From page 83; " Reflections an the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion ":
_______________________________________________( Jung speaks of the curve of a lifetime being divided in half: the first half is the time of relationships, and the second half is the time of finding the sense of life within; or, as the Hindu's say, " following the marga " -the path, the footsteps of the human experience you've had -to your own inward life. )
In this forum there have been numerous posts exploring many various aspects of the individual interpretation of a ( personal mythology ); what it is, what it means, and all kinds of dimensional aspects of it's experience. And one of the key issues that keeps returning to me is: " How or what is the vehicle or psychological approach one uses in pursuing this? " ( Here is the key phrase that ( to me ) unlocks or cracks open the doorway of the threshold to understanding at least part of this perspective. ):
" following the marga " -the path, the footsteps of the human experience you've had -to your own inward life.
Contemplation and reflection are most often some of the western terms used to identify or describe the psychological position or viewpoint. But in some of the more eastern views; such as from India or Asia ; as in the Confucian, Hindu, or Buddhist traditions for instance; the distinctions might be constructed from a different; and slightly more impersonal and nuanced perception.
Now I should also point out here that for some it might be difficult to remove some of the more spiritual; and indeed for many ( religious ) aspects from the mental or psychological distinctions within this framework. ( But ); in consideration of Joseph Campbell's close philosophical connections with Carl Jung's understanding of these mental life processes and what IMHO he was trying to reveal; I think this will be important to remember for clarity's sake.
It might be worth mentioning here that a critical realization for Jung had to do with this focus in discovering his own personal myth as he points out in: " Memories, Dreams, and Reflections "; when he says he made this his " task of tasks " to discover and changed the course of his thinking. Indeed as Joseph Campbell refers in both " The Power of Myth " and " The Hero's Journey " his moment of understanding arrived when he noticed what it meant to people who live with a mythology and those who lived without one. And then Joe quotes Jung: " When I asked myself by what myth I was living and I found out that I did not know. So I made this my ( task of tasks to find out ). "
Now from this idea of a personal psychological view for instance; the term Marga or Pathway; and any resulting " transformation of consciousness " would come from this shift to a more internalized focus. One particular distinction I think Joseph Campbell would have referred to in describing the larger life " Call to Adventure " would be " The Monomyth " or " Hero's Journey ". But there perhaps remains another question considering this metaphoric reference of the " Marga " that has to do to the perception of what your end self-realization is focused on and how this is utilized in the achievement of your goal. And that has to do with how you evolve along the way; ( IMHO ). And with this in mind it is important to make the distinction between knowing what it is that is pushing you from the inside and where you want to go. And so along with this realization is the psychological shift in emphasis from the external to the internal in the individual's trajectory of personal transformation that is the focus of where the concept of " The Marga " is centered.
For one thing as is mentioned above; the mental orientation of the individual's life focus changes as they age; and that is a huge dynamic for an individual to contend with as they travel through the different stages of the life process. ( In youth it should be pointed out here that the energies of life are projected outward to seek the world and what that individual's potential may become. As the curve of lifespan begins to reach it's peak and starts to curve downward the individual's focus begins to turn inward toward assimilation of the life experiences that have been accumulated and the meanings to which they reference from within.
IMHO this is where the direction of the thread topic quote is pointing towards in relationship to the later life aspect; ( but ) in a more general sense I think the understanding of the relevance of " Marga " ( as a concept ) is relative to the search for one's self-identity, " individual personal myth " , and ( meaning ) is what I'm also trying to get at here.
From the Hero's Journey:
" In the journey of the soul itself the way out is the way in. It is a movement beyond the known bounderies of faith and convention, the search for what matters, the path of destiny, the route of individuality, the road of original experience, a paradigm for the forging of counciousness itself: in short the hero's journey."
Also from the Hero's Journey:
" The seeker is the mystery which the seeker seeks to know. The hero's journey is a symbol that binds in the original sense of the word, two distinct ideas; the spiritual quest of the ancients, with the modern search for identity. "
( My apologies if perhaps my effort is a little clumsy in my attempt to get at this but hopefully the point comes across. )
And so to you my good mythological companions: " What does this quote from Joseph Campbell evoke or resonate within you?