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The Hero's Journey

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Recently I saw a documentary about Joseph Campbell who wrote intelligently about the role of myth in our society.
He boils down myths from many cultures and many time periods, and come up with this one "uni-myth" of the "Hero's Journey".
hereojourney.gif
Notice how the hero in the illustration looks like a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago!
Did you get the "call to adventure"?
Did you leave the "Known World" to walk through a world unknown to you?
Did you have to go through the "threshold" protected by the guardian?
Was there a helper or mentor who helped you in the beginning of your transformation?
Ah!!!! Then came the challenges (elevations, weather, crowds, language etc.)
And also the temptations (stop for museums, wine/women/song, sleep, internet, resentments)
And then you entered the great abyss - perhaps around the the boring high mesetas?
But you had a transformation, finding your authentic self, spiritual center, God, mindfulness, fellowship etc.
And humbled with the shrinking of your ego, you made the atonement at the Cathedral.
You returned home to the "Known World" with the Gift of the Goddess - Your Compostela!
Are you a "Camino Hero"?
 

Tom Quinn

Happy walker
Camino(s) past & future
(2019)
(2020)
For this is the journey all men must make. To lose themselves before they can find themselves. To stand in the arena and be subjected to the scorn and ridicule of those that know not. To reach deep within and find the faith and courage to overcome their own fear, pride and prejudice, to reach and aid those less fortunate. To become reborn to purpose and redecorated to truth. The way provides opportunity for each of us to do this work guided by the Devine.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces is one of the best introductory-level books on serious literature ever written.

But there is a hidden danger in it -- it is all too easy to mistake it for a "how to" user manual rather than as the analytical tool that it was written as.

Your graphic is, because of those sorts of errors, rather too simple -- to start with, the Journey can start in the very depths of the Abyss. Also, it suggests some sort of cyclical nature to the Journey that is alien to its profoundly transformative nature.

And the Return is not properly just a quick end segment Camino-wise ; but it is engaged upon at the heart of Crisis and in the midst of all. The Return is a Journey in itself -- see The Odyssey by Homer.

The graphic is also wrong in that no Hero's Journey can begin in "the known" -- the very reason why there is a Hero in the first place is that the familiar has become distorted and strange, so that it needs to be fixed. If it were "the known", then the Hero would have no reason to leave it, and no reason to be a Hero.

The Purpose of the Return in the Campbellian sense is to take home what was needed there to heal it and return it to vivacity and life.
 
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jayree

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC 2012
Irun to Fisterra 2013
Shikoku 2015
CP 2016
@Terry Callery I absolutely love this, thank you! I am going to save this photo and contemplate it with each and every journey going forward. Joseph Campbell is on my reading list now too!

If you haven't seen the 6 part PBS series where Bill Moyers discusses the Power of the Myth with Joseph Campbell it is worth adding to your list.

 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
What I like about Campbell is that he is less concerned about the facts of the person/subject, rather more interested in the arc of the narrative.
He stressed the metaphorical analysis - our parables, myths, art, poetry are things that are not necessarily the Truth themselves, but rather they point to the Truth. How we use metaphor as a "place marker", something we say about that which nothing can be said (the ineffable).
The Camino is so powerful, because it fits the archetypal arc of a universal narrative.
 
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Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Your graphic is, because of those sorts of errors, rather too simple -- to start with, the Journey can start in the very depths of the Abyss. Also, it suggests some sort of cyclical nature to the Journey that is alien to its profoundly transformative nature.

The graphic represents the journey not of one individual man but, of All Mankind - one man makes the journey, then another man makes it. Each man only does one cycle, followed by another man, hence the universal template. A Uni-myth must, by definition, be simple.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
The graphic represents the journey not of one individual man but, of All Mankind - one man makes the journey, then another man makes it. Each man only does one cycle, followed by another man, hence the universal template. A Uni-myth must, by definition, be simple.

But Campbell's monomyth (Jung's, really) is an analytical tool and not a pattern.

I find this to be a better representation :



(I have been thinking about this stuff for close to 25 years)

A return to your starting place would represent a failure of your quest.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
A return to your starting place would represent a failure of your quest.

Dead on! Dead on! Dead on! The way of a pilgrim, and the Christian life, in a nutshell!

A offer you can't refuse: if you're ever in my little corner of the world I'd like you to preach a sermon on that topic at my little church. (No problem getting the bishop's permission -- he owes me! ;) )
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
As Cambell said, the metaphor long predates both him and Jung. The quest is an old metaphor, dovetailing well with pilgrimage. We leave home and then come back...with transformation in the process.

The transformation is the point - as TS Elliot said so well:
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

We return, but we're not the same person.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
A return to your starting place would represent a failure of your quest.

Somebody please tell me who it is that is suggesting that the Hero returns to the same spiritual place, because it is not me nor is it Campbell.
Campbell's cycle is a mixed metaphor (spirit and place).
Ulysses, the King of Ithaca returns home to Ithaca, as Campbell's circle indicates on the level of place. With the spritual waymarkers around the physical path.
Nobody in the room is suggesting that after revelation, transformation and atonement that the Hero returns to the same spiritual place.
Yes Jabba, your illustration is better.
 

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