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Re: An Unpate On My Journey-Part 2- An Overview of My Path to Wholeness

Pat,
You bring up a good point about the annihilation of the ego, one that needs clarification on my part. I have long held questions about Campbell's notation of how the ego must undergo a compete annihilation {The Power of Myth}. We all have an ego and it is essential to our personality. How do you annihilate something that is an intricate part of ones being? Recent experiences in my journey helped clarify what he meant, and in the process also helped me with a better understanding of his statement {also in The Power of Myth} of, "I don't need faith, I have experience". I'll try to explain what I mean and what I believe Campbell was trying to articulate.

In my post I wrote about this annihilation of ego because of the specific experiences I have 'endured' over the past several months related to the 'social' obligations of operating our family fence construction business. In the process of fulfilling these obligations I began to realize a tenancy of building barriers to the creative being due to the great demands of the mental energies required. I had less time in the pursuit of the Individuation to Self, and instead found myself reverting back to the old ways of the ego centered 'self'. I had worked to get away from specific routines of living this ego centered life and in the process a creating of new routines dedicated to my creativity and new identity. This is, in my understanding, is a vital part of the process of rebirth, dying to old ways of ego centered, material driven addictions and a resurrection of a life dedicated to the creative being. Up until I agreed to once again work full time with the family business, I had spent the past 5-6 years working part time and spending the rest of the time devoted to my creative intentions {my dream work and website Myths-Dreams-Symbols}. Also as I have aged the physical responsibilities from the work had begun to take a toll and with this resurrected self I had an outlet that provided a reasignement of these enegies. My understanding is 'in the wake of abandoning the material life there must be something to fill the void', and the 'Follow your bliss' not only became a motto but a vision, a goal. One can not just leave the ego centered, material world behind without replacing it with something more meaningful {one of the greatest reasons most people can not undertake the 'Hero Adventure', they have nothing to replace the addictions of the ego}.

Before I provide a final clarification of what i mean about the complete annihilation of the ego I want to point out something else Campbell has said. It has to do with a physical trait we all possess, what he termed in his telling of the 'Forest Adventure of Percival' {the Arthurian romances}, which includes' a final barrier' that must be overcome to achieve a complete individuation. That trait is sex. But in doing so I wish to remind all of another statement from Campbell about the Kundalini, that sex comes from the same zone as the heart, or love {as Myth comes in the same zone as dream}. From this I understand, and believe from experience, that we can supplant the temptation of the body with the experience of the heart/soul, for which the spiritual/creative being is a part. Instead of a focus on the bodily temptation of sex one can learn to replace it with a creative spirit. Let go of the ego centered, physical addictions of the body and instead focus on the 'inherent' creative aspects we possess.

The Percival version of the Grail myth is primarily a story of a failed opportunity to bliss. I remember this myth because it so strongly resonates with my journey, as it does so many who have travel a similar path as I. The sexual aspects, or addictions, was an unconscious forces in my early life. The final barrier for Percival was to overcome the temptation of the 'garter' from a married woman and instead show chivalry of a knight. I found myself cast once again in this mold during the past months and in remembering the story of Percival I have retained the sense of chivalry. That in turn is a spiritual thing in that bu not giving into the temptations of the body there is a higher existence. And in that higher existence comes a higher degree of return from natural experiences. In other words the philosophy of cause and effect are in play, 'what goes around comes around'. I do believe nature has its mechanisms to guide a person and when one takes the higher road not only does he/she eliminate the possibilities of negative experiences, nature itself provides opportunities that would not exist. In a manner of speaking I have replaced a mythical god with a natural element of a superior entity.

Summary
I do agree with Campbell that there must be a complete annihilation of the ego if one is to achieve wholeness. But it is with the death and resurrection motif. Death to the ego centered, material addicted self and a rebirth/resurrection to the spiritual identity. The annihilation is a complete remake of all that the old self believed to be important from the body. Old habits, addictions that leads one 'astray' from a spiritual life. What is reborn is a new identity based on a spiritual concept that recognizes man is not separate from nature, or god, but is a living part of each. There is no distinction from one to the other. There must be a recognition of the natural world, and true self, as a part of life if there is to be a spiritual rebirth. Instead of religion and its mandates a simple WWJD will suffice. The ego is trained to another tune of life, the muse and not the material world. The natural world and not the dogma of the church. the Self and not the selfish person who lives from unconscious addictions that leave life without any meaning. As Campbell said, 'you have to find meaning in life'. Life is without meaning, like the flower it is 'just there'. By being a flower we are capable of full bloom. By living from the ego self we will wither and die. A complete annihilation is essential, something I realized over these past weeks, from experience.

'Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning'.

I hope I have provided a good clarification. I for a long time struggled with Campbell's concept of annihilation of the ego. But as usual from experience I now understand what he meant. As in so many instances it takes an actual experience to truly understand. Wisdom is experience and more often than not it is experience that leads to true wisdom. Applying wisdom in the right fashion determines just how wise one is to be. Having a great teacher like Campbell makes it all easier to understand. I know it has worked for me.

'Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls'.

Jerry

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Re: An Unpate On My Journey-Part 2- An Overview of My Path to Wholeness

Pat,
Perhaps a good analogy of the annihilation of the ego I wish to convey is that of Germany after the first two world wars. After the first world war Germany armed forces were imposed restrictions on its war making abilities {Versailles Treaty} but not to the extent that kept them from starting the second world war. But Hitler merely ignored these restrictions and Allied powers were reluctant to engage in another war and tried the policy of appeasement. After World War II much of Germany's infrastructure was completely demolished, the people were demoralized. This is how the ego must be treated. Appeasement only shows weakness. Just like Germany with a dictator in control the ego will act the same. Take control by force, using whatever methods it deems necessary. Because of the harsh restrictions placed on Germany after the second world war West Germany became a democracy and eventually East Germany joined them {after the fall of the Soviet Union}. The ego is the ultimate 'Self-sabotager'. Our ego feeds on fear, doubt and pain. The more we attach ourselves to our ego thoughts, the further we move away from our soul truth. It is our 'dark side'. It is the polar opposite of who you really are, it is not your True Self. Our dreams try to convey who we really are, make us whole, be our true Self. Jung talked about our some complexes usurp the ego, take control. We have to be mindful of this power or, as I described in my experiences over the past few months, loose control of our destiny to the ego-centric self.

Jerry

Myths-Dreams-Symbols is Sponsored by:
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