Why did you have to go? Did you have any second thoughts/ not want to go? Did anyone help you that first day? What did it feel like walking onto campus or into that first class? Were there any obstacles you were faced with that day? What was the biggest challenge you dealt with that day? How did you deal with it? What was the reward? How did it feel returning home that day? How did you feel when you woke up and returned to school that second day? What lessons were learned? What people did you meet that day?
Joseph Campbell was a prolific researcher, teacher and writer. Before he passed away Bill Moyer interviewed him in a six part series. Here are the first two episodes (I recommend 1,2,4 and 6)Watch Episode 2 below and skip to 15:30 where they compare creation stories to get a taste of this program...
With that in your back pocket, let's talk about how Campbell breaks it all down (and down, and down).
What was the last action movie you saw....
Birth is the first heroic journey
Myths help us discover who we are and slay the savage dragon of our ego. Follow your bliss.
Heroes do something extraordinary. He or she has given their lives to something bigger or other.
Celtic myth has a hunter follow a deer or other animal into an Uncharted Forest where the animal becomes a fairy queen or other Supernatural entity.
There are three different Beginnings to the quest, The Accidental Hero, the purposeful quest, or being thrown into it like being drafted to the Army.
The hero sacrifices something.
A common myth is the fire Thief. Aboriginal cultures have a myth of birds passing fire between them and that's how the birds got all the different colors. Prometheus is a classic story about stealing fire from the gods.
Early cultures often have myths about killing monsters when man was carving out a wild Savage unshaped world, trying to find a place for himself amongst the wilderness.
The hero's Quest is evident in the stories of moses, Buddha and Jesus. Jesus receives three Temptations in the desert economic, political and spiritual temptation. Buddha sat in the forest and had the Temptations of lust, fear and social Duty. After a return from the Wilderness they both appointed disciples.
Shamans had visions through the sensation of dying and being Resurrected, truth found in deep dreams and the deprivation found in retreating to the woods.
In the Quran it says do you think you will enter the garden of bliss without going through the trials of those that have come before you.
The quest is ultimately about the transformation of consciousness. Also putting yourself in situations that will evoke a higher character.
When the hero fights the system he can either assimilate and live in it, break the system, or change the system. For instance, Siegfried drinks the blood of the Dragon he has slain and assimilates himself with the dark side.
Oh I can't do that is your dragon and the influence you have on others and your actions can save the world.
Take a look outside your window and all the consciousnesses mingling.
Consciousness can be raised in what you think about, for instance where is money coming from, how is my family doing? Myths exist to raise our Consciousness to a spiritual dimension.
Myths are Clues to the spiritual potentialities of human life.
People in the East have mantras to keep their Consciousness from slipping down or think about a beautiful place. Like the Elephanta caves...
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Summary of the Power of Myths: