Two views of the hero myth

I reblogged the first one. This the second: one correction though – I said that the Hero is an archetype – but really I meant to say that it is an archetypal journey through which the “hero” of the “story” passes through a version of the myth: the king, magician, prince, lover / queen, priestess, lover – etc. The “hero” in these cases is simply the person around whom the story revolves.  It really has nothing to do with doing ‘good’ or ‘bad’ deeds. These posts, I imagine are not about the hero’s doing but rather the attitude with which they do it… Did I understand correctly?

The First Gate

In a recent post, I discussed heroes and anti-heroes in spy movies and westerns.  This is the followup post I promised, but I’m going to leave the realm of popular heroes – those of fiction, entertainment, sports, and all who wear masks and tights.  I’m going to discuss the heroes of myth, especially the “monomyth” as Joseph Campbell summarized it in The Hero With a Thousand Faces:

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

Here is a graphic that makes the elements of this type of story clearer:

Heroesjourney

I can’t think of heroes without remembering James Hillman, (1926-2011), the father of archetypal psychology and one of the most creative thinkers…

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Notes on spies, cowboys, and heroes.

I wanted to reblog these two posts about “The Hero” in our culture and how it’s changed. This is the first post. The second is next.
The Hero is a part of everyone’s life journey. It is an Archetype. And it is interesting to note that: I’ve always thought that archetypes are a reflection of the Universe’s play on our Psyche. That we are all connected and we prove it by seeing that we all go through many archetypal manifestations throughout our lives. What this reminds me of is that the expressions of these Archetypes mirror our own psyche’s, the individual and the collective, and it gives us the opportunity to reflect and even monitor how we think we’re doing and how we really are doing.

The First Gate

I’ve done some car travel recently, and that is my favorite time to listen to audio books.  This time I picked a spy novel by a popular author I hadn’t read before.  I’ll discuss the specifics when I finish the story, but it sparked some new thoughts on a subject that I’ve written about before:  heroes, antiheroes, and how they change with the times.

As a teenager, I loved reading James Bond novels and probably finished all 11 books that Ian Fleming wrote between 1952 and his death in 1964.  In the novels and early movies, 007 was confident and competent in every area of life, including protecting a world in which good and evil were clearly defined.  That wasn’t just the fantasy of an adolescent male; Fleming’s huge popularity suggests that Bond embodied much of the cultural dream of the early cold war era.

Fleming’s first novel, Casino Royale

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