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(one might view much of Campbell's work
as examples of what we would call Taizokai thinking)
Life is like arriving
late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without
bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly
called away before you find out how it ends.
One way or another,
we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity
in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.
I don't believe people are looking
for the meaning of life
as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.
What each must seek
in his life never was on land or sea. It is something out of his
own unique potentiality for experience, something that never has
been and never could have been experienced by anyone else.
Your life is the fruit
of your own doing.
You have no one to blame but yourself.
The way to find out
about happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you
feel most happy, when you are really happy — not excited,
not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit
of self-analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it,
no matter what people tell you. This is what is called following
We must be willing
to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
The adventure of the
hero is the adventure of being alive.
There are certain moments
in life when you can have insights that can go past the pair of
opposites. It's as though you can see in that moment a deeper
truth, as if the opposites open and you can see into the unknown.
Schopenhauer, in his
splendid essay called "On an Apparent Intention in the Fate
of the Individual," points out that when you reach an advanced
age and look back over your lifetime, it can seem to have had
a consistent order and plan, as though composed by some novelist.
Events that when they occurred had seemed accidental and of little
moment turn out to have been indispensable factors in the composition
of a consistent plot. So who composed that plot? Schopenhauer
suggests that just as your dreams are composed by an aspect of
yourself of which your consciousness is unaware, so, too, your
whole life is composed by the will within you. And just as people
whom you will have met apparently by mere chance became leading
agents in the structuring of your life, so, too, will you have
served unknowingly as an agent, giving meaning to the lives of
others, The whole thing gears together like one big symphony,
with everything unconsciously structuring everything else. And
Schopenhauer concludes that it is as though our lives were the
features of the one great dream of a single dreamer in which all
the dream characters dream, too; so that everything links to everything
else, moved by the one will to life which is the universal will
It’s a magnificent
idea – an idea that appears in India in the mythic image
of the Net of Indra, which is a net of gems, where at every crossing
of one thread over another there is a gem reflecting all the other
reflective gems. Everything arises in mutual relation to everything
else, so you can’t blame anybody for anything. It is even
as though there were a single intention behind it all, which always
makes some kind of sense, though none of us knows what the sense
might be, or has lived the life that he quite intended.
This is the challenge
of a marriage [or committed partnership]. What a beautiful thing
is a life together as growing personalities, each helping the
other to flower, rather than just moving into the standard archetype.
It’s a wonderful thing when people can make the decision
to be something quite astonishing and unexpected, rather than
When you make the
sacrifice in marriage,
you're sacrificing not to each other
but to unity in a relationship.
You must have a room,
or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know what was in
the newspapers that morning... a place where you can simply experience
and bring forth what you are and what you might be.
- Joseph Campbell