Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Joseph Campbell!

"Your bliss can guide you to that transcendent mystery, because bliss is the welling up of the energy of the transcendent wisdom within you. So when the bliss cuts off, you know that you've cut off the welling up; try to find it again. And that will be your Hermes guide, the dog that can follow the invisible trail for you. And that's the way it is. One works out one's own myth that way." ~Joseph Campbell, from Pathways to Bliss

This man! Joseph Campbell! Well, where to begin? This might just have to be my first in a series of blog postings. I don't know how to express just how much this man and his work on mythology has had on my life, my coaching and my healing. His work has been so incredibly life changing for me that I feel as though words might not adequately express what his writings have done for me not to mention his legions of fans. And the best part is that he has impacted people who don't even know him by name. That's right. Want an example? Star Wars. Ever heard of that? Then, guess what? YOU have been a beneficiary of HIM.

As simple as his writings are, they leave you with an essence of wholeness in their wake. His writings transcend the day to day. And it's all because he is one helluva story teller. And who among us all doesn't like an incredible story!? In my new most favorite book in the world, A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, he speaks of Mr. Campbell: "In his 1949 book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell argued that all myths-across time and across cultures-contain the same basic ingredients and follow the same general recipe. There are never any new stories, he said-just the same stories retold. And the one overarching story, the blueprint for tales since humankind's earliest days, is the "hero's journey." The hero's journey has three main parts: Departure, Initiation, and Return. The hero hears the call, refuses it at first, and then crosses the threshold into a new world. During Initiation, he faces challenges and stares into the abyss. But along the way-usually with the help of mentors who give the hero a divine gift-he transforms and becomes at one with his new self. Then he returns, becoming the master of two worlds, committed to improving each. This structure underlies Christ, Homer's Odyssey, the story of Buddha, Muhammad, the legend of King Arthur, the story of Sacagawea, Huckleberry Finn, Star Wars, The Matrix and Campbell would have argued, just about every other epic tale."

Part Two of Three tomorrow!
(That's right, yesterday's posting was done with no relation to JC's birthday today so technically today is Part One.)

For more information on the late great Joseph Campbell please visit:

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