Joseph Campbell wrote about the Hero's Journey, the stages that people go through as they grow and expand in consciousness.
He studied myths across all cultures and generations and saw a common pattern in these stories of humanity. The Journey is summarized in three main phases: The Call, the Initiation and the Return.
The first stage is one of hearing a call for something greater, and facing the issue of whether one will accept this and pursue it, and let go of the known and familiar world for the unknown one. Once one has crossed the threshold and accepted the call, so to speak, they enter the second phase, the Initiation, where we confront personal demons and walk the 'road of trials' which helps us to see more of who we are by facing certain challenges in our life. In this phase is also revelation and expansion of consciousness. In the final stage, we integrate what we have learned about ourselves and the world and bring it into the community to share and serve others. Here we face the challenge of maintaining our new level of growth when confronted with our old life and with society in general.
The entire journey starts with The Call. We have some knowing and yearning for something greater. Abraham Maslow speaks of the Peak Experience, which is essentially a glimpse into this "something greater" that everyone – no matter who you are - has experienced at some point in their lives. Maslow is a celebrated researcher because he was a psychologist who studied human's highest potential. He described the "peak experience" which everyone is capable of experiencing in any moment, when everything seems perfect; there is a peace and happiness, loss of self-consciousness, sense of courage, feeling of unity, etc. And, that this is a potential state that exists inside all of us. Some people experience it in child birth, gazing at an amazing sunset or sunrise at the beach, dancing, painting, jogging or any other number of experiences. This gives us a knowing that there is a greater way of being, and often motivation to bring this into our lives. Sometimes when one catches a glimpse of this unlimited potential and harmony only once, it is enough to change their lives forever; inspiring some to begin the journey of wanting to discover more of who we really are.
Even when the call is felt and we desire to begin our journey of self-transformation, we often experience fear and self-doubt – there is a tendency to want to cling to the old self or old ideas of who we are, our comfort zone. That is also a part of the Call phase of the journey, where we need to actually cross the threshold of doubt before we are ready to begin the journey. Help comes to us in this stage, when we make a choice toward expansion.
The call can be experienced in tiny ways all of the time. It is the constant renewing of our personal journey and commitment. It is reminding ourselves why we are doing this (seeking growth), and feeling re-inspired in each moment and making the decision to keep moving forward, despite the obstacles. Doubt can reappear, too, and help us to recommit to our choice. Many things can bring this call up for us – perhaps a book we read, a talk we hear, a conversation that is inspiring, experiencing the peak experience or simply an inner knowing.
Experiencing the lure and excitement of the call is no small thing, and is essential to our growth. The more we can pull this inspiration in, and let go of any obstacles of doubt and fear, the more we dedicate our life to self-growth and consciousness-expansion. It is like when a large ship is cruising the ocean. It takes a lot to turn such a large ship around since it has a certain momentum it has accumulated. Only through regular practice and dedication can we turn the boat of ignorance around. And this comes from that call burning inside of us, edging us on ever forward. We may feel we are getting nowhere, but all of that effort is making it happen on the inside, and then one day, we see that the boat is turning and is heading in the other direction. With every thought of limitation that we let go of, with every time we feel a renewal of our commitment and love to the call, we effortlessly glide through our lives allowing the truth of who we are to steer the boat.
Heeding the call within may lead many to a spiritual or meditation practice. The Ishayas are a group of teachers dedicated to providing the means for expansion and growth by teaching a meditation practice called Ascension. This practice involves a series of techniques designed to effortlessly expand consciousness and heal the body and mind. It works very simply by returning the mind to rest in the present moment, the source of all that is. When we do this over and over, we can finally experience a broader perspective and realize that the endless stream of thoughts and stories of limitation and fear are not real. For someone who desires expansions of consciousness and who just knows there is something more, this practice is that which you are seeking. It can provide stress release and increases the daily experience of appreciation, gratitude and love all the way to full human consciousness, also referred to as Enlightenment. Whatever your heart's desire is, the Ishayas can help you move toward your greater potential and help you to answer the yearning of the Call within. If interested in learning more, please contact ishayasworldwide.com or call direct to 888-474-2921.
Surya Ishaya is part of a network of teachers qualified to teach the First Sphere workshop on the Ishayas Ascension. She lives in Victoria, BC, and has been teaching for 3 years and ascending for 5. She loves the practice in her own life and sees it as indispensable to living a quality life in this modern age, and loves to share this unique teaching to others so that theys may experience it for themselves.