Professor Tracey Ruby
17 April 2013
Singing Like the Birds Sing
The 2011, Patrick Tokaya Solomon film, Finding Joe, explores the abstract concept of heroes in a very specific way. The film observes the hero's journey concept as well as the concept of bliss, through the use of a variety of different metaphors. Finding Joe is an exploration of famed Mythologist Joseph Campbell’s studies and their continuing impact on our culture. Through interviews with visionaries from a variety of fields interwoven with enactments of classic tales by a sweet and motley group of kids, the film navigates the stages of what Campbell dubbed The Hero’s Journey: the challenges, the fears, the dragons, the battles, and the return home as a changed person. Rooted in deeply personal accounts and timeless stories, Finding Joe shows how Campbell’s work is relevant and essential in today’s world and how it provides a narrative for how to live a fully realized life - or as Campbell would simply state, how to "follow your bliss".
The film describes bliss in a few different ways. The way I like to describe it, based off of what Finding Joe said, is that bliss is doing that which fulfills you, and touches you deeply and fully. Bliss is that deep, fulfilling, sustainable, driving need you have. The true "you". As Phil Cousineau, writer and student of Joseph Campbell, says, "When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there woudn't be a door for anyone else." In other words, you will see the blissful opportunites that were right in fron of you all along and make new opportunities simply by making the effort of asking. Other terms that are used would be following your heart, or your truth. The idea summarized in the phrase "follow your bliss" is that the path an individual ought to take exists inside him or her at all times. Bliss is the method by which this path reveals itself. To follow your...