Joseph Campbell was one of the foremost interpreters of myth in our time. yet when he traveled to Asia for the first time he was nearly fifty and at the crossroads of his life and career. This journal of those transformative six months in India–along with its companion volume, Sake & Satori, detailing his time in Japan and East Asia–are as close as Campbell ever came to writing an autobiography.
After ten years’ intense study of Indian art and philosophy, Joseph Campbell embarked on this long0postponed journey. Searching for the transcendent (brahman)–the exotic mystery of the India in his books–he found instead stark realities: growing nationalism, cultural and religious rivalry, poverty, the impact of foreign aid, and a prevalent culture of what he called “baksheesh,” or alms. This carefully kept journal chronicles the disillusionment and revelation that would change the course of his life and studies. It is at once a diary of his adventures, a forum in which he develops his revolutionary ideas and clarifies his future pursuits, and a record of his insightful discussions of art, philosophy, and transcendent realities with Indians from every level of society.