Thursday, November 30, 2023

The Hero's Journey

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A longtime friend of mine posted a piece that touched me recently.  It's a different view of the Hero. In narratology and comparative mythology, the hero's journey, or the monomyth, is the common template of stories that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis, and comes home changed or transformed.

Earlier figures had proposed similar concepts, including psychoanalyst Otto Rank and amateur anthropologist Lord Raglan.[1] Eventually, hero myth pattern studies were popularized by Joseph Campbell, who was influenced by Carl Jung's analytical psychology. Campbell used the monomyth to analyze and compare religions. In his famous book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), he describes the narrative pattern as follows:

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.

Possibly because I think of myself as a hero, and because of a recent event in which two colleagues managed to conduct a coup d etat on a project that I founded, funded, and managed for six years, these words reached out like they might not have before.

"People constantly throw around the term 'Hero’s Journey' without having any idea what it really means. Everyone from CEOs to wellness-influencers thinks the Hero’s Journey means facing your fears, slaying a dragon, and gaining 25k followers on Instagram. 
 
But that’s not the real hero’s journey.
 
In the real hero’s journey, the dragon slays YOU
 
Much to your surprise, you couldn’t make that marriage work. Much to your surprise, you turned forty with no kids, no house, and no prospects. Much to your surprise, the world didn’t want the gifts you proudly offered it.
 
If you are foolish, this is where you will abort the journey and start another, and another, abusing your heart over and over for the brief illusion of winning
 
But if you are wise, you will let yourself be shattered, and return to the village, humbled, but with a newfound sense that you don’t have to identify with the part of you that needs to win, needs to be recognized, needs to know. 
 
This is where your transcendent life begins.
 
So embrace humility in everything. Life isn’t out to get you, nor are your struggles your fault. 
 
Every defeat is just an angel, tugging at your sleeve, telling you that you don’t have to keep banging your head against the wall. 
 
Leave that striver there, trapped in his lonely ambitions. Just walk away, and life in its vastness will embrace you. "   - Paul Weinfield
 
The friend who posted this was closely involved in our days at Armadillo and Space City Video.  So thank you Paula Helene and wow, you would have so loved our most recent Hero with a Thousand Faces adventure to Vegas to see U2 at the Sphere
 
 
 
 
 
 The Sphere is exactly what it is cracked up to be.
 
It is an entirely new form of entertainment venue.
 
I'm waiting for a politician to get a hold of it.
 
And it can't be the orange menace