Heresy is the life of a mythology, and orthodoxy is the death.

April 21, 2011

The modern hero-deed must be that of questing to bring to light again the lost Atlantis of the co-ordinated soul.

Campbell: Eternity isn’t some later time. Eternity isn’t a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. This is it. And if you don’t get it here, you won’t get it anywhere. And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. There’s a wonderful formula that the Buddhists have for the Bodhisattva, the one whose being (sattva) is illumination (bodhi), who realizes his identity with eternity and at the same time his participation in time. And the attitude is not to withdraw from the world when you realize how horrible it is, but to realize that this horror is simply the foreground of a wonder and to come back and participate in it. “All life is sorrowful” is the first Buddhist saying, and it is. It wouldn’t be life if there were not temporality involved which is sorrow. Loss, loss, loss.
Moyers: That’s a pessimistic note.
Campbell: Well, you have to say yes to it, you have to say it’s great this way. It’s the way God intended it.

Joseph Campbell

The Hero Franchise journey

October 10, 2010

Everyone’s life is a hero’s life.

I discussed Campbell’s monomyth here before.

Thanks to I Love Charts.

We are standing on a whale fishing for minnows – Joseph Campbell

September 7, 2010

Doing inner work is part of the road back for franchisees.

One manner is by fishing


There is a young prince in his teens who is out doing his knight errantry, as in the duty of every youth, when he stumbles onto a camp in the woods with no one about. A fire burns under the grate and a salmon lies roasting on the spit. The prince is young, hungry, and impulsive, and the salmon smells so good that he reaches out to take some of it to assuage his hunger. The salmon is very hot and burns his fingers, causing him to drop it. When he puts his fingers into his mouth to ease the burn, he gets a bit of the salmon into his mouth. This wounds him so badly that he lies in agony for all the rest of his life but for the last three days..

The young prince, soon to be king of the land, suffers so severely that he is is unable to stand erect and incapable of performing his duty to the kingdom, which withers under his neglect. Only one thing assuages his suffering; he feels a little better when he is fishing. When he is occupied with fishing from his boat in the moat surrounding his castle, his suffering is diminished. Otherwise he lies in his litter in his castle suffering a terrible agony. This can be interpreted as saying that a wounded person finds life bearable only when his is engaged in some contact with the unconscious. Poetry, artistry, teaching, and healing are such activities that assuage the wound of the fisher king. They do not heal the dreadful wound but they make life bearable while one makes his way to the true healing.

The fisher king wound is to be seen on the face of almost any man who passes on the street; the ache of life, the anxiety, dread, loneliness – all are summed up by the fisher king wound…

…To fish in this sense is to do one’s inner work – work on dreams, meditation, active imagination, drawing, music, or poetry – any form of inner work that is rich to one. Even such mundane things as gardening and getting a “runner’s high” are fishing in this sense since they put one in contact with the inner world. Fishing is a fisher king’s only balm to his aching wound.

The Fisher King & the Handless Maiden: Understanding the Wounded Feeling Function in Masculine and Feminine Psychology, Robert A. Johnson, 1993

Hold on lightly, keep the poo in the root zone

June 9, 2010

I had occasion to became acquainted with something called a rototiller as a child (not exactly as shown).

With practice, you learn not to hold on too tightly when turning shit into the soil.

If you resist the forward motion too much, the machine buries itself and the horse shit is mixed too deeply (ie. below the vegetable’s root zone).

Kind of like on every journey throughout life.

It’s a wonderful, wonderful opera, except that it hurts.

May 30, 2010

Life hurts like hell at times.

Campbell explains the high incidence of psychotic episodes in franchising.

Others say it’s because of a lack of sunlight in Canada.

This is the threat to our lives. We all face it. We all operate in our society in relation to a system. Now is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes? … If the person doesn’t listen to the demands of his own spiritual and heart life and insists on a certain program, you’re going to have a schizophrenic crack-up. The person has put himself off center. He has aligned himself with a programmatic life and it’s not the one the body’s interested in at all. And the world’s full of people who have stopped listening to themselves.

Joseph Campbell 1904-1987

We are standing on a whale fishing for minnows.

May 19, 2010

When you think you’re going outside, it’s really inside you’re going.

We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us — the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

Joseph Campbell 1904-1987

Monomyth: The Hero’s Journey

December 16, 2008


Joseph Campbell suggests in The Hero with a Thousand Faces that there were 12 steps in a hero’s journey. A similarity across cultures that reflect a deeper understanding that all humans share a common experience: a collective unconscious.

He believed that almost all nominally exterior journeys or trials ran along these lines.

Campbell thought all individuals should Follow your Bliss: say yes to you life’s unique purpose or destiny. A failure to say a hearty yes is the source of most individual pain. Everyone is called to be a hero in their lives.

Mythology or large stories or narratives provides clues to how we are to live our lives. Free will allows us to choose a life-giving or a life-taking philosophy.

  • There are real costs (manifested in physical and mental pain in your ordinary life) if you refuse your adventure or get “stuck” along the way.
  • I have seen many people in franchising refuse their life-task  (secular vocation from the Latin, vocatio, vocare: a call) because of their fear of death.
  • They end up losing their life in the eternally mistaken self-deception that economics or the majority view will preserve it.

I like Christopher Vogler‘s  explanation (below) although this animation is nice too.

The Hero’s Journey

1. The Ordinary World: Potential hero senses that something’s wrong and he might be able to do something about it.  A general uneasiness. (You have a problem with authority, Mr. Anderson.)

2. A Call to Adventure: It becomes clearer that you have to do something.

3. Refusal of the Call: The natural fear of something different causes you to resist changing anything.

4. Meeting with a Mentor: You are provided what seems to be supernatural aid to move you along in your trip. (At last.)

5. Crossing the 1st Threshold: Move in to a different world. The preparation has been done; now it is the start of doing. (We’re in.)

6. Test Allies & Enemies: You experience the new world; what you can eat and what will eat you.

7. Approach: Getting ready to face the big battle. Rehearsal. (Guns; Lots of guns.)

8. Ordeal: You face your biggest fear. You face and deal with your death. Test.

9. Reward, gifts  if you Survive: A new awareness. A re-ordering.

10. The Road Back: Call to come back to the ordinary world or face annihilation. Often a chase scene. (He’s beginning to believe.)

11. Rebirth, resurrection: You face death once again but in a more final, deeper way. Tested on your understanding of the lessons the journey has manifested to you.

12. Return with the Elixir: It’s all worthless effort if the prize is not returned for everyone’s benefit. (ie. Golden Fleece, Holy Grail, Star Wars, Fisher King, The Matrix: personal change but profiting the group by affirming and restoring life).

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