by C.E. Dorsett
MOYERS: Do you ever have this sense when you are following your bliss, as I have at moments, of being helped by hidden hands?
CAMPBELL: All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as the result of invisible hands coming all the time—namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.
MOYERS: Have you ever had sympathy for the man who has no invisible means of support?
CAMPBELL: Who has no invisible means? Yes, he is the one that evokes compassion, the poor chap. To see him stumbling around when all the waters of life are right there really evokes one's pity.
MOYERS: The waters of eternal life are right there? Where?
CAMPBELL: Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.
(from Power of Myth 120-121)
I have experienced this in my own life the amazing power of invisible hands, or as my tradition calls it: the holy guardian angel. It is not one thing that I can point to, but a series of events that never should have happened. Brian's and my trip to Arizona in 1997, for example. We didn't have enough money to make it there and back to Maryland, but we made it anyway.
I have also experienced the negative side. When I have deviated from the path I knew I should walk, strange roadblocks have emerged from no where preventing me from continuing on that way.
This is where the myth of the Holy Guardian Angel becomes so important. It gives me a way to classify and understand the mysterious forces at work in my life. Like Campbell, I too have developed a superstition regarding invisible hands, but I do not allow that to rose color my situation. While I have experience many incidences that I can only classify as miraculous, I know it is a waste of time and effort to wait for a miracle when there are actions and/or options remaining for me.
The purpose of Myth is to aide in our comprehension of the hidden forces and energies operating on us. Most of these forces lack a supernatural origin and consist of the primal urges of compassion, pity, drive, anger, malice, and apathy. All of these are unseen in the average circumstance, but there effect is very real.
A more supernatural explanation may be offered in Jung's collective unconscious that moves and motivates societies, or there may in fact be a truly mythic power orchestrating and coordinating these events. While we are yet living, there is no way to know for certain.
We may experience the power of supernatural aide, or cling to the hope in our darkest hour, but we must never delude ourselves into thinking we understand exactly what is happen. It is a mystery, and will always remain such. The myths struggle to give it meaning, but they will never find a complete answer. That is what faith is for.