Heresy is the life of a mythology, and orthodoxy is the death.

April 21, 2011

The modern hero-deed must be that of questing to bring to light again the lost Atlantis of the co-ordinated soul.

Campbell: Eternity isn’t some later time. Eternity isn’t a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. This is it. And if you don’t get it here, you won’t get it anywhere. And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. There’s a wonderful formula that the Buddhists have for the Bodhisattva, the one whose being (sattva) is illumination (bodhi), who realizes his identity with eternity and at the same time his participation in time. And the attitude is not to withdraw from the world when you realize how horrible it is, but to realize that this horror is simply the foreground of a wonder and to come back and participate in it. “All life is sorrowful” is the first Buddhist saying, and it is. It wouldn’t be life if there were not temporality involved which is sorrow. Loss, loss, loss.
Moyers: That’s a pessimistic note.
Campbell: Well, you have to say yes to it, you have to say it’s great this way. It’s the way God intended it.

Joseph Campbell


The Hero Franchise journey

October 10, 2010

Everyone’s life is a hero’s life.

I discussed Campbell’s monomyth here before.

Thanks to I Love Charts.


We are standing on a whale fishing for minnows – Joseph Campbell

September 7, 2010

Doing inner work is part of the road back for franchisees.

One manner is by fishing

THE WOUNDING

There is a young prince in his teens who is out doing his knight errantry, as in the duty of every youth, when he stumbles onto a camp in the woods with no one about. A fire burns under the grate and a salmon lies roasting on the spit. The prince is young, hungry, and impulsive, and the salmon smells so good that he reaches out to take some of it to assuage his hunger. The salmon is very hot and burns his fingers, causing him to drop it. When he puts his fingers into his mouth to ease the burn, he gets a bit of the salmon into his mouth. This wounds him so badly that he lies in agony for all the rest of his life but for the last three days..

The young prince, soon to be king of the land, suffers so severely that he is is unable to stand erect and incapable of performing his duty to the kingdom, which withers under his neglect. Only one thing assuages his suffering; he feels a little better when he is fishing. When he is occupied with fishing from his boat in the moat surrounding his castle, his suffering is diminished. Otherwise he lies in his litter in his castle suffering a terrible agony. This can be interpreted as saying that a wounded person finds life bearable only when his is engaged in some contact with the unconscious. Poetry, artistry, teaching, and healing are such activities that assuage the wound of the fisher king. They do not heal the dreadful wound but they make life bearable while one makes his way to the true healing.

The fisher king wound is to be seen on the face of almost any man who passes on the street; the ache of life, the anxiety, dread, loneliness – all are summed up by the fisher king wound…

…To fish in this sense is to do one’s inner work – work on dreams, meditation, active imagination, drawing, music, or poetry – any form of inner work that is rich to one. Even such mundane things as gardening and getting a “runner’s high” are fishing in this sense since they put one in contact with the inner world. Fishing is a fisher king’s only balm to his aching wound.

The Fisher King & the Handless Maiden: Understanding the Wounded Feeling Function in Masculine and Feminine Psychology, Robert A. Johnson, 1993


Hold on lightly, keep the poo in the root zone

June 9, 2010

I had occasion to became acquainted with something called a rototiller as a child (not exactly as shown).

With practice, you learn not to hold on too tightly when turning shit into the soil.

If you resist the forward motion too much, the machine buries itself and the horse shit is mixed too deeply (ie. below the vegetable’s root zone).

Kind of like on every journey throughout life.


It’s a wonderful, wonderful opera, except that it hurts.

May 30, 2010

Life hurts like hell at times.

Campbell explains the high incidence of psychotic episodes in franchising.

Others say it’s because of a lack of sunlight in Canada.

This is the threat to our lives. We all face it. We all operate in our society in relation to a system. Now is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes? … If the person doesn’t listen to the demands of his own spiritual and heart life and insists on a certain program, you’re going to have a schizophrenic crack-up. The person has put himself off center. He has aligned himself with a programmatic life and it’s not the one the body’s interested in at all. And the world’s full of people who have stopped listening to themselves.

Joseph Campbell 1904-1987


We are standing on a whale fishing for minnows.

May 19, 2010

When you think you’re going outside, it’s really inside you’re going.

We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us — the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

Joseph Campbell 1904-1987


Monomyth: The Hero’s Journey

December 16, 2008

matrix

Joseph Campbell suggests in The Hero with a Thousand Faces that there were 12 steps in a hero’s journey. A similarity across cultures that reflect a deeper understanding that all humans share a common experience: a collective unconscious.

He believed that almost all nominally exterior journeys or trials ran along these lines.

Campbell thought all individuals should Follow your Bliss: say yes to you life’s unique purpose or destiny. A failure to say a hearty yes is the source of most individual pain. Everyone is called to be a hero in their lives.

Mythology or large stories or narratives provides clues to how we are to live our lives. Free will allows us to choose a life-giving or a life-taking philosophy.

  • There are real costs (manifested in physical and mental pain in your ordinary life) if you refuse your adventure or get “stuck” along the way.
  • I have seen many people in franchising refuse their life-task  (secular vocation from the Latin, vocatio, vocare: a call) because of their fear of death.
  • They end up losing their life in the eternally mistaken self-deception that economics or the majority view will preserve it.

I like Christopher Vogler‘s  explanation (below) although this animation is nice too.

The Hero’s Journey

1. The Ordinary World: Potential hero senses that something’s wrong and he might be able to do something about it.  A general uneasiness. (You have a problem with authority, Mr. Anderson.)

2. A Call to Adventure: It becomes clearer that you have to do something.

3. Refusal of the Call: The natural fear of something different causes you to resist changing anything.

4. Meeting with a Mentor: You are provided what seems to be supernatural aid to move you along in your trip. (At last.)

5. Crossing the 1st Threshold: Move in to a different world. The preparation has been done; now it is the start of doing. (We’re in.)

6. Test Allies & Enemies: You experience the new world; what you can eat and what will eat you.

7. Approach: Getting ready to face the big battle. Rehearsal. (Guns; Lots of guns.)

8. Ordeal: You face your biggest fear. You face and deal with your death. Test.

9. Reward, gifts  if you Survive: A new awareness. A re-ordering.

10. The Road Back: Call to come back to the ordinary world or face annihilation. Often a chase scene. (He’s beginning to believe.)

11. Rebirth, resurrection: You face death once again but in a more final, deeper way. Tested on your understanding of the lessons the journey has manifested to you.

12. Return with the Elixir: It’s all worthless effort if the prize is not returned for everyone’s benefit. (ie. Golden Fleece, Holy Grail, Star Wars, Fisher King, The Matrix: personal change but profiting the group by affirming and restoring life).


Survival is the second law of life.

November 25, 2008

campbellcompanion3The first is that we are all one.

“There is something really mysterious, something for which Reason can provide no explanation, and for which no basis can be found in practical experience. It is nevertheless of common occurrence, and everyone has had the experience. It is not unknown even to the most hard-hearted and self-interested. Examples appear every day before our eyes of instant responses of this kind, without reflection, one person helping another, coming to his aid, even setting his own life in clear danger for someone whom he has seen for the first time, having nothing more in mind than that the other is in need and in peril of his life.” Schopenhauer.

There was an article in the New York papers a few months ago about a kid who dove into the Hudson River to save a drowning dog and then had to be saved himself. When asked why he’d dove in, he said. “Because it was my dog.” Then there was the girl who went into a buring building – twice – to save her little brother and sister, and when she was asked why she’d done that, she said, “Because I loved them.”

Such a one is then acting, Schopenhauer answers, out of an instinctive recognition of the truth that he and that other in fact are one. He has been moved not from the lesser, secondary knowledge of himself as separate from the others, but from an immediate experience of the greater, truer truth, that we are all one in the gound of our being.

That’s the power. These people didn’t know if they had the strength or not. It’s not duty, not reckoning. It is a flash: a breakthrough of the reality of this life that lives in us. At such moments, you realize that you and that other are, in fact, one. It’s a big realization.

The key to the Grail is compassion,

suffering with, feeling another’s sorrow

as it it were your own.

The one who finds

the dynamo of compassion

is the one who’s found the Grail.

…what’s meant by the image of the Grail, since the thing that effected the healing of the Grail King was the spontaneous act of asking that question and not withholding it. Often you feel that such a spontaneous act will make a fool out of you and so you don’t do it – I will look like a fool if I do that. That’s the failure in the Grail Castle.

— A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living, Edited by Diane K. Osbon, 1991

The psychological pain and dis-ease former franchisees feel that have betrayed a stranger is caused by denying this larger reality (everyone is one).

  • When you sell someone down the river, you’re only really deceiving yourself: the Devil always returns for his payment.

Is it Heart or Head, above all else?

November 25, 2008

campbellmoyerCAMPBELL: This thing up here….this consciousness thinks it’s running the shop. It’s a secondary organ. It’s a secondary organ of a total human being. And it must not put itself in control.

It must submit and serve the humanity of the body.

Is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity? Or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes?

CAMPBELL: Like Luke Skywalker, not going over but resisting its impersonal claims

MOYER: But I can hear someone out there in the audience…But that isn’t what happens in my own life.

CAMPBELL: You bet it does.

If the person doesn’t listen to the demands of his own spiritual- and heart-life and insists on a certain program, you’re going to have a schizophrenic crack-up. The person has put himself off-centre. He has aligned himself with a programmatic life and it’s not the one the body is interested in at all. But the world is full of people who have stopped listening to themselves.

In my own life, I have had many opportunities to commit myself to a system. And to go with it. And to obey it’s requirements.

My life has been that of a maverick: I would not submit.

CAMPBELL: Our life evokes our character. And you find out more about yourself at you go on. And it’s very nice to be able to put yourself into situations that will evoke your higher nature, rather than your lower.


Joseph Campbell, 1904 – 1987

August 23, 2008

It’s a wonderful, wonderful opera, except that it hurts.

We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us – the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

The demon that you can swallow gives you it’s power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.

The warrior’s approach to life is to say “yes” to it, “yea” to it all.

However the mystic traditions differ, they are in accord in this respect. They call men and women into a deeper awareness of the very act of living itself, and they guide us through trials and traumas from birth to death.

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.


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