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Slaying Dragons and Spirituality

Slaying dragons has been my primary focus in the past few weeks {being preoccupied with my business} and at times I have wondered if I will lose any of those intuitive qualities that are so essential in my dream work. Those days that are so full of having to fulfill my obligations to society {the need to insure food and shelter} I sometimes question whether I am going in the wrong direction, and sacrificing my true self. This has happened before and with those past experiences and 'getting back' to what I love most, I believe I have an answer to that particular question. And it is NO, I am not going backwards.

Two reasons for that conclusion. One is that I am doing what I have to do in life to survive. It is not only my survival but also my son and his family {he is in the process of taking over the business full time}. I am required to do what is necessary and I see it as part of the sacrifices one must make in life for the 'other'. Of course it is more personal since it does involve my son and family. But as Joseph Campbell stated in one of his radio interviews with Michael Toms, 'there is an inherent need to give of oneself no matter the sacrifice required. One main quality of the hero path is sacrificing to the other. We would not be human if not for those qualities of sacrifice. That is an essential aspect of the hero adventure, readily visible whenever you read a myth.

The other is that when I visited the forum this morning and read the reply to my interpretation of a post, there was an automatic desire to provide an answer in full detail. My intuitive senses are so taxed when I am having to deal with the 'dragon' world but those senses are now so strong my intuitive self awakens and clarity returns. It has become a dependable aspect of who I am. It may not be as intense as it would be if I were able to fully concentrate on my dream work but it is still present and forceful. And what makes it so is the fact that my dream work and exploration of the psyche world is my 'true' love in life. It is my 'bliss' and will sustain me no matter how difficult the dragon world becomes.
I see it as a form of sacrifice, the kind that is required when one 'returns' from the netherworld of the hero path and shares the 'boons' learned from those adventures. The soul's desire is to share, a natural aspect that comes when one undertakes the adventure, actually living the life as prescribed by Campbell and Jung. Participating in the world of sorrows but doing it from the spiritual/creative Self and not from an ego-influenced aspect.

So, on those days when it seems that the dragon is one up and is ready to advance, we must remember there are such days because life is 'all sorrowful'.

'All life is sorrowful' is the first Buddhist saying, and it is. It wouldn't be life if there were not temporality involved which is sorrow. Loss, loss, loss....Joseph Campbell

It is the spirit that must be kept in front and centered, doing what must be done but in the context of the soul, and not the ego.

The death and resurrection of Christ on the cross is metaphor for what must happen to the individual. A complete annihilation {death} of the ego and a resurrection to the spiritual.


Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 56 Murfreesboro, Tn.

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

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Re: Slaying Dragons and Spirituality

Hello, Gerard,

I'm not familiar with the WRITINGS or much else about Joseph Campbell. I only know that my parents had one of his books on their special shelf reserved for special books.

Nor have I read Jung, but have had over 2 years of Jungian Art Therapy. Wish I could find a way to have it now, but it's too expensive. Those were specially funded programs I found.

You wrote:

"One main quality of the hero path is sacrificing to the other. We would not be human if not for those qualities of sacrifice. That is an essential aspect of the hero adventure, readily visible whenever you read a myth." And then you quoted Campbell.

This was good to read -- a lot of times, people query me as to "why" I do the committed things I do for the community. Things concerning, for example, justice. All such people can see is that, perhaps, I "shouldn't be involved" in a justice issue around someone of a different racial or ethinic group, b/c I'm not of that group. Or justice around children's or schooling issues, "because [you] don't have kids."

To me, it's as clear as crystal, and the feeling is so obvious that this is "just something people do." But I guess these people don't do these things.

One time, I accidentally flushed the metal spring-bar-roller from the tissue-holder down the toilet, at a friend's. It got stuck half way down the double-curved porcelain pipe of the stool, of course. I sighed, and told him I'd stay at his place till the landlord came and got it out. He went off to work.

When the landlord came, he was AGHAST that I was not only THERE, but also that I paid the $29.00 charge for removing the stool from the floor, retrieving the stuck roller, and reattaching the stool back onto the floor.

He said, "you are such a wonderful friend!" I went "duh" in my mind, and said to him, "But...that's just what people DO! If you damage something, you take care of it."

I can't imagine what another person would have done -- just left? And abandoned the entire friendship, or what?

Maybe this is b/c I was raised in the Presbyterian church as a Christian? We talked about these things.

Maybe it is because my father was an attorney?

Who knows why this is so clear to me, and is not so clear to some other people?

Or, do you think that it's an inborn trait, and that those who do not really feel it, really find it inside themselves, have somehow lost touch with an archetypical human reality?

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: Age 64

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} F

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Re: Slaying Dragons and Spirituality

Gerard,

I forgot to say that I'm not a Presbyterian anymore -- left that church at about age 15. Have been on several different spiritual paths since. The one that makes the most basic sense to me is "my form" of Christian Existentialism. I have others, too. But basic is Christian Existientialsm. Your and Campbell's "all is basically sad" is, I would venture to say, Existentialsm without the Christian added. So the "all is" makes it Existentialsm, and "sad" is the "negative" of the basic Existialist thinkers.

Not that I am an expert in Existentialism. I can't even real and understand the original writings of most of them.

If you would like to discuss some of these things off the Dream site, is there some way we can sent private messages? I also have some long articles I'd like to share with you, and maybe you could share some basic Campbell and Jung?

Marian

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: Age 64

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Re: Slaying Dragons and Spirituality

Marian,
Having Joseph Campbell's book on a special shelf is appropriate. I suggest you visit the link to my page on Campbell and read some of his works. He changed my life in 1992 when I happened upon his PBS series 'The Power of Myth. Most don't know that he was a great influence on George Lucas and the Star Wars trilogy.

As for Jung, those who are ready for that inner search, the deep psychological investigation of who they are and what makes them tick, his many works can lead to that finale discovery. But as with Campbell one must be ready for the experience. This is 'soul' work at the deepest level. In the process of discovering oneself, through self examination, one will find a spiritual Self. The path that he, and Campbell, puts us on is psychological. It is through ones own journey that truths are made available. Campbell's Hero Journey and Jung's Individuation Process are pretty much the same process of realizations.

We all possess that desire to serve others, no matter what religion one may subscribe to. It is inherent but not always used as it should be. The evolution of the individual life determines whether one is to live a life of service to others {so many ways to achieve that} or a life of dependency on others {taking and giving little back}. The hero of myth is about service to others, sacrificing to the other for the greater good of mankind. For the individual the pattern of the hero is how one lives a prosperous, spiritual life, giving of oneself not so much in the context of the universal role as the hero of myth, but serving the deeper needs of family, and oneself {psychological}. I could explain in depth but unfortunately my time very limited {I have to work today}. If you will visit the links I have provided in other posts you will gain insights to this path I live by.

As for religion and spirituality. I was raised in the Southern Baptist and Church of Christ. But by the age of 18 I had begun to question the authority of the church. Up until I discovered Campbell {at 42 in 1992} I never gave religion much thought. But the hero path is about the inner Self and that includes the spiritual. I do not belong to any one religion and have a distaste for all Western religions because they are too patriarchal. Having become a 'Jungian' I put more of an emphasis on the feminine aspect {Jesus lived out of the feminine, God the masculine}. Most religions deny the feminine because that aspect, when realized and accepted, has more power than the masculine. Of course the goal is balance between the two. Religion is for those who need to be led. Spirituality is leading oneself.

If I were to subscribe to any religious philosophy the two that stand out are Buddhism and Native American spirituality. Of the Western philosophies I see Gnosticism as the truth intent of Jesus. To be in accord with nature, not to believe there is a separation between God, man and nature, for me that is true spirituality. Respecting all living things, all things are a part of the whole and what we do to one part affects the whole. My church is the great outdoors but my sanctuary is wherever I am. I respect all religions but have little tolerance for those who speak in one tongue and live by another. Western religions are too masculine oriented and have too little respect for the earth and the environment. My spirituality is nature, the Great Mother, the earth.

How I use my spirituality is what Myths-Dreams-Symbols is about. It began with an interest in myth and dreams and evolved to this web site {I am the webmaster-all you see I created}. The Dream Forum is how I serve others, helping with dreams and understanding of oneself. In Jung's world spirituality goes hand in hand with creativity. I can achieve both with MDS and the Dream Forum. Dreams and exploration of the psyche is where my 'bliss' resides and it gives meaning to my life. That is the ultimate goal, finding meaning in one's life. Through the spiritual Self and creativity, searching within oneself, the psychological search, that is the task of the hero journey.

"People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.".....Joseph Campbell


As much as I love working with dreams I have the unfortunate need to have to spend so much of my time making a living {slaying dragons-metaphorically speaking}. This website and the Dream Forum have to share my time with the need to make a living. That is the only ting that keeps me from my ultimate 'bliss', spending all my time with dreams and exploring the psyche. I will be 57 in a few days and it may be another 10 years before I am able to give fulltime to my desires. But I could never abandon that goal, I could not. It is that one thing that gives meaning to my life {other than family} and provides true satisfaction. I am where I am by design, for the first time in my life I control {other than having to slay the dragons} my own destiny, consciously
. That is the hero journey and there is always those helping hands to guide me on in my journey. After 15 years of applying the hero formula, I know it works for me. It can work for others also {the contributors to the forum can testify to that}. For you, it may be a tool for self discovery. But there may be better ways that fit your life. If you read my pages and if it 'catches' you, well then you will know one way or the other.

Will have to end here. I have a trip to the gym before I have to 'slay' the proverbial dragons of social duty.


Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 56 Murfreesboro, Tn.

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

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