Damn I hate it when this happens. I didn’t pick up this book to learn something about myself. It’s not me I was trying to impress.
The quick synopsis that won’t get you even a “D” on any pop-quiz is this: The Hero With a Thousand Faces is Joseph Campbell’s influential study of world mythology. He set out to explain his hypothesis that every story has already been told, and will, necessarily, be told again, and within this is the journey and the need for the journey. Campbell uses the hero’s journey as a means to understand the universality between life and literature.
The journey is something innate and common in everyone. Campbell asserts being aware of our own journey, and using each step along the path to achieve something, is the secret to happiness.
I am on a journey. I tried to return home too soon. My adventures and experiences are not complete. Neither is my story. I use the practice of story-telling to my own purpose, as do all story-tellers.
“The agony of breaking through personal limitations is the agony of spiritual growth. Art, literature, myth and cult, philosophy, and ascetic disciplines are instruments to help the individual past his limiting horizons into spheres of ever-expanding realization. As he crosses threshold after threshold, conquering dragon after dragon, the stature of the divinity that he summons to his highest wish increases, until it subsumes the cosmos. Finally, the mind breaks the bounding sphere of the cosmos to a realization transcending all experiences of form.” Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces
Stories come from the experiences of humanity as a whole. This is why the hero has a thousand faces.
We are each a hero. We venture from our everyday world into something supernatural. We battle forces and emerge sometimes scathed, every time enlightened, if we listen. We return home to tell our tales.
The journey is not a choice. There is a catalyst across the threshold. We enter our supernatural world, our existence beyond our visible universe, with trepidation. The journey is guided by a higher power, someone with more experience, more knowledge, and more patience. And here is where I stop understanding with experience. I have certainly started sharing knowledge, but my journey is not yet complete. I am at
My journey began when I escaped Donkey. The catalyst across the threshold was a threshold. (1) I was in my ordinary world of abuse. It escalated and he said, I never wanted to do that again. (2) I knew I had to leave; I was called to change my situation. (3) We moved to Florida two months later.
(4) I spoke with lawyers, DV court advocates, and shelter counselors. I spoke at length with Llona. (5) I stayed at her shelter for six weeks. (6) The divorce took two years to complete, and even though the Final Judgement has been signed, sealed, and delivered, it lives on as a Motion to Amend.
(7) I faced darkness and lived in it. (8) One journey is crossing paths with another. (9) I wonder if I’ll know, or trust that I know, when I have landed safely on the island of enlightenment. (10) I tried to return home before the trials, allies, and enemies. Full-circle as it is, I am where I needed to be at the start of this.
When the journey is complete, the story, the experience, and the knowledge is to be shared. I am sharing early, but every skeleton’s skin is its own.