Joseph Campbell: The real dragon is in you. That’s your ego holding you in – what I want, what I believe, what I can do, what I think I love, what I regard as the aim of my life and so forth. It might be too small. It might be that which pins you down. If it’s simply that of doing what the environment tells you to do it certainly is pinning you down. And so the environment is your dragon as it reflects within yourself.
Bill Moyers: How do I slay that dragon within me? What’s the journey I have to make, you have to make, each of us has to make? You talk about something call “the soul’s high adventure”…
Joseph Campbell: My general formula for my students is “follow your bliss.” Find where it is and don’t be afraid to follow it.
Bill Moyers: Can my bliss be my life? My love of my life’s work? Is it my work? Or my life?
Joseph Campbell: Well, if the work that you are doing is the work that you chose to do because you are enjoying it, that’s it. But if you think “Oh, I couldn’t do that.” That’s your dragon locking you in. “Oh, no I couldn’t be a writer.” “Oh, no I couldn’t do what so-and-so is doing.”
Bill Moyers: Unlike the classic heros, we’re not going on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves…
Joseph Campbell: And in doing that you do save the world. I mean, you do. The influence of a vital person… vitalizes. There’s no doubt about it. The world is a wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting it around and changing the rules and so forth. No. Any world is a living world if it’s alive. And the thing is to bring it to life, and the way to bring it to life is to find in your own case where your life is and be alive to yourself, it seems to me.
Bill Moyer: You say I have to take that journey and slay those dragons. Do I have to go alone?
Joseph Campbell: If you have someone who can help you, that’s fine, too. But, ultimately, the last trick has to be done by you.
Find your source. Die to it to be reborn. Departure, fulfillment, return. Losing yourself and giving of yourself. Transformation of consciousness – by trials, tests, illuminating revelations.
“It’s important to live life with a knowledge of its mystery, and of your own mystery.”
“When people find out what it is that’s ticking in them they get straightened out.”
“It’s the adventure of being alive; of living.”
– Joseph Campbell
Watch the entire interview with here.