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The Hero's Journey

 
Freyja
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12/19/2005 12:12 PM
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The Hero's Journey
the hero's journey : summary of the steps
This page summrarizes the brief explanations from every step of the Hero's Journey.

1. Departure
1. The Call to Adventure
The call to adventure is the point in a person's life when they are first given notice that everything is going to change, whether they know it or not.
2. Refusal of the Call
Often when the call is given, the future hero refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances.
3. Supernatural Aid
Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his or her guide and magical helper appears, or becomes known.
4. The Crossing of the First Threshold
This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known.
5. The Belly of the Whale
The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero's known world and self. It is sometimes described as the person's lowest point, but it is actually the point when the person is between or transitioning between worlds and selves. The separation has been made, or is being made, or being fully recognized between the old world and old self and the potential for a new world/self. The experiences that will shape the new world and self will begin shortly, or may be beginning with this experience which is often symbolized by something dark, unknown and frightening. By entering this stage, the person shows their willingness to undergo a metamorphosis, to die to him or herself.

2. Inititation
1. The Road of Trials
The road of trials is a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.
2. The Meeting with the Goddess
The meeting with the goddess represents the point in the adventure when the person experiences a love that has the power and significance of the all-powerful, all encompassing, unconditional love that a fortunate infant may experience with his or her mother. It is also known as the "hieros gamos", or sacred marriage, the union of opposites, and may take place entirely within the person. In other words, the person begins to see him or herself in a non-dualistic way. This is a very important step in the process and is often represented by the person finding the other person that he or she loves most completely. Although Campbell symbolizes this step as a meeting with a goddess, unconditional love and /or self unification does not have to be represented by a woman.
3. Woman as the Temptress
At one level, this step is about those temptations that may lead the hero to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which as with the Meeting with the Goddess does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman. For Campbell, however, this step is about the revulsion that the usually male hero may feel about his own fleshy/earthy nature, and the subsequent attachment or projection of that revulsion to women. Woman is a metaphor for the physical or material temptations of life, since the hero-knight was often tempted by lust from his spiritual journey.
4. Atonement with the Father
In this step the person must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his or her life. In many myths and stories this is the father, or a father figure who has life and death power. This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving in to this place, all that follow will move out from it. Although this step is most frequently symbolized by an encounter with a male entity, it does not have to be a male; just someone or thing with incredible power. For the transformation to take place, the person as he or she has been must be "killed" so that the new self can come into being. Sometime this killing is literal, and the earthly journey for that character is either over or moves into a different realm.
5. Apotheosis
To apotheosize is to deify. When someone dies a physical death, or dies to the self to live in spirit, he or she moves beyond the pairs of opposites to a state of divine knowledge, love, compassion and bliss. This is a god-like state; the person is in heaven and beyond all strife. A more mundane way of looking at this step is that it is a period of rest, peace and fulfillment before the hero begins the return.
6. The Ultimate Boon
The ultimate boon is the achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step, since in many myths the boon is something transcendent like the elixir of life itself, or a plant that supplies immortality, or the holy grail.

3. Return
1. Refusal of the Return
So why, when all has been achieved, the ambrosia has been drunk, and we have conversed with the gods, why come back to normal life with all its cares and woes?
2. The Magic Flight
Sometimes the hero must escape with the boon, if it is something that the gods have been jealously guarding. It can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it.
3. Rescue from Without
Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, often times he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience. Or perhaps the person doesn't realize that it is time to return, that they can return, or that others need their boon.
4. The Crossing of the Return Threshold
The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world. This is usually extremely difficult.
5. Master of the Two Worlds
In myth, this step is usually represented by a transcendental hero like Jesus or Buddha. For a human hero, it may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual. The person has become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds.
6. Freedom to Live
Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. This is sometimes referred to as living in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past.
Freyja  (OP)

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12/19/2005 12:15 PM
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Re: The Hero's Journey
Sophia...saw your thread about guru's and such. This 4th *step* of the return seems to me to be why we do what we do...trying to understand how to translate the ineffable often brings crucificion.





4. The Crossing of the Return Threshold
The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world. This is usually extremely difficult.
Freyja  (OP)

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12/19/2005 12:20 PM
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Re: The Hero's Journey
all summer and intermittent periods of feeling there in nothing more to say...

but there is.

it is learning how to say it from the new vantage point.
sophia
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12/19/2005 12:21 PM
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I see what you mean.
I guess I look for a compassion or tenderness, like a mother or father to a child, in the conveying of such crucial wisdom, you know, that wisdom is convey in and of love? Otherwise it can be misconstrued as being about the "giver's" need to be right, to be acknowledged, to be "the teacher" as opposed to the giving of wisdom, often in a way that may never be directly acknowledged?
Freyja  (OP)

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12/19/2005 12:23 PM
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there is none of that to be found where you were looking....he is a mess.

no heart is there...only intellect.
sophia
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12/19/2005 12:50 PM
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Re: The Hero's Journey
fabulous read, thanks T. Is the campbellmentioned the one that O-Renused to talk about having read?
asgardhr

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12/19/2005 12:58 PM
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Thanks Freyja. I will print this out and read it.


As for gurus. We don't need no stinking gurus! We need ourselves.
sophia
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12/19/2005 01:04 PM
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Asgh

Funny how so many think the guru/master resides outside themself? I'm thinking a lot of wisdom is missed because of the clothes of the speaker not fitting the "image" of the master.
Freyja  (OP)

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12/19/2005 02:54 PM
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Re: The Hero's Journey
loves her or wants her?
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2005 03:01 PM
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Re: The Hero's Journey
is this about sammiches
Freyja  (OP)

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12/19/2005 03:07 PM
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yes this is about big hero sammiches.

want one?

hf
Sophia

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12/19/2005 03:08 PM
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Re: The Hero's Journey
I think I love you
but I'm afraid of what I'm unsure of
a love there is no cure for....
asgardhr

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12/19/2005 03:08 PM
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Re: The Hero's Journey
Unfortunately Campbell has a heavy male chauvinist slant. Of course he was focused on cultures that are likewise.

I think the crux of the matter may be about the integration of the abstract and the physical. [Far] Easier said than done. Archetypes are abstractions; life is physical. The convergence of the two - and the transmutation of both in the process - seems to me to be to be the ultimate purpose of the species (despite the lunacy that appears to pervade).
Freyja  (OP)

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I think the crux of the matter may be about the integration of the abstract and the physical. [Far] Easier said than done. Archetypes are abstractions; life is physical. The convergence of the two - and the transmutation of both in the process - seems to be to be the ultimate purpose of the species (despite the lunacy that appears to pervade).


Asgardhr,

what you have said here is what has just recently dawned on me in the last year or so....that we are to RETURN and live it. What is the point of being human otherwise? I remember a couple years ago when you were telling this to me and I could not see it. Well, I finally got it.

Liberation that comes from getting that is the best I have felt in years.

In other words...you were right.





butt
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2005 03:19 PM
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Re: The Hero's Journey
Dope Just Galumphing Where Life Takes Him

SPIRIT LAKE, IA—On an ordinary day, amiable dim-bulb Jeff Koegle wanders into many places: his den, the bowling alley, maybe the local Spee-D-Kustard, which is only a three-block dawdle from his house. For as long as anyone in Spirit Lake can remember, this burly goof has schlepped along the road of life with neither purpose nor reason.

Koegle's aimless blunderings occasionally trigger major developments in his life, which isn't saying much, because if it weren't for sheer happenstance, he would have no experiences at all.

Koegle's wife Jeannette, 30, shared a more intimate view of the shambling clod.

"Yesterday during breakfast, I told Jeff to try taking charge of his life more, because I know he has it in him to make it happen," Jeannette said. "I could tell he was considering what I said, but then he seemed to forget all about it when the potato pancakes were served."

At home on his recliner, Koegle said he is "just fine with" his directionless life. He added that he "pretty much fell into it."
Freyja  (OP)

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12/19/2005 03:22 PM
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it's not easy be enlightened and jeff proves it!
asgardhr

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12/19/2005 03:23 PM
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We have to reach - beyond, beyond....
To Dream.

But we have to also maintain a physicality. And our physicality cannot begin to keep up with our dreamings (sometimes it is good it can't!).

I don't see this as a stepped process (i.e., going out and doing one phase for awhile, then doing another phase). I see the reaching and the grounding as being flipsides of each moment...ideally. Though in practice I have not been so ideally balanced. Somehow I (barely) survived. Of course, we need to also experience extremes that are not balanced in the moment...periods of grounding, and periods of dreaming, back and forth, and interesting mixtures of the two.
Sophia

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12/19/2005 03:24 PM
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Nice 192


Asgh

I've never read Campell, have heard others mention him.

I've come to a place where I struggle to see the point of

having a body if we are not to have physical experiences,

having an ego if does not serve some purpose

having a belly if we're not to belly laugh
asgardhr

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12/19/2005 03:28 PM
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I wholly agree Soph. The armchair avatars we have foolishly given ear to have impressed all kinds of nonsense into us - shoulds and shouldnts - in effect, turning us against ourselves; demonizing our own faculties. Because we listened....to them. If we listen to ourselves and to the river, it is a whole other story. And so we are...
Freyja  (OP)

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12/19/2005 03:32 PM
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the periods of moving between dreaming and waking are for preservation aren't they?

i know for me that when i am having an extended lucid period...it is VERY challenging to relate with some people that I really need to relate with. This is where compassion seems to come in ..otherwise I think I would find my self being the opposite of compassion with daily interactions.

The balancing for me is a learning process everyday....some days better than others, in coming back to earth with lucidity instead of hanging in the tops of trees.

Believe it or not, this is where GLP has taught me the most about integrating the wisdom with daily living.

Still a ways to go in learning to keep mouth shut.
Sophia

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12/19/2005 03:35 PM
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It IS possible we have ego's to help us get over ourselves.
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2005 03:37 PM
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was just thinkinking sooner or later you get over it
asgardhr

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12/19/2005 03:38 PM
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We are just learning to become better dreamers and better lifers, all at once. The dreaming and the living each fuel the other.
freyja (OP)
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12/19/2005 03:41 PM
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was just thinkinking sooner or later you get over it

192...that would be relief from all the mind fuck.



blobr
freyja (OP)
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12/19/2005 03:42 PM
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This is so insightful to me:

We are just learning to become better dreamers and better lifers, all at once. The dreaming and the living each fuel the other.

I really REALLY like that.
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2005 03:43 PM
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tripping over ego's
Sophia

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12/19/2005 03:44 PM
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Asgh

hugs

the ego, the body, the mind... all tools huh? To become better "dreamers and lifers?"

I sometimes daydream about what possibly lies ahead that this very cool prep is for.
Freyja  (OP)

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12/19/2005 03:47 PM
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i would pay money to see Asgardhr get on the thread about ego.

applause
Sophia

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12/19/2005 03:48 PM
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stirrer
Freyja  (OP)

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12/19/2005 03:48 PM
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i know

hi
Sophia

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12/19/2005 03:50 PM
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Re: The Hero's Journey
Don't make us hold our breasts Asgh... er breaths.