Thank you for all of your kind comments, thoughts and outreach on Saturday's Human Magic post. Feeling much better already! That post helped me articulate a much-needed reminder that with big GIANT goals come big giant roller-coasters of emotion -- dips and triumphs, highs and lows. So it feels like perfect timing to introduce you to one of my favorite pieces of writing about living life to the fullest. I humbly turn the floor over to writer and philosopher Joseph Campbell (bold emphasis below is mine); I find this essay incredibly moving and inspirational, and I know you will too.
The Hero’s Journey (On Living in the World) by Joseph Campbell
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. What you have to do, you do with play. Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be.
Being alive is the meaning.
The warrior’s approach is to say “yes” to life: “Yea” to it all.
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. When we talk about settling the world’s problems, We’re barking up the wrong tree. The world is perfect. It’s a mess. It has always been a mess.
We are not going to change it. Our job is to straighten out our own lives. We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve 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.
If we fix on the old, we get stuck. when we hang onto any form, we are in danger of putrefaction. Hell is life drying up. The Hoarder, the one in us that wants to keep, to hold on, must be killed. If we are hanging onto the form now, we’re not going to have the form next. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.
Destruction before creation.
Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up. The earth must be broken to bring forth new life. If the seed does not die, there is no plant. Bread results from the death of wheat. Life lives on lives. Our own life lives on the acts of other people. If you are lifeworthy, you can take it. What we are really living for is the experience of life, both the pain and the pleasure. The world is a match for us. We are a match for the world. Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. Negativism to the pain and ferocity of life is negativism to life.
We are not there until we can say “Yea” to it all.
To take a righteous attitude toward anything is to denigrate it. Awe is what moves us forward. As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. don’t bother to brush it off. Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance. Having a sense of humor saves you. Eternity is a dimension of here and now.
The divine lives within you. Live from your own center.
Your real duty is to go away from the community to find your bliss. The society is the enemy when it imposes its structures on the individual. On the dragon there are many scales. Every one of them says “Thou Shalt.” Kill the dragon “Thou Shalt.” When one has killed that dragon, one has become The Child. Breaking out is following your bliss pattern, quitting the old place, starting your hero journey, following your bliss. You throw off yesterday as the snake sheds its skin.
Follow your bliss.