Siddharthaby Hermann Hesse Quiz today Just a few notes Review of first two chapters
Review of Archetypes • Simply put, an archetype is a recurring pattern of character, symbol, or situation found in the mythology, religion, and stories of all cultures. • In the context of archetypes, Campbell defined his work as a search for "the commonality of themes in world myths, pointing to a constant requirement in the human psyche for a centering in terms of deep principles." (The Power of Myth xvi).
Jung defined his concept of the archetype as a formula that is the result of "countless experiences of our ancestors. They are, as it were, the psychic residue of numberless experiences of the same type." (quoted in Gordon ii).
Both men felt that the experience of being human can be examined collectively across time, space, and culture, and that our commonality can be traced to the most primitive origins of the human consciousness, where the archetypal themes originate in modern men and women.
Heroes Why do we have them? • Heroes are constructions; they are not real. All societies have similar hero stories not because they coincidentally made them up on their own, but because heroes express a deep psychological aspect of human existence. They can be seen as a metaphor for the human search of self-knowledge. In other words, the hero shows us the path to our own consciousness through his actions.
Functioning in this way, heroes give men and women hope for such things as life after death, reprieve from suffering, and a sense that order rules their lives.
Are heroes relevant today? • Heroes are a small part of a culture's mythology. They have been useful for thousands of years to the people for whom they serve as an idealized human, a sort of "super" person, capable of dealing with problems that surpass normal humans and their abilities.
In a sentence, heroes contribute to the society's necessary business of reproducing itself and its values. For most of history, religion has been the main force of reproducing the dominant society's traits by using mythical figures to illustrate moral and societal principles that help form a common social conception of such things as death and gender roles.
Are heroes harmful? • Every successful society must have means by which it indoctrinates its members into the society's system of values and morals. One of the darker aspects of the hero is the role he plays in disseminating these values.
Siddhartha • Buddha - A Hero's Journey to Nirvana
Joseph Campbell, in his epochal book 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces,' emphasizes that the essential trait of a hero in the making is his restlessness. Not at ease with his immediate environment and circumstances, a constant unease gnaws at his heart, prompting him to question the very nature of his existence. This inner strife is the first inkling that a greater destiny lies ahead of the potential hero. • Campbell divides the evolution of the hero into five distinct phases: • 1). The Call to Adventure2). Crossing of the Threshold (Entering the Unknown)3). Trials and Tribulations of the Journey4). Attainment of Enlightenment5). Return of the Hero
The beginning…The Call to Adventure • Gautama Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha, in the lap of luxury. Exposed to an overdose of riches and comfort right from the beginning, the prince, while still relatively young, exhausted for himself the fields of fleshly joy, thus becoming ripe for a higher, transcendent experience. • Right in front of him was an old man, tottering on a stick, his physical frame entirely ravaged by the trials of time. Never having been exposed to such an image, Siddhartha asked his charioteer who that individual was, and why he was the way he was?
Crossing the Threshold (into the unknown) • The hero feels off-center, and when one is off-center, it's time to go. The hero leaves a certain social situation, moves into his own loneliness and finds the jewel. This departure occurs when the hero feels something has been lost and goes to find it. It is the crossing of the threshold into a new life. It is a dangerous adventure, since one is moving out of the known into the unexplored, unknown sphere. • The disenchanted prince Siddhartha believed that he was setting out on an exciting adventure. He felt the lure of the 'wide open' road, and the shining, perfect state of 'homelessness.'