The Hero’s Journey, three pathways…
In his book ‘The hero with a thousand faces’ Joseph Campbell discusses three paths of life that people can take: Village, Wasteland and Journey.
The town represents life for society and culture: we are born, we go to school, we get diplomas, we look for a job, we get married, we have children, we work for retirement, we get a gold watch and eventually we die. This path has many calming aspects and does not question the social norm. It does not cause that ‘the boat of our life is swaying too much’. We do what is expected of us. It is essentially the way of the ego. For many people it is a satisfying way of life.
For others it is not so easy. For various reasons, they are not suitable for the Village (because they do not have the right skin colour, appropriate manners or sexual preferences, etc.). Or because they feel called to something bigger than life in a village. For them, the Village is seen as a ‘life of desperate peace’. Instead of evolving in the village, they feel trapped, choked or suppressed. For these people, according to Campbell, there are two other possible ways.
The wasteland is the path of the rebel, being an outlaw outside of the margins. For an individual, this is life on the margins of society. Living beyond the limits of what is considered proper and normal. It is an attempt to “bloom” by rejection and escape from the town (eg by sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, etc.). This can result in addiction, criminal activity or solitary life. In this path the idea of going beyond the system that I do not like, and which I would like to change, results in the fact that I am an orbit. I am on the path that is parallel to the system, which excludes the possibility of influence and changes that I wanted.
The next path is a Journey. As we travel, we follow our heart, our vision and our call to find a way to discover something new for the world. What will strengthen the values and passions in the world. This is the path of great leaders, entrepreneurs, pioneers and all people who are active. Through challenges and discoveries along the way, they develop the qualities of courage, insight, wisdom, resilience, self-awareness and world awareness. Returning to the town they are able to bring their unique contribution for other residents. They let themselves and others get to know who they really are.
The Hero’s Journey is taking the third path; a travel in search of your own growth, developing the skills of discovering and following your own path, living your own life with the best version of yourself.
Your time is limited, so do not waste it by living someone else’s life. Do not get trapped in dogmas that are based on what others think. Do not let the interference of the opinions of others suppress your inner voice. And above all, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. Knowing and feeling who you really want to become, everything else is secondary…
You must find what you love. The only way to complete your satisfaction is to do what you think is a great work. If you have not found it yet, keep searching. You will know in your heart when you find it.