“The right-hand path is living in the context of the mask of one’s village. The left-hand way is of the individual quest. So the mask of the individual’s own life pulls against the mask held up by society”. -Joseph Campbell
“As we drive toward the apex of a six-lane span over the St.Johns river, the wind picks up in gust and the bridge suddenly divides. One turn is a slight turn to the right. The other turn is to the left, a very sharp turn through the yellow cables, as yellow as the morning sun. -JC
Such is life, two sides of an interchangeable cultural coin as symbols and meaning constantly trade places. What’s in vogue today is out tomorrow as each turns to the other for its’ title. This is a dance and society is leading the orchestra to a beat that holds everyone under its pulsating rhythm of fear. So the music doesn’t change as though someone requests the same song in repetitious frustration because he can’t hear the real song in his soul.
When the flip of a coin is realized and understood one is left somewhere off to the side of the road, disheveled and seeking. The empyrean of pure fire and light at the farthest boundaries of the heavenly sphere await your question; for the gods reveal themselves only when summoned, waiting for you to turn the key and open the inner door to a mythic adventure where demons, dragons, and fairies encountered in the regions of the soul. This is the path beyond the border of societies misinterpretations, the inner life or mythically speaking “the left-hand way.
Our newfound wisdom comes from the inner vision the mystics speak of. It is a lonely path in so far as the mask one longs for from the past. But loneliness soon turns to solitude in this darkness of the soul’s flight and in our emptying out we become filled with the spirit. This is Perceval quest and was only satisfied when he went against the social sanction of not asking questions, as expected of a Knight of the Roundtable and asks the Fisher King a left-handed question, “what ails you, my king”.
Society is a disguise for something deeper that can’t be held overtly for all to see. For many are indifferent and without the subsistence to keep from falling asunder. The older man has discerning eyes and by the light of a full moon whose light is derived from the sun ask the hard questions from which descends the wisdom to see life’s exceptions, discarding all that we cleave to that subsequently blinds us to who we really are. Heaven and earth, left hand in right hand will reveal their bounty as society opens to serve the individual quest. The goal must be a noble undertaking, a pursuit exalted before the heavens to begin at the point where it arcs across the earth. Many cultural layers, many situations, many lessons uncovered and either embrace or abandoned as we ascertain the left side of the self.
A friend of mine called one day and stated in a matter of fact tone, “you have to read this book; it will change your life”. The book was ‘The Power of Myth, by someone named Joseph Campbell. I was just divorced and trying to find my way in a strange new world after 13 years of marriage, a world in which I felt as one of the lost boys in Peter Pan. I was ready for something of substance but had doubts as to my friends implied assertion that this one book would open a new world of meaning to me. I was familiar with the works of Thomas Moore and M. Scott Peak so I wasn’t completely unacquainted with the idea of mythology as a psychological tool. But little did I know I was about to submerge into uncharted waters, pushing me intrinsically through the door into the abyss.Continue reading Hey Joe
We can’t embrace the warmth of the Sacred Father, the sun, locked in our comfort zone, nor without first venturing through the shadow land of the night, the storm… the abyss, the way of the left, the Nederland Path, which can never be duplicated. -Heinrich Zimmer, The Art of Indian Asia
The Call is like the neon streets of the night and you’re pulled by faith into an immersed tunnel. And what causes you to follow this ever so faint voice in the wind, but convictions of the heart. And it’s telling you to stop being fooled by the imperious ego, who designated itself king of your life. Now it’s time to step outside your small world as in a leap of faith over a chasm or in setting sail to an unknown shore.Continue reading The Call
There is something about the grace and serenity of water; it seems lazy and peaceful in one moment and then in the next, it shows great strength and power. Water is perseverance, patient, and adaptable; just think of the Colorado River creating the Grand Canyon. And most important of all, water is fluid… ever changing as the universe. Look up ‘fluid’ in any thesaurus and this is Continue reading Silent Fluidity
Further along, the road of love is affirmed with our 5th installment as we take on 3 more inflections of love. Have we learned anything? Is the going on the particle accelerator of romance reaping anything new or do we smash into one another, scratch our heads because we have more questions than answers. They say only a fool talks of love. Well, I don’t see an end to our foolishness, so here goes.Continue reading Onward to The Palace of Wisdom- Love, Pt. 5
What is life? Do you feel the seconds and minutes counting down your life are out of mind? You spend your day from task to task feeling like you’re standing immobile in your own body as a prisoner without a direction, sails laid bare, floating in a sea of indifference.
In Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Levin asks a few troubling questions, so troubling that he hides a gun and a rope knowing he may one day be so troubled by a lack of answers that he will want to end his life. I know it sounds drastic but Tolstoy modeled the character, Levin, after himself and the author did indeed carry a gun and rope with him. Levin’s questions are the same questions we are philosophically inclined to wonder about… what is life.Continue reading Questions From the Big Chair
A bit of advice given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation: ‘As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think.’ – Joseph Campbell, “Reflections on the Art of Living.”
As anyone who travels this canyon into oneself knows that its chasms cut deep. What’s expected runs amuck, the unexpected is in vogue and one must expect and accept the difference. Every time I held myself in amazement, overwhelmed at another crack discovered on the surface, another inkling of understanding, it was also matched by feelings of doubt and fear. Is it easier being numb, just grazing through life without any direction or so we may believe at times.Continue reading The Canyon
“I wrote it for myself, mostly when I couldn’t sleep. I wrote it to help explain the world to myself.” -Ron McLarty
You may recognize Ron McLarty’s name from audio books he has recorded plus movie and television appearances. He wrote ‘The Memory of Running’ in 1987 and couldn’t get it published so he decided to record it. Stephen King hears it and calls it “the best novel you won’t Continue reading ‘The Memory of Running’… A Book Review