[a reflection on part 1 of the 1988 documentary, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth]

We are the heroes of our own life’s journey. For too long, we have been lulled into a materialistic slumber, bound by the dragon of our own egos and desires. But the call to adventure rings out, beckoning us to depart the known world and undertake the hero’s journey towards a more enlightened consciousness.

The path will not be easy, for we must overcome the inertia of our conditioned minds that tell us “we cannot,” that urge us to cling to the safe harbors of our responsibilities and duties. Yet something within urges us onward, for we know there is more to life than quarterly reports and mortgage payments. There is a sacred center that connects us to the cosmos itself.

The symbolic clues are all around us, if only we have eyes to see. We need not look any further than the great cathedral of Chartres to be reminded of the mystical relationship between the human and the divine. As we gaze upward at the soaring arches and stained glass rendering the heroes of myth, we feel our spirit expand and our trivial worries fall away. For a moment, we are transported outside of the profane and caught in a symbolic reverie of humanity’s perennial journey.

This is what the myths have told in myriad forms across cultures – the story of the soul’s liberation through trials, guidance from supernatural helpers, and the traversing of metaphoric geographies. From the Sumerian epics to the Monomyth described by Campbell, we hear the same instructive narratives designed to awaken us to our heroic calling.

The adventure begins when we heed the call, letting go of the peace of our mundane existence to be born again in the unknown. Like the heroes of lore, we must delve into the subterranean chambers and clash with our own personal dragons – the ego that binds us in fear and illusion. Each obstacle is an initiation scattering our old selves upon the threshold, erecting a phoenix of new life and expanded awareness.

We understand now why George Lucas’s modern mythological re-rendering of these timeless motifs in Star Wars resonated so profoundly with audiences. We cheer as Luke lets go of his conscious clinging to destroy the technological Death Star of soulless reason. We yearn with him to feel the cosmic Force, vitalizing and flowing through all living beings as consciousness itself. His triumph is our triumph over the portion of ourselves that has remained stunted, afraid of breaking from the systematic life into true individuation.

For the journey of the mythic hero, while outwardly faced with terrifying beasts and villains, is ultimately an inward journey to reclaim the wholeness that our modern societies have fractured. The Earth itself, as glimpsed from space, is our shared symbolic representation of the interconnected destiny we must realize at this pivotal juncture of our species’ evolution.

No longer can we allow the pursuits of commerce and industry to eclipse our fundamental relationship with the planet that birthed us. The mythic truths that cathedrals like Chartres encoded in stone must now find new symbolic expression attuned to our cosmic vision. Just as the tallest buildings transitioned from sacred spaces to centers of finance and political power, we require a new mythology where all nations, peoples and lands are united under a shared sovereign ethos.

This is the heroic task laid before us – to expand our circle of consciousness and compassion to encompass not just our tribe, but the entire living Earth. We must pull the ideological sword from the stone and rekindle the spark of the world’s enduring wisdom traditions that saw all of existence as radiant with divine presence. The materialist blinders must be cast off so that we might greet the dawning era with the eyes of the undivided Self.

In this great work, we will find unlikely allies in the margins – the poets, artists and dreamers tuned to the mystic frequencies of reality’s subtler patterns and flows. They have been showing us the way through their creative rituals, anchoring the imaginal realms into embodied experience. We will seek their counsel as spiritual guides, just as the heroes of old crossed paths with supernatural mentors.

And we will follow the blazed trail of those who have already wrestled their inner titans into submission through disciplined meditation, sacred plant ceremonies, and other ancient technologies of transcendence. Their daring travels to other shores of consciousness have seeded the path for our own metanoia, our own spiritual rebirth into a new way of seeing and being.

We understand now that the epic journey prometheused by the wisdom keepers is in fact the shared decree sealed in our own cosmic memories, transcribed in the very DNA strands that united us to this precious blue planet eons ago. It is a quest inscribed into our very souls, a mythological reckoning with ourselves and thus the universe itself.

With this renewed awareness and certainty of purpose, we will not be deterred by the forces of darkness that blind, subjugate and belittle. The old crone ego’s attempt to convince us we are separate from the miraculous fabric will be recognized as the fear-bred specter it is. As instrictive heroes, we will call upon the lights of faith and courage to vaporize its shadowy trance.

So let the new heroic cycle turn, and let us undertake the eternal rites of transformation. We will disrobe the diminished existences we have worn like ill-fitting cloaks. We will howl back to the crystalline stars the ancient codes that unlock the gateways to our supreme identities. Through the portal of trial and transcendence, we shall slip into the luminous garments of our primordial majesty and emerge…armorized in the truth of our divinity. Let the adventure begin!


The hero, according to Joseph Campbell, is one who embarks on a transformative journey, departing from the known into adventures and trials that demand they give themselves over to something greater than the individual ego. Myths provide symbolic clues to guide this psychological process of raising consciousness from dependency to self-responsibility and unlocking our deeper creative power. Iconic stories like Star Wars effectively tap into these archetypal hero motifs, like slaying the inner dragon of ego and greed to expand into a larger sphere of relationships. Consciousness itself permeates all living beings as an informing energy that meditation and mythological narratives can elevate to a spiritual level of being. Sacred spaces like the cathedral of Chartres speak to humanity’s relationship to the cosmos, while modern society’s shift to commercial skyscrapers reflects a transition in values. For Campbell, the critical need going forward is a new planetary mythology that transcends nations and peoples to guide the universal journey of individual maturation into wisdom and responsibility – using the image of the whole Earth as a symbolic seed. Ultimately, the path of the hero is to live authentically attuned to this higher, vitalizing consciousness.

Key Points

1. Campbell defines the hero as someone who has given their life to something bigger than themselves, often through a cycle of departure, fulfillment, and return with transformative trials.

2. Myths provide clues to our spiritual nature and can guide us to a sacred place within to unlock our deeper creative power.

3. The hero’s journey represents a psychological transformation of consciousness from dependency to self-responsibility.

4. Movies like Star Wars effectively use mythological hero archetypes and motifs that resonate with audiences.

5. Following one’s bliss and embracing the adventure of life is key to living authentically as a hero in one’s own life journey.

6. The dragon represents greed, ego, and the binding of oneself – slaying the inner dragon allows expansion into a larger field of relationships.

7. Consciousness is not just in the mind, but present in the entire living world as an informing energy.

8. Meditation and mythological stories can raise spiritual consciousness to a higher level of being.

9. Cathedrals like Chartres speak to humanity’s relationship with the cosmos through their sacred symbolism and atmosphere.

10. Our modern society’s values are reflected in the shift from spiritual/religious centers being the tallest buildings to financial/commercial skyscrapers.

11. Future mythology must speak to the entire planet and all peoples, not just nations or groups.

12. All myths deal with the universal journey of individual maturation from dependency to responsibility to wisdom.

13. The iconic image of the Earth from space could symbolize the need for a new planetary mythology.

14. Living authentically as a “hero” in touch with higher consciousness and principles is the path to vitality.