Intermission and Explanation
This blog is dedicated to exploring and enhancing ones Intuitive faculties through the creative process. I thought it was appropriate for this story I am writing about my experience of having those 15 Minutes of fame or celebrity. But, now I’d like to take a few minutes to explain one of the concepts I am obviously weaving through this personal story telling.
And that is the idea of The Hero’s Journey. Each of us travel a path through our life and that path is created by the choices we make. It is our journey. I firmly believe that journey is meant to create the very best human being we have the potential to become. And because that is my belief, I also think that the best we can be is our own hero.
The oldest teaching tool of humankind is story. Through story we learn to live, survive, love and nurture ourselves and those around us. Myths and legends are stories, that have their beginnings in very real people and truth. That is why they resonate within us so strongly. We relate on a deep level to these tales, even when they are ancient.
Joseph Campbell, the leading mythologist of the past century, tells us that myth is actually the story of the development of the human psyche. It is familiar to us because we live it each and every moment. And one of the most oft repeated and retold stories is that of the Hero and his/her journey and adventures.
There are stages in that journey. Places, experiences that are standard to the story and the development of the individual hero. And, I believe, if we are following our hearts and our own inner creative process, we will encounter those stages along whatever path our choices lead us to.
We are born with a clean slate: innocent of life and knowledge. That means that life can be seen as a series of lessons in which we engage in order to learn how to be the unique individual we are meant to be. Campbell also tells us that we will only find that particular wholeness (uniqueness) if we choose to “follow our bliss.” Our bliss is our Creativity. Without it we can not evolve, progress, or become.
I have obviously chosen a path of writing. That is the central fact of this current story. But, it is also the central fact of all writers, of all Artists, and of all creative human beings. Each of us owns creative energy. We can not grow without that element built into our very systems. If we live creatively, we are engaging those energies with every choice we make.
Intuition plays a huge role in that process. It is the voice of our inner being, our subconscious mind, our heart and mind, our soul. As I have been writing the present story, I have been aware of many of the places where I made choices along the way, many of them were not conscious decisions, they were made in the moment. And yet, as they have unfolded in my own words, I see a path built one step at a time, that could only bring me here, to this present moment and the individual I am and am still becoming.
In other words, I am learning from my own story. That is exciting and just a bit scary, as well. I am finding connective links I had not been aware of in the past. Mile markers that I never noticed before, guidance that came from within, as well as from without. Although I was alone on my journey, I was never without companionship, both interior and exterior.
So, today, I want to take a moment to list the stages of the Hero’s Journey as written by Christopher Vogler in his book The Writer’s Journey: 2nd Edition. I bought the book based solely on its title. Mr. Vogler was setting out to explain the stages a writer must incorporate into any story, or film script, that involves the development of a hero. He uses many of the most popular films and novels as examples throughout the book.
At first, I thought I had made a mistake. But, as I read through the book, I began to see all those connective links between his material and any individual who was living a life aimed at becoming the very best that he/she might become. He explains each stage of the journey, what it entails, and the necessary ingredients that must be in place for that particular stage to be successful and lead to the next one. If only life were that linear.
It isn’t. So we may encounter any of these stages at any time and in any order. Not only is his book a good writing manual, in that it focuses on Universal experiences which will produce relativity in written material (including poetry), but it is also a good map for a life’s journey. He also explains the archetypes we will encounter on that journey: the Hero, Mentor, Threshold Guardian, Herald, Shapeshifter, Shadow, and the Trickster.
If you have been following the excerpts of my story, you might recognize several of these individuals as characters already present in it. But, just as the stages are not always neatly encountered by rote in life, these individuals often recur in other stages, and in the form of new contacts and personalities. That’s where ones intuition steps in and allows us to discern what we are really dealing with. One of the primary functions of intuition is self-preservation and it is also essential to any journey.
Here are the stages listed in Vogler’s book. After each one, I will put my own terms and definitions in parenthesis.
1. Ordinary World (Comfort zone ie., ice-cream, American Idol, and a good book. Not necessarily in that order).
2. Call To Adventure (Movement – getting the couch potato off of the couch)
3. Refusal of The Call (I can not, will not do that under any circumstances)
4. Meeting With The Mentor (Holy smoke, mirrors and magic too)
5. Crossing The First Threshold (Crap, are we talking commitment?)
6. Tests, Allies, Enemies (Discernment in every day living – finding like spirits and the crazymakers)
7. Approach To the Inmost Cave (Finding strength in our weaknesses – shadow aspects)
8. Ordeal (Counting the cost of the journey)
9. Reward <Seizing The Sword> (Benefits and consequences)
10. The Road Back (Returning Home – They’re gonna think I’m nuts)
11. Resurrection (Rebirth, new life and acceptance of a new me)
12. Return With the Elixir ( I have something I’d like to share with you)
Solely for your entertainment during this intermission:
(story to be continued…)