Once again is this time of the year that makes all of us to think about our self, who you are, what have you achieve, where have you come, where are you going and how other people see you or judge you.
Yes is the time of the year for the famous ‘New Year’s Resolution’. This ancient human tradition of self-torture. Every year at the last days of the year people all around the world decide to see their life once again through the lenses of pure social self-satisfying commercialism. These lenses are created simply by one’s vanity and insecurities. They are crafted gradually over the years through a culture of self-defeating individualism, spurt out from a society which embraces competition in the race for what has become a fake bliss.
Our modern way of life era has distorted our vision towards our basic human needs that may lead one to happiness. Commercialization has distorted these basic needs, like the need to be loved, to have human contact, to eat or to be warm and secure, into degradable products. We are all conditioned to believe that in order to be really happy and contempt we must collect, use and consume more and more of these sort of products.
This modern way of life is what causes some of the most common problems people face nowadays at their jobs and careers. Like everything else here in the West we gave it a nice name ‘burn out’ and came up with some smart sounding treatments and some even more expensive new drugs to help people deal with this. We fail to realize the root of these sort of symptoms is actually the fact that we have been disconnected from our self and we only see our lives through our egos and the different personas we create to fit in all the different roles society expects us to assume.
Honestly how many of us can say that what they have done in their lives so far or even more what they have set as a new year’s resolution is actually what THEY want? Since we have been convinced that happiness comes from social acceptance and material possessions we are ready to do almost everything to achieve success in these terms. And the crazy part is what? That we are ready to do all these to work for 40 years to any job makes us successful just so that we can then retire and go back and do exactly what we wanted to do as kids. Only we will do them as old people.
In a new book I am reading nowadays ‘Pathways to Bliss’ Joseph Campbell this incredible specialist on world mythologies and analyst of the human psyche unfolds with his unique way the philosophy of Carl Jung as far as people’s different levels of consciousness and their different interconnections.
What Campbell suggests is that our society and many of us individually have lost every connection to any mythological figure or rite strong enough to makes us feel move beyond the concepts of here and now to something greater than ourselves or this world. In the west the religious institutions in their paranoia to prove their dogma right in terms to the dogma of other religions they focus on preaching that the figures and myths of Christian religion and its traditions are connected to actual historical events. People though today know that this cannot be true. What they need is not someone to convince them that for example the Virgin Birth has actually happen but to feel connected with the mysteries and the awe that the myth and symbolism of the Virgin Birth penetrates to the individual and to the society as a whole.
The last decades there is a sort of turn and shift from many people here in the west to the dogmas and traditions of eastern religions like Buddhism or Hinduism. The simple explanation is that people need the philosophy of these eastern religions because these religions suggest the way by which through meditation and submission/ surrender the individual can cancel its own self and ego and to be one with the greater truth and cosmic energy. Oriental religions teaches you to find a way to cancel you own ego.
Here in the West though we embrace individuation and what in the past the symbols and myths of our Occidental religions were offering to the individual and the society was the way to realize on what stage of life one person is on and to assume the proper attitudes and attributes to helps us go through this terrible ordeal that is life. These attributes can be courage to do the right thing even if we will get hurt, compassion to forgive people and move on or humility and humbleness to be able to experience the awe of the mystery of life.
In the end Joseph Campbell argues that since our religious traditions fail now to move our imagination so to find our own bliss what remains is to find your personal myth that will open your inner psyche and will allow you to achieve and fulfil yourselves reaching its full potentials.