What are the seven things you most cherish?

What Are The Seven Things You Hold Most Dear?

7thingsJoseph Campbell spoke of a ritual during which he had to give up the seven things in his life he most cherished–the things that he felt gave his life true meaning. Campbell described the group experience as an elaborate ceremony which took place in the dark of night and in a cave.

But you don’t need a group or cave to explore the meaningful ritual Campbell experienced; you can carry it out by yourself, in the light of day. Write down on a piece of paper the seven things that you cherish mostly dearly: person, place, thing, activity, belief, etc. These are the things in your life which you think you could not live without. Gather seven small objects to represent each of the cherished things you’ve chosen.

Light a candle and breathe. Then, considering which thing you cherish least of all of your seven, set its symbolic token before the candle. Give away your next, least cherished treasure. Continue on until you are left holding the object which represents the thing you cherish above all and then, give it away.

When I carried out this process for myself, my list of seven cherished things surprised me, but the profundity for me was in observing the last token in my hand representing the one thing I value above all else! I experienced a startling awareness and appreciation for that last treasure I gave away.

Campbell said the ritual was one of the most interesting experiences he’d ever had because, “the order in which you gave up your treasures was revelatory. Watching your earlier bondages go really did change your feeling for the treasures you’d given up. It increased your love for them without the tenacity.”

Honor the things in your life you hold dear without being attached to them.

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