~ Joseph Campbell
Stillness everywhere, bathed in neither light nor darkness. A vast yawning, yet nothing. No awareness, no thing of which to be aware. No consciousness. No existence.
Out of nowhere, and of nothing, a movement. A ripple in the still pool. A nudge, infinitesimal while at once infinite. A gentle rhythm develops. Force and resistance. Friction. Reaction. A vortex. Swirling masses. A storm.
With the dawning of self-awareness comes the birth of separation. Awareness of self conjures the recognition of other. Curiosity. The lust for survival. Competition.Out of the storm bursts forth the conscious awareness of existence. Reflection and wonder. Thirst for knowledge. Hunger for experience.
Knowledge, and the wisdom of its use, provides the fundamental means of survival. Self-awareness becomes the instrument for a spirit’s furthering of its existence.
In its primal quest for survival, the spirit seeks a hero. It requires a chivalrous servant who will plunge to the depths single-mindedly in search of its personal brass ring—life-extending experience and knowledge. Our soul is the champion of our spirit. As our soul descends into the dense medium of a physical incarnation, it embarks on a hero’s adventure. It crosses the threshold, leaving the gates of the eternal community. It accepts the challenge of seeking out truth, morality, virtue, growth, and ultimate survival through the experiences of physical incarnation.
Upon death, the soul returns to the spirit, bearing gifts of memories, character, and change. More pieces of the character find places in the spirit’s architecture. The alterations in its structure demonstrate movement; the expansion and contraction of the spirit is as if it takes a breath. Memories are all that remain of the sensual experiences, relationships, and adventures that give color to the spirit’s perceptions and imagination.
Awaken to the reality that you are the hero of your own tale. You are the only hope that your spirit has of ultimate survival.
Although there are infinite aspects of you existing throughout history, marked by your numerous incarnations, the present aspect of you is the culmination of all the others. You are the result of all your experiences. You, in this moment, represent all the expansive growth, minus all the contractive movement that you have ever experienced. You are the full, and singular, representative of your spirit.
Be the hero. Plunge deeply and seize your ring!pirit has of ultimate survival. Although there are infinite aspects of you existing throughout history, marked by your numerous incarnations, the present aspect of you is the culmination of all the others. You are the result of all your experiences. You, in this moment, represent all the expansive growth, minus all the contractive movement that you have ever experienced. You are the full, and singular, representative of your spirit.
The foregoing is an excerpt from my book, Exploring Past Lives: Your Soul’s Quest for Consciousness. While there are other ordinary, and not so ordinary, reasons to explore your past lives, let’s focus for a moment of your own hero’s journey.
You may want to find a quiet place to relax, where you will be undisturbed for a while, and open to a blank page of your journal.
Take in a deep breath; exhale and relax. Clear your mind of the busy-ness of your life, enjoying this time that is just for you.
Imagine, for a moment, taking the perspective of your spirit, formless energy encapsulating your consciousness. Your perceptions are obtained from your subtle body. Without eyes and ears, nerves or tongue, you explore your surroundings and discern the nature of life. With childlike curiosity, begin to imagine what it would be like to contemplate incarnating into a physical body—a vortex of energy so slow and dense that it is bound by gravity. While it is only an idea, an unknown dream, what is the attraction? How will you benefit, and what will be the drawback of physicality?
As your urge for a physical body grows, so does your desire to seek adventure, new information, the brass ring of your hero’s journey. A portion of your spirit begins to form as a soul that has the potential to extend into the physical realms and be embodied in that dense vortex of sensuality and experience. It is wondrous and exciting; your hopes accelerate with the idea of the potentiality of this event.
What do you know about that potential? What are the hopes and dreams of your spirit as your soul begins the plunge? What treasure do you anticipate will be returned to you? In what way do you yearn to shape your spirit differently through this experience?
Thoughtfully contemplate these questions, and take the time to make notes in your journal. Allow the imagination to fly and the words to flow. No thoughts or ideas are too fantastical or too mundane.
And then, focusing inward, return, once again, to the perspective of your spirit. From that viewpoint, observe the portion of your soul that has incarnated into this present body. What are the hopes and dreams it has for you, as you move through this life as the hero in search of experience and knowledge? How are you carrying out its mission through the adventure you call this lifetime?