stahlheber. In some cases copyright-free photographs have been used.




Copyright 2004-2005 Sukhavati.de. All Rights reserved