You Are on a Hero's Journey

Your Journey


Compiled and written by John I. Mosher, Ph.D. 

Professor Emeritus, State University of New York

Other articles by Dr. Mosher are at Effective Communication and Personal Growth

A woman upon celebrating her 100th birthday was asked her secret for longevity.  She stated that she thought "that not worrying was a major factor in extending her life.  “I discovered,” she said, "that over 90% of what I worried about when I was young never happened, and that the small percent of what did happen was beyond my control.  So, I realized that worrying was a waste of time and mental energy.  From then on I trained myself not to worry".

Take time to think about why you do what you do, why you feel what you feel, why you see life the way you do.  Does your way of seeing, feeling and doing bring happiness to you and those around you? What is your dream?

There is no law that states or enforces the idea that life and events must always be as we wish them.

Make plans, set goals, do the best you can, and then take it as it comes.

Flexible trees and people survive the storms of life.

Liking and disliking is stressful and tiring; it wears one out.

Enjoy life as it is.  To flow with life is rejuvenating.

What is the benefit of a judging mind? Are you happier for judging yourself? Are you happier by judging your fellow beings?

Some Quotations:
"You may be certain that a disagreeable Person is not comfortable with themselves. The amount of pain we inflict on others is directly proportional to the amount of pain we feel within ourselves." (author unknown)

"Wrath arises from thwarted desire" (Sri Yuteswar)

"The way is easy for those who have no preference"  (old Taoist saying)

"All suffering comes from attachment to desire" (Gautama Buddha, 650 B.C.)

"As irrigators lead water where they want, As archers make their arrows straight, As carpenters carve wood, the wise shape their minds."  (The Dhammapada)

In the "spirit" of the Dhammapada quotation, the following quotations, ideas, and statements are for your new paths of thinking and contemplation:

Compassion is the recognition of the “Universal Self” in others as well as yourself. 

Compassion is unconditional love in practice." Do not judge others. Do not judge yourself. Mistakes are opportunities to learn, in disguise.

"Do not be attached to your actions or the results of your actions." (Bhagavad

"Be wise and kind and somewhat blind." (John Ray)

"Do to others as you would have them do to you." (The Bible)

Do the best you can and take it as it comes. (Various sources)

Treat all life with love and respect, including your own life, because it is all one life. Thus, what you do and think eventually affects you.

Cultivate happiness, joy, appreciation and gratitude for all.

My silence does not mean approval, it means non-interference.

"Kindly let me help you or you will drown said the monkey, putting the fish safely up a tree.”  (Alan Watts)

"When we are minding someone else's business, we are not minding our own."   (John Ray)

Intent is important.  Is the motivation for your thoughts and actions from "spirit" or from ego?

As you awaken you act from the center of your being, not from ego, not from fear. 

"When we can appreciate the beauty of the rain, the wind, and the snow as well as the sun.  Then we will be free to experience the fullness of life."   (Shakti Gawain)

In developing a product, technology, or engaging in activities, the major test must be "What effect will this have on the environment and future generations?" If you don't know, then question it and hold off doing it.

“If you really want to help this world, what you will have to teach is how to live in it.” (Joseph Campbell)

"Impulses of life give authenticity.” (Joseph Campbell)

The impulses of life are put in the realm of enjoying without attachment.  The awakened person participates fully in life, having conquered fear, attachment, and having selflessness, unconditional love, equanimity, and being of greatest use to him/her self' and others The hero's journey is the journey of self-awaken-ing.

Visualize this:
You are the hero. You were born from the realm of spirit. into the relative or physical world, that act is a: sacrifice, a heroic deed.

Consider your mother: There’s a Hero for you.  She fed your physical vehicle
from her own body.  That is sacrifice and selfless service (even though she may not have planned it).

She experienced the discomforts, cravings and emotions which are a part of pregnancy. 

She experienced the ordeal of giving birth to you, that is a sacrifice and a heroic deed.

She and your father gave you selfless service in raising you.

Now that you are in the physical world with a physical body, your hero's journey has begun.  The journey is to awaken to your true nature who you really are and act accordingly, this is the search for the Holy Grail.  Holy means whole or complete. The grail, which was a cup or plate receiving the blood of Jesus, is a symbol for awakening. Nature intends that you awaken and all conditions and experiences in your life are meant to channel you into a position where you want to go beyond the "suffering" of the mind, ego, physical relative world. Igjugarjuk (a shaman of the Caribou Eskimo of Northern Canada) is quoted as having said "True wisdom lives far from mankind out in the great loneliness and can be reached only through suffering."  It seems that it takes privation and suffering to open our mind to that which is hidden to those who do not seek awakening. To want to transcend the suffering is one of the first steps to awakening and at that time you have consciously started your search for "the Holy Grail".

Regardless of one's station in life, no matter how favored one is with material comfort, loving family and friends, no matter how powerful one is, occasionally illness is experienced, one grows old and everyone will die.  In addition there are the smaller psychological sufferings, frustrations, not being able to do what we think we want, anger of experiencing what we do not like, the envy of desiring what we do not have, the fear of losing what we do have.  We all long for happiness, yet we are constantly laying the foundations for unrest through habitual conditioning of our minds.  When we realize that we seem to be in an endless cycle of rising and falling emotions which offers no sense
of fulfillment or lasting happiness, many of us look for a remedy.  We look for another way to live.  We eventually realize what we thought was a normal condition is in fact SUFFERING.  We realize that aversion and attachment (desire) both cause suffering. These causes of suffering are based in our belief that we are separate from others. Underlying this belief is our fundamental ignorance of the nature of reality. That is taking everything as it appears. By presuming that “I” am the most important object in “my" world, we blind ourselves to the truth that everything is interdependent. It is our "ego centered" attitude (our ignorance) that causes the reaction of liking and disliking, attachment and aversion.

We can use our disturbing emotions as a catalyst for transformation. As we thoughtfully, consciously, and actively replace our disturbing mental activity with consciously chosen aware, awake and enlightened responses, our old habits are spontaneously and naturally transformed. This is a way out, using suffering as a path to liberation.

Thus our hero's journey with all of its trials and tribulations are but incidences along the way to finding the Holy Grail. The journey is one of TRANSFORMING the mind. The great teachers of all time, the awakened ones, have stated that it is the mind that experiences suffering.  They also say that the mind can be transformed and taught a way of viewing the world and of behaving in it that achieves the goals of the spiritually developed individual and ends personal suffering.

This brief introduction to developing spirituality is intended to remind you of the Way. They are to guide you through the mountains of ego, the forest of confusion, the oceans of unconsciousness, and the deserts of despair.  One day on your journey, as you look for the hidden cave behind the veil of the secret waterfall, as clearly as the eagle sees, your eyes will be opened to the treasure of the Holy Grail. You are awakened; your journey to living in Reality has begun.

(Copyright  C  2001 and prior years John I. Mosher, Ph.D., Albion, NY 14411. Reprinted with permission of the author.)


Andrew W. Saul

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