Perspectives and perceptions change over time. As one grows Will Rogers makes a fine point about seeing from another person’s moccasins.
“Hero” is no longer clearly defined.
I don’t want to risk too simple a cliche, but I remember reading a Joe Campbell passage where he said: one person’s demons were once another person’s gods…that’s a bit broad and relates to different subject in philosophy. Just noting how different perspectives change views.
I was thinking about the Harry Potter series…and how the protagonist fell into all those “hero” traps as well as moodiness…but what impressed me more was the “tragic anti-hero” Snape, the one hated through most of the series by the protagonist…and yet felt braver than them all…
Harry’s Dad was a “white hat” to Harry obviously because of his loss…(father quest?) and James was championed by others: his bravery and skill. But James also had a mean streak as a teenager and well not all was as it seemed.
Perhaps one trap of the hero is the blinding blinkers of “righteousness.” And judgment by “appearance?”
So there is much more nuance at play now with journeyers in heroic adventure/experience/struggle…more dimensions. And as said above dealing with that shadow side…facing it/struggling with that/finding balance in all facets/alchemically transforming or integrating the shadow side? or completely choosing the “ring” or “falling to darkness/shadow?
Needed a redo/re-edit wound out on a tangent without leaving a cup empty for a question (hehheh.) I would be a very poor journeyer indeed if I attempted to tell the veil of mystery everything I thought was behind it! Alas! Needed a rewind. Or patient guide/s (haha!)
Without defining: sometimes to me it feels as though there are myths where the hero/es have to relate to a social order.
And other myths where something universal is at play and the hero/es have to deal with that.
Would that make any difference where a “hero” or journeyer is concerned?
Or anti-hero…or turned hero?
Or perhaps that is Maya/illusion and I’m forgetting that beyond pairs of opposites both social and universal are born from one place?
Regardless…I love the idea Brad said at the end of his essay:
Perhaps the anti-hero, having vanquished the conventional, classical hero, has done us the favor of forcing us to discover we don’t need heroes “out there” in the world. We need to find heroism within ourselves, we need to discover that we already are the heroes for which we’ve been hoping. That is the truly heroic turn: to attempt to consciously reach beyond the archetype in an effort to become unflinchingly empathetic, mercifully humane and entirely human human beings.
So To find our own courage is quite heroic in just being human and kind!
And maybe just maybe that’s where those beautiful innate compassionate qualities come back into play!