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But it is infinitely easier to do so having at least some knowledge about the experiences of those who have gone before. When we learn about the many different heroic paths available to us, we understand that there is room for all of us to be heroic in our own unique ways.

The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By

Stories about heroes are deep and eternal. They link our own longing and pain and passion with those who have come before in such a way that we learn something about the essence of what it means to be human, and they also teach us how we are connected to the great cycles of the natural and spiritual worlds. The myths that can give our lives significance are deeply primal and archetypal and can strike terror into our hearts, but they can also free us from unauthentic lives and make us real. If we avoid what T. Finding our own connection with such eternal patterns provides a sense of meaning and significance in even the most painful or alienated moments, and in this way restores nobility to life.

The paradox of modern life is that at the same time that we are living in ways never done before and therefore daily recreating our world, our actions often feel rootless and empty. To transcend this state, we need to feel rooted simultaneously in history and eternity. This is why the myth of the hero is so important in the contemporary world.

It is a timeless myth that links us to peoples of all times and places. It is about fearlessly leaping off the edge of the known to confront the unknown, and trusting that when the time comes, we will have what we need to face our dragons, discover our treasures, and return to transform the kingdom. It is also about learning to be true to ourselves and live in responsible community with one another. In classical myth, the health of the kingdom reflected the health of the King or Queen.

When the Ruler was wounded, the kingdom became a wasteland.

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To heal the kingdom, it was necessary for a hero to undertake a quest, find a sacred object, and return to heal or replace the Ruler. Our world reflects many of the classic symptoms of the wasteland kingdom: famine, environmental damage to the natural world, economic uncertainty, rampant injustice, personal despair and alienation, and the threat of war and annihilation. Our kingdoms reflect the state of our collective souls, not just those of our leaders. This is a time in human history when heroism is greatly needed. Like heroes of old, we aid in restoring life, health, and fecundity to the kingdom as a side benefit of taking our own journeys, finding our own destinies, and giving our unique gifts.

It is as if the world were a giant puzzle and each of us who takes a journey returns with one piece. Collectively, as we contribute our part, the kingdom is transformed. The transformation of the kingdom depends upon all of us. Understanding this helps us move beyond a competitive stance into a concern with empowering ourselves and others.

If some people lose and do not make their potential contribution, we all lose. If we lack the courage to take our journeys, we create a void where our piece of the puzzle could have been, to the collective, as well as our personal, detriment. Heroism is also not just about finding a new truth, but about having the courage to act on that vision. Most people know that heroes slay dragons, rescue damsels or other victims in distress, and find and bring back treasures. At the close of the journey, they often marry. They have reached a happy ending to their journey in which their new renewing truth becomes manifested in the life they now live-in community with their new family and with other people.

This new truth they bring back renews their own lives and also the lives of their kingdoms, and thereby affects everyone they touch. This mythic pattern is true for our personal journeys, although the happy ending is usually short lived. As soon as we return from one journey and enter a new phase of our lives, we are immediately propelled into a new sort of journey; the pattern is not linear or circular but spiral. We never really stop journeying, but we do have marker events when things come together as a result of the new reality we have encountered. And each time we begin our journeys, we do so at a new level and return with a new treasure and newfound transformative abilities.

When we believe that our journeys are not important and fail to confront our dragons and seek our treasures, we feel empty inside and leave a void that hurts us all. Psychologists in the leveling modern world have a name for the rare case of someone with delusions of grandeur, but do not even have a category for the most pervasive sickness, the delusion that we do not matter. While it is true that no one of us is more important than anyone else, we each have an important gift to give-a gift we are incapable of giving if we fail to take our journeys.

This book is designed to help you and others understand your significance and potential heroism. Perhaps most of all, it offers the potential to leave behind a shrunken sense of possibilities and choose to live a big life. Many of us try to achieve a big life by amassing material possessions, or achievements, or property, or experiences, but this never works.

We can have big lives only if we are willing to become big ourselves and, in the process, give up the illusion of powerlessness and take responsibility for our lives. There is a profound disrespect for human beings in modern life. Business encourages us to think of ourselves as human capital. Advertising appeals to our fears and insecurities to try to get us to buy products we do not need. Too many religious institutions teach people to be good but do not help them know who they are. Too many psychologists see their job as helping people learn to accommodate to what is, not to take their journeys and find out what could be.

Too many educational institutions train people to be cogs in the economic machine, rather than educating them about how to be fully human. Basically, we are viewed as products or commodities, to be either sold to the highest bidder or improved so that eventually we will be more valuable.

Neither view respects the human soul or the human mind except as used as an acquisitive tool. As a consequence, people increasingly are disrespectful of themselves. Too many of us seek to fill our emptiness with food, or drink, or drugs, or obsessive and frantic activity. The much-lamented pace of modern life is not inevitable-it is a cover for its emptiness. If we keep in motion, we create the illusion of meaning. We are subtly and not so subtly discouraged from seeking our own grails and finding our own uniqueness by an ongoing pressure to measure up to preexisting standards. And, of course, when we try to measure up rather than find ourselves, it is unlikely that we will ever discover and share our unique gifts.

Instead of finding out who we are, we worry about whether we are good-looking enough, smart enough, personable enough, moral enough, healthy enough, working hard enough, or successful enough.

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We look outside ourselves for others to tell us if we have lived up to some version of perfection. How many of us aspire to the perfect movie star face and body, the Nobel Prize-winning mind, the goodness or mental clarity of a great enlightened being Christ, for instance , the financial success of a billionaire? It is no surprise that so many of us spend our lives alternately striving and flailing ourselves for our inability to measure up. As long as this is our process, we will never find ourselves. Instead we will become compliant consumers, paying all the people who claim that they can help us overcome our ugliness, sinfulness, sickness, and poverty.

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And, in the process, we will keep them as stuck as we are-striving for something above us, rather than searching to know what is genuinely in us and ours. Initially, we may be called to the quest by a desire to achieve some image of perfection. Ultimately, however, we need to let go of whatever predetermined ideal holds us captive and just allow ourselves to take our own unique journeys.

It is an aid in finding and honoring what is really true about you. Knowing that you are a hero means that you are not wrong. You have the right mind. You have the right body. You have the right instincts.


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The issue is not to become someone else, but to find out what you are for. It means asking yourself some questions: What do I want to do? What does my mind want to learn? How does my body want to move? What does my heart love? Even problems and pathologies can be responded to as calls from the gods to a previously denied or avoided stage in your journey. So you might also ask yourself, What does this problem or illness help me learn that can aid my journey?

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The rewards of self-discovery are great. When we find ourselves, everything seems to fall into place. We are able to see our beauty, intelligence, and goodness. We are able to use them productively, so we are successful. We are less caught up in proving ourselves, so we can relax and love and be loved. We have everything we need to claim our full humanity, our full heroism.

We are aided on our journey by inner guides, or archetypes, each of which exemplifies a way of being on the journey. Each has a lesson to teach us, and each presides over a stage of the journey. The inner guides are archetypes that have been with us since the dawn of time. We see them reflected in recurring images in art, literature, myth, and religion; and we know they are archetypal because they are found everywhere, in all times and places. Because the guides are truly archetypal, and hence reside as energy within the unconscious psychological life of all people everywhere, they exist both inside and outside the individual human soul.

They live in us, but even more importantly, we live in them. We can, therefore, find them by going inward to our own dreams, fantasies, and often actions as well or by going outward to myth, legend, art, literature, and religion, and, as pagan cultures often did, to the constellations of the sky and the birds and animals of the earth.

Thus, they provide images of the hero within and beyond ourselves.

We each experience the archetypes according to our own perspective. I have found at least five different ways to explain what an archetype is:.

The Hero Within

Spiritual seekers may conceive of archetypes as gods and goddesses, encoded in the collective unconscious, whom we scorn at our own risk. Academics or other rationalists, who typically are suspicious of anything that sounds mystic, may conceive of archetypes as controlling paradigms or metaphors, the invisible patterns in the mind that control how we experience the world. Scientists may see archetypes as being similar to holograms and the process of identifying them as similar to other scientific processes. Showing Generosity: The Altruist 28 6. Achieving Happiness: The Innocent's Return 30 7.

Honoring Your Life: The Route 18 9. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview The Classic Guide, Updated for Our Contemporary World A modern classic of Jungian psychology, The Hero Within has helped hundreds of thousands of people enrich their lives by revealing how to tap the power of the archetypes that exist within.

About the Author Carol S. Show More. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. Airstream Living. The essential lifestyle book for the rapidly expanding community of air stream lovers-no matter what The essential lifestyle book for the rapidly expanding community of air stream lovers-no matter what make or model. The versatility of the sleek metallic gems of Airstream and other manufacturers has captured the imagination of a new generation. Pearson gives us a unique vocabulary to explore the link between ancient archetypes and our contemporary lives. Works like Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces have introduced readers to the significance of myth and archetype in our lives.

Carol Pearson's bestselling The Hero Within takes us further by combining literature, anthropology, and psychology to clearly define with insight and understanding, the six heroic archetypes that exists in all of us: the Innocent, the Orphan, the Wanderer, the Warrior, the Martyr, and the Magician. This substantially revised 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.

Passar bra ihop. Persephone Rising Carol S Pearson.