Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Power of Myth -- II

My fascination with Campbell continues, so I thought I would share more of his musings (and my own) here in this space. As I was sharing with my friend, Lynn, this evening, my hunger for these teachings and others I'm encountering is so voracious and palpable that I cannot seem to download the information fast enough.

One of the leitmotifs which skips through Campbell's teachings is the importance of recognizing and honoring our divine natures. Campbell says we must "wake up to the divine which resides within each of us." In doing so, we recognize that we are not really these bodies or these minds or even these experiences. Instead, when we choose to see who we really are, we can transform our lives (and those around us) instantly.

This concept that we are all flames of the same divine spirit is among the reasons why I am so intuitively drawn towards the Indian greeting of "Namaste", which means "that which is divine and holy in me recognizes that which is divine and holy within you." In choosing to see each other's transcendent and divine natures, it becomes easier to observe and interact with each other's human physicalities without attachment or judgment.

Joseph Campbell put it this way:

"God is an intelligible sphere whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere...and the center is right where you're sitting and the other one is right where I'm sitting and each of us is a manifestation of that mystery."

Among the benefits of honoring our divine natures is that the ego cannot reside there. It cannot reside in stillness because it is of restless action. It cannot exist where there is divinity because there is fullness. And, the more we choose to see each other's divinity (the "thou") and our resulting interconnectedness, the less the ego can survive. Campbell tells us, "The ego that sees a 'thou' is not the same ego that sees an 'it'." This recognition alone can dramatically change one's psychology. Eckhart Tolle frames it this way: "So every ego is continuously struggling for survival, trying to protect and enlarge itself. To uphold the I-thought, it needs the opposite thought of "the other." The conceptual "I" cannot survive without the conceptual "other" (p. 60).

So, by removing thought constructions of "the other" or "it", we remove the obstructions between each other. We realize we are all one in the same. We realize we are the same spark of the divine flame or the same breath of the Creator or God or Source Energy or whatever your preferred mental construct is on this point. Perhaps then we can move away from outdated modi operandi and into more fulfilling modi vivendi.

No comments: