Erick Godsey is a self-styled psychology extraordinaire and self-spelunking mystic who hangs out at the intersection of Carl Jung and Robert Anton Wilson.
Erick returns to chat about why myths are so potent, why we suppress our own potential and share three purpose-sharpening techniques.
Catch his new podcast, The Myths that Make Us here
Life comes with burdens.
But some burdens, we can select. That may not seem all that wonderful, but really, it’s everything. It’s the difference between selecting a purpose and succumbing to existential nonsense.
You might be familiar with the plight of Sisyphus from Greek myth. If not, he was the guy cursed to push a boulder up a mountain for all of eternity. When he finally gets to the top, there’s no respite. Sisyphus has no choice but to let go of the rock, only to watch helplessly as it rolls down to the bottom of the mountain. Of course, he follows and does the bit all over again, ad infinitum.
Existentialist philosopher, Albert Camus famously retold this myth in his book The Myth of Sisyphus to illustrate how absurd the human condition is. He contended that it’s only through recognizing that life, like the rock-rolling plight of Sisyphus, is totally pointless that we can find meaning. In acknowledging the inherent pointlessness of our condition, we’re able to create a point. We’re able to choose whatever purpose we want.
Don’t get me wrong, Camus is brilliant, but I’ve got a bone to pick (several actually) with that scenario– As I said at the top, there are some burdens we can choose. Reality is not nearly as one dimensional as Camus’ famous thought experiment. In taking action, we’re doing more than reframing some ultimate burden, we’re making choices that actually matter. They matter to us and they matter to all of the people we touch. If Albert Einstein had chosen to work at Pizza Hut, instead of developing the theory of relativity, the world would be worse off, period.
What we’re willing to dedicate the real estate of our limited existence to is everything. It is, pixel by human pixel, the sum total of life on earth. It is our story. It is the mythos of mankind. It is not relative.
Speaking of myths, my man Erick Godsey is obsessed with them, he’s got a brand new podcast called The Myths That Make Us. You should absolutely listen to it.