In the world of Mythology, or simply ‘Myth,’ Joseph Campbell is the preeminent scholar; he has configured the idea of Myth as a set of guiding principles for each of us in our lives. He saw the study of Mythology as the study of belief systems, in all their forms…systems, metaphorical in nature, that seem to guide societies and individuals to higher levels of being. It is primarily conveyed through stories, stories which hold the core elements of how we see and exist in the world.
Campbell saw Myth as fulfilling this sense of elemental understanding at four different metaphorical levels, from the cosmic, to the planetary, to the societal, down to the individual:
- The Metaphysical….instilling in us a sense of awe at the grand mystery of our larger existence, a sense of the transcendent mystery of the cosmos, all of creation.
- The Cosmological….instilling in us a mystical sense of our place on the planet, as received from our practical every day experiences, however they might happen.
- The Sociological…the modus imposed on us from the ethical, moral and societal order in which we live, the rites and rules that define how we are to behave as members of whatever group (or groups) contains us.
- The Psychological…instilling in us a profound sense of ourselves, individually, as to what and how we are, a need to live and grow in harmony and with integrity through the stages of our life.
I began writing these blogs in January 2017 as a way to see our individual and collective journeys to sobriety as fundamentally mythic in character. I have come to believe that all of our journeys in this regard emanate from a very profound sense of a calling, a calling to a life of wonder and service that has no equal elsewhere in our societies. I have found that, in the stories I have used to date and in the hundreds of others that are waiting for me to explore, there is the same resonance of these four functions of Myth that Campbell identifies.
In doing so, in unwrapping all these stories in the terms of our own mythic journeys, there seems to be this very powerful element of joy and excitement that is engendered in all of us. It seems to provoke a profound understanding of where our own individual journeys fit in the grand mysteries of the cosmos…and in a very powerful union with a Higher Power of our own Understanding.
That is why I am doing this. I have seen these spectacular visions of our journeys for many years now in all our meetings, conversations, and service work and I want to convey these visions to the world.
This is the second volume or compendium of these blogs which are originally published on the website of the Council on Recovery every two weeks. The first volume contained the first 23 of these blogs, published mainly in 2017, beginning in February of that year. In this volume, I repeat the first blog from 2/8/17, as an effective Introduction, and then add the 25 new ones published, and to be published, by the Council, as 2018 evolves into 2019.