Reading the book by the premier comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell entitled The Hero with a Thousand Faces offers the reader insight into "The Monomyth." According to Campbell, all mythologies, including religions, have repeated the entirety or chapters of the same tale again and again, despite the cultural differences and details. This tale is the monomyth, the story of the Hero's Journey. The hero is the archetype for every being embarking upon a spiritual quest. Once assembled linearly, the Hero's Journey offers a road map of sorts for those who wish to gain insight into their own personal spiritual journey.
This book has inspired many of the author's thoughts, including recently those related to the male/female archetypal roles. Campbell speaks of the varying forms of goddess worship that have been moved away from, or lost. We recall female deities and super beings such as Gaia, Mother Earth, Kali, Quan Yin, Mother Mary, etc. He then informs us of the stage of separation from the infantile oceanic experience of the womb. We are separated from the mother/world, and then must achieve mastery of the world through overcoming this separation. This is directly related to the stage of "Atonement with the Father," again regarding reconciliation of fears and anxieties. It is to become one (at-one-ment) with the Father. Whereas the mother represents the physical world, the father is an analogue of the abstract and metaphysical, the oversoul.
Campbell continues to discuss, as brilliantly as Freud does, the perceived traits of the Mother and Father. The mother's love is kind, forgiving, and unconditionally accepting. The father's love is an affection that must be earned through trials, hardships, and suffering. Once both are realized, the Hero finally grasps the ultimate truth that the mother and father are simply aspects of the same thing, and this thing is himself.
Many people experienced a childhood with an overbearing authoritative father figure, who could not allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to exhibit compassion. Through punishments and rewards, the father regulates the ingredients of one's youth. These laws and guidelines are eventually assimilated into an oversoul, or conscience. It directs us to feel guilty, proud, ashamed, etc. These attributes are eventually projected upon "god the father." But universally and usually this is only one half of the parental unit. Many people presently forget about the Mother.
This book brings to the attention of the reader the tendency to project our ideas upon the heavenly father, whilst our higher functioning is programmed to emulate our earthly fathers. To break this oftentimes damaging and limiting cognitive framework, it is useful to choose to reprogram and project Motherly attributes instead. Some form of ideas will occupy the psyche. They might as well be nicer and more friendly.
Joseph Campbell's writings on the Mother have provided a more rich understanding of what Krishna Das is referring to when he sings "Everywhere I turn, you kiss my face." It's an eternally warm embrace in the very real physically interconnected world. Too much concern with transcendence of duality forces one to miss the comprehension of the abstract father and concrete mother which is required for reconciliation anyways. This existential thinking founded upon void and non-being used to be frightening, but once groundlessness is enveloped by the Mother, the mystery becomes less threatening… almost welcoming.