Hero`s Journey

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The Hero’s Journey
Based on the work of Joseph Campbell
The protagonist is separated
from the known and steps
into the unknown.
By crossing the threshold, the
protagonist's world is changed
forever. A mental journey
merges with the physical
journey to result in a spiritual
revelation of purpose and self.
Through the protagonist's
ultimate sacrifice of self, he
walks in an enlightened state.
1. Home Culture
The protagonist has a home, a place he
thinks is normal, familiar, and common to
others in his culture.
Something unexpected occurs that
motivates the protagonist to acknowledge
an unknown aspect of his world, feel
restless with the constraints of his life, or
find a new world that he was not aware
existed.
The protagonist refuses the call because
he chooses not to give up his position,
goals, or responsibilities, or because he
fears the unknown and prefers his
familiar comforts.
The inexperienced protagonist is
provided a supernatural, guiding, or
guarding character, or an instrumental
item (sword, encouragement, etc.) to
assist his step forward into the unknown.
The protagonist moves out of his comfort
zone and walks alone. He is confronted
with an obstacle that must be overcome
before he can fully enter the dangers of
the unknown journey. He must let go of
something that he was clinging to.
By crossing the threshold, the
protagonist's world is changed
forever. A mental journey
merges with the physical
journey to result in a spiritual
revelation of purpose and self.
The road of trials is a series of tests,
tasks, or ordeals that the protagonist
must undergo in his transformation. He
may fail one or more of these tests,
which often occur in threes. Although he
is found vulnerable, the outcome reveals
a strength that he did not know existed.
The protagonist is not expected to face
the trials alone. He gets help from the
"Mentor." He may experience an ideal,
unconditional love that helps him see the
possibilities of his journey. This
supernatural, human, or symbolic ideal
encourages him forward.
This is the person's darkest moment.
Someone or something tries to destroy
the journey itself. Often the destroyer
has been sent by a larger evil to stop the
protagonist. The protagonist may be
discouraged or misled, but eventually
overcomes his lack of knowledge,
prejudices, and fears as he grows in the
acceptance of his role as hero.
The protagonist moves beyond the fear of
change that came from his ignorance. He
adds the spiritual element to his journey.
He is now willing to accept what is
required of him to complete the mission.
He is willing to give himself up to a
higher purpose.
The protagonist becomes self-assured. He
accomplishes the ultimate goal and
fulfills the mission. Here the hero
confronts and defeats old enemies with
the new power and knowledge gained. He
is able to overthrow or defeat the
opponent.
Through the protagonist's
ultimate sacrifice of self, he
walks in an enlightened state.
Just as the hero may need guides and
assistants to set out on the quest,
oftentimes he must have powerful guides
and rescuers to bring him back to
everyday life, especially if he has been
wounded or weakened by the
experience.
Although seldom a true refusal, the
protagonist, who should return "home"
with his powers, ability, or wisdom,
remains isolated and often faces an
emotional loss. Sometimes he prefers to
live in the enlightenment than return to
a "home" that might not accept him.
The protagonist realizes that home is no
longer a place but a state of being. Those
in his past may not accept his new ability,
power, or wisdom. The challenge in
returning is to retain the wisdom gained
on the quest, to integrate that wisdom
into his life, and then maybe figure out
how to share the wisdom with the rest of
the world.
The protagonist has the ability, power, or
wisdom without limitations to relax in
whatever world (physical, mental,
emotional, or spiritual) he finds himself.
He can adjust to who he was in the past
and who he might be in the future.
Another way of looking at this step is that
it is a period of rest, peace and
fulfillment.
The protagonist is able to combine the
workings of his old and new societies into
one world, the world where the
protagonist now lives. He understands
that his old self had to "die" in order for
the new way of life to begin. He no
longer fears change because he has
learned to live in the moment regardless
of what that means.

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