Tag Archives: Joseph Campbell

Shamans and Medicine Men


Whenever I’m reading a book or watching a video there may be one snippet that really turns the light bulb in my head, or should I say my heart, on. I want to start writing these down so I can have a repository of them to look back on. Two of my inspirations are Deepak Chopra and Joseph Campbell. I saw a video today that Deepak’s son, Gotham Chopra, produced. In one segment he was talking to his father, and Deepak said one of those snippets that caught me like that. The quote comes at the 2:38 mark in the video above.

And so, what Medicine Men have done throughout ages, is actually triggered the body’s response to what it normally wants to do.

I think the reason this struck such a chord in me, in my deep inner self, is that it seems to be saying something that my deep, inner voice has been whispering to me for many years: That the answer is not so much in what to do next, as in what not to do next. In other words the concept of “Being.” There’s a will in nature that is antecedent of our mind, that will take us exactly to where we need to be, if we only would get out of its way. This reminds me also of a quote from Joseph Campbell:

that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are (will be) living. (link to full quote)

This reminds me of the thought that wisdom comes from nature, up through the body to our consciousness, not the other way around, down from consciousness to be imposed upon nature. Or the idea from the German Romantic philosophers (Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche) that the brain doesn’t produce consciousness, but rather consciousness produces the brain, and all other “objects.”  It also reminds me of a Timothy Leary quote: that the LSD experience was like driving consciousness down to the cellular level and putting it in touch with what the cells were communicating. Most of the time the mind is only indulged in (or deluged by) stimuli from the outside, macro world (Blake’s “Nobodaddy”), whose messages are blocking out the voice of your soul, which is a spontaneous, instantaneous awareness of your calling or purpose. In a sense, the only thing that you have to do in life, to make if work for you, is to Be True to Your Calling. When you can relax and be in silence, ask yourself calmly, “What is my purpose? Why am I here?” And then wait for your soul’s answer. Not the answer that’s been planted in your head by other people or by society. In the above statement by Campbell, “Your bliss” is equivalent to Your Soul’s True Calling.