Bill Moyers & Michael Winship: In Washington, Revolving Doors Are Bad For Your Health

The students, by speaking about a topic that fulfilled them, opened their hearts and revealed a small glimpse into who they truly are. They unfastened their arms and, entirely defenceless, touched upon a consciousness that no sensible person ought to get themselves involved with.

For a brief moment, they became overwhelmed with love and passion, and entered into a world of their own, singing the chorus of their spirit. And Campbell sincerely hoped his students would hang onto this rapture with all their love. For life and possibility had opened up to the student when they had allowed this love to wash over them.

Eugene Manet (1874) by Edgar Degas

Because when you are in love, you are in touch with the divine; you have the sensation that you are standing in the centre, that you have discovered what has been waiting for you all this time. Those who know better understand that they ought to trust this feeling even when, especially when, it seems irrational or foolish. For love has the power to create heroism from timidity, to make even the most uncertain path feel certain.

And this love belongs to you — it exists for no one else but you. It cannot be taught, nor manufactured, nor even helped. It is spontaneous, as you are also. For love only serves as a reflection into yourself. You cannot find it everywhere, and to believe so would be to lessen the true miracle of the word.

You only discover its power when you see some part of yourself in another that you did not recognise before. And when you discover this love, this shattering rapture, you also discover yourself. Hang onto this passion and, Campbell believed, you will gradually become who you truly are.

You are not your own puppet, you cannot create from the sheer thin air your own values. You have a nature, a belonging, a desire to understand what you are. And you pursue this yearning with great pain and frustration. You will fall over, bite your own lip, break your own heart, and all the while you are discovering who you are, following, with a great appetite, that which calls your name, all the lights and sounds of your soul.

This is your calling, your responsibility, your deepest burden. But you refuse such a duty at your own peril. Because you are not merely following your bliss, but also your blisters, everything that compels you to become who you actually are.

And if you just follow your heart, that strange turmoil that is happening within, you will see that you are more than you are. You will grow to become conscious of your being — who and why you are — and living the life you ought to be living.

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