The Writing Life

Discussion of Joseph Campbell's work with an emphasis on the personal creative impulse as well as the sociological role of the artist in today's global community.

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Post by JamesN. »

Carmela I agree along with Andreas that was indeed an interesting read and it brings to mind something that might fit well within your subject: ... iting.html

You may already be familiar with the genre called "Life Writing" which has now evolved toward a more highly developed form with connections to many other literary categories:

But it also reminded me of Clemsy's earlier thread: "The Story" which for me personally gets at not just "what" we write but "why" we write it.

We don't appreciate the power of story. Story, after all, is how humans make sense of the world at every level: from the personal story inside your head (and don't we like to make up stories in there! lol!) to the story of your home, family and circle of friends, to the story of your politics, to your story about the nature of existence.

Life only has meaning as a story. Otherwise, it's just a series of events.

We get along to the degree we are able to embrace the validity of each other's stories. Conflict is the tension between stories.

We are heroes to the degree we can identify and question the assumptions supporting both the larger, societal narrative and our own personal one, and break out into a new story when the old when becomes obsolete.

What story do you live in?

(Everyone has a story; and within that personal narrative is something that is driving them.) This I think in many ways is directly related to what Carl Jung described as the seeking out of one's own "personal myth" that they are in the process of discovering as they go through their different life-stages.

I think these quotes of Joseph's are relevant here:

" In the journey of the soul itself the way out is the way in. It is a movement beyond the known bounderies of faith and convention, the search for what matters, the path of destiny, the route of individuality, the road of original experience, a paradigm for the forging of counciousness itself: in short the hero's journey."

Joseph Campbell - "The Hero's Journey"


The hero's journey is a symbol that binds in the original sense of the word, two distant ideas: the spiritual quest of the ancients; with the modern search for identity.

Joseph Campbell - "The Hero's Journey"

And in a sense this internal drive to realize this understanding within one's life is connected to Joseph Campbell's definition of "The Marga" or Animal Path one follows to it's den or one's own heart. The seeking of "meaning" within this context I think lies at the very (core) of this process whether it be writing or art or any other form of self-expression.

" Jung speaks of the curve of a lifetime: the first half is the time of relationships, and the second half is the time of finding the sense of life within; or as the Hindus say, " following the Marga ", - the path, the footsteps of the human experience you've had - to your own inward life. And then total disengagement. Going through the last passage without anxiety, without fear. You go to your death singing. " - "p. 83 " A Joseph Campbell Companion - Reflections on the Art of Living ".

I think it's very cool you have reactivated this older thread and I hope that might encourage others to do the same because there is much "gold of insight" buried within many of these older topics that we could all benefit from.

Cheers 8)
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne

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Post by CarmelaBear »

"Follow your bliss" was an insight offered by Professor Campbell to his young students, who were searching for a career path. Here is another take on this kind of advice, which can be helpful at any age and in many circumstances. The eastern point of view can be both instructive and liberating. ... =prof-post
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene