We experience an incredible amount of stimulation in every single moment. Struggling to find understanding and retain lessons learned from beautiful words we have read among the rest of our internal clutter can at times cause us to miss the message or forget things we have been taught and have learned. I began a journal solely for the purpose of writing notes as I read for my own memories purpose and to further integrate my readings into my heart and intentions. It was not until I shared my notes with a dear friend that I realized how helpful my “Cliffs Notes” of sorts, from these inspirational books can be to others. Cliffs Notes, or merely bullet points, whatever you may call this, it is an incredibly calming an inspirational practice for me. I have not added my own interpretations that are scribbled throughout my journal, as to not sway anyone else’s possible interpretations and allow each of your your own space and energy to do with these words as you please along your journey. I hope you enjoy.
The Hero Within (Carol S. Pearson)
The point is that we can be safe and at home in our own psyches, and we need not spend years studying psychology to be able to converse with ourselves. We know the language of the archetypes, for they live within us. Ancient folk also knew the language. For them, the archetypes were the gods and goddesses who were concerned with everything in their lives from the most ordinary to the most profound.
Archetype psychology, in a sense, brings back insights from ancient polytheistic theologies, which teach us about the wonderfully multiple nature of the human psyche. When these deities, or archetypes, are denied, they do not go away. Instead they posses us, and what we experience is enslavement, not the liberation they ultimately hold out to us. So be aware of scorning the gods, for ironically, it is our very attempts to deny and repress the gods that cause their destructive manifestations. The archetypes are fundamentally friendly. They are here to help evolve us, collectively and individually. In honoring them we grow.
Chapter 1: The Hero’s Journey
- The Innocent: lives in the prefallen state of grace
- The Orphan: confronts reality of The Fall
- The Wanderer: begins the task of finding oneself apart from others
- The Warrior: learns to fight to defend oneself and to change the world
- The Martyr: learns to give, to commit, to sacrifice for others
- Heros take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves. Although the may feel very alone during the quest, at its end their reward is a sense of community: with themselves, with other people, with the earth.
- If we do not risk, if we play prescribed social roles instead of taking our journeys, we feel numb; we experience a sense of alienation, a void, an emptiness inside.
- Heroism is a matter of integrity, of becoming more and more yourself at each stage of your development.
- It is the very act of leaving an oppressive situation and going out alone to face the unknown that is the wanderer’s heroic act
- After learning to change ones environment by great discipline, will, and struggle, the Magician learns to move with the energy of the universe and to attract what is needed by laws of synchronicity, so that the ease of the Magician’s interaction with the universe seems like magic.
- The task is not to be caring of others instead of thinking about oneself, but to learn how to love and care for ourselves as well as our neighbor (6/2/6)
- Beyond strength vs weakness, they become to understand that assertions and receptivity are yang and yin – a life rhythm, not a dualism (6/3/2)
- Male and female modes of heroism seem different because men linger longer in some stages and women in others (7/1/1)
- Women seem to linger in the stages that emphasize affiliation (Martyr & Magician) and men in those that emphasize separateness and opposition (Wanderer & Warrior). (7/3/1)
- When we look at where most men and women are, without seeing the overall developmental pattern, it may look as if there are distinct and different male and female paths. Or, if one looks just at the paths and not the different time and intensity of commitment to each archetype, it appears that men and women are developmentally the same. Neither is true. Men and women are developmentally the same; and they are different (7/3/3)
- What if the goal of life is not to prevail, simply to learn? (9/4/2)
- Heroism is redefined as not only moving mountains, but knowing mountains: being fully oneself and seeing, without denial, what is, and being open to learning the lessons life offers us. (10/1/1)
- I would illustrate the typical hero’s progression as a cone or three-dimensional spiral, in which it is possible to move forward while frequently circling back (13/2/2)
- Each stage has its own lesson to teach us, and we reencounter situations that throw us back into prior stages so that we may learn and relearn the lessons at new levels of intellectual and emotional complexity and subtlety. (13/2/3)
- Events in our lives influence the order and intensity of our learning (13/3/8)
- Innocent: the hero learns to trust
- Orphan: the hero learns to mourn
- Wanderer: the hero learns to find and name one’s own truth
- Warrior: the hero learns to assert that truth so that it affects and changes the world
- Martyr: the hero learns to love, to commit, to let go
- Magician: the hero learns to recognize and receive the abundance of the universe
- As Magicians, heros understand that nothing essential is ever lost: sacrifice becomes the organic and gentle letting go of the old to make way for new growth, new life (15/3/5)
- This is the time to take a leap of faith, act authentically now, and contribute your own truth to the world without insisting others agree with you. (17/4/3)
- Trusting yourself and your own process means believing that your task is to be fully yourself and that if you are, you will have everything you genuinely need for your soul’s growth (18/1/1)
- Recognize that what you want and what you need often are not the same and it is quite rational to trust the universe, God, or your higher self and let go. (18/1/3)
- As you change and grow, a few people may always drift away, but your compensation is that gradually you will attract to you people who have mastered more of the skills you have and hence there can be more appreciation and reciprocity between you. (19/1/1)
- “Power over” is dependent upon fear and belief in scarcity – that there is not enough, so we must all compete for it. (24/2/2)
- No matter how much we are loved, until we are ready to let it in, we will feel lonely. (24/2/2)
- Ultimately, there is no way to avoid a hero’s quest. It comes and finds us if we do not move out bravely to meet it…..the only way out is through. (24/4/1)
The chapters that follow describe the archetypes and the stages of awareness the hero encounters in exploring each one. The pattern described is schematic, however, so it is important to recognize while reading it that people do not go through these stages in lockstep. If you are inspired to pick up your own copy of The Hero Within I would Love it if you could comment below, and if you’re diggin my bullet points let me know and I will continue sharing my journal notes with you all. I am always interested in other people’s journeys and interpretations, I am available to anyone who feels the urge to reach out and connect. This book has been incredibly inspirational to me and I hope that my efforts in sharing this touches just one person if not many.
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