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Reply To: The Hero’s Journey in Contemporary Literature/Fantasy


Myths that “show’ us the suffering-that invite us into the suffering have profound affects in my life experience. We suffer -we heal-we share-we reinvent ourselves as a result of suffering. As a story the Passion of Christ rings real, intense, important in showing us how to meet suffering. There are not too many people-and I mean this absent of membership in any religion , cannot be open to the suffering  Christ. What he left us as the boon for that suffering is the wisdom that all of the divine [if we wish to express it in those terms] lies inside us-we are the benefactors of that suffering in knowing that it elevates our potential to all be as the gods. This story also left at least at first,  the western world with incredible inspiration to make music, to paint, to build. What went terribly wrong was that it became “fact” and not myth and hence as Nietzsche said , “God is dead”-here is the risk of concretizing  the myth as Campbell told us. We have sucked the vitality out of one of the greatest myths.

How to recapture the vitality from the myths is what I am interested in pursuing at this point in my life. What is greater than ourselves is the story itself-I am responding to Stephen’s query about what I posted earlier. It seems to me we are in great need of myths at this very moment because simply understanding what we are given by [knowledgeable] scientists is simply not enough, especially when we face the vast universe as but a dram of sand in the great expanse of being. This cannot be all there is. So, I am revisiting the myths that Campbell has shared and re-considering what they can offer at this moment in time. In finding some of this , I sense we can face the hero’s journey [and all its dangers and challenges]  once more.  By-the-way, this also means the heroic journeys of many women-Hildegard von Bingen being one of them. her story is one of great heroism.