Joe Campbell

I had a dream I was walking with Joseph Campbell, down the city street, he said something to me, which now in the foggy remains of memory is only muddled with incoherence (because it wasn’t important). We continued walking, saying nothing. Building construction clangs and the workers clamor. I thought (in my dream) here I am walking with the preeminent mythologist and philosopher of our time, and we walk in silence, what’s wrong with me?

Nothing, it turns out, silence is transmission and images say more than words. He was much taller than me, same with the buildings under construction. The noise drowned out any words I might speak. And the occasion had me feeling small and reduced; insignificant.

And then I wake up, and forget what it was all about (determined to do it all over again). Energy rising, like the distant train rumbling through my chest and reverberating through bone and aura.

Experience

Living for experience is living for yourself. Living experience is living for others.


Experience was a way of communicating between things that are separate, but having an experience becomes less important as we realize the intrinsic togetherness of all things. The realization of interconnectedness is living fulfillment, not experiencing fulfillment.

Rodney Smith, Awakening pg. 193

The Northern Flicker calls for his mate (but I selfishly assume it has something to do with me) from the lamp post. He calls and waits patiently before taking off, flashing a brilliant turmeric underwing across the street to the tip of a cedar and continues his search. The flicker is curious because it’s a woodpecker, but unlike most woodpeckers it is tan with black speckles on its breast. He has a white tuft that when he takes for flight, or hops around foraging, he looks like a bunny skittering for the bushes. His calls are finally returned, it seems, in the cedar across the way. And so his journey has found its completion, I have no clue from how far he came, how many trees he hopped from, how many lamp posts he drummed, to get to this stage of his journey, but it seems that he will begin nesting. No longer will he only forage for himself, only burrow for one, only to protect himself.

The flicker is declining throughout the US perhaps they have taken my attention, put me under a spell, so that I might do something to help their survival, at least in this part of the neighborhood. Or perhaps coming across these magnificent animals is a sign that things are changing, a shift is coming and all I have to do is accept it. Holding on to old concepts of self for so long that giving them up and shifting consciousness is messy business. The flicker drumming the arrival of change, the chorus frog singing his song of rebirth and renewal. All I have to do is listen.

I’ve been coming across this idea a lot lately…




The hero’s journey ends with the giving up of oneself for the sake of another, the letting go of the ego, and the giving up of one’s self, for the sake of another person. Is there a more difficult and beautiful thing to accomplish?

Joseph Campbell Episode 1 “The Hero’s Adventure” (The Power of Myth series on Netflix)