When asked, “What is the meaning of life?” Joseph Campbell responded thus: “There is no meaning. We bring the meaning to it.”
Our very lives provide us with everything we need to discover who we are and why we are here, offering us everything we need to find meaning. We are all heroes on meaningful journeys.
Chuck and I have revealed intimate details of our lives over the past several weeks in our blogs, having had to face moments of deep anguish and wrenching sadness. Yet interwoven within those moments of turmoil were many moments of awe, moments of breakthrough and insight, moments of transparency leading to transcendence, for all involved. Meaning is being discovered and lived each day as the members of our family take their journeys, as they face their deepest issues and broken selves, as we all face where the devastating and the magical have landed us.
All of us live magical lives. If we accept ourselves as magical beings, as magical pursuers of meaning, we find that the very lives we live are more than fulfilling. There is great power and energy in turning what on the one hand may appear as devastating and hopeless—those knocks on the head, those wake up calls—into meaningful encounters with what we need to progress and grow. “To refuse the call means stagnation,” says Joseph Campbell.
We are all offered supremely necessary encounters with our inner darkness as we live our lives and face the reality of where we are. Our real duty in life is to take what is offered as a new opportunity to face our fears and challenges with a shift in awareness. That shift in awareness must be that we are being asked to evolve, that we are being asked to wake up and take the hero’s journey. Suddenly, our journeys take on new meaning. Suddenly we are no longer victims but warriors of our own destiny. “Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging,” says Joseph Campbell.
And so, as the energy of change that has rolled through our family reverberates throughout the world—for none of us are alone in our moments of darkness or our moments of awe—as we look for the higher meaning in all of our lives, we share the energy of change with all of you. For we are aware that there is a greater interconnected web of energy that courses through us all.
As we acquiesce to that greater interconnectedness, we discover that we are all the same, that we are all nothing and that we are all everything; we are darkness and transcendence alike. We discover that we all must suffer personally for the greater good, for if we are to change the world we must suffer the changing self.
We are all capable of experiencing the transcendent. As we reach up out of our stuckness and seek meaning for all that befalls us, we offer ourselves the answers that we seek. Why did this have to happen to me? Well, it happened so you could grow. This is what we personally have had stressed to us over the past several weeks. We are all in the process of growing every day of our lives. Let that be the guidance that moves you along on your own journey.
In the deepest of challenges, and in the most radiant experiences of awe, we discover the meaning of who we are and why we are here. Joseph Campbell, whose words of wisdom have helped us weather through the flood of recent events, says: “Breaking out is following your bliss pattern, quitting the old place, starting your hero journey, following your bliss.”
Keep breaking out and bliss will meet you.
Joseph Campbell quotes are from: Reflections on the Art of Living, A Joseph Campbell Companion, Selected and Edited by Diane K. Osbon