Would that we all might rise each morning, and taking what we have to offer put it to work in doing what needs to be done, from one situation to the next throughout the day, and carry the joy of doing it and the satisfaction of having done it to rest with us at night, 'til time too rise and work again with dawn. That might be fine for the birds of the air, the fish of seas and rivers, the animals of forests and meadow lands, but human beings seem to need more variety-- diversions and distractions, addictions and escapes-- to take their minds off their plight, and give them something to look forward to more than another day with its needs to tend. We need to be entertained, thrilled, delighted, comforted, uplifted, taken away from here and now to a better place to be. No one can be where they are for long. We live looking for the action, any kind of action. We are always looking for something else, something different, something more. We are driven by our wants and desires. Not this, not this, not this... Where is it? Where is it? Where is it?... The Garden of Eden is US. We are Adam. We are Eve. Rejecting paradise for what we think will surely be better. Yet, that which we seek, according to Joseph Campbell, "lies far back in the darkest corner of the cave we most don't want to enter." It takes dying to all of our hopes and dreams to enter that cave and make it all the way to that dark corner. And so it is said, the way back to the Garden of Eden winds through the Garden of Gethsemane and across the face of Golgotha. The Eden/Gethsemane Axis awaits us all. The stillness and the silence contain what we seek. The boredom of doing/being what is needed is the path waiting to be trod in each situation as it arises. Will we? Can we? Must we? Only time will tell.
Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers recorded "The Power of Myth," in 1988. The topics covered remain as pertinent, and as true, now as they were then. Myth and metaphor--and where does that line lie-- remain true throughout time. This is a link to the last episode in the series, and is worth watching again and again throughout the time left for living. Some things cannot be heard often enough. This is one of those things.
We live in the service of something bigger than we are, perhaps the love of our children, of our partner, of our family, or of money/power/status... Some value or quality of life and/or being. What guides your boat on its path through the sea? What directs your living? What deserves/owns your deepest loyalty and devotion? Joseph Campbell talks about the importance of constructing/drawing/painting a mandala, or sacred circle, representing the sacred radiance that cannot be told/said at the center of the circle, which is also who we are in our essence, our essential self, as the core of who we are. He said, "Draw a circle and then think of the different impulse systems in your life, the different value systems in your life, and try then to compose them and find what the center is. It’s kind of a discipline for pulling all those scattered aspects of your life together, finding a center and ordering yourself to it." What is the grounding truth of who you are? Sit with the question and see what stirs to life within.