Moyers: And then there is the final passage through the dark gate?
Campbell: Well, that is no problem at all. The problem in middle age, when the body has reached it’s climax of power and begins to decline, is to identify not with the body, which is falling away, but with the consciousness of which it is a vehicle. This is something I learned from myths. What am I? Am I the bulb the carries the light, or am I the light of which the bulb is a vehicle.
One of the psychological problems in growing old is the fear of death. People resist the door of death. But this body is a vehicle of consciousness, you can watch the body go like an old car. There goes the fender, there goes the tire, one thing after another – but it’s predictable. And then, gradually, the whole thing drops off, and consciousness joins consciousness. It is no longer in this particular environment.