Friday 21 March
Join me then!
THE HERO’S JOURNEY
There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
Mythologian Joseph Campbell studied stories all over the world, synthesizing the following attributes into what he called the Monomyth, or our central human story. They occur in infinitely creative ways throughout the history of human storytelling. Campbell was also informed by Carl Jung’s work in archetypes, or universally understood patterns of symbols, plots, and character types. Quotes in italics are from Campbell’s 1949 A Hero with a Thousand Faces.
An Ordinary World
Peaceful~ the Hero must preserve or defend this world
Apocalyptic or Wasteland~ the Hero must restore the land, the ruler, some kind of order, or him/herself
Unusual or Disadvantaged Birth or Circumstances
Call to Adventure
…a forest, a kingdom underground, beneath the waves, or above the sky, a secret island, lofty mountaintop, or profound dream state; but it is always a place of strangely fluid and polymorphous beings, unimaginable torments, super human deeds, and impossible delight.
Response~Refusal, Resignation, or Jumps at the Chance
If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? Moses, Exodus 33:16
Please don’t do this to me! Pope Benedict XVI
Acquiring Companions, a Mentor, Supernatural Aid, and/or Gifts
Crossing the First Threshold, Guardians, Belly of the Whale
…the passage of the threshold is a form of self-annihilation. Instead of passing outward, beyond the confines of the visible world, the hero goes inward, to be born again…The temple interior, the belly of the whale, and the heavenly land beyond, above, and below the confines of the world, are one and the same.
There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
The Road of Trials / Quest~ Tests, Allies, Enemies
Dragons have now to be slain and surprising barriers passed — again, again, and again….a multitude of preliminary victories, unretainable ecstasies and momentary glimpses of the wonderful land.
The Goddess, Queen, or Princess
The meeting with the goddess (who is incarnate in every woman) is the final test of the talent of the hero to win the boon of love…which is life itself enjoyed as the encasement of eternity.
The crux of the curious difficulty lies in the fact that our conscious views of what life ought to be seldom correspond to what life really is.
Shapeshifter/ Wild Card
Elizabeth: Whose side is Jack on?
Will: At the moment? Pirates of the Caribbean
Leave the Quest Test
She seemed to be looking inside me and asking me what I would do if she gave me the chance of flying back home to the Shire to a nice little hole with a bit of garden of my own. Sam, The Hobbit
Losing the Mentor
Atonement with the Father
Atonement (at-one-ment)…the abandonment of…the dragon thought to be God (superego) and the dragon thought to be Sin (repressed id). …the hero may derive hope and assurance from the helpful female figure, by whose magic (pollen charms or power of intercession) he is protected through all the frightening experiences of the father’s ego-shattering initiation.
The Descent into Darkness/Underworld/Underwater
Big Battle, Apotheosis, Ultimate Boon, or Reward
The gods and goddesses then are to be understood as embodiments and custodians of…Imperishable Being but not themselves the Ultimate…. What the hero seeks…is therefore not finally themselves, but their grace.
Refusal, Magic Escape, or Rescue
Crossing the Return Threshold
The first problem of the returning hero is to accept as real, after an experience of the soul-satisfying vision of fulfillment, the passing joys and sorrows, banalities and noisy obscenities of life. Why re-enter such a world?
Gift to the World
Master of Two Worlds
The individual, through prolonged psychological disciplines, gives up completely all attachment to his personal limitations, idiosyncrasies, hopes and fears, no longer resists the self-annihilation that is prerequisite to rebirth in the realization of truth, and so becomes ripe, at last, for the great at-one-ment.
Freedom to Live