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Eight words to ponder and possibly to live by…

March 13, 2016

Recently I’ve been pondering this advice:

Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the World. 

I could try to type out a thesis explaining what I think Joseph Campbell meant, but nothing I could come up with would match those eight words in their puzzling simplicity. It reads like a riddle, because how on earth do we live joyously amongst the world’s sorrows? By participating? By seeking joy? By being mindful of life’s sorrows, and expecting sorrows and struggles, as we participate joyfully, thankfully, in life?

It seems to me that the role of a mantra, or at least this one, is to focus the mind via confusion. Simplicity is forgettable and one dimensional. Enigma holds attention and allows for complexity. So I suspect the point of the mantra is to be remembered and mentally tussled with repeatedly throughout life. And this particular mantra resonates with me.

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