Realizing our essence allows us to be.

from The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell page 357 nonfiction ~1 min read

This is the stage of Narcissus looking into the pool, of the Buddha sitting contemplative under the tree, but it is not the ultimate goal; it is a requisite step, but not the end. The aim is not to see, but to realize that one is, that essence; then one is free to wander as that essence in the world. Furthermore: the world too is of that essence. The essence of oneself and the essence of the world: these two are one. Hence separateness, withdrawal, is no longer necessary. Wherever the hero may wander, whatever he may do, he is ever in the presence of his own essence—for he has the perfected eye to see. There is no separateness. Thus, just as the way of social participation may lead in the end to a realization of the All in the individual, so that of exile brings the hero to the Self in all.

Centered in this hub-point, the question of selfishness or altruism disappears. The individual has lost himself in the law and been reborn in identity with the whole meaning of the universe. For Him, by Him, the world was made. "O Mohammed," God said, "hadst thou not been, I would not have created the sky."[1]


  1. Mirrors my sentiments: that home is wherever you feel you can be yourself, but this is really just understanding what your essence is then, which can't be explained through any facet of yourself, any specific actions or words or behaviors, but can only be considered in it of itself, that essence. ↩︎

—Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, p. 357