CALL IT MAGIC An Introduction by A. A. Augustine 8.22.20
You can save some time and get the condensed version of the larger purpose and meaning behind my show and company with the meme and video you see here. They recently "found" me as most things tend to do now. Just try to come back when you have the time to read everything below if you can't now. It took a long time to put it all together and it's worth it. I promise.
Prologue Like trying to put an ocean in a cup
So, I thought about how I would introduce all of this to you for a long time. But how do you put an ocean in a cup? Well, with the way the realm of quantum physics is starting to unfold (pun intended), someday, it may indeed be possible to put an entire ocean in a cup. But for now... ummmm... no. Not-gonna-happen. And similarly, this introduction was not gonna happen either in such a tightly succinct manner. It just can't. And hopefully, by the end of this, a few miles waaaay down there somewhere, you'll see exactly why that is.
What I came up with, was a plan to introduce all of this to you, first and foremost, by directly referencing one of the most influential excerpts from one of the most influential books in my life. My thought was and is, that it will help you better understand me, my work and really, everything I have and will create here. And I have to say, that after reading this back just now prior to writing this preamble, it works just fine.
The excerpt I decided to share with you is taken from an interview Bill Moyers did at Lucas Ranch in California with Joseph Campbell in 1988 just months before his death. And yes, Lucas Ranch is indeed the used-to-be/sacredly-secret compound that's tucked deep into the hills in Marian County, California where George Lucas (it's creator) used to run the Star Wars empire from. Of course, this was long before the "Mouse-House" got it's greedy, when is enough ever enough, cheese-ladden, little paws all over it. And yes, George and Joseph were buds and yes, Joseph had a huge influence on George's work. But enough about that though. This interview ultimately became the PBS television series and book entitled "The Power of Myth".
"The Power of Myth" has been a deep source of light in my life when things have went up in fire only to then go completely dark. I have rebuilt my life and career on the ashes of those fires and "The Power of Myth" has been one of the very few lights that lit the path through that darkness to ultimately guide me back home to the people, life and work that I love most in this world. To my most truest, highest self.
Combined with my long-winded, stumbly-tumbly writing style, the following entry is way too long for a simple introduction. But, as you will quickly come to understand, that is my nature. I over-communicate pretty much all the time and over the years, I've learned to accept it for what it is and I truly hope that you can too. I'm only human and it's something I'm working on among many, many other things about myself. So please bear with me. Hey, if I wasn't able to talk and write like I do, in the way I do it, then I wouldn't be here in the first place. It is what it is, as they say.
I fully understand and appreciate that the time we give is the most precious thing we have to offer and I certainly don't ever want anyone to feel that I have wasted their time. I mean, that's kinda the entire idea behind these 5:00 videos. We all have 5:00 to give to a good thought or idea that lightens up our day, makes us see the world different, gives us some insight or anecdote or simply makes us smile and offers a 5:00 time-out from the world, it's stressors and our seemingly endless list of responsibilities. Right? Right!
So thank you, for giving me your time. I do hope you find my work worth it. ~AA
I Evoking your higher nature
Joseph Campbell & the Power of Myth ‘The Hero’s Adventure’ June 21, 1988
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: If a person doesn’t listen to the demands of his own spiritual and heart life, and insists on a certain program, you’re going to have a schizophrenic crack-up. The person has put himself off-center; he has aligned himself with a programmatic life, and it’s not the one the body’s interested in at all. And the world’s full of people who have stopped listening to themselves. In my own life, I’ve had many opportunities to commit myself to a system and to go with it, and to obey its requirements. My life has been that of a maverick; I would not submit.
BILL MOYERS: You really believe that the creative spirit ranges on its own out there, beyond the boundaries?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Yes, I do.
BILL MOYERS: Something of the hero in that, I don’t mean to suggest that you see yourself as a hero.
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: No, I don’t, but I see myself as a maverick.
BILL MOYERS: So perhaps the hero lurks in each one of us, when we don’t know it.
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, yes, I mean, our life evokes our character, and you find out more about yourself as you go on. And it’s very nice to be able to put yourself in situations that will evoke your higher nature, rather than your lower.
II Simple questions
I'll start my introduction to you by asking you a very simple question...
Where's YOUR Magic?
What's YOUR Magic?
What's your gift?
Do you really even know?
Do you see it?
Have you found it yet?
Well, that's totally OK. You're certainly in good company, because most of us don't know, can't seem to figure it out and haven't even scratched the surface of those questions yet. Now, that doesn't mean that you won't or can't, it just means you haven't yet. And like most things life teaches us, its probably because you simply weren't ready.
But ahhhh... you seeeeeee... something brought you here today and now... you are here. And once here, you-are-in. But once you enter, you have to know that there's no way out... but through.
You gotta get in to get out, my friend. It's the only way. Welcome to the rabbit hole of the soul. Eventually, we ALL find ourselves here.
Either a traumatic life event forces us here kicking and screaming and dragging our feet or we finally come to understand that we need to come here of our own will and volition because we know we have to cross this river to get to the other side.
But nonetheless... Here-you-are. And here-I-am. So let's start by playing a game, shall we?
Stop reading this for a second and look around you.
No, DO IT!
No one's looking and if they are, they'll certainly not know what the heck you're doing anyway, or care.
I bet, right now, within arms reach of you, you can see something truly beautiful and magical that may even mean the world to you. It's probably something you may not even think about anymore and take for granted having simply stopped "seeing" it. And now, it's just sitting there, collecting dust, being all magical and stuff waiting for you to acknowledge its presence in your life again, buuuuuut... all you do, is ignore it.
SO STOP THAT!
Close you eyes for ten seconds, take a deeeeep breath, clear your over-active brain and over-worried heart, open your eyes, release your breath and now take a look around you.
You see it, don't you?
I knew you would.
Do you "see" what I mean now?
THAT'S what I am talking about.
That's the Universe talking to you.
That's it's language.
It's sooo quiet, so deeply still, and yet, as clear and loud and simple and true as a lightning clap.
Because the truth is the truth whether you're a human, a lion, a tree or a purple-ten-headed-four-armed-methane-breathing-something-or-other on planet X!
Over time, as you get used to "listening" in this way, you will begin to "see" how your higher path and calling is really all around you. Just as it always has been and always will be. Everyday, and everywhere you go. A parallel path to your higher self that's safely just a few feet away and all you ever have had to do, is make the choice to say YES to it and step on your own yellow-bricked-road and... off 'ya go!
You are ready to receive.
Yes, starting to "see" the things around you in this way and letting yourself free-fall into THAT PATH, with THOSE NEEDS, with THOSE WANTS, will be oddly surreal and overwhelming at first, and may even feel selfish as it all starts to unfold for you. And just like most of us did at the start, you'll probably resist it and call it hippy-dippy-pseud-everything garbage.
Over time, as you continue to see the things that really matter to you, all around you, your mind and heart will inevitably, irrevocably start to change and you will indeed find yourself forever changed through these tiny, but deeply valuable experiences. Answers will start to come to the big questions, through the smallest of moments and feelings. Answers that you previously, probably, had no answers for and things will start to become lucidly clear and make more sense to you than they ever did before. You are opening up. To you.
In essence, you are "seeing". For the very first time. Or, as I found the web-kids like to say... You start to become... "woke". Eyes-wide-open. You begin to instinctively "read the room" of your life as well as the larger world around you.
The little exercise that I just described above is a very good, accessible jumping-on... no, "stepping-on" point to begin your never-ending journey toward being awakened from what will feel like, a long-dark-sleep.
Starting with something so easily accessible that you can do anywhere, any day and time you choose to is a good way for you to see what you truly value and gravitate toward.
It's all about being connected and the bigger picture. It's all from the "In to the out and out to the in..." as I like to say.
Sooooooo... You might be thinking ... HEEEEEY??? I thought this was an explanation of what the hell this little TV show was all about, and not a quasi-hippie-trash-new-age-rah-rah session! What gives?
Well, hold on... HOOOOOLD ON! We're getting there. There's a much bigger picture here and it directly relates to you.
In the end, this is ALL about YOU... not me.
III A state of connection
When you start to continually and instinctively do these little "attraction exercises" (taking a breath, looking around you and seeing the things that truly mean something to you), you'll have no choice but to start to feel more connected.
To your emotions.
To your memories.
To the good, positive energy around you.
As you begin to "wake up" in this way, to the things that are practically calling you to come out and play with your higher-self, you'll find yourself staring to instinctively want more of it. But as I said up top, you'll have to "get in to get out" if you want more.
It's a process.
This little exercise and it's "awakened-aftermath" results, can really help you molt a skin that was never really yours to begin with and help you get on a path that allows you grow into the person you want, need and were meant to be.
Once you start doing this on a regular basis, you'll more than likely find that all of a sudden, the synergy between you, and who and/or whatever wacky quantum-mumbo-jumbo is really behind this soul-experience we are all having here, will start to flow and you'll start to effortlessly feel in unison, in balance and in sync with it all.
You'll start to recognize the synchronicities in your life and they'll literally start popping up all over the place.
Follow these "coincidences" and the feelings of... "Hey, I feel like I'm actually on the right track now!" that comes along with them. And then, have faith in that.
Have faith in the Universe, the truth and most importantly, yourself.
Believe in yourself.
And trust what the Universe has in store for you.
Because it's meant for you... and ONLY YOU... to experience.
After all, it's the "observer's" Universe.
That's why you/we/I... am/are... here.
And to quote a VERY famous Walrus...
"I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together!"
Trust and follow each and every small and large personal synchronicity, synergy, sign and symbol right home to your higher self that's been waiting for you to "wake up" all along. Because THAT YOU... has quietly, patiently been waiting, patiently been speaking directly to you and only you, since the day you were born.
Listen to that voice.
And you can start this journey right this minute with the simple, anyone-can-do-it-anywhere... "mindful-appreciation-exercise" I just described above.
IV Magic, bliss, love or fairly-dust
I've come to believe that the thing that's ultimately behind the curtain here speaks to all of us in different ways, but still, all at the same time. It's quantum. It's magic. It's real. It surrounds us all every moment of everyday single day and there's not a thing you can do about it except accept it and learn to listen to what its telling you.
And the simple, daily "appreciation-exercise" exercise I described above really will help you get there.
Keep at it and I promise you will start to see that those incremental, seemingly infinitesimally tiny "coincidental breadcrumbs" begin to lift you up to your higher-self.
To your best self.
Incrementally leading you to your truest path and higher, highest purpose. To your "purposeful-path" as I like to say. The "purposeful-path" that was solely meant for you.
Whatever it is, whatever it means to you personally, I could give a crap and I'm sure Joe and Ethan would wholeheartedly agree with me.
Magic, bliss. love or hippy-fied fairy-dust... it doesn't matter at all.
Just listen to it.
Listen to your heart.
Listen to your gut.
And follow the signs around you if you're not there yet.
Pay close attention to the things that give you a spark, that make you happy and give you joy and peace and allow you to feel the beauty of life.
Because these... are the exact things that are meant for you to see and experience.
And it's a different experience for almost each and every one of us.
It's "Life, the Universe and Everything's" way to gently nudge you (like a mama deer does to a newborn fawn) onto your existential feet and get you on your way.
So don't ignore it.
Try to look around and listen to everything, everywhere you go, because everything... is there... for YOU.
Listen to the two buck chachki from the vacation you took to Vermont last Fall.
Listen to an heirloom your Mom gave you.
Listen to something near you right now that you've had since childhood and can't bear to part with no matter how hard you try and no matter how much your good judgement cannot seem to justify holding onto any longer.
Listen to those things.
To their voice.
To their energy.
To what they are trying to tell you.
Listen to the feeling a person gives you.
To feeling a town gives you.
To the feelings you feel when you feel them.
Listen to EVERYTHING around you.
Every moment... of everyday.
Because your truth and your higher path is interwoven into the very fabric of those feelings.
V Capturing everyday magic
Now, once again, you may be asking yourself, what the hell does ANY OF THIS have to do with this TV show?
But are you starting to see?
Did you read the description again?
It's not so cryptic anymore, is it?
I have taught myself to get on my highest path and see the bigger picture through the smallest things and you can too if you aren't already.
And this is all I'm trying to accomplish and capture on my show.
I tell my story.
I share myself.
I try to capture the beauty in the most ordinary, everyday, yet contradictory, deeply, extraordinary things around me, because they are the things that matter most in this world.
The life that surrounds you matters.
The people, the home, the street, the block, the city... everything.
My goal is to be able to find the beauty and magic in the everyday things we take for granted and get you seeing that the beauty is all around you if only you would choose to see it.
And when you do, you'll quickly understand that it's those very things that give us life, give us joy and give us the spark.
Listen, it's too easy to get blinded and heartbroken by modern life and it's multiple-headed, straight-jacket-inducing stressers. We are conditioned, mostly through my industry, to simply forget to stop, look around and see the world through the eyes of the person you were before the world grabbed you by the neck and tried to choke-hold you into compliant submission.
Fear is a liar, a thief, a dream-stealer and a human-potential-crusher.
But it's also a ghost.
All you have ever had to do to conquer your fear, was walk through it.
Fear is a ghost we create in our own mind because the unknown is scarier than the safety and security of the known. Even if the life we know sucks and doesn't truly suit us as people at all.
And hey, getting what you want and being the person that reaches your potential (or comes pretty damn close) doesn't leave much "Walter Mitty" day-creaming time left. But believe me, living a life you love and cherish is a far, far faaar more satisfying thing then a daydream.
How do I know?
Because I'm living mine, silly!
I know, this is uniquely personal, scary stuff in a way, especially, if you are surrounded by people who haven't even tried to get there. But try. Will you? For you. You can do it. You can.
And no, no, NO... AGAIN... AGAAAAIN... I am NOT talking about anything big here. Because that's not how I've come to believe the great-quantum-gear-box behind the big-black-curtain works.
The real, true magical beauty of the Universe is quiet, almost silent.
There's still real magic here if you look around and listen and take that right back... into you and then give that back and shine that out... from you.
Now, are you starting to see what all of this is about?
When you watch my show, I want you to say... "Hey, I never saw that bridge like that!" or... "I never really looked at that building that way. I always thought it was an old heap."
The world is a very beautiful place if you "frame-it" right. If you "see it" with a beautiful, hopeful, ageless heart.
You can teach yourself to do the same thing by starting right where you are today.
Just STOP and look around you right now and you'll see it too. I promise. You will.
The trick is, to keep "seeing" and don't stop due to a dark moment in your own life or even a dire global situation such as the entire year of 2020 has been.
Now you should start to see what I mean by my "mission".
In the end... the light... my light... your light... OUR LIGHT... will always outshine the darkness. For that is the way it's always been and will always be. And that, is really all I have to say about it and that's all I'm trying to do with my show here.
I'm just shinning my light back into the darkness. Shining my tiny light to add to all of other tiny lights that are all doing the same thing.
I do this, through my work, by highlighting the everyday beauty and magic all around us that mostly, we choose not to see.
Inevitably, as you get on your path here, you'll find a way that's as unique as you are to shine your own light.
Yes, the world can be an ugly hot-hot-mess, especially right now deep into 2020. But the hard-truth is, that it's always been this way as long as there are people on it. Let's face it, we are are a deeply-dysfunctional-self-destructive-messy species.
But here's the rub against that though...
I/we/you... have a choice.
You don't have to see the world as such an ugly place even if everyone is starting to have the sinking feeling that we're all screwed right now.
So when you start to feel that way, just remember that there's still an overwhelming amount of joy, light, trust, faith, love, abundance and beauty here. All around you. Everyday. But it all starts with you "seeing" it in the first place.
Life is all in how you choose to see things.
And by now, I do hope that you can start to understand what this is all about.
VI Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to you
So it's getting into the late morning of my 52nd Birthday and I've been sitting here tap-tap-tapping all this out to you for a good long while, lost in my thoughts.
I am sweaty, my head is groggy, my butt is kinda sore and I'm in my old, tore-up and can't seem to part with, boxers and haven't even had my coffee yet.
And all of these these, are the very first words of what I have birthed, over years... no... decades... of fighting to find myself and my truest work.
I've been thinking about how to tell you all of this for a long time now and I don't know... I woke up this morning and BAM... it was all right there in my head.
So what choice did I have but to get my butt over here and write 'til it was all puked out of my fingers.
There isn't a more appropriate time and place to write this all down and introduce to you what will be the next and last 20 years of my working life until I eventually grow to weary to do this anymore and I ride my tired old ass out into the sunset and truly disappear into the ether like all good humans should do when their mission is completed.
But now is certainly not that time.
I just got here and have decades of good work to share with you all inside me.
I've grown to a point where I am now and feel like I am just beginning.
I am only now, truly ready to receive, truly ready to give and truly ready to be... truly me. In all the nakedly raw, openly honest ways that I couldn't imagine a few short years ago.
VII Thank you...
Thank you for your support and joining me on journey. It means everything to me and I hope you find some value here in my life's work and I deeply hope that this helps you find and "see" the beauty and magic that surrounds you, right here... right now in the moment you're reading this.
Because the magic, the beauty and the deep knowing and personal transformation that comes from recognizing and living in this space on a daily basis, is the true spark of life. It holds the keys to the joy, the wonder, the hope and endless possibilities that makes us inherently ... well... US... in spite of the fear based life and subsequent personal choices that come with that that the world and modern-mass-media landscape tries to continually heard us all into.
So Happy Birthday to me and Happy Birthday to "DWNY" (BD 8.22.2017) and HEY... Happy Birthday TO YOU TOO... For what I think can be a new birth for you!
May we both be a small candle of light in a continually, ever-darkening World.
As God as my witness, I just checked the time as I am finishing writing this and it's 11:11, 8.22.20!!!!
And you know what that means, right?
And THAT'S the magic I've been telling you about.
The synchronicity and contentedness you have with everything when you are in your flow.
Take a look.
Here's the EXACT screen shot of this moment.
And YES, my desktop is ALWAYS THAT CLEAN.
You have no idea! :}
And THAT, my friend, is how I have learned to listen and why I think we should all start to listen.
And I do now.
I am gently reminded "told" to stop... right here.
And I listen.
And I stop.
Who am I to not?
I truly hope that over time, through my work here, I can help you appreciate, find and "see" all the deeply beautiful magic that surrounds you and that calls you to find your truest path to your highest self.
Just take a look around.
All the answers you need are right here, right now.
Just as they always have been.
The choice to listen and gooooo... has always been yours.
Yeah... I thought you would by now, if you've actually hung in there with me.
This YOUR DREAM remember...
"Life IS but a dream"!
You'll see this eventually and it's all yours to dream.
You know, that reminds me of one-last-thing as we part ways here.
See, all this is really about... is home!
We ALL are looking for a home or our way to it.
But you see.. "Home".
Well, THAT is in your heart, silly.
Always will be.
And it's always there with you.
YOU have the power.
You had it all along.
Everything you have or will ever need.. is right inside you.
You... Are the ...YOU-ni-VERSE.
So get on it, will ya?
And you know, it JUST dawned on me that there's a scene from a very famous movie I can place here to play this out with you that I have subconsciously referenced a few times here without even realizing it.
So here 'ya go... one-last-time... ♥♥♥
VIII It was always in you, all along...
DOROTHY Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?
GLINDA You don't need to be helped any longer. You've always had the power to go back to Kansas.
DOROTHY I have?
SCARECROW Then why didn't you tell her before?
GLINDA Because she wouldn't have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.
TIN MAN What have you learned, Dorothy?
DOROTHY Well, I -- I think that it -- that it wasn't enough just to want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em -- and it's that -- if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?
GLINDA That's all it is!
SCARECROW But that's so easy! I should have thought of it for you.
TIN MAN I should have felt it in my heart.
GLINDA No. She had to find it out for herself. Now, those magic slippers will take you home in two seconds!
DOROTHY ...Toto, too?
GLINDA Toto, too.
DOROTHY Oh, now?
GLINDA Whenever you wish.
DOROTHY Oh, dear -- that's too wonderful to be true! Oh, it's -- it's going to be so hard to say goodbye. I love you all, too. Goodbye, Tin Man. Oh, don't cry. You'll rust so dreadfully. Here -- here's your oil-can. Goodbye.
TIN MAN Now I know I've got a heart -- 'cause it's breaking.
DOROTHY Oh -- Goodbye, Lion. You know, I know it isn't right, but I'm going to miss the way you used to holler for help before you found your courage.
LION Well -- I would never've found it if it hadn't been for you.
DOROTHY I think I'll miss you most of all.
GLINDA Are you ready now?
DOROTHY Yes. Say goodbye, Toto.
Dorothy waves Toto's paw at the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow -- then speaks to Glinda -- Glinda instructs her --
DOROTHY Yes, I'm ready now.
GLINDA Then close your eyes, and tap your heels together three times.
Dorothy's heels as she clicks them together three times --
GLINDA And think to yourself -- "There's no place like home; there's no place like home; there's no place like home."
DOROTHY There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home...
Epilogue The man who never followed his bliss
If you're really a gluten for punishment and can stand reading even more than the tome I just puked-out, I have included one of my favorite passages from the entire "The Power of Myth" book and TV special below. ~AA
BILL MOYERS: What is that story about and I forget where it comes from about the camel and then the lion, and along the way you lose the burden of youth?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: The three transformations of the spirit. That’s Nietzsche. That’s the prologue to Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
BILL MOYERS: Tell me that story.
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: When you are a child, when you are young and a young person, you are a camel. The camel gets down on its knees and says, “Put a load on me.” This is obedience. This is receiving the instruction, information that your society knows you must have in order to live a competent life. When the camel is well loaded, he gets up on his feet, struggles to his feet, and runs out into the desert, where he becomes transformed into a lion. The heavier the load, the more powerful the lion. The function of the lion is to kill a dragon, and the name of the dragon is “Thou Shalt.” And on every scale of the dragon there is a “Thou Shalt” imprinted. Some of it comes from 2,000 years, 4,000 years ago. Some of it comes from yesterday morning’s newspaper headline. When the dragon is killed, the lion is transformed into a child, an innocent child living out of its own dynamic. And Nietzsche uses the term, ein aus sich rollendes Rad, a wheel rolling out of its own center. That’s what you become. That is the mature individual.
The “Thou Shalt” is the civilizing force, it turns a human animal into a civilized human being. But the one who has thrown off the “Thou Shalts” is still a civilized human being. Do you see? He has been humanized, you might say, by the “Thou Shalt” system, so his performance now as a child is not simply childlike at all. He has assimilated the culture and thrown it off as a “Thou Shalt.” But this is the way in any art work. You go to work and study an art. You study the techniques, you study all the rules, and the rules are put upon you by a teacher. Then there comes a time of using the rules, not being used by them. Do you understand what I’m saying? And one way is to follow…and I always tell my students, follow your bliss.
BILL MOYERS: Follow your bliss?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Your bliss, where the deep of sense of being in form and going where your body and soul want to go, when you have that feeling, then stay with it and don’t let anyone throw you off. Have you ever read Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt?
BILL MOYERS: Not in a long time.
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Do you remember the last line? “I’ve never done a thing I wanted to in all my life.”
BILL MOYERS: Quite an admission.
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: That’s the man who never followed his bliss. Well, I heard that line. I was living in Bronxville when I was teaching at Sarah Lawrence. Before I was married, I used to be eating out in the restaurants of the town for my lunch and dinners. And Thursday night was the maid’s night off in Bronxville, so that all the families were out in the restaurants. And one fine evening, I was in my favorite restaurant there. It was a Greek restaurant. And at a table was sitting a father, a mother, and a scrawny little boy here, about 12 years old. And the father says to the boy, “Drink your orange drink your tomato juice.” And the boy says, “I don’t want to.” And the father with a louder voice says, “Drink your tomato juice.” And the mother says, “Don’t make him do what he doesn’t want to do.” The father looks at her, and he says, “He can’t go through life doing what he wants to do.” Said, “If he does only what he wants to do, he’ll be dead. Look at me, I’ve never done a thing I wanted to in all my life.” I said, My God, Babbitt incarnate. And that’s the man who never followed his bliss.
Well, you may have a success in life, but then just think of it, what kind of life was it, what good is it? You’ve never done a thing you wanted to in all your life.
BILL MOYERS: What happens when you follow your bliss?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: You come to bliss. This should be it in marriage. I mean, that’s the sense of the marriage ceremony. In the Middle Ages, a favorite image that occurs in many, many contexts is the wheel of fortune. There’s the hub of the wheel, and there’s the revolving rim of the wheel. And if you attached to the rim of the wheel, let’s say fortune, you will be either above, going down, at the bottom, or coming up. But if you are at the hub, you’re in the same place all the time. And that’s the sense of the marriage vow, you know. I take you in health or sickness, you know, in wealth or poverty, but I take you and you are my bliss, riot the wealth that you might bring me, nor the social prestige, but you. And that’s following your bliss.
I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit which is the great spiritual language of the world, and they know all about it and have known about it for a long time, the transcendent is transcendent. But there are three terms that bring you to the brink, you might say the jumping off place to the ocean. And the three terms are sat, chit, ananda. And sat, the word sat means “being.” Chit means “full consciousness.” And ananda means “rapture.” So I thought, I don’t know whether my consciousness is full consciousness or not, I don’t know whether my being is proper being or not, but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture and that’ll bring me both being and full consciousness, and it worked.
BILL MOYERS: What was your rapture?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, it started with Indians, and then it went on into more and more mythological matters and the realm of the arts, music, and when I met Jean, then the dance came in, and this is it, just stay with that.
BILL MOYERS: And one doesn’t have to be a poet to do this, carpenters do it, farmers do it.
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: A poet is simply one who’s made a profession and a lifestyle of being in touch with that. Most people have to be concerned with other things. They get themselves involved in economic and other activities, or you’re drafted into a war that isn’t the one you’re interested in, and how to hold to this umbilical, you might say, under those circumstances? That’s a technique each one has to work out for himself somehow. But most people living in that realm of what might be called occasional concerns, they all have the capacity that’s waiting to be awakened, to move to this other place. I know it, I’ve seen it happen in students. A wonderful way of teaching we have at Sarah Lawrence, where I taught for 38 years, I’d have an individual conference with every one of my students at least once a fortnight for half an hour or so. And there you’re talking on about the things that students ought to be reading, and suddenly you hit on something that the student really responds to. You could see the eyes open, the complexion changes, a life possibility has opened there. And all you can say to yourself is, I hope this child hangs onto that, you know. They may or may not, but when they do, they’ve found a life right there in the room with you.
BILL MOYERS: How would you advise somebody to tap that spring of eternal life, that joy, that is right there?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, we’re having experiences all the time which may on occasion render some sense of this, a little intuition of where your joy is. Grab it; no one can tell you what it’s going to be. I mean, you’ve got to learn to recognize your own depths.
BILL MOYERS: Do you ever have this sense, when you’re following your bliss, as I have at moments, of being helped by hidden hands?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: All the time. It’s miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as the result of invisible hands coming all the time. Namely, that if you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you’re living somehow. And well, you can see it. You begin to deal with people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss, and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.
BILL MOYERS: Do you ever have sympathy for the man who has no invisible means of support?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Who has no invisible means yes, he’s the one that evokes compassion, you know, the poor chap. And to see him stumbling around, when the water of immortal life is right there, is really evokes one’s pity.
BILL MOYERS: Right there? Right there? You believe that?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Yes, yes.
BILL MOYERS: The waters of eternal life?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Right there.
BILL MOYERS: Where?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Wherever you are if you’re following your bliss. I mean, you’re having that joy, that refreshment, that life, all the time.