Courbet, Fox Caught in a Trap
We are trapped in our mind.
“I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings.”— GUSTAVE FLAUBERT
The point in this life is not simply to “become somebody,” but to become who we were each intended to be when we first entered this world. For each of us has the most to give and contributes most meaningfully when we become who we were intended to be from the beginning. That is the inside story and the hidden message that has been etched upon each soul.”-- Michael Meade, “The Genius Myth”
Work begins when you don’t like what you’re doing. Tension, a lack of honesty, and a sense of unreality come from following the wrong force in your life. As an adult, you must rediscover the moving power of your life!” - A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living
We are led astray by the world, yes, but we are the world, as the saying goes. Our minds construct and reconstruct the world we meet every day. We are meeting our minds in society and in our dreams, in our habits and in our products, daily, minute by minute. We are trapped by our inability to detach from our conditioned mind.
So, how do we come upon that mysterious “moving power of our lives” that Campbell talks about? We can work by trial and error, that’s one way. It’s a little dangerous to do that because we can easily get entangled in the world’s temptations and conventions, in which case you will miss your calling. You’ll find your life shrinking and petrified in the most alarming way.
Finding space in your mind is a more direct way. A relaxed, unbusy mind, a mind that can listen to inner impulses is equipped to hear the true self speaking. The torrent of words, judgements and received ideas that have been overwhelming the attractions of what you naturally love has abated. You can follow that moving power where it leads.
We don’t know about these traps when we are young. No one alerts us to them, usually. We accept the conventions we are presented with. We are given our uniform and our rifle and told to fall in line and march. It takes some gumption and grit to resist.
I tried to do as I was told. I assumed my revulsion and resistance was a weakness and a fault, not a gift. Somehow my core nature found a way, though, like a stream of water making its own path by natural laws. I was lucky, I was persistent, I was unable to go the way I was directed. I had friends who never came back from a stupid war or who succumbed to an alcoholic tragedy. I was no less confused as how to wend my way through life’s ambushes. I was one of the fortunates who managed to sidestep the worst.
At this point, I can’t help but be concerned by those sensitive youngsters (now almost everybody is a youngster in my eyes) who are faced with a system that just wants to use them, ignoring their genius, their mission and their potential.
Creation and creative people having become my bailiwick, I try to alert anyone willing to listen to what they’re up against. I try to indicate the size of the obstacles, what the issues are and why we must assert ourselves to live our truth.
As our society deconstructs, as the emergency becomes ever more fast-moving, it behooves us all to focus on truth, kindness and helping each other.
- Anima Fire is my publication