My Mentor Joseph Cambell

josephcampbell-450x450Within the current socio-political circus came the idea to write an article about the Hero’s Journey for the Visionary Fiction Alliance (VFA). Although the topic relates to myths and stories, we can also become heroes in our own journeys. Each completed cycle can be  an avancement in evolutionary growth that  continues until our last breath.  But sometimes we get stuck along the way.

BELLY OF THE WHALE

I stalled during the middle of writing the VFA post because the election led me to an existential crisis.  I found myself stuck in the belly of the whale stage of the Hero’s Journey.  Seeing people fighting each other in order to prop up two flawed humans made me question why many of us still place other humans above us.

“I stopped getting mad at politicians years ago and started getting mad at myself instead. The blame for the grinding dullness and depressing predictability of the current election cycle is on the electorate as much as it is on the candidates. That America gets everything it deserves and settles for is a hard truth to swallow. Maybe one day, we’ll get tired of choking on it.” Henry Rollins

Those of us who pulled out of the political church reach the same conclusion as Rollins. We become ideological atheists because we see that it’s our ideologies that are choking us. We’re the rebels that scream for the empire to topple, so we can live freely with one another. You might not hear us because we’re few in number, so we’re never really heard other than through podcasts or blog posts.   Instead,  we’re called crazy or mentally disturbed because we refuse to capitulate to majority groupthink. We have strength of mind and spirit and are immune to whatever names we’re called. Knowledge of our inner-truth is our shield. We’re  grounded in our spirit. But sometimes even hero’s fall and have to rise up again.

As I listened to the media, politicians, and some of their followers spew hatred and hypocrisy, I thought about the future my daughters would be growing up. I became despondent imagining what today’s children would be inheriting because of our shortsidedness.  That thought awoke a fear in me that I had to deal with.

IN A POSITIVE FREEFALL

How do we stay on the path when we’re facing our version of an empire run by  shadowy Darth Vaders? From beyond the grave, Campbell answered the question.

free_fall

“We’re in a freefall into future. We don’t know where we’re going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you’re going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It’s a very interesting shift of perspective and that’s all it is… joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.” 

― Joseph Campbell, Sukhavati

FREEDOM TO LIVE

If hell is being created, I don’t have to play along. I can forge my own path. With that realization I was shot from out of the belly’s spout and on to the Freedom to Live stage of my journey.

Spiritual lessons never end. I find it more difficult now than before I started the journey. The more the veil is lifted, the harder I have to work to evolve. And since I evolved a little bit more with the writing of this post, I guess you can say this is a visionary post!

Please click here to read the article about how the hero’s journey relates to visionary fiction.

Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to My Mentor Joseph Cambell

  1. I found this really resonated, especially – ‘And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It’s a very interesting shift of perspective and that’s all it is… joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.’ It helped me see how I am applying this in my life right now, and now I have a name and roadmap for the shift of perspective I am embracing. Blessings on your leaps, Eleni! It sounds like the posts were catalyzing.

  2. Well said, Eleni. Especially: “Knowledge of our inner-truth is our shield. We’re grounded in our spirit. But sometimes even hero’s fall and have to rise up again.” I’ve never felt as emotional during a presidential campaign as during this one. I had to pull myself up and tell myself that all I have control over is the choices I make and the example I set. Guess you can say, these are my shields.

    • Eleni says:

      That’s a very stoic response, Margaret. While I’ve practiced mindfulness for years, I started to immerse myself in the stoic philosophy and much of it is about what you say, we can’t control what happens on the outside, but we can control how we view the outside. It’s all about a shift of awareness, and Campbell’s quote also espouses that principle. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Beautiful post, Eleni. It scintillates with “want what you get rather than get what you want,” a teaching that truly helps me. ” This is so true: “The blame for the grinding dullness and depressing predictability of the current election cycle is on the electorate as much as it is on the candidates.” The American system of elections and campaigns needs serious overhauling.

    • Eleni says:

      My crisis actually stemmed more from the electorate as opposed to the candidates, who are a reeflection of who we are. I think we need to do some healing if we expect better and more compassionate outcomes. A compassionate electorate will select compassionate candidates. Yes, I’m an idealist, but everything starts from the desire to make a change. The trick is taking the action to make it happen. Thanks for your comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *