Sunday, August 15, 2010


"Follow your bliss. 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 you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.

"there is no security in following the call to adventure"

-Joseph Campbell


  1. Interesting that Campbell says there is 'no security in following adventure.' Is adventure different from bliss? Does following one's bliss mean that it is necessary to experience adventure? And if so, does bliss entail some element of risk? If we live life ensuring security will we really know bliss?

  2. Mmm, yes! Thanks for your comment. Great questions.

    I threw both of these quotes out there with no context. Let me elaborate a little now. I believe that the "adventure" Campbell speaks of here refers to "The Call to Adventure." Its is one of the steps in the archetypal hero's journey as Campbell lays out in "The Hero With A Thousand Faces."

    (All the stages are: Call to Adventure, Refusal of the Call, Crossing of the First Threshold, The Belly of the Whale, The Road of Trials, Atonement with the Father, Refusal of the Return, Crossing of the Return Threshold.)

    Campbell believed the heroic journey applies to everyone. He thought that life was enriched when we acknowledge the mythic forces at work in one's life.

    It was in his book, "The Power of the Myth," and while he was talking about the hero's journey that he said "follow your bliss." So, yes, I think following one's bliss is synonymous with embarking on our own personal hero's journeys, which is what the call to adventure is. I think security is indeed abandoned when we really turn ourselves over to following out bliss. That is the reason the "refusal of the call" stage exists; because we are too scared of what may be before us. Because following our bliss is much, much deeper than a misconstrued interpetation of: do what feels good at any given moment. Following one's bliss may mean experiencing some pain, being pulled out of one's comfort zone, leaving the realm of security.

    The adventure demands that we remain on the path that is right for us, individually, not follow anyone else's path. The adventure is what allows us to fulfill our potential, and it requires facing our fears. It is frightful, but glorious. It is spiritual adventure versus stagnant convention. Campbell always reiterated: though the journey may be hard, the road may be narrow, the destination obscured, we mustn’t refuse the “call to adventure.”

    I believe that truly following the call to adventure is the most important decision any of us will make in life.

  3. Thank you. Brilliant. Profound. Genuine. A personally authentic response. Very kind. And helpful.