joseph campbell

What Would JC Do?

No one has supported me through the transitions of my life more than JC, also known as, Joseph Campbell. His wisdom:

"One fine evening I was in my favorite restaurant there, and at the next table there was a father, a mother, and a scrawny boy about twelve years old. The father said to the boy, 'Drink your tomato juice.'

And the boy said, 'I don’t want to.' Then the father, with a louder voice, said, 'Drink your tomato juice.' And the mother said, 'Don’t make him do what he doesn’t want to do.' The father looked at her and said, 'He can’t go through life doing what he wants to do. If he does only what he wants to do, he’ll be dead. Look at me. I’ve never done a thing I wanted to in all my life.'

That’s the man who never followed his bliss. You may have a success in life, but then just think of it – what kind of life was it? What good was it – you’ve never done the thing you wanted to do in all your life. I always tell my students, go where you body and soul want to go. When you have the feeling, then stay with it, and don’t let anyone throw you off.

We are having experiences all the time which may on occasion render some sense of this, a little intuition of where your bliss is. Grab it. No one can tell you what it is going to be. You have to learn to recognize your own depth."


Your Potential

"Just sheer life cannot be said to have a purpose, because look at all the different purposes it has all over the place. But each incarnation, you might say, has a potentiality, and the mission of life is to live that potentiality. How do you do it? My answer is, 'Follow your bliss.' There’s something inside you that knows when you’re in the center, that knows when you’re on the beam or off the beam, And if you get off the beam to earn money, you’ve lost your life. And if you stay in the center and don’t get any money, you still have your bliss." ~ Joseph Campbell


A Stroke of Insight

On Day Four of my recent drawing class, the teacher started the day by playing a video of Jill Bolte Taylor's Ted talk about her stroke and the miraculous, peaceful effect of having full access to her Right brain. I had read her book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, but was very touched by her talk. In it she delineates the powers of our Left and Right brains. The Right side of our brain she states is about the present moment, thinking in pictures and it learns kinesthetically. She describes it as, “I’m an energy being connected to the energies around me via my right brain.”

The Left side of our brain is linear and methodical. It’s all about the past and the future. “It takes an enormous collage of the present and picks out details and then more details about those details,” Ms. Taylor says. It thinks in language. It is the annoying inner chatter. “It’s the voice that says ‘I am.”

If you’re wondering, “What voice?” Then you’ve just identified your voice.

Taylor adds that as soon as that voice says “I am” you become separated from the energies around you. Which reminded me of an old myth on the birth of Self described by Joseph Campbell to Bill Moyers in The Power of Myth:

"There is a wonderful story of the deity (Hindu), of the Self that said, 'I am.' As soon as it said “I am,” it was afraid. Then it thought, 'What should I be afraid of, I’m the only thing that is.' And as soon as it said that, it felt lonesome, and wished that there were another, and so it felt desire. It swelled, split in two, became male and female, and begot the world."

Ms. Taylor's Ted Talk: [youtube][/youtube]