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Joseph Campbell On The ‘Heavenly Moment’

“When you’re on a journey and the end keeps getting further and further away then you realise that the real end is the journey”

Joseph Campbell: None of us have lived the life that he intended.

Bill Moyers: And yet, we all have lived a life that had a purpose. Do you believe that?

JC: I don’t believe that life has a real purpose. I mean when you see what life really is. It’s a lot of protoplasm with an urge to reproduce and continue in being.

BM: That’s not true.

JC: Well wait a minute. Just sheer life can’t be said to have a purpose because look at all the different purposes it has all over the lot. But each incarnation you might say has a potentiality and the function of life is to live that potentiality. Well how do you do it? Well, again when my students ask “should I do this? Should I do that? Dad says I should do this.”

My answer is, follow your bliss. There’s something inside you that knows you’re in the centre, that knows you’re on the beam, that knows you’re off the beam. And if you get off the beam to earn money you’ve lost your life.

BM: So it’s not the destination that counts it’s the journey?

JC: Yes. There’s a wonderful old man, I think he’s still alive in Germany, his name is Karlfried Graf Dürckheim. He says, “when you’re on a journey and the end keeps getting further and further away then you realise that the real end is the journey.”

This is it. This moment now is the heavenly moment.

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