Sacrifice as a Catalyst for Rebirth and Bliss in Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey
Joseph Campbell is one of the most influential writers, philosophers, and professors in history. His work on mythology has taken native stories beyond their face value and deep into the human psyche, where they resonate with the core of who we are.
Campbell’s life’s work brought countless people across the world in touch with the collective unconscious that underlies our every thought and motivates us to seek happiness. His phrase “follow your bliss” is now a household prompt, thanks to a series of interviews with celebrated journalist Bill Moyers in the early ‘90s. Gaia members can now experience this timeless discussion, listening to episodes discussing “The Hero’s Adventure”, “Sacrifice and Bliss”, and more.
Campbell’s teachings applied the lessons of heroes and metaphors of mythology to our own lives. “A myth is not a lie,” he famously said, despite this commonly misused definition. Rather, a myth is a story meant to turn the mind inward to reflect upon itself and reveal the essential truths of reality and our relationship to the transcendent.
As Campbell explains in his series of interviews with Moyers, myth is often constructed as a hero’s journey — a pivotal course of events that slowly test the story’s protagonist and push them to the next step of unfoldment — toward transcendence. Each obstacle the hero experiences is a reflection of himself, as he is moved one step closer to sacrifice the egoic sense of self to the greater good, which is total consciousness.
When we study mythology, Campbell taught, we find the theme of sacrifice to be all-important. We must let go in order to receive what is already present. Campbell said, “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” The hero sacrifices his lower nature for his higher nature, and his safety for the one he rescues, or perhaps an object of desire for a noble cause.
Campbell taught that sacrifice is a theme that runs through all things natural — death (the sacrifice of a living being) gives way to new life in an ever-continuing cycle. But death is often metaphorical and may be the death of a habit, a pattern of thinking, or an attachment to something. Or, he said, “When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.”
Perhaps the most poignant and revealing teaching that arises from the Campbell-Moyers interview on “Sacrifice and Bliss” is that once the hero has made “the ultimate sacrifice,” there is a realization that takes place. This is the stuff of enlightenment wherein the act of total surrender of the personal self gives way to the realization that there is no “other.”
This, said Campbell, is “the breakthrough of a metaphysical realization that you and the other are one” — and that the idea of separation (a separate “me” and “you”) is only due to being stuck in the temporal idea of time and space created by the egoic self. Finding this truth about Oneness, Campbell told Moyers, “is not a concept; this is a realization.”
The award-winning conversation between Moyers and Campbell is now a timeless classic. It is not only eye-opening for viewers who are new to the depth of thought behind mythology and metaphor, but also for those who have seen the interviews over and over again. Now streaming on Gaia, Campbell’s immortal words are readily available for everyone’s next step on their spiritual journey—their own personal hero’s journey toward transcendence.
Sacred Power: Medical Intuition and Why People Don't Heal
Humans are blessed with an innate potential, or “sacred power,” the highest aspect of our being and living. However, many of us don’t access this power and instead, live below our potential, spiritually, health-wise and in many other ways. The good news is that Caroline Myss, a leading expert in medical intuition, energy medicine, human consciousness, and higher living, in partnership with Gaia, has created an engaging online series entitled “Sacred Power,” designed to inspire, teach, and gently challenge us to live wholly and with the power of our mystical inheritance.
Caroline Myss is recognized for her many accomplishments, including developing the field of Energy Anatomy, as well as her educational institute, CMED (Caroline Myss Education), offering a wide range of online, on-demand, and in-person programs. Caroline is the author of five New York Times bestselling books including Anatomy of the Spirit, The Creation of Health, Why People Don’t Heal and How the Can, Sacred Contracts, Invisible Acts of Power, Entering the Castle, and Defy Gravity. In addition to her books, Caroline is the host of a weekly Hay House radio show and maintains an energetic international workshop and lecture schedule.
The series begins with exploring Medical Intuition, an emerging field of science that develops the critical role that inner, or soul healing, has on one’s well-being. It involves the stories we tell ourselves and others about our individual suffering and how it negatively impacts our health. In Myss’s words, “Your biography becomes your biology” — our body’s emotional field interacts with our cells and tissues; our internal and external experiences, positive and negative can be transformed into a source of power and healing.
According to Myss, every human being is the owner of an intuitive intelligence or sacred power: “99 percent of the time, you are listening to this intuition, responding to it, and never even notice it.“ Myss doesn’t consider medical intuition a gift that is simply dropped into our laps. She believes it is a skill that needs to be developed and fostered so that we are able to notice, pay attention to, and act upon the “energetic signals” that come our way, every day. But what exactly is “medical intuition” and how do we develop it?