Film has the ability to stimulate our conscious mind with words and stories, but can also reach more deeply into our subconscious mind with images, symbols, and themes that appeal to universal truths.
I had been exposed to the work of Joseph Campbell through a friend some time ago, but I had not taken the opportunity to fully explore his message prior to attending a screening of Patrick Takaya Solomon’s documentary Finding Joe last Friday night at the Laemmle Santa Monica theatre.
As such, my experience of the film was that of a seeker, and I felt both the content and delivery were ideally blended to introduce me to some of Joseph’s more prominent lessons while still leaving unanswered questions that I felt compelled to explore further on my own.
Many are familiar with Joseph Campbell’s works, such as his book “The Hero’s Journey” and the PBS interview documentary series “The Power of Myth”, but if you are not yet, I highly encourage you to check these out from the library, as these works amongst his other publications, more fully explore how mythology is not just about history or religion, but rather an integral part of how we interact in the world today as societies and as individuals.
More specifically, the concepts of “a hero’s journey” and “finding your bliss” are expressed in the film through the lives of individuals who have chosen to live boldly, and I was reminded of a few beautiful tenets that we can all live by:
1. We can all be heroes based on the decisions we make on our journeys.
For me, the word “hero” conjures an image of a knight in shining armor, which is one face of the hero, but just as relevant is my own face.
The face of the person next to you.
Each of us are the heroes on our own journeys if we so choose.
There is just something so very exciting about approaching life this way rather than as victims of circumstance.
2. Our fears (aka our “dragons”) are an essential part of the journey.
Without the opportunity to challenge our fears, we cannot grow and become greater.
Those closest to me know that I have had my fair share of fears and challenges to overcome, and there have been times when I would have preferred an easier, more carefree life.
However, better to envision a life where you are blessed with MORE fears and are given the opportunities to overcome them, rather than a life with none at all. The former I am finding provides a richer, fuller existence to be had while on this earth for the short time that we are.
3. Life is cyclical not linear, and made up of many journeys.
This really hit home for me, as I have followed my passions through on more than one occasion, but by society’s terms might not be deemed as a success. However, when the journeys are viewed as cycles, I can see the “success” through it all as each journey has fed into the next to bring me to where I am today.
No matter where you are on your path, I recommend you make the time to see this film when it comes to a theatre near you (and for my SoCal readers, that means this week only, as it is currently scheduled for a limited run).
Photo Credit: Finding Joe the Movie