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Hero Within : Six Archetypes We Live By - Newly Revised and Updated (Rev 98 Edition)by Carol S. Pearson
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
Making a Difference:
The Heroic Journey
Heroes--in myth, literature, and real life--take journeys, confront dragons (i.e., problems), and discover the treasure of their true selves. Although they may feel very alone during the quest, at its end their reward is a sense of community: with themselves, with other people, and with the earth. Every time we confront death-in-life, we confront a dragon. Every time we choose life over nonlife and move deeper into the ongoing discovery of who we are, we bring new life to ourselves and to our culture.
The need to take the journey is innate in the species. If we do not risk, if we play prescribed social roles instead of taking our journeys, we may feel numb and experience a sense of alienation, a void, an emptiness inside. People who are discouraged from slaying dragons internalize the urge and slay themselves by declaring war on their fat, their selfishness, their sensitivity, or some other attribute they think does not please. Or they suppress their feelings in order to become successful performance machines. Or they become chameleons, killing off their uniqueness to serve an imagethey think buys success or just will keep them safe. When we declare war on our true selves, we can end up feeling as though we have lost our souls. If this goes on long enough, we are likely to become ill and have to struggle to get well. In shying away from the quest, we experience nonlife and, accordingly, we call forth less life in the culture. This is the experience of the wasteland.
Therefore, a more youthful challenger goes on a journey, confronts a dragon, and wins a treasure, which may be riches or a more clearly symbolic object, such as the grail in the Grail myths or a sacred fish in the Fisher King myths. The journey transforms the challenger, whose treasure is the discovery of a new and life-affirming perspective. When the hero returns to the kingdom, this insight also changes life for everyone. For this reason, the returned hero becomes the new ruler. Because new answers have been found, fertility and abundance are restored. Rain falls, nourishing parched ground. Crops spring up, babies are born, the plague is cured, and people feel hopeful and alive once more.
In this story, you may notice generational conflicts. If you are a young person, you might identify the old ruler as parents andother authority figures. They are not necessarily bad; it is just that their truths come from another time. That is why you must take your own journey.
At any age, you may experience this pattern when you become dissatisfied with your family system, your organization, your community--or even just the way you are living your own life. As you go on a quest to find greater vitality and aliveness for yourself, you also seek answers that contribute to a collective transformation.
In fact, any time you identify a wasteland element in your life--illness, boredom, lethargy, alienation, emptiness, loss, addiction, failure, anger, or outrage--it is time to take a journey. You can be called to the quest by such dissatisfaction or simply by a desire for adventure. The journey you take inevitably will transform you. Systems theory tells us that when any element of a system changes, the whole system has to reconfigure. Therefore, simply by experiencing your own metamorphosis, you can contribute to the transformation of all the social systems of which you are a part: family, school, workplace, community, and society as a whole.
Heroes, then, are not only people who grow and change and take their journeys; they also are agents of change. In "The Hero: Myth/Image/Symbol," Dorothy Norman maintains that "myths of the heroes speak most eloquently of man's quest to choose life over death."2 Joseph Campbell, in "The Hero with a Thousand Faces," defines the hero as "the champion not of things to become but of things becoming; the dragon to be slain by him is precisely the monster of the status quo: Holdfast the keeper of the past."3 The hero's task always has been to bring new life to an ailingculture.
In ancient times, societies were governed by kings and queens. Most people had little power over their lives. Today, however, we prize the achievement of democracy. Yet living in an egalitarian society carries with it responsibilities. Instead of only exceptional people going on the quest, we all need to be doing so. Heroism today requires us all to find the treasure of our true selves and to share that treasure with the community as a whole--through doing and being fully who we are. To the degree that we do so, our kingdoms are transformed.
This text combines literature, anthropology, and psychology to define the six heroic archetypes that exist in us: the Innocent, the Orphan, the Wanderer, the Warrior, the Martyr, and the Magician. It shows us how to reach our potential by achieving a balance between work, family and the self.
THE HERO WITHIN
In 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces', Joseph Campbell introduced readers to the significance of myth and archetype in understanding who we are and how we live our lives. Carol Pearson's best-selling 'The Hero Within' combines liter
In a newly revised edition of the bestselling classic THE HERO WITHIN, Carol S. Pearson gives us a unique vocabulary to explore the link between ancient archetypes and our contemporary lives. This edition features new chapters that illuminate these archetypes, showing how to reach our fullest potential by achieving a balance between work, family, and the self. Illustrated.
About the Author
Carol S. Pearson, Ph.D., is the author of many bestselling and respected works on archetypes, including Awakening the Heroes Within. She is president of CASA: The Center for Archetypal Studies and Applications and is the senior editor of The Inner Edge: A Resource for Enlightened Business Practice.
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