Campbell's Hero(ine)'s Journey – applicable to all?

Posted: November 7, 2009 by Thrivelearning in Lifestyle Choice
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Starting a study of Campbell’s Hero’s Journey – based on his classic, “Hero with a Thousand Faces”.

Reason for this is to analyze and dissect popular culture.

The advantage of studying Campbell is to stand on the shoulders of giants to see further. Campbell already has boiled down all the mythos of old which have survived as popular stories. So the common plots and characters are the ones we have always wanted and expected to be there.

The great, inspiring stories have these elements, the poor ones do not. Even the short stories of O. Henry have these or imply them, in just a few hundred words. Such seems the power of myth – at least the popular ones which have survived.

One thing that strikes me is that this is actually a philosophic system which people have used to analyze their own lives. And of course, that brings me back to an observation I made years back that people sorted out their own lives by comparing the stories of others with their own. This, in seeming fact, was the reason for all entertainment – and why storytellers have always been supported through the eons.

And our actions with movies, recordings, even meeting others around us – for several days after, we are reminded of these actions. For we seem to be digesting what we’ve observed with our own lives.  Once reconciled, solved, we seek these stories no more. And something that is held to be a great classic may seem to have many more lessons we can still learn. Which would explain the Bible as the greatest and longest bestselling collection of self-help stories in all history.

Some have even taken Campbell’s structure as a means and method of dissecting their own world, their one world-view and/or belief-system. But that’s just comparing stories, isn’t it?

There is no right or wrong here. We are each just seeking truth in our own fashion.

Painful or rewarding, we are each on a trek – one we set for ourselves recently or in ages past. Your choice of application (or not.)


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