Joseph Campbell and the Ordinary World

Joseph CampbellJoseph Campbell via

A few years ago, I was introduced to Joseph Campbell through a PBS special titled The Power of Myth, hosted by Bill Moyers. In the program, Campbell discussed ideas from his book A Hero with a Thousand Faces and what he calls “The Hero’s Journey.”

As Campbell puts it, ” A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

George Lucas stated that his inspiration for Star Wars was highly influenced by the teachings of Joseph Campbell, and if you are to look at most of the movies ever made, you will be able to pick out the stages that Campbell describes. The McAllister Code is my Hero’s Journey, and it is my hope that it will provide you with a boon to take you to whichever ‘next level’ you are seeking.

There have been a few derivations on these stages as the information has been disseminated, but I think that this is the most complete accounting.

The Ordinary World
The Call to Adventure
Refusal of the Call
Meeting of a Mentor
Crossing the First Threshold
Belly of the Whale
Tests, Allies, and Enemies
Mother as Goddess
Woman as Temptress
Approach to the Inmost Cave
Reconciliation with the Father
The Supreme Ordeal
Reward for Seizing the Sword
The Road Back
Return with the Elixir

According to Joseph Campbell, every Hero’s Journey begins in the Ordinary World. This involves the status quo that he faces every day. Luke Skywalker’s dirt farming on Tattooine. Frodo’s unremarkable life in the Shire. Neo’s oblivion to the Matrix. It is the place from whence we all come that compels us to where we must go.

The Ordinary World, though possibly filled with comfort and security, carries with it a banality that we know is not our full potential. We know there is more that we are capable of and we know that there is more that the world has to offer.

What is your Ordinary World? Perhaps you feel as if you are just going through the motions. Perhaps you feel unchallenged by your current profession. Perhaps you feel trapped. Perhaps you just have a deep knowing that there is more to life than you are presently experiencing.

Rest well in knowing that this is the first step of your Journey. Next comes the Call to Adventure.

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Hero with a Thousand Faces

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