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The Hero’s Journey
Engaging the Mythological Imagination and Purging the Psyche of Toxicity
We are told a lot about human potential. Various schools of thought allude to a vast reservoir of untapped greatness within us all. Modern science confirms the limitless possibilities that metaphysical, spiritual, shamanic and philosophical voices have articulated over the millennia. The question is how do we access it? Is there a simple, tried and tested, bullet proof, definitive strategy we can employ in order to embody this seemingly limitless resource?
The happy answer is a resounding yes! The mechanism however is not so much a switch but a huge internal shift requiring immense sensitivity, constant vigilance, and the necessary uprooting of the deepest sense of self out of an ancient and no longer valid container forged in the passionate yearnings of our ancestors untold generations deep.
The delicacy and complexity of this process cannot be overstated and the challenge it entails impossible to exaggerate so entrenched are the forces that jealously guard its transformation.
The good news is that the very force of Life which exists within us all is the marvellous invincible antidote to the perennial poison drip fed into the soul in its private confinement.
The so called spiritual path is nothing less than the natural impulse of consciousness to know itself BEYOND the existing boundaries of thought which encompass it.
Every failure to cope with a life situation can be related in the end to a restriction of consciousness and therefore the solution is always underpinned by its expansion.
The trick is how do we release those constraints and still add value to the lives of others and the world in which we share. It is here that our imagination must be engaged and victory over the negative wandering ego mind gently but firmly brought into the sharp focus of the abiding Truth at the core and essence of us all.
Because modern institutionalised society is politically controlled by private interest groups who do not have the welfare of the individual at heart nothing exits to encourage this demarche. On the contrary – a multitude of sophisticated traps, diversions and illusions pepper the eyes of us all, providing as they do, an invitation to rise above them. So effective and embedded is this mass hypnosis, programming and conditioning that almost all our internal resources have been diverted into maintaining the very thing which imprisons us.
As a culture therefore we are living out of context with the very nature of life itself.
An irresistible evolutionary impulse exists within us all. Life provides a perfect infinite eternal playground in which to explore and express that impulse.
It is the resisting of this inner unconquerable urge which is the root cause of all disease and stress. Impossible to resist we exist in the cages of our minds and feed an insatiable yearning to know life, to know ourselves, our very own nature with pathetic substitutes. These substitutes are everything artificial which pervades our world.
In a mythological language the world is often likened to a great tree. When we resist the calling of our souls we are like the seeds of that tree acquiescing to our confinement. Selfish husbandmen have taken our seed and planted it in Perspex containers and when we are young we are unaware of our containment but once something in us touches the boundaries of our imposed limitations we sense the disease. And it is to the dissolution of the container that the hero’s journey is called to directly address.
Mythology – specifically the hero’s journey, provides a general formula or map with which to navigate the specific zones of the psyche, gauge the growth of consciousness and anticipate what may lie ahead.
Who and where are his ogres? Those are the reflections of the unsolved enigmas of his own humanity. What are his ideals? Those are the symptoms of his grasp of life. Joseph Campbell ~ The Hero’s Journey
Our internal fears are mythological challenges – guardians of the impasse, dragons, ogres, projections of deceitful and dangerous persons, circumstance, impossible monsters that offer super natural challenge all represent the self-same single thing. The boundaries of the existing consciousness – the perimeter of the village, the safety of the nest, the comfort of the status quo. These guardians are the gatekeepers of the next sphere of consciousness where in the evolutionary impulse is calling us to live.
Perilous journey into the darkness descending intentionally or no into the crooked lanes of his own spiritual labyrinth he soon finds himself in a landscape of symbolical figures any of which may swallow him – the purification of the self, senses cleaned and humbled and the energies and interests concentrated on transcendental things this is the process of dissolving and transcending and transmuting the infantile images of our personal past
Movement is life. Stagnancy is death. Adventures, movies, heroic stories of great journeys typify this internal impulse and temporarily satisfy the need to feel the movement within oneself but it is not enough to sit back and be entertained we must if we are to find the peace that is our birthright heed the call of our soul and set out on this journey by turning within and taking the very first steps into our own inner darkness ourselves.
The Koran ~Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you?
Joseph Campbell tells us that a multitude of preliminary victories, unretainable ecstasies and momentary glimpses of that wonderful land await the brave adventurer who walks deeper within. Plant medicines, naturally altered states of consciousness, all afford a tantalising peek into a greater world beyond the boundaries of the normal waking state of consciousness; but the path is generations deep and the landscape made of our ancestors thoughts and dreams, fears and yearnings, indeed every vibration uttered in the soul. How then does one deal with such a vast amount of psychic content and complexity? Analysis is redundant – superfluous, the modern world littered with the shattered images of exhausted psycho analysts and process facilitators – how does one use a thimble sized filter to process an ocean of waste?
No psychological process is equipped to deal with this amount of content only purgation and surrender to the Truth, Power and Love of a Living God – The Pure Spirit of Life will suffice.