No one ever really talks about God.
Joseph Campbell believed God is the “ultimate truth” and ultimate truth can’t be contained by language.
Instead, we talk about the “penultimate truth” — which is kind of as close as we can get.
And penultimate truth is still kind of tricky so we have to use metaphors to really get to the point.
That’s why people have described God as Father, Mother, spirit, fire, shepherd, mansion-owner, etc.
The Christian tradition describes God as Trinity — 3 parts — Father, Son, Spirit.
In my course on the Alchemical (Hero’s) Journey, we describe God…
Here’s what the Call to Adventure is like:
A long time ago some Indian wives were doing the only things there were allowed to do: chores.
They suddenly heard beautiful ethereal music.
Life is a series of thresholds — beginning and ending with the big two — birth and death, but punctuated by many smaller ones along the way:
Life is about crossing these thresholds. And, with every threshold you attempt to cross, you are likely to encounter a threshold guardian — a gatekeeper. A, usually, a self-appointed sentinel who has placed themselves at the entrance of this new world in order to keep out visitors and newbies.
At school, maybe it’s an older student or…
If you google the “Monomyth” or the “Hero’s Journey” you will find no end of diagrams representing Joseph Campbell’s structure of life, death, and rebirth. Here’s a little inside information — if the steps of the diagram don’t move right to left, whoever made it might not know their Campbell.
When Campbell created his Monomyth, he had steps go in a counter-clockwise direction. He even described this movement as “The Left Hand Path,” (not to be confused with satanism or the occult). See, in Western society, left to right, clockwise, is the flow of information. We read left to right…
I was a Christian for 30+ years.
I hold no ill-will towards people who still are Christians, see the possibility of deep spiritual experience with the faith, and am happy when I see the actual ethics that Jesus taught being lived out in public — but Christianity, as interpreted by the modern church just wasn’t for me anymore.
So what then? What harbor in the storm of the 21st century exist for a refugee from America’s chosen and traditional religion.
A lot, actually.
My first stop, as a wide-eyed apostate was atheism. I was never really enamored with it as…
Who is the God of Stories?
Humans have a tendency to see Gods everywhere.
Put it down to the same proclivity of our brains to see human faces in light sockets and on the front of cars (Pareidolia, I think it’s called). We just can’t help from anthropomorphizing the world around us.
I’m a story guy. I’ve spent years studying the works of Joseph Campbell, Aristotle, Gustave Freytag, and some less recognizable names (I always think how Campbell might be surprised to hear his name connected to story and story structure — he was a mythologist and a comparative religion…
Unless you’re going to explain the point of it all.
If you ask someone how to be more centered, calm, or spiritual, whether they know anything about those topics or not, they’ll probably tell you to meditate.
If that doesn’t really satisfy you and you ask them what meditation does, they’ll likely tell you that it makes you more mindful.
If you’re feeling particularly plucky and ask them, “How?” they’ll likely mumble or stammer for a second and change the subject.
To close down the conversation completely ask them if they meditate.
I’m not trying to be a troll or…
In his book, The Soul’s Code, psychologist James Hillman returns, again and again, to the value of looking backward at life.
The book, which had its heyday of popularity 30(!) years ago in the ’90s, is all about identifying the calling of your life. His “Acorn Theory” teaches that each of us comes to earth with an internal image — a blueprint for our lives, complete a purpose and intention.
Hillman teaches that our “purpose” often finds us at a young age and, as children, we’re often not prepared for what destiny has in store for us — so we…
As a board-certified clinical hypnotherapist, I have to be familiar with all of the little tips and tricks for helping a client achieve a trance state quickly and easily. One of the most useful is having the client “pretend” to be in trance. I tell the client to act the way he think a person in trance would act. Slump their shoulders, tilt their head, close their eyes or stare blankly. However they picture a person in trance, that’s what they should pretend to be.
Why does this work? Well, for one reason, as famed hypnotherapist, Clark Hull explained, “Anything…