Manifest the Hero Within You (All Stages of the Hero’s Journey)

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This post explains the concept of the monomyth and goes through all of the stages of the hero’s journey. It’s a long piece but well worth the read, as it will help you manifest the hero within you.

The Power of Story

“In a kingdom far far away there lived an ordinary farmboy, who one day received a memorable call to adventure…”

That’s how most fairytales and epics usually begin, which you’ve heard countless times before. No matter the time or place, the stories stay the same in their core. Star Wars is nothing else but Homer’s Iliad taking place in a galactic setting.

Us humans are spiritual creatures, which is the notion of believing in something higher than oneself. We have realized that there’s more to reality than meets the naked eye and are seeking out MEANING to our existence. To make sense of the Universe and understand ourselves in the midst of its cosmos, we create stories.

Thanks to the advanced development of our neocortex and consciousness, we possess the ability of language and abstraction. It enables us to use our imagination and creativity to scheme up incredible narratives that describe the world as well as nourish the soul.

The Function of Story

Storytelling is an innate part of our psyche and nature. But why do we love stories so much?

It would be difficult to predict when we started actually telling stories. Gestures, body language and cave paintings were probably used to convey concepts and phenomenon in the world as well. However, it’s clear that real stories began to be told only after the appearance of Homo some 2.5 million years ago. Homo Habilis developed proto-language, Homo Erectus had symbolic communication and Homo Sapiens proper language, estimated less than 200 000 years ago.

I don’t want to be a harsh evolutionary psychologist and take out all of the seeming beauty and meaning from storytelling, but the reason is simple. The invisible law of natural selection favored those individuals of the Homo phylogenetic tree that developed the ability for higher abstraction and language.

Storytelling is an effective evolutionary strategy that promotes social co-operation and reproductive success. It promotes higher executive functioning that was accompanied by an increase in brain size, especially the neocortex. Stories and myths are means of explaining mysterious phenomenon of the world and giving guidance to others.

Imagine yourself sitting around a fireplace in an after sunset setting of the savannah. The elders would gather the younglings around them and teach them about the Cosmos. Why does it rain and how does lightning strike? It’s the thunder deity playing tricks on us. Earth shakes when the giant upon who’s shoulders the entire world is standing upon moves.

It’s also a way to promote certain behavior in younger less experienced individuals. “We don’t go beyond this mountain because… there be dragons!” or “After we come back from hunting, we always have to go through cleansing to redeem ourselves for slaying the animal.”

Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious

Since the blueprint of stories are all very similar across cultures, it might be that the human psyche possesses a universal collective unconsciousness from which certain mental phenomenon are derived.

The term collective unconsciousness was first coined by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung[i]. It’s deeply embedded within our psyche that is out of reach for the rational mind and can be accessed only by the body or while dreaming on the subconscious level.

Archetypes are the meta-elements of the collective unconscious that manifest themselves in behavior, myths, images and dreams. They’re universal character types or archaic patterns, such as the mother, the child, the trickster, the flood, the shaman, creation etc.

The Hero’s Journey

One of the Jungians, Joseph Campbell, introduced the concept of the Hero’s Journey[ii]. It’s a monomyth that involves a hero who ventures on an adventure into a Special World, faces a crisis, emerges as a victor and then returns home as a transformed being.

The hero’s journey is a self-imposed narrative with which we define our place in the Cosmos and mature as individuals. It brings even more meaning into our lives than ordinary myths do because the protagonist, the hero is a regular person. In fact, the hero is a lesser version of himself in the beginning. As Joseph Campbell put it: “The Hero is the man of self-achieved submission.” It’s only during the trials and tribulations does the superhero within him get shaped and formed into being.

The hero’s adventure impregnants the world with the challenges faced and obstacles overcome. There doesn’t necessarily have to be dragons and great sources of evil. The principles of the journey manifest themselves across all domains.

The main idea is that the hero goes through massive transformations, both internal and external, during which he lays aside some of the underdeveloped traits of himself and, through a series of epiphanies and development, grows into the much greater version of himself.

We love the hero’s journey because it reveals the immense amount of potential that’s hidden within all of us. It’s an Odyssey of body mind spirit that transcends our limits independent of place and time. It’s the story of the entire mankind.

All Stages of the Hero’s Journey

Campbell described the monomyth in 17 stages of narrative. Each step is an individual component, a piece of the puzzle, which the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss called mythemes[iii], that are bundled together into the entire structure.

Not all of the stories have to include every stage. Some focus on different aspects and facets, which depends on the narrative. The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, the myth of Gautama Buddha, The Matrix are seemingly different but in their core are very similar with various aspects of the development being emphasized more than others.

The 17 stages are divided into 3 acts:

  • Act I – Departure or Separation (from the Ordinary World), in which the hero receives a call to adventure, refuses it at first, but is re-convinced by a mentor or some other force of synchronicity.
  • Act II A– Descent (into the Special World), during which the hero crosses the threshold from the mundane into the unknown and goes through massive development while facing both internal resistance as well as external challenges.
  • Act II B – Initiation (inside the Special World). Eventually, he reaches the “innermost cave” or the highest peak of the mountain, where he undergoes through the “ordeal.” Having overcome the crisis and won the “boss fight,” the hero reaches “apotheosis” and gains his reward, by seizing the sword or getting the elixir.
  • III – Return (back to the Ordinary World), is the adventure back, during which the hero may be chased by the guardians of the Special World. As he traverses the threshold again, the hero becomes the Master of the Two Worlds, someone with immense power and wisdom. Returning to home with the elixir in hand, he has transformed himself into a magnificent meta-physical as well as a spiritual being and can use his skills to help others.
All Stages of the Hero's Journey
All Stages of the Hero’s Journey

“The pattern of the HERO: a separation from the world, a penetration to some source of power and a life-enhancing return,” – Campbell.

In each act, there are even more stages and mythemes that illustrate the hero’s growth in closer detail. There are many other writers who have added their own names to these steps. The most influential ones has been Cristopher Vogler[iv], who uses the monomyth for movie scripts and has 12 stages. I’m going to use both him and Campbell interchangeably to describe the journey. Let’s now go through all of them.

Act I
Departure
Stage I
The Ordinary World

This is “before the beginning,” where the story gets cooked down to a few metaphors and symbols that set the tone for the entire journey to come. During the prologue, there’s still a lot of confusion about what goes on in the first place.

The function here is to explain briefly some of the backstory and principles of existence in the given world. It also foreshadows both the Ordinary and Special world and creates contrast between them. Immediately a series of dramatic questions gets raised, such as what’s good and evil. The opening scenes of The Lord of the Rings is a great example to this, in which the history of the One Ring gets narrated.

In this stage, the hero also makes an entrance and gets introduced. Currently, he’s in his ordinary self and habitual mode of being. He’s in his everyday setting, which reveals his traits, flaws and desires.

Stage II
The Call to Adventure

Suddenly, there’s a trigger, a message from the frontiers, or some other catalyst that gets the story rolling. A call to action puts a direct threat on the hero’s safety, family, the peace of the community or poses a temptation, such as a lover, hidden gold, glory or success.

There are heralds of change, whether other people or messages, that present the hero with an invitation or a challenge. The Ordinary World has become unstable and needs to be balanced back again by risky action.

The purpose of the call is to alleviate either a lack or need. Someone gets kidnapped, there’s necessity for survival, health or growth of the hero.

 

In the Disney Movie Lilo and Stitch, the call to adventure takes place when Lilo is sent away. The problem or challenge is a threat that Lilo will be taken away from her sister Nani. As that happens, Stich then crashes onto Earth. In The Hobbit, the same thing happens when Gandalf knocks on the door of Bag End and the dwarves crash into Bilbo’s place.

Stage III
Refusal of the Call

The immediate reaction of the hero is to refuse the call. What the heralds predict sounds just too dangerous or challenging. The hero is also just too comfortable in his current setting and doesn’t want to go through the dreadful adventure.

He’ll make numerous excuses and reasons as to why he’s not fitting for the task. Bilbo doesn’t want to hear anything about any dragons. Neo doesn’t believe what Trinity tells him about the Matrix right away either. There’s fear that needs to be overcome. However, these are only attempts to delay his inevitable fate, as there can be conflicting calls of the heart versus the ego.

This is something that manifests itself in our everyday life as well. People have these great dreams and goals they wish to accomplish but never do anything to turn them into reality. They’ve received the call to action from within themselves but are hesitant and waiting for the suitable opportunity to hit them. By waiting for the right time to act you may end up waiting for an eternity. The perfect moment will never rise and the best time to act is now, immediately. As you start walking the journey, you’ll figure it out along the way.

Stage IV
Meeting the Mentor/Supernatural Aid

At one critical point, the hero can’t run away from his shadow no longer. The dire need for deliverance reaches too high levels and is forced into accepting the call. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean going on an adventure, as the hero may realize that he has to face some of his own false traits and undergo through personal change.

Refusal of the calling can happen at later stages of the journey as well. In The Lord of the Rings it took place several times. At first, Sam doesn’t want to hear anything about protecting Frodo, but Gandalf forces him to pick up the task. Then, when they arrive at Rivendell, the Council of Elrond can’t decide who should destroy the Ring. Up until that point, Frodo had been only carrying it with him. However, he then realizes that it’s up to him to finish the quest completely and venture to Mount Doom. Thus the Fellowship is born.

In this stage, the hero meets a mentor from who he receives something he needs. It can be an object of great importance, such as the One Ring, secret information about what’s to come, wise advice, practical training or a boost of self-confidence. Whatever it may be, the knowledge gained will be come in handy for the challenges to come.

The mentor dispels the hero of his doubts and fears by giving him strength and courage to begin the quest. In Star Wars, Obi Wan Kenobi then gives Luke his father’s lightsaber and tells him about his true heritage. R2D2 then plays the message that shows that Luke has the plans of the Death Star. Neo meets Morpheus who tells him about the Matrix. There might be even some refusal here, but the journey will begin in spite of it.

Stage V
Crossing the First Threshold

After this, the hero is now ready to start his quest, whether that be physical, mental or spiritual. Despite his greatest efforts, he will eventually cross the first threshold between the world he’s familiar with and the one which he is not.

This is illustrated very well in The Lord of the Rings, where Sam stands at the field, which is the furthest he’s been away from home. Then, symbolically, he takes the next step and traverses into the unknown. The main narrative is about the story of Frodo, but it’s Sam who changes the most during the quest, which makes him actually the main character. Neo also takes the red pill and exits the matrix into the real world.

There will also be a threshold guardian guarding the pass between the two worlds. In Ancient Greek mythology it was the multi-headed beast of a dog Cerberus, or Fluffy in Harry Potter. This archetype symbolizes a force that stands in the way, but is an illusory threat. It can be both internal doubt, enemies along the way or simply a trickster who doesn’t necessarily mean harm but simply wants to test the hero. To get past this initial obstacle, the hero needs to use wit and reflect back at the gatekeeper his skill. “These are not the droids you’re looking for.”

Joseph Campbell also included an additional stage to this, called the Belly of the Whale. It represents the final separation from the hero’s known world and self. There’s going to be a rough landing and exhaustive start. For the hobbits, it was reaching the town of Bree and staying at The Prancing Pony, where they’re surrounded by uncertainty and potential dangers. There’s no turning back now.

Act II A
Descent
Stage VI
The Road of Trials

Now that the hero has thrown himself into the abyss, he has to go through a series of trials and tribulations. The shadow or the antagonistic force will throw traps and enemies to the hero’s path. However, the hero will also make new friends and allies along the way who are going to help him. The Fellowship of the Ring gets formed and Harry meets Ron and Hermione.

Obstacles are thrown across the hero’s path, which need to be overcome for the journey to be complete. In this stage, his skills and power are tested. After each challenge that he faces, he gains a deeper insight into his character and identifies himself even more.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that the hero succeeds in all of the trials. He’s going to have to fail some of them to attain more wisdom about the new rules of the Special World and learn from his mistakes. In the School of Hogwarts, the children get into all sorts of trouble during their journey, which make them better wizards in the long run.

Stage VII
The Meeting with the Goddess

In this point, the person experiences love that has the power to overcome all evil. It’s an unconditional type of love that’s between a mother and her child. However, it doesn’t have to be motherly love. Instead, it’s a union or a sacred marriage between the hero-knight and a goddess.

In Shrek, it’s the love between princess Fiona and the ogre. In the Avatar, it’s Jake Sully and Neytiri. In Spiderman, Peter Parker and Mary Jane.

Campbell puts it best: “The ultimate adventure, when all the barriers and ogres have been overcome, is commonly represented as a mystical marriage of the triumphant hero-soul with the Queen Goddess of the World. This is the crisis at the nadir, the zenith, or at the uttermost edge of the earth, at the central point of the cosmos, in the tabernacle of the temple, or within the darkness of the deepest chamber of the heart. The meeting with the goddess (who is incarnate in every woman) is the final test of the talent of the hero to win the boon of love (charity: amor fati), which is life itself enjoyed as the encasement of eternity. And when the adventurer, in this context, is not a youth but a maid, she is the one who, by her qualities, her beauty, or her yearning, is fit to become the consort of an immortal. Then the heavenly husband descends to her and conducts her to his bed—whether she will or not. And if she has shunned him, the scales fall from her eyes; if she has sought him, her desire finds its peace.”

Act II B
Initiation
Stage VIII
Woman as Temptress

In this step, the hero faces different distractions and temptations that could guide him away from his path. It’s often a physical pleasure of some sorts, such as money, fame, food, sex etc. The woman is simply a metaphor for the temptations of life, since the hero-knights of the past were most often mislead by their lust.

This stage tests the hero, whether or not the hero can push off immediate gratification and pleasure. Can he endure some discomfort and rise above his selfish desires? Will he stick to his call or will he sell the One Ring to a broker.

It takes perseverance and grit to resist the temptation. However, the hero can also use wit to approach this challenge.

In the Odyssey, the sirens are beautiful but dangerous creatures who lure sailors to shipwreck on the rocky coast with their alluring song. Their vocals are said to be the most magnificent things you’ll ever hear that hypnotize you and override any rational thought. Odysseus wanted to get past them alive but still yearned for their singing. He was clever enough to order his troops to fill their ears with beeswax so they would remain deaf. Then he ordered them to tie him to the mast, leaving his ears open, and leave him tied tightly to it, no matter how much he would beg. The siren song made him go insane in the head but his sailors kept him bound to the mast. Once they past the threat, they were safe again.

Stage IX
Atonement of the Father

Here, the hero has to confront the ultimate source of power in his life. In myths, it’s most commonly the father figure, but it doesn’t always have to be a male entity. This is the center point of the journey, with all of the preceding steps leading to it, all that follow will move out of it. The idea is that the hero has to face the greatest authority in their life. In a way, it’s like a maturation process, in which the hero has gathered enough guts and will to become independent.

Luke’s confrontation with Darth Vader in the Star Wars is a literal example of this. He finds out that Vader is his father and thus the story goes through a massive revelation. The father represents power, especially power over the hero. During the face-off, that power gets taken from him, which makes the hero seemingly omnipotent and limitless. Luke loses his arm in the fight but survives and emerges with a lot of knowledge and skill.

The atonement can take other forms as well. Ultimately, the hero also has to confront the dark parts of his being, the shadow of the ego. In Spiderman, Peter Parker gets absorbed by the symbiotic venom that begins to poison his mind and control his behavior. The hero has to fight this afflictive force to prevent himself from being completely consumed by it.

Stage X
Apotheosis

The apotheosis translated from Greek means “to deify” and in Latin is “making divine.” This is the culmination of the hero’s development, in which he is glorified to a god-like level. Having hit a point of realization after the trials passed, the hero transcends to a higher plane of existence.

In this step, the hero goes through death and resurrection. He faces the greatest enemy for the first time in full form. Apotheosis begins with the hero realizing the divine in himself. Up until that point, he had been fighting only guardians and henchmen, but now he has to truly transform himself into the “superhero” he is destined to become.

At this stage there can be no final hesitations or doubts about his abilities. He just has to accept that he’s the One, like Neo in the Matrix. As he whole-heartedly starts to believe his power, he becomes unstoppable. He gets shot by Agent Smith, but is reborn thanks to the love he has for Trinity. It’s a catharsis, an emotional release, that purges and leads to a breakthrough. Trinity herself went through a mini-apotheosis, as she admitted her feelings for Neo.

As the hero gets resurrected, he gains true access to his infinite potential. His power increases even more and he becomes divine. After battling the Balrog, Gandalf dies but is transformed from being Gandalf the Grey to becoming Gandalf the White. “Those who know, not only that the Everlasting lies in them, but that what they, and all things, really are is the Everlasting, dwell in the groves of the wish fulfilling trees, drink the brew of immortality, and listen everywhere to the unheard music of eternal concord” – Campbell.

Stage XI
The Ultimate Boon

The ultimate boon is the highest achievement of the quest. In this stage, the hero has emerged victoriously from the climax and has “apotheosized” himself into the divine superhero he’s destined to be.

At the height of his transformation and power, he completes the task and banishes the antagonistic enemy completely. Luke finally trusts the Force within him and destroys the Death Star. The One Ring gets cast into the melting pits of Mount Doom and Aragorn takes his rightful place on the throne of Gondor. Indiana Jones also finds the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail and other treasures.

The ultimate boon represents seizing the sword or gaining access to the elixir of life. The heroes see who they are and how they fit into the grand scheme of things. It’s a moment of clarity, in which the hero sees through any deception thanks to attaining clairvoyant vision. He’s become more intuitive and aware of the connectedness.

Act III
Return
Stage XII
Refusal of the Return

Having reached enlightenment, the hero may not want to return to the Ordinary World. He’s achieved the ultimate mode of being and going back into the mundane may cause apathy and seem meaningless.

At Mount Doom, Frodo is so exhausted that he wants to simply give up. After victory, Luke would rather stay with the rebels than return to Tattooine. During the adventure, they verge on the edge of death and are most alive, which makes them almost addicted to the adrenalin rush they get.

This happens in the real world as well. Veterans coming back from war often end up depressed. Not always because of post-traumatic stress but also because everyday life seems so boring and dull, so meaningless. Imagine what the first men on the Moon felt. They landed on another planet, saw the entire Mother Earth from space and had to return. It’s the current peaking point of the hero’s journey of mankind, which may cause some anxiety.

Stage XIII
The Magic Carpet Flight

Sometimes things don’t go as smoothly during seizing the sword. If the ultimate boon and the elixir of life belongs to the gods, then the hero has to steal it. It can turn into a hot pursuit of divine importance and can be as exhilarating as the adventure to the innermost cave.

Luke has made the Death Star to explode but still needs to get the hell out of there. He’s still in danger and has to stay focused on the task at hand. In myths, the hero can also use magical items received from mentors and allies to escape harm. For instance, combs that grow into thick forests once they’re thrown to the ground and so on.

Stage XIV
Rescue from Without

At the verge of collapse, the hero can potentially not make it in the end. Most of his strength has been used for the Ordeal and he’s weakened. However, there can be allies who ride to the rescue. This intervention can come from friendly sources and also in the form of a divine entity.

As Mount Doom begins to collapse, Frodo and Sam are rescued by Gandalf and the griffins. Just before Luke fires the shot to destroy the Death Star, Han Solo appears and takes out the fighters attacking him – “You’re all clear kid, now let’s blow this thing and go home.”

Stage XV
Crossing the Return Threshold

As the hero goes back home, he has to cross the threshold between the Special and Ordinary World again. He now ascents from hell and brings himself back into existence on the physical plane of reality.

Crossing the return threshold is as important as the First Threshold. At first, the hero’s descent symbolized death from the home life. Now, having ventured deep inside the Underworld, he symbolically is reborn back again into the “real world.”The hero returns to the world of common day and must accept it as real,” – Campbell.

The trick is to retain the Elixir of Life with him, so that he could bestow its powers onto others as well. However, such Philosopher’s Stones tend to vanish as they get in contact with the mundane. Whatever the case might be, the hero will still have gained wisdom and skill that has transformed him into a god-like figure.

In the Odyssey this takes the form of a semi-resurrection. After many years of adventures, Odysseus returns to his home island Ithaka. His wife Penelope now has several marriage proposals who she has been rejecting so far. The returning king and his sons kill all suitors and the loved ones get reunited.

Stage XVI
Master of the Two Worlds

This stage marks the hero turning into a transcendental and sublime being who is capable of moving in between the 2 worlds with ease. He has managed to overcome the shadow of himself and the ones of external forces and has transformed himself into a superhero. It can also be attained by achieving a balance of the material and spiritual.

Such transcendence is very well represented by the hero’s journeys of Jesus and Gautama Buddha. However, Luke achieves similar mastery by becoming a Jedi Knight. Aragorn also is crowned as king and receives the responsibility to protect the realm from Gandalf.

Campbell: “The individual, through prolonged psychological disciplines, gives up completely all attachment to his personal limitations, idiosyncrasies, hopes and fears, no longer resists the self-annihilation that is prerequisite to rebirth in the realization of truth, and so becomes ripe, at last, for the great at-one-ment. His personal ambitions being totally dissolved, he no longer tries to live but willingly relaxes to whatever may come to pass in him; he becomes, that is to say, an anonymity.”

Stage XVII
Freedom to Live

With such self-mastery and discipline comes the ability of the hero to choose how he’s going to spend his upcoming days. The hero is powerful, wise, skillful and able to accomplish anything he sets out to do.

This freedom also means liberation from the negative aspects of his own being. During the journey, the hero had managed to overcome his fears, anxiety and afflictive emotions. Because of that, they differ from the ordinary people who are still stuck inside the Matrix. The hero has managed to experience the true nature of reality and can live in the present – in the here and now.

Luke becomes one with the Force and later starts to teach others. In the end, Neo gets turned into Agent Smith but chooses self-sacrifice, short-circuiting the system. The hobbits took the place of leaders in the Shire and Frodo goes over the seas with Gandalf.

Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live.

Growth of the Psyche

These are all of the 17 hero’s journey stages.

The hero’s journey represents the maturation process of the human psyche. Act One, the hero is brought into the world and is dependent of its safety. In the real world we as children are the same. An infant cannot survive without its parents.

As the call to adventure rises, the hero has to rise to the challenge and accept his inevitable fate, which is to complete the quest and become great. It seems very scary but is necessary for you to reach your full potential as a human being.

In Act Two, the hero symbolically goes through a process of development, which is built up by challenges, reached in the atonement and culminated at apotheosis. This is the highest point of the ordeal, during which the child symbolically takes the power from the greatest source of authority in their life and becomes his own master. It’s the moment in which the hero achieves independence and realizes his inner greatness.

The power is within all of us, it’s just that we fail to manifest it in the real world because of a victim mentality or a source of sovereignty that reigns supreme over us. As an archetype, the hero himself is still a victim by being governed by duality between him and his cause. Once he goes through apotheosis, he matures and transcends his own limits.

How to Manifest the Hero Within

The Hero’s Journey is an innate part of our psyche. It’s a narrative that’s embedded within the collective unconscious and emerges through different archetypal images that we come across in everyday life.

To live the hero’s journey, you don’t necessarily have to fight the Army of Mordor on the Fields of Pelennor. It’s a metaphor. This is not only a story about facing sources of great evil or going on perilous adventures. On the façade it can take many forms but in its core it’s still about the notion of overcoming oneself.

The hero symbolizes the lesser parts of our being – the egotistic disconnected self with self-imposed doubts. As you traverse between the worlds of the ordinary and divine, you transcend your limiting beliefs and will gain power. Once the hero has matured enough, he transforms into the superhero version of himself with access to one’s true potential.

You have to accept the call to an adventure of self-discovery and actualization. What one can be, one must be. Unrealized potential is the worst kind of regret. It’s not only for selfish pursuits but to also bestow the rest of the world with the ultimate boon.

A Journey of Self-Realization

The call of self-actualization is something we all receive and yearn for. It doesn’t come in the form of heralds and messages, but instead by our own intuition. We all can feel the limitless potential within us. There wouldn’t be the feeling of anxiety in the first place if we didn’t know that we’re capable of achieving greatness. Most of the time we simply refuse it because of fear and limiting beliefs. Only in situations of dire need do we accept the quest and begin transformation.

What marks the point between the Ordinary and Special World is a single step that needs to be taken by decisive action. Imagine how much more of an advantage you’ll gain by taking the plunge. As you enter deep into the rabbit hole, your letting the world know that you’ve decided to complete the quest of turning yourself into a superhero.

There are definitely going to be tricksters, obstacles and challenges along the way but those are only fire to our flames. What makes the hero great are the difficulties he faces and overcomes. External adversity and internal resistance are nothing else but forces that augment and enhance the hero. As the hero faces these impediments, he’s also forced to come to terms with the shadow parts of himself. It’s a process of self-realization and acceptance, during which the hero matures as a person and overrides the afflictive side of his being.

The power of association and perception is immense here. Everything you do daily is a stepping stone on your road of trials. If you were to see it as something dreadful, then you’re manifesting the tragic end of a victim hero who never manages to jump over his own shadow. Choose to perceive it differently, as something that teaches you how to become victorious at the “boss fight” and you’re being courageous, which is a trait of all successful heroes.

Manifest Your Greatness

Everyone’s story is different and unique. It’s up for you to know what you yearn for. The call you receive is intuitive and comes from the heart. Knowing thyself is the essential component to this. Accepting random quests to please others or to pursue the wrong ends will mislead you from your true calling.

Before you start manifesting your greatness, you have to do a lot of deep-contemplation and self-enquiry. Everything else other than following your calling would be a waste of your potential. However, one can spend an eternity waiting for a divine revelation. The hero reaches enlightenment only during the highest Ordeal, while his in the innermost cave and facing the hardest challenge.

It’s better to already begin your journey and see where it may lead you. Only through decisive action and steadfast steps forward will you define who you are. Stagnation is death, whereas motion implies to life. It’s the core essence of all things living. Start moving towards the self-actualized superhero version of yourself, as it’s what you’re meant to do and the ultimate boon of existence.

Modern man lacks the same challenges and stimuli as we did in the past. There’s not much adventure in our lives, but our heart and psyche still yearn for it and the monomyth still seeks to come into fruition.

Manifest your inner greatness and you’ll write an incredible story about your own adventure.

References

[i] Carl Gustav Jung The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious

[ii] Joseph Campbell The Hero With a Thousand Faces

[iii]  Lévi-Strauss, Claude (1955). “The Structural study of myth”. Journal of American Folklore. 68 (270): 428–444.

[iv] Cristopher Vogler The Writer’s Journey