"If the path before you is clear, you are probably on someone else's." Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell taught at Sarah Lawrence College for 38 years and is widely considered the leading mythology expert of our time. He has an exhaustive list of books (The Hero with a Thousand Faces being his most well known), interviews, and audio recordings regarding the use of mythology to better understand our own hero’s journey.

The man who has studied the myths, tales, and stories from nearly all the cultures in recorded history, believed that the following, from an Arthurian romance, La Queste del Saint Graal, by an anonymous thirteenth century monk, best conveys the human experience.

The Story

So King Arthur and his knights are seated at the round table, and the Holy Grail appears before them, covered in a great, radiant cloth. And then it suddenly disappears. Arthur’s nephew, Gawain, proposes a quest to find the Holy Grail unveiled.

“Now we come to the text that interested me. The text reads, ‘They thought it would be a disgrace to go forth in a group. Each entered the Forest Adventurous at the point he himself had chosen, where it was darkest and there was no way or path.’

You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path. Where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s path; each human being is a unique phenomenon.

The idea is to find your own pathway to bliss.”

Spark Your Growth

We forge the path by walking, and since we are the tip of the spear of our own lives, we will always take the brunt of the force. When times get difficult, and we seem to meet resistance at every corner, we can always take solace in the fact that we are walking a path uniquely our own. The personal stressors we experience are more eustress than distress, as they are the requisite obstacles which accompany all paths, through which the adventurer must move to achieve his or her end. Uncertainty can be a great stress. But there is also no greater sign that you are on your own path. If you are in the darkest part of the forest, keep going! It's the only way to your Grail.