“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where you would not have thought there would be doors and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else…” – Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell was an early 20th century American scholar of world mythology. He dissected and analyzed ancient stories from every inhabited part of the globe. These stories varied greatly from culture to culture yet there was a similarity in all of them. It was these similarities that intrigued Campbell as they seemed to have a message concerning humanity as a whole as well as every individual. From the stories he studied, Campbell developed a “monomyth” that he called “The Hero’s Journey”.
The documentary Finding Joe, written and directed by Patrick Solomon, explores what The Hero’s Journey is and how it relates to every individual. When viewing this documentary one should be warned that she or he may just decide to quit her or his job and become a “starving artist”. The documentary encourages people to look at the cultivation of the soul as not just a luxury for those with extra time and money, but a necessity for anyone wishing to live the most fulfilling and meaningful life possible.
The title Finding Joe is a bit deceiving as this is not a documentary on Joseph Campbell as much as it is an invitation to discover one’s own self and one’s own passion. When Campbell says “Follow your bliss” he means to acquiesce to the true longing of one’s own soul, to take heed to the muse within. When a person answers the call from the soul, that person radiates and finds success and prosperity. The reason that most people do not follow their bliss is that it appears to be a path of folly. Campbell’s idea that following bliss, cultivating one’s own unique art, will lead to prosperity and success is not self-evident. In the myths around the world, the hero must always take a risk. It is courage that defines the hero. According to Campbell, everyone has the potential to be a hero. The hero lays dormant deep within the soul. All it takes is a little inspiration, a little courage, and a rather large leap of faith for the hero to manifest. I have a “Follow your bliss” bumper sticker on my vehicle. I have adopted Joseph Campbell’s words as my career counseling motto as well as a motto for life.