Learning to Live on Purpose : The Hero’s Journey
Inspired by Joseph Campbell’s: The Hero’s Journey
The basis of the video's premise is my own true story's tail, I shared some archived video on my way to Machu Picchu for the first time.... "Learning to Live Life on Purpose" is based on Joseph Campbell's monomyth, or the Hero's Journey, a basic human pattern that many argue is found in many narratives from around the world.
THE HERO’S JOURNEY
In The Hero’s Journey, Joseph Campbell describes 17 stages or steps along the journey to wholeheartedness and true life purpose. When I discovered this philosophy, it helped to give context to the struggles I had been experiencing on my own path. I hope that this modern myth serves you in understanding your own journey.
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.
The hero begins in the ordinary world, and receives a call to enter an unknown world of strange powers and events. The hero who accepts the call to enter this strange world must face tasks and trials, either alone or with assistance.
In the most intense versions of the narrative, the hero must survive a severe challenge, often with help.
If the hero survives, he may achieve a great gift or "boon." The hero must then decide whether to return to the ordinary world with this boon. If the hero does decide to return, he or she often faces challenges on the return journey. If the hero returns successfully, the boon or gift may be used to improve the world.
THE 17 STAGES OF THE HERO'S JOURNEY
The Call to Adventure – The hero begins in a situation of normality from which some information is received that acts as a call to head off into the unknown.
Refusal of the Call – Often when the call is given, the future hero first 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.
Supernatural Aid – Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his guide and magical helper appears or becomes known. More often than not, this supernatural mentor will present the hero with one or more talismans or artifacts that will aid him later in his quest.
Crossing 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.
Belly of the Whale – The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero's known world and self. By entering this stage, the person shows willingness to undergo a metamorphosis. When First entering the stage the hero may encounter a minor danger or set back.
The Road of Trials – The road of trials is a series of tests that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.
Meeting with the Goddess/Love – Hero experiences unconditional love. 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 (charity: amor fati), which is life itself enjoyed as the encasement of eternity.
Temptation – In this step, the hero faces those temptations, often of a physical or pleasurable nature, that may lead him or her to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman. 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.
Atonement with the Hero’s 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 into 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.
Apotheosis: Peace and Fulfillment Before the Hero’s Return – Hero moves to a state of divine knowledge (usually through some form of death). This is the point of realization in which a greater understanding is achieved. Armed with this new knowledge and perception, the hero is resolved and ready for the more difficult part of the adventure
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.
Refusal of the Return – Having found bliss and enlightenment in the other world, the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world to bestow the boon onto his fellow man.
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.
Rescue from Without – Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, often 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.
Return – 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.
Master of Two Worlds – This step is usually represented by a transcendental hero like Jesus or Gautama 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.
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.
WHAT IS THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY?
Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey aligns with the masculine paradigm, but psychologist Anne Davin reinvented the journey into a heroine’s journey. Anne describes the heroine’s journey as a series of phases a woman moves through as she infuses her divinity into the surprises, disappointments, and ruptures that life can bring, a journey that happens in five phases. Anne describes the difference between the hero and the heroine → here.