Posts Tagged 'hero'

What Makes a Hero

Hero's Journey

Check out the Ted.Ed animated illustration “What Makes a Hero” of Joseph Campbell‘s Hero’s Journey, in relation to our lives and also literature and movies. Film by Matthew Winkler.


The Power of Myth

Bill Moyers will be making available audio podcasts in 2 parts from his historic PBS interview with Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, over the next 2 weeks while PBS is doing its pledge drive. You can listen to the podcasts directly from your computer or you can download the podcasts to listen to on your media player.

Finding the Treasure

“In myths the hero is the one who conquers the dragon, not the one who is devoured by it. And yet both have to deal with the same dragon. Also, he is no hero who never met the dragon, or who, if he once saw it, declared afterwards that he saw nothing. Equally, only one who has risked the fight with the dragon and is not overcome by it wins the hoard, the “treasure hard to attain.” He alone has a genuine claim to self-confidence, for he has faced the dark ground of his self and thereby has gained himself. . . . He has acquired the right to believe that he will be able to overcome all future threats by the same means.”—Carl Jung

“In myth the treasure is always guarded by a dragon or monster bigger and more powerful than the Goddess or any trickster. The dragon or serpent is very often the outer symbolic form for the Father figure from which the hero was separated at birth or during childhood. Without his spiritual experience, which is now at a premium, as is his fearlessness and wisdom, he would not be ready for the awesome moment when he comes face to face with his real spiritual self, his inner god. More often than not the dragon or serpent which guards the treasure is a fire-breathing dragon. As we have already seen fire in myth is symbolic of spirit and self-consciousness, and the serpent or dragon isn’t an evil tempter but is a symbol of Eternity and Wisdom. All these symbols together create the well known motif of the fire-breathing dragon – Spirit and self-consciousness co-existing with Eternal Wisdom. This is a composite symbol and so some myths may not use all the motifs contained within the fire-breathing dragon symbol, but use only certain aspects.”Harry Young

“ . . . before we come to our own hearts we are destined to take endless journeys climbing mountains, swimming oceans
and trying to reach the stars. In the process, we inevitably will become lost, stuck or trapped. We take hopelessly wrong turns, try to fly too close to the sun or drown in our own sea of projections. Then somehow, mysteriously our individual lives through the slender threads of fate return us to the source from which we come and find what turns out to be buried treasure in our own back yards, the truth that resides in our own hearts, the golden world. This is the stuff of life. The journey Dr. Jung called the process of individuation.”—Robert A. Johnson, from the foreword to Michael DeMaria‘s book, Ever Flowing On

The Power of Myth—Moyers Moments

Some short video reminders of Bill Moyers’ interview series with Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth.

Quote of the Day

“The hero is somebody whom you can lean on and who is going to rescue you; he is also an ideal. To live the heroic life is to live the individual adventure, really. One of the problems today is that with the enormous transformations in the forms of our lives, the models for life don’t exist for us. In a traditional society—the agriculturally based city—there were relatively few life roles, and the models were there; there was a hero for each life role. But look at the past twenty years and what has come along in the way of new life possibilities and requirements. The hero-as-model is one thing we lack, so each one has to be his own hero and follow the path that’s no-path. It’s a very interesting situation.”
—Joseph Campbell, An Open Life

Finding Joe

There is a new documentary out on Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey called “Finding Joe.” It has recently opened in Los Angeles and on October 14 opens in San Francisco, Berkeley and Denver. You can watch the trailer on the movie’s website. You can check out yesterday’s Huffington Post review here. You can also follow the progress of the movie on Facebook. Seems doubtful that it will come to a theater in Fayetteville, but we can look forward to watching the DVD one of these days.

The movie features Deepak Chopra, Mick Fleetwood, Rashida Jones, Tony Hawk, Catherine Hardwicke, Laird Hamilton, Robert Walter, Akiva Goldsman, Sir Ken Robinson, Robin Sharma, Lynne Kaufman, Alan Cohen, Brian Johnson, Joseph Marshall III, Rebecca Armstrong, Chungliang Al Huang, David L. Miller, Gay Hendricks, David Loy and Norman Ollestad.

Man as Hero

“Parsifal” by Jean Delville, 1890

A perfect audio lecture to listen to for this year’s study topic—Robert Johnson speaking in May 1987 for the Journey into Wholeness series. He talks particularly about the myth of Parsifal and King Arthur. The talk is slanted toward the hero in men specifically, but is definitely of interest for women as well. Though this lecture happened 20+ years ago, his discussion of the Red Knight and how he appears in terrorists is even more pertinent today.

The lecture is in two parts and you can either listen to it from the website or you can download the two files to listen from computer, iPod, or burn to CD.


The NWA Friends of Jung meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month in the library at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The Sunday Dream Group meets the 1st and 3rd Sundays from 2–3:30 in the library at St. Paul’s.

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