A Talk By Joseph Campbell
There comes a point, a threshold crossing, where everything that you’ve been taught is of no use to you whatsoever. This is the moment of dismemberment, of divestiture. It is symbolized in such mythological images as Jonah swallowed by the whale, the god Osiris torn to pieces, the crucifixion of Christ. The trip is going to take you, if it is really your trip, to the moment of decision: follow your way or follow the way of prudence. That is the breakthrough. And what follows are trials which become greater and greater and greater until you come down to an ultimate abyss, and the experience you were seeking.