Prompt: What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world?
As it appears to date, my story parallels Nietzsche’s The Three Metamorphoses, which I call The Camel, Lion and Child. Joseph Campbell’s excellent interviews with Bill Moyers brought the tale to my attention.
The Camel, Lion and Child
Campbell explained that you start your life as a camel, being loaded up with all the things Thou Shalt Know, Thou Shalt Be and Thou Shalt Do to be a good member of your society. After being so loaded, you launch your life with all that stuff on your back because you never know what you’ll need out in the wilderness. In the middle of the desert you come upon a Dragon covered in scales labeled “Thou Shalt.” Your job is to slay that dragon.
Camels don’t slay dragons, so you must transform into a lion to do this. Only as a lion can you explore and claim your own kingdom. But first you must slay the dragon.
The lion then goes out into its kingdom and does many great things. But the lion must transform into a child to reach full maturity and to claim creativity. Why is this?
“Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a self- rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea. Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy Yea unto life: ITS OWN will, willeth now the spirit; HIS OWN world winneth the world’s outcast.” ~Nietzsche
My life as a camel
I carried my Thou Shalts longer than necessary, longer than was healthy for me, and longer than was healthy for others — well into my 40’s.
I got good grades, went to college, married, started a family, went to graduate school and made a run at The American Dream of business ownership. Sure, I have a feisty spirit, but camels are feisty too. In spite of my feistiness, I was still a camel.
It wasn’t until I let the Thou Shalts Dragon nearly chase me over the cliff that I transformed into a lion. I needed a lion’s ferocity to throw off the Dragon that told me I should go back to work for The Man to pay off onerous business losses, tax liens and redeem myself from social shame.
I always wanted to write for a living, always wanted to travel. The camel believed this was impossible. The lion in me won’t have it any other way. Ultimately Spirit is my judge, not my creditors, not the IRS, and not you. Those who criticize me are looking at a snapshot of my life while Spirit sees the trajectory and created me capable of achieving my destiny.
As a lion-becoming-a-child I see that The Fashioner loves diversity — the world wouldn’t exist without it. I was created as I am to live my unique life in service to a greater Cause. Thanks for walking that path with me, dear Readers. Here’s to an enlightened 2011.