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.