The Life Cycle of Humanity

A Personal Essay Inspired by Joseph Campbell

We all come from nothing and dissolve into nothing.

No one knows where the self was before birth, where it comes from during life, and where it goes after death.

There is no proving this because science lacks the capability, however there are theories:

The metaphysical, spiritual, unconscious, superconscious, God – they are all one in the same

From them emanate all things and to them all things go. There is no proving this to be true because science lacks the capability. As I grow older, the more I realize the importance of tapping into these realms.

We Fall in Order to Rise

Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, states that the fall or flood of man is the constriction of superconsciousness into a state of unconsciousness. In a sense we are acting on impulse, and that get us into trouble. Superconsciousness also constrict into consciousness, a form we know as the physical world. Therefore, this constriction doesn’t only apply to man’s descent but also how the physical manifests in the world. Campbell says the ascension or spiritual evolution of man lies in returning into the superconscious.

As children, we a purely exploratory with the physical world. This is important in learning how to survive in the environment we are born into. We grow old and inevitably return to the spiritual realm that birthed us – we are returning to superconsciousness.

But what happens in between birth and death? Why are some people miserable where others are ecstatic? I believe the answer lies in how you act; are you progressing towards spiritual evolution (super conscious) or are you descending into the depths of the unconscious?

I am writing to understand the difference between those two forces in me and why a return to the superconscious is necessary. I do not write this as advice, but hopefully we can grow and learn together from it.

Child-like Wonder

The stage we all start off at.

It’s a period of discovery. The unconscious and all its magic is working through us. Everything is new, fresh, and looked at with a beginner’s mind.

Looking back, I remember how fascinated I was with the most trivial things. My earliest memories were of sitting in my retro 90s car seat and being captivated by its now outdated design. On my days off school I could watch rewatch episodes of Sportscentre without losing interest.

Being a child means to lack impulse control. This enables the rapid discovery and learning, but it can also get us into trouble.

Life was simple and you could do as you feel…but nothing this good (or bad) lasts forever.

Teenage Confusion

We all experience that concentrated soup of hormones. This is when that word “puberty” starts to take on some meaning for you. Its amazing what these chemicals can create:

  • Rapid physical growth (we all know about this)
  • Maturity (with the exception of that one troublemaker we all know who will eventually “get it” and do great things)


The third point is what I would like to highlight next.

If the return to superconscious is to happen, discipline is the gateway.

It was unfortunate for me, and so many I know, that gateway’s other than discipline took our fancy. I now realize that this meant a further descent into the unconscious. It is a slippery slope that opposes the direction we are supposed to move in (towards spiritual evolution and the superconscious). This descent goes by many names:

  • The flood
  • The fall
  • Destruction
  • Sin

I argue that it is natural and necessary if we are to reroute toward our return to the superconscious.

“It is always darkest before dawn.”

That quote rings true if we put in the work to discipline ourselves. This means using our brains newfound capabilities to evolve past that child-like state of doing as we feel. It means moving from our unconscious instincts to maintain comfort to doing what needs to be done.

Adult Redemption and Integration

This will be where the story ends because I am writing from experience being on Earth for 26 years. I am only now beginning to realize the importance of returning to the superconscious “the right way” – whatever that means…I have a lot to learn.

I can illuminate what happens if I were to continue down the wrong path of descent. It would literally mean death, not physical death (although that can happen), but spiritual death. And that is not a pretty place to be.

If you are on that route just know that God has a way of redirecting your ship. It may be a subtle tip of the rudder or a violent, batten-down-the-hatches, Jack Sparrow type of redirection. It all depends on how deep you are a slave to the unconscious.

As children we are in a union with the unconscious.

As teenagers we develop the discipline needed to progress towards the superconscious.

As adults we embark on the hero’s journey – an adventure through life that calls if we are ready to answer.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell illustrates this journey with mythology (he describes myth as a product of the unconscious made conscious). Campbell writes:

“Redemption consists in the return to superconsciousness and therewith the dissolution of the world.”

“The adventure of the hero represents the moment in his life when he achieved illumination – the nuclear moment when, while still alive, he found and opened the road to the light beyond the dark walls of our living death.”

And then we Return to Dust…

Share & #sparkperception

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