The Hero Journey

“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have one before us, the labyrinth is fully known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”

Joseph Campbell

The Orkney Islands

These words were on my mind as I felt the plane lift off the runway heading towards Scotland to follow the bagpipes.  I am not an easy traveller as some who have no fear of flying, missing train schedules, or unexpected detours.   I want a plan with timetables and reservation numbers to confirm that there will be food and shelter at the other end of the journey.  In other words, I want security every step of the way.  There is safety in believing that somehow I remain fully in control of my circumstances and surroundings.

That is not the hero journey.  To travel that road, security and comfort must be set aside for something grander to occur.  The important thing, I reminded myself, is that I have taken a first step.

 

The Orkney Islands

54 thoughts on “The Hero Journey

  1. Congrats on taking the first steps! I’m not an easy traveler, either, but on recent trips I’ve been forcing myself to chill out.

    I like your new blog design. I’ve been playing around with this template, too, but haven’t yet got around to activating it. Do you have the custom design upgrade?

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    • Thank you – there are so many great new free templates to chose from, but I confess I have been tempted by some of the $$ templates. At this point I don’t have the customer design upgrade.

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  2. “Surprises are the joy of living. Surprises directly touch the soul. Good surprises energize and bad surprises teach.”
    Alev Oguz
    I hope you are continuing to enjoy your wonderful journey!🙂

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    • I love that quote! I tried to locate Alev Oguz but could find very little on my Google search. I know that he lives in Istanbul and he uses dramatic colours in this paintings.

      You live in a beautiful country!!!🙂

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  3. So beautifully well written. If felt like starting a novel, so real, honest, and I want to know where that trip will take you. It forbodes/promises anything. So true that the hero doesn’t reside in the coward. I am afraid that when it comes to flying, I’m more coward, maybe 99%. It’s weird because I used to fly nearly all over the world, then one day there it was. Fear. In other things, I’m more courageous. I admire those who can throw caution to the wind.

    Joseph Campbell is one of my favorites.

    Love,
    Paulette
    p.s. good to see you popping back over the cyber horizon.

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    • I have often thought about the definition of a coward. One person’s “sense of adventure” in another person’s “sense of danger.” And sometimes it may be the same person but at different stages of life or in different circumstances. What we considered was an adventure when we were young, may not be what we want our children to experience. Such is the complexity of humanity. But I would not have it any other way.

      It is good to be back! Thank you so much for stopping by and adding depth to the conversation…

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  4. Great… his poetically composed words to do with risk and adventure. This is the stuff of life that keeps one alive. That which gives us the wherewithal and impetus to explore and chance contribute in our own way. For me it meant being able to express and write about what life teaches, as well as what I see hear and feel, past and present… this in my humble fashion. Once again Rebecca, a great choice your subject!

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    • Thank you, Jean-Jacques. Every week, I chose a poem form Kaleidoscope for my week. This week I chose “Beyond Reach – a voice too far -” which is a reminder to me that we must give heed to our voice, for it is truly unique.

      “I can scarce hear
      A voice too far,
      Now beyond reach
      Undoubtedly fading,
      Thusly I fear
      I’ll find in time,
      The voice that died
      Must have been mind,
      For shout or screech
      No one appears,
      Can tell I’m not here
      And thus beyond reach,
      Too far to see or to hear!”

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    • It was a wonderful trip! When we go, we use public transit and trains so that we can meet people along the way. I am the designated photographer of the family, but all of the photos are taken on the run because we are always on the move. Sometimes I just take a deep breath, click and then hope for the best. Thanks for stopping by…

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    • You are far too kind! These photos were taken with an iPhone through a window of a fast moving bus. I didn’t think they would turn out. I hear the new iPhone6 has a powerful camera. I wonder what Gertrude Käsebier would think?!!! I’m enjoying your Flickr photos! 🙂

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  5. Those clouds in that glorious blue sky are amazing, my perfect kind of day!!😀 So this is the Orkney Islands? I’ve not yet been to Scotland – Ireland and Wales, but not Scotland. I seem to have gone near but not near enough! The landscape is beautiful too. My brother and my dad and went to Scotland many years ago, they travelled on a hot sunny day to arrive in Scottish fog – real thick fog. And it stayed like that, no matter where they travelled in Scotland for the entire two weeks of their holiday. As they left Scotland, the fog cleared and they were back in sunshine. A couple of days later Scotland got the warmest weather they’d had for years, three weeks of scorching hot sunshine. I think they missed out on seeing the best of Scotland, they were not happy!😉 So, was it sunny like this the whole time you were there?

    I love the quote, very true that what we think we will find is often the opposite, and that is always the better discovery. And wanting to make our environment safe and secure – well, that’s me too!😀 But not fearing risk is definitely moving closer to the path of the hero, there’s nothing heroic about a safely planned life. It’s difficult to do though, it’s so much easier to stay in comfort, but probably a lot more boring!🙂

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    • One thing I learned from my trip to Orkney was that they don’t get very much snow, even at that latitude. These past months I have been considering what constitutes a hero’s journey. I have come to think of it as embracing life for life itself. The idea of making a difference it appealing, but it is the “why” that interests me. If we want to make a difference, how is that played out in our lives? And do we expect a reward of some kind? I am really enjoying my mini-research project on mythology. It is revisiting the stories at a different stage of my life. Just today, I checked out a library book on Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I continue to learn…

      Thank you so much for adding depth to the discussion. 🙂

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  6. I’ve read your quote twice before I saw of how difficult it is for you to travel and before reading the thoughts and have written the following words:
    But even if we only follow a path that has been walked on before us, it still takes a lot of courage to take it because for us it is new and it may be different from how we imagined it!
    By the way, me too, I can very well understand your feelings, and I am ashamed when my family is aware of my problems but it makes me proud when I take the difficult step.
    Many thanks for this beautiful thoughts.:)

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  7. Lovely photos and epic timing. I’m leaving for a writer’s retreat in Jalisco, Mexico tomorrow. Hope your travels are easy, happy, fulfilling. Love the Joseph Campbell quote.

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  8. Lovely, philosophical words, dear Rebecca. I’m absolutely amazed at the quality of your iphoneshots, they are stunning!
    We all look forward to see and read more.🙂
    Have a wonderful day,
    hugs from the Four,
    Dina

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    • Thank you so much for your comments and visit!! I am enjoying this mini-research, which I am finding is much grander than I ever thought imaginable. It really is the story of humanity, of who we are, our hopes, dreams, fears, etc. And most surprising of all to me, is that the hero’s journey is for all of us, not just a select few who have been blest somehow by the gods. It is a choice that we can make everyday. Hugs going winging their way back to the Fabulous Four!!!🙂🙂❤

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