February 22nd, 2022
A cliché usually becomes a cliché for a reason, and that reason is usually because it’s true.
Besides watching his interviews and studying the examples of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, I hadn’t dug too deep into Joseph Campbell’s catalog.
Campbell was what everyone read. Lucas used Campbell to create Star Wars. Campbell was cliché.
I decided to read Campbell, but on my own terms. I wanted to pick up a book of his that hasn’t been mentioned in a thousand conversations, and I found Pathways to Bliss, the title of which is a thematic element of Cold World.
I can’t express how happy I am that I did.
It is a remarkable work and one that came at the perfect time; it was something I needed in my life right now.
Choosing just one passage is impossible, but this one lit a fire and I can see its influence on many of my favorite creators:
“We keep hearing about the revolution around us all the time: the revolution, the revolution, the revolution. Revolution doesn’t have to do with smashing something; it has to do with bringing something forth. If you spend all your time thinking about that which you are attacking, then you are negatively bound to it.
“You have to find the zeal in yourself and bring that out. That is what’s given to you — one life to live.
“Marx teaches us to blame the society for our frailties; Freud teaches us to blame our parents for our frailties; astrology teaches us to blame the universe. The only place to look for blame is within; you didn’t have the guts to bring up your full moon and live the life that was your potential.”
I was surprised at how wide this work was in its scope. It’s not one thing, and it really touches on everything.
It’s another book to add to your pile if you’re looking for something to enrich and uplift you, and improve your perspective. It’s a phenomenal tool if you’re a storyteller, too; it covers myth as well as any of his other works.
I’ve spent a lot of time with words lately that have taken the power out of believing in things. It’s been hard for me. These words inspire me to put that power into things worth believing in.