By David Nova
Serious students of spirituality should consider becoming students of Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey” because it serves as a guide to break free from the wheel of karma and the cycle of reincarnation.
It is not a literal text-book. You’re not going to discover step-by-step instructions. Rather, The Hero’s Journey serves as a personal, interactive tool that can help you reinterpret your own life and discover the unconscious challenges that you need to face and overcome in this lifetime.
Each one of us is the hero of our own psychological and spiritual journey. We are here to relearn, to grow, to transform ourselves from within, to become aligned with our highest self. Yet if we fail to gain the wisdom of our own personal Journey then we are bound to repeat the cycle again until we master it, because our immortal soul desires this journey of growth. The only person standing in our way is us.
“The Hero’s journey is mankind’s oldest story. It is a story that transcends all cultures and ideologies. Symbolically, it is our own story as it is an allegory for the individual paths we must journey upon. It is constantly being retold and manifested within each of our own lives. It is the story of the soul; and its ultimate purpose is to remind us why we are here and what we must accomplish.” (source)
The key is understanding what the Hero’s Journey actually is, and what it is not. It is internal work, not external work, and this misconception is where deception influences us, and holds us prisoner.
I have written a study guide for my own novels, entitled Season of the Serpent: A Hero’s Journey, which illustrates an example of using the tools of The Hero’s Journey and the Tarot to overcome inner concepts of duality. Of course, every journey is individual.
For readers who regard the reincarnation process with fear and suspicion, as an Archon-Matrix trap to escape from, I suggest reading my post: The Misunderstood Matrix of Karma, Reincarnation, and Soul Contracts
Joseph Campbell and the Myth of the Hero’s Journey
The Hero’s Journey was described by American scholar Joseph Campbell, in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, as a pattern that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development alike. It describes the archetypal adventure of The Hero, a representative who leaves the safe and comfortable confines of his home to explore the uncharted unknown, and perform a great deed, or attain great knowledge on behalf of the larger group, community, or civilization. The Hero’s Journey is at its core, a Service-to-Others spiritual path.
“To make a beginning, let us recognize that we, all humankind along with all sentient beings, are engaged in a journey, a great adventure. Whether we perceive that journey as simply a progress, a pilgrimage, through the years that separate our birthing from our dying or, on a grander scale, through all the cycles that include the numerous incarnations from our unconscious beginnings to our conscious perfectiveness, the pattern of the adventure is the same.” – Joy Mills (Source)
The Mythology of STAR WARS
One of the most famous examples of the Hero’s Journey is the original Star Wars film in which Luke Skywalker makes a very literal Hero’s Journey from the Ordinary World, his home planet of Tatooine, to Meeting with the Mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, to the Approach of the Death Star, to the Reward of the Death Star plans, to the final act of victory that marks his personal transformation from farm boy to galactic hero.
George Lucas credited Campbell’s influence in the making of Star Wars, and that influence may have had something to do with the universal appeal of the film.
The Fallacy of Hollywood
The original Star Wars is a great film and a wonderful teaching tool. When I was a kid in the late seventies, I had a Sunday School teacher who basically used the Hero’s Journey in Star Wars to help teach the New Testament gospels. That was certainly a creative approach, and it captured our attention – Obi Wan as a Christ figure, Luke Skywalker as one of his disciples.
It’s a pity that Star Wars was never used by society at large as a tool to teach Gnosticism, mysticism, and the inner spiritual path of the Hero’s Journey. Instead, Star Wars became a marketing machine and the first in an endless list of summer blockbusters (not just the Star Wars franchise) that recycled the same formula, repeating Hollywood’s watered-down, materialistic version of Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.
By churning out summer blockbuster after summer blockbuster, year after year, recycling the same materialistic version of the Hero’s Journey, Hollywood is metaphorically, and perhaps metaphysically, reinforcing subconscious belief systems that bind us to the reincarnation cycle.
The fallacy lies in an understanding of what the Hero actually accomplishes at the end of his/her journey.
According to Hollywood, the Hero must “win.” This is an externalized victory over externalized enemies. However, this is a dualistic process that ensures that the battle between “good” vs “evil” continues forever, in an endless cycle of externalized violence and conflict, which ensures that we become trapped upon the Wheel of Karma, either by deed or belief. For while violence may compel our souls to return to Earth to balance our Karma, beliefs may also compel our souls to return to Earth to continue to play out this Hero-Villain duality forever … like an endless video game. And that is precisely what we are in, a virtual video game.
As Above, So Below.
This concept of “winning” is a temporal concept, that only exists within the illusion of this duality matrix. Rather than the mistaken externalized belief system that the Hero must “win,” the spiritual journey requires that the Hero must “transform” himself.
“Are you stuck in a revolving ouroboros, or are you on an evolutionary spiral inwards? In order to leave the ouroboros of externally conditioned thinking and relating behind, we must travel inwards until we reach our Source at the point of internal singularity. It is just past this point of infinite Oneness that we are then able to travel back out into the realm of material experiences, where we can then make a profound difference in the world. As they say, ‘the only way out is in’.” ~Nathan & Aline, TheUnityProcess.com
Breaking the Cycle
“Winning” as a concept has been extremely destructive to humanity, often allowing darkness to slip between the cracks of our good intentions, thus we end up lifting ourselves above others by any means. “Winning” is the ego-facade we fabricate for ourselves to keep us separate and special. “Winning” drives our consumer driven culture of excess and disposability, choking the ecology of our planet. “Winning” blinds us to the pain and suffering of our fellow human beings. “Winning” is the overriding, self-destructive mindset of the global elite, the 1%, that has infected all aspects of human society.
Playing the role of the Hero is a hugely addictive temptation for young souls incarnating on Earth. How many of us, in our secret heart of hearts, still long for a perfect romantic love, for universal admiration, for a shining moment of glory, or the unquenchable taste of fame. I certainly have at one time or another. Overcoming hero programming is one of the hardest things we can do, overcoming the worldly dreams of our ego.
As souls, we may incarnate on Earth with an addiction to the hero experience because we wish to prove our own worth to ourselves through our physical lifetime, to erase past-life shame or guilt, or to validate our lower self to our higher self. Yet these externalized actions are unnecessary. We only need to accept ourselves, our flaws and dark corners, with divine compassion, transforming the focal point of our lives and our action.
Real heroes serve a real purpose, they provide divine examples of compassion. Our heroic lives never unfold as we might have dreamt or envisioned. We are called to become heroes in ordinary, unexpected ways, ways that we may not have chosen for ourselves.
There is a vast difference between performing a heroic act and acting like a hero. Acting heroic is the facade of Hollywood actors and Washington politicians. Heroic acts spring from the lives of real everyday people. Acting heroic puts doing before being. Heroic acts put being before doing.
Relate Post: Understanding Our Divine Relationship
Instead of expecting/seeking love, admiration, glory, and fame, real heroes provide compassion, support, grounding, and humility – qualities that are the anthesis of Hollywood and Washington, qualities which flow from our heart connection to spirit, once we open ourselves.
The Hero-Villain Death Dance
So many Hollywood films today are fitted with deeply flawed, damaged heroes who throw themselves into an obsession of fighting pure evil. As the villains have grown darker, so have the heroes. They feel compelled to race to the edge of their own sanity and self-destruction, to win. Are these balanced, psychologically healthy individuals? No. They are often just as damaged as the villains they fight against. Batman is a timeless example. How many times have Batman and the Joker danced to the death? James Bond is yet another.
In this externalized dance of repetitive violence and conflict, the Hero and the Villain are the same, they are two sides of the same coin, caught in an eternal struggle. They both have a fixation with death. They actually need each other to find any real meaning in their lives. As the Joker said to Batman in the 2008 film, The Dark Knight:
“I don’t want to kill you. What would I do without you. No, you… you complete me.”
This is the dance of duality, Conservative vs Liberal, East vs West, Order vs Chaos, Good vs Evil. The duality dance keeps the world imprisoned within a cyclical matrix of control, repeating the drama again and again and again, for heroes and villains to incarnate into this world, to play a violent video game without end.
Someone, somewhere has set up the game, controls the game, feeds off the game, and keeps the players coming back. When will it end? When the players wake up, when they no longer have any more use for the game. But it is the players who must decide to leave the game, to move on to a new experience beyond duality.
Victory is Found Within
“What is the heroic journey? Is it not to live each day, each hour, each moment in full and conscious awareness of the underlying order, that cosmic harmony, in which we are rooted? Is it not to live in accordance with the law of our own best being? To live always beyond ourselves and to act in such a manner that our every action mirrors in its spontaneous rightness the cosmic act of creation itself?” – Joy Mills (source)
For the consciousness of the planet to shift, we need to transform our overriding paradigm from the black & white duality of winners & losers, heroes & villains, to a more holistic vision of ourselves as a compassionate spiritual family of unique individuals with unique needs and talents – from scarcity and competition to abundance and sharing. That’s a huge paradigm shift, but not an impossible one. New technological innovations, such as zero-point energy, will certainly help clear the path. It won’t happen over night, but it’s already in progress. It’s called a shift because as our momentum grows, a tide will form lifting all boats that are willing to rise.
There may yet be more battles to endure before humanity collectively says, we’ve had enough of this self-destructive game, before entrenched sides back away from the table and give in. Heroes and villains alike will need to transform or surrender to this shift.
Politics and political correctness will not change who we are inside. The internet and social media will not change who we are inside. Money and power will not change who we are inside.
The transformation begins within us, activated by us. This is the purpose of The Hero’s Journey. At some point we have to recognize this truth, that we hold the key and the power to change our world by transforming ourselves, individually and collectively, and to stop expecting that some external victory will transform people in spite of themselves.
“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21
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The Two Games