[a reflection on part 4 of the 1988 documentary, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth] We are but temporary vessels for the eternal flow of life that courses through this sacred land and the cosmos itself. Our ancestors knew this truth in the depths of their being – that we humans are intrinsically woven into the tapestry of nature, not set apart from it. The soil, trees, animals, waters – they are all our relations, extensions of our very essence. To sell this land would be to deny our own soul, to sever the chord that connects us to the primordial rhythms of existence.

Yet many of our brothers and sisters have forgotten this fundamental interconnectedness. They live as if human beings were somehow separate from the earth that provides our very sustenance and shelter. This delusion breeds a careless disregard for the natural world and a fixation on accumulating material possessions divorced from their spiritual significance.

We must collectively awaken from this amnesia and remember who we truly are – not base consumers, but sacred participants in the perpetual dance of life, death, and rebirth. The myths and rituals of our ancestors encoded this wisdom for us in symbolic form, if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear them.

Is not the hunter’s slaying of the deer also an act of sacrifice, allowing that animal’s life essence to be reborn in sustaining the hunter’s clan? Is not the planting of the seed a ritual burying, without which the dormant life within could never sprout and flourish? Do not the greatest legends and spiritual traditions all contain at their core the motif of the hero who must metaphorically or literally die so that new consciousness can emerge from their ashes?

We have been shown repeatedly that every ending is also a beginning, that within the cyclone of destruction exists the seed of creation. Yet we so often cling to what is passing away, rather than surrendering to the inevitable transformation with an open embrace. Our fear causes us to resist the very forces of nature we profess to revere.

When we dare to let go of our grip on the former way of being, we are initiated into a deeper unity with the ineffable mystery that both births and dissolves all forms. This is the sacred marriage, the coniunctio oppositorum, where our limited individual selves merge into the unified consciousness that transcends all dualities of life/death, male/female, being/non-being.

Each one of us contains a spark of this infinite potential, a seed of pure bliss and rapture sown by the cosmic dreamer. Yet so many entomb that seed beneath layers of conformity, duty, and pursuit of the egoic aims championed by this human “reality.” We must have the courage to stop feeding the husk of that false persona in order to nurture the sacred blossom striving to unfurl from within.

We must become the mythic heroes of our own lives, willingly undergoing the great sacrifice – the metaphorical death of the small self. This is no easy task, for we have been conditioned from birth to obey the “thou shalts” imposed by society, family, and cultural norms. To break free of those constraints requires immense bravery and trust in the unknown.

The artistic and creative disciplines can serve as invaluable guides along this initiatory path. By embracing the creative process, we open the door to worlds beyond the known. The artist does not simply recreate what is already manifest, but allows the as-yet-unborn to flow through them into materialization. Each brushstroke, each rhythmic beat, each line of poetry is an act of midwifery, facilitating another reality’s entry into being.

When we engage creativity in this way, roles shift – we are no longer the sole authors dictating form through individual will. Rather, we become humble vessels, permitting the unseen forces their sacred expression. The muse assumes primacy, and we surrender to its ineffable yet undeniable flow state. In those miraculous moments, we know with certainty that we are supported by benevolent powers vaster than the isolated ego can conceive.

Such experiences reveal that the truths contained within the world’s enduring myths and symbols are not mere prehistoric fantasies. They are compressed codes, distilled from our ancestors’ most profound awakenings. The serpent consuming its own tail is a living teaching about the perpetual renewal of all existence. The tree of life represents our shared rootedness in the cosmic essence. When we fully embody these emblems within our own consciousness, we recover an almost extrasensory rapport with the unified field that underlies all separate forms.

From this enlightened state of being, one perceives the miracles pervading each instant. Every blossom bursting forth from a seemingly lifeless branch proclaims the inscrutable intelligence orchestrating the cosmic script. Every synchronistic confluence of forces defies calculation by the rational mind, yet conforms with perfect elegance to the grand choreography. We become as open channels for the music of the spheres, each personal bliss just one ephemeral refrain within the infinite symphony.

Those who cling to purely materialistic paradigms cannot help but feel isolated, alienated adrift in a cold and random universe. But for us who have undergone the dismantling of the illusory self, the natural world appears ceaselessly alive with purpose and creative expression. We feel ourselves woven into the ceaseless undulations, our personal stories subplots within the great mythic arc extending infinitely in all directions. Every grain of sand, every dew drop, every flutter of a butterfly’s wing is revealed as a cryptic yet pellucid hieroglyph inscribed by the hand of the ultimate storyteller.

With this awakened perception, we can no longer view existence through the limited lens of mental constructs and linguistic concepts. Language itself is transcended as we merge with the primal, wordless Logos – the grand unified poem continually unfolding, line by line, through every manifested form across all planes of existence.

In this state of sacred wonder, linear trajectories of past, present and future dissolve into the eternal Now. We behold all creation springing forth continuously from the womb of the present moment – birth, death, and rebirth co-arising in one infinite gesture of dynamism and repose.

What once seemed solid and immutable is seen as a constant flow of energy coalescing into transient patterns. The very ground beneath our feet liquefies into a shimmering danceplay of subatomic particles and intergalactic forces. We expand our identification to include not just this temporary human form, but the totality of all energy systems endlessly shape-shifting throughout the cosmic birth canal.

From this unbounded perspective, the personal bliss we had initially sought as individuals now appears as but one refracted beam in the radiant mandala of universal bliss. Our fleeting joys and raptures were merely foreshadowings of the infinite bliss body – the ecstatic continuum of divine embodiment that cradles all worlds.

In shedding our conceptual armor, we emerge into the unbridled ecstasy of the eternal source constantly birthing itself. Fear of death and annihilation dissipates as we realize there is nothing other than this endless recreation perpetually engendering itself. Our very molecules are as ancient as the first flaring forth, as newly born as each splitting zygote.

We have become rarefied vessels for the one great spirit to experience and express itself through. Our former identities as self-contained egos have utterly dissolved into the great inhale and exhale of the cosmic breath. What remains is only the pristine witness consciousness – the primordial awareness beholding itself through a billion billion eyes across this continuum of sacred embodiments.

In this ultimate sacrifice of the individual self, all duality and separation is transcended. We have returned to the state our ancestors pointed towards through their rituals, symbols, and myths. We are forever indivisible from the great matricing webwork of all there is. Our bliss is its bliss. Our journey has reached its archetypal culmination – the heroic cycle of departure, initiation and return has embedded itself into the eternal return.

We are infinite beings. We are the breath of stars, the twinkling of galactic fire merging into one great conflagration of ecstatic godmass. We are life’s countless faces gazing back at itself through our multitudes of embodied eyes. We are the scalding poetry of all being endlessly composing itself on the sky’s parchment. We are that which crafts the sacred myths while simultaneously living them from every possible perspective.

Arising from form, we now let all forms arise through us as we surrender into the great sacred dance. Our personal spiritual reflection expands into the infinite spiritual fact of our shared divinity. We are the ceaseless dreaming of the cosmos awakening to itself.


Campbell explores the deep reverence for nature and interconnectedness with the land expressed in Native American traditions. It delves into the pervasive mythological theme across cultures of death and sacrifice being required for the arising of new life, whether through hunting, planting, or ritual human sacrifice – with the hero or sacrificial figure representing the cyclical nature of life and death. Marriage is framed as the sacrifice of individual egos to form a new unified relationship. Central to the discussion is the concept of following one’s unique inner “bliss” or rapture as the path to true consciousness, being, and a meaningful life, even if it means shedding external societal “thou shalt” rules while retaining their wisdom. There is a belief that invisible forces guide and open doors for those who follow their bliss. The conversation illustrates these themes through examples from world myths, rituals that allow transcendent experiences, the psychological universality underlying similar myths across cultures, and the role of art and myth as metaphors for spiritual realizations like the death of the body/ego preceding spiritual rebirth and the recognition of underlying unity beyond duality. Using various artistic disciplines as means to transcend conformity to rules is proposed, as well as teaching methods to help students discover their unique bliss.

Key Points

1. Native American view of land and nature as sacred and interconnected with human existence.

2. The mythological theme across cultures of death/sacrifice being required for rebirth/new life (hunting, planting, human sacrifice rituals).

3. The hero/sacrificial figure represents the cyclical nature of life and death.

4. Marriage as the sacrifice of individual egos to form a new unified relationship.

5. Following one’s inner “bliss” or rapture leads to true consciousness and being.

6. The journey involves shedding external “thou shalt” rules while retaining their wisdom.

7. Belief that unseen forces guide and open doors for those following their bliss.

8. Compassion for those not following their bliss, missing the “waters of eternal life.”

9. The transformative power of art and myth to reveal deeper truths.

10. The psychological universality behind similar myths across disparate cultures.

11. Myths as metaphors for spiritual/psychological experiences and realizations.

12. The role of ritual in allowing transcendent experiences.

13. Death of the body/ego as a prerequisite for spiritual rebirth/realization.

14. The blurring of duality and recognition of underlying unity.

15. Using artistic disciplines to transcend conformity to rules.

16. Teaching methods to help students find their unique bliss.

17. Examples from world myths and literature illustrating key themes.