the hero’s journey

17 02 2010

Last night I dreamt that I was in my parents beach house giving a talk to several hundred people on the Hero’s Journey.

Arianna Huffington, and Suze Orman, and Oprah were there. And so were all of you, my Twitter tribe and blog readers.

It was summer and we were having cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and bossa nova music was playing.

Everyone was happy.

In the dream, I was giving a talk to all of you about the Jungian archetypes that Joseph Campbell and others have modernized so well.

I guess it has been on my mind lately because my friend Ward @vajrarock mentioned it to me a few weeks ago after my post “On Criticism” a couple blog posts back (scroll down- there are two).

There are generally six archetypes and different writers call them by different names, but here are the names I tend to go by and they are listed in progressive order that is a circle.

The Innocent

The Orphan

The Wanderer

The Warrior

The Altruist

The Magician

The talk I was giving to all of you was specifically on The Orphan. The Orphan emerges when something happens to undermine our faith in authority figures, God, parents, or society.

The Orphan archetype teaches the inner child to survive difficulty.

In my talk I was telling you all that we can’t get stuck in one archetype. That we must keep going, progressing onward, and healing the past.

This is an over-simplified post on archetype mythology, but I wanted to put a small idea in your mind.

I am passionate about each of us healing the past to create freedom in the present.

An unexamined and unhealed past is what is going to drive your present life no matter how hard you try to run from it, repress it, and over-compensate for it.

The past will leak out and seep out and perfume everything in your present life if it is unattended and unhealed.

The archetypes are a way to think about your life, and your past, and what happened, and the journey ahead, with a feeling of camaraderie that you are truly part of the collective unconscious and not alone in your efforts to actualize into your greatest and truest expression of yourself.

I’m thinking perhaps I will post in the future on the Heroine’s Journey and The Archetypes. It’s a beautiful and rich imagery and metaphor to aid in our healing and understanding.

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8 responses

17 02 2010
Martha McPhee

“The past will leak out and seep out and perfume everything in your present life if it is unattended and unhealed.” That is certainly true! So beautifully put. Gorgeous, inspired post. Thanks for sharing.

17 02 2010
Lindsey

Bindu,
I want to know more about these archetypes – fascinating, thought-provoking. I look forward to more of your writing about this. Thank you!

17 02 2010
robin black

Gorgeous post. I often think that one beauty to healing the past, is that then you don’t have to leave it behind, or try to demolish it. You can integrate it into yourself – but not as a wound. I love the idea of not being stuck as one archetype. Wonderful.

17 02 2010
cevraini

I’m with Lindsey, I want to know more about this! I agree that one has to heal the past to move forward.

Anxious to hear more!

17 02 2010
Ronna

These archetypes are so powerful and show up all over the place. I CONSTANTLY think about them through the lens of other “traditional” narratives that have been protected somehow as stand-alones, untouchable, in a way, by these mythic categories. The Orphan archetype alone has all kinds of ramifications in this context:

You say: “The Orphan emerges when something happens to undermine our faith in authority figures, God, parents, or society. The Orphan archetype teaches the inner child to survive difficulty.”

The Hebrew Scriptures speak consistently to care for the “widow, the orphan, and the alien.”

I’m struck by how Scripture has often been the very tool through which our faith in authority figures has been undermined; often the very cause of much of the difficulty we know and experience. The call to care for the orphan creates them. Ouch.

It’s messy. And yet, Bindu, when these realities are named, held up, considered with curiosity and generosity, EVERYTHING changes. Thank you. My brain is spinning in possibility today. And my soul is wondering about my own “orphan” story; one that is retold again and again.

All good.

17 02 2010
5amthinking

I crashed your party for the cocktails, but stayed for the talk. Glad I did. If someone is listening on the same frequency as you are transmitting on, is in the same place mentally and trying to find resolution, this beautiful piece will do the trick.

17 02 2010
emma

Oh, I love this! I’ve been dancing with The Orphan for far too long. I haven’t really thought about Archetypes since reading everything I could by Robertson Davies a few years ago. Thanks for shaking up my memory and my curiosity!

20 02 2010
Carol

Now I am curious about learning more about the Archetypes. You have a way of stirring the thought processes.

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