The Call to Adventure

“The mythological hero, setting forth from his common-day hut or castle, is lured, carried away, or else voluntarily proceeds, to the threshold of adventure. There he encounters a shadow presence that guards the passage. The hero may defeat or conciliate this power and go alive into the kingdom of the dark (brother-battle, dragon battle; offering, charm), or be slain by the opponent and descend in death (dismemberment, crucifixion). Beyond the threshold, then, the hero journeys through a world of unfamiliar yet strangely intimate forces, some of which severely threaten him (tests), some of which give magical aid (helpers). When he arrives at the nadir of the mythological round, he undergoes a supreme ordeal and gains his reward. The triumph may be represented as the hero’s sexual union with the goddess-mother of the world (sacred marriage), his recognition by the father-creator (father atonement), his own divinization (apotheosis), or again—if the powers have remained unfriendly to him—his theft of the boon he came to gain (bride-theft, fire-theft); intrinsically it is an expansion of consciousness and therewith of being (illumination, transfiguration, freedom). The final work is that of the return. If the powers have blessed the hero, he now sets forth under their protection (emissary); if not, he flees and is pursued (transformation flight, obstacle flight). At the return threshold the transcendental powers must remain behind; the hero re-emerges from the kingdom of dread (return, resurrection). The boon that he brings restores the world (elixir).” — Joseph Campbell, p. 227-228, (2008)

Imagine how many stories, say in a book or journal or talked about over dinner tables or in taverns, start with “In the beginning” or “Once upon a time” but never reach their final ending. Yet each book we start writing, the book of our lives, is a portal to a new world.

A book is a portal to a new world of personal transfomation

Writing our book, symbolically or objectively, is undertaking the Hero’s Journey. So why not start writing it, why not take the call to adventure?



Traveling in a Circle – The Ouroboros’ Lesson

If you’ve ever tried to actually write a story, or a poem, or a fictional project and struggled, then perhaps you can empathize with this difficulty, of seemingly being stuck at the story’s beginning. This difficulty translates to our Hero’s Journey, too; personally, : have tried to start writing my story, literally and figuratively, many times, and each time put down the pen or set down the call because of some issue– generally what most would call depression setting in to interrupt the task. Yet, if you’ve ever had such a desire to write or actualize your life in a certain direction, or had an idea, any inkling at all, that is the call to adventure. Thus, undertaking the Hero’s Journey, taking the call to adventure, can be difficult for anyone. To actualize your idea is to heed your calling.

Now consider how many possible calls you set down, regardless of the reason. Our purpose in life being a kind of bullseye, the Hero’s Journey is to circle in on hitting the bullseye, circling around something sacred to each individual, which Carl Jung called circumambulation, a similar meaning to the circular Ouroboros. Hitting the bullseye takes practice, throwing more darts at the board.

Some religions, mimicking the sacred Hero’s Journey through rituals, have integrated this basic circumambulation pattern into their rituals, the original meaning perhaps lost. Muslims on the Hajj to Mecca circle around the Kaaba, in particular around the Blackstone embedded into the Kaaba. The Kaaba Blackstone to me represents–like a black circle–the Shadow, the part of ourselves we do not wish to look at. Perhaps Mohammed, wise as he was towards the end of his life, sought to have supplicants continue to circle around it to serve as eternal reminder to the many Muslims who undertake the Hajj pilgrimage that they, too, must face their darkness, worship it even, to transform themselves in the likeness of Mohammed. The Blackstone Kaaba, as symbol is reminiscent of the Black Sun from alchemy, which symbolizes the Shadow–our inner darkness (Marlan, 2005).

The Black Sun as the Shadow

Anyone who embraces the Hero’s Journey takes more than one calling, dozens of calls, perhaps. The polemic YouTube father-figure Jordan Peterson likened this idea to shooting for a star in the sky of our lives. In shooting we get a little closer to the star and having moved our position, the subjective world looks a little different; we then shoot for another star, gradually coming ever yet closer, even if only slightly. The process continues in the same way we restart our Hero’s Journey multiple times, each time reaching for another identity which we further build upon when that identity’s time to rest has come. 

Some philosophers and a great many people where I live, the United States, might suggest meaning is a ridiculous game to avoid pursuing or that there is absolutely no meaning at all with no progress to be made. But Peterson suggests–using Jung’s Psychology as a model–that we do actually make progress, meaningful progress, by shooting for this star. Perhaps there is real significance, then, to why children make a wish when they see a shooting star?

A shooting star as idea of the Hero's Journey

In my life I often contemplate too far into the future when a great idea comes about; generally considering it wasn’t or isn’t possible, creating a litany of other excuses, generating a malaise towards my life ever being better, different. Other times I obsess too much about this future and create a condition of chronic stress as a result. This future could be writing or pursuing a passion like trying to paint, taking up an instrument or undertaking a project; if only I were not so doubtful of personal abilities or lazy to change the conditions of my suffering and make that a reality. At other times this could be an unhealthy or overextended attachment to some past identity, relationship, dream for the future, mode of being in the world. I have been at countless crossroads of my own making and the sooner to lay down the past in whatever way it burdens, or whatever we interpret the world perhaps too subjectively, the easier to float further down the river. I do not know where it goes but life is change, a river never the same as before. Without change we are dead.



Your Call to Adventure

The call is a desire to undertake an apprenticeship, attend college and study a discipline or otherwise pick up a vocation you care about personally or pursue a hobby, to practice a craft or art or any creative passion pursuit, to visit a far away land, or even to be a better person. If you ever have found yourself suffering pointlessly–as suffering seemingly always is–did some more creative or socially-oriented outlet come to mind in the midst of your suffering? Is there something nagging at you to do now, to begin, if only you would begin?

What was a yearning, a passion, a calling in your life? What was another at another time? And another at yet another time? Ad infinitum, until the present moment. How many incarnations of you have there been? What is your current incarnation, and how did it begin?

How about the incarnations of someone you admire: a mythical character from your favorite story or legend, a personal role model here in the material world, a favorite person from history? How many incarnations, triumphs and failures did they traverse before arriving at journey’s end?

For the callings you had but are not now undertaking why did it change, and what remains of that previous aspect in the current version of yourself? Did life progress in an upward or downward direction when you heeded–or didn’t heed–your call to adventure?

Take inventory of the past, and if lost in the desert return to your last oasis until a gentle breeze whispers aurally and offers to sweep you away in a flowing wind once more. Or if you are currently on the path and the star you seek is still some distance away, keep listening, conducting the inner work, and listen for the next call to adventure, next passion piquing your interest. Pick your dream and when life presents a chance to go closer to that dream, don’t think twice; one, two, three, take a leap of faith on the uncertain path of Self-discovery. This is the call, the idea that makes sense ultimately to nobody but yourself; perhaps a thought to hike a long trail, play an instrument, pursue any hobby or any passion is undertaking the call to adventure in your Hero’s Journey. You cannot fail if you listen to the heart’s true yearning.

“The tree which fills the arms grew from the tiniest sprout; the tower of nine storeys rose from a small heap of earth; the journey of a thousand miles commenced with a single step.” — Lau Tzu, verse 64, (1997)

Imagine some future version of yourself, say a year or five years from now. Or simply imagine that person tomorrow, or next week or month. Imagine this version as some star to shoot for or a tangible goal or dream. Imagine the ending, transformation, rather than the process for getting there. Let your mind wander freely, unrestricted by any nagging doubts or reasons for why that vision can’t take place. Imagine what you would be doing: your vocation, your passions; what skills and abilities and character traits you might cultivate. What would you look like, how would you be different from now? What would your life look like and who would surround you? Why would it look this way? Where would you be? What abilities would you have cultivated or be pursuing? 



Callings of the Hero

In the beginning of each story, the Hero is generally asleep, with unfulfilled potential, lost at sea, lost in a forest, entrapped by the mind. 

Rip van Winkle asleep on his Hero's Journey

Something calls them to the material world, awake. Perhaps it is some kind of creature or mentor, offering guidance or direction. Perhaps a friend, or animal leading onward down an uncertain path. This guidance may hinge on listening, accepting the helping hand of advice, following the friend or guide’s advice rather than the voice of doubt, choosing to listen to either the metaphorical angels, or devils, resting on our shoulders.

In all tales the call also involves a monster, the monster of the world’s land, a monster that is simultaneously internal and external. The Hero always heals and purifies themselves first, as Percival did by finding the Holy Grail; in so doing they defeat, in a small or big way, the monster looming over their society, whatever form it takes. Often the Hero rides out to slay the monster, facing their internal fears, as St. George does the Dragon.

St George taking the Call against the dragon

In one of the most well-known stories of our time, Luke Skywalker receives the call unexpectedly coming in the form of C3-PO’s frantic arrival. It continues with the death of his adoptive parents and the thrusting of his life into chaos. From there it is only the Path, as we see a fantastic series of events naturally unfold. His call was anything but voluntary, although he clearly felt some yearning already.

Luke Skywalker on the Hero's Journey

Some heroes who rise at the right time, with the right angels backing their side, save their world as Luke did by destroying the Empire—until a new Empire rose in Episode VII, the endless cycle of the Hero’s Journey. That Hero could be you, but you would not know it if you ignored your inner voice. With each new monster, each new empire, a new Hero must rise; yet numerous other Heroes must also rise, as they did in the rebellion with the many players who helped Luke destroy the Evil of their time. Luke could never have envisioned the future Hero he would become, and neither can you. And saving the world isn’t just destroying the Evil Empire, it is more so saving yourself, your children, friends, anyone around you by living your truth. All Heroes are equal.

But what if we, the world, cannot even tell what the monster looks like? That’s up to you, your perspective; surely the monster is there if only we would face it square in the eye. The monster without reflects the monster within.

Or, what if we recognize the monster but don’t act to defeat it? Our individual redemption, and our world’s, hangs in the balance.



Neo, the One

In The Matrix, Neo’s call to adventure begins with him being asleep amidst a world of technology. He wakes up to his computer and sees the words “The Matrix has you.” He is told to follow the white rabbit. A knock on his door reveals he provides some kind of simulation breaking disk for others: “You’re my savior man, my own personal Jesus Christ.” With his name rearranged he is the “One,” from the onset of his reality–a world-redeeming one. He is invited out and about to decline until he sees a tattoo on the woman’s left shoulder. Thus begins his call, a very prescient one in our modern age given technologies rapid destruction throughout our world. It makes sense and ultimately can be explained to nobody else since the circumstances might sound unbelievable–an unbidden bit of text on his screen. “Yeah” he says, knowing something inexplicable, supernatural, was involved; and thus he begins his final Hero’s Journey, his final transformation.

But whereas his previous aspect, incarnation, is a programmer immersed in computers at home and work, writing virtual simulation programs to seemingly give others meaning and working in a meaningless job, his next aspect, his final aspect, is his personal version of Jesus, filled with meaning. Even though Neo was likely filled with doubt, he took a leap of faith; he said yeah when some other internal voice might overwhelm others with doubt, denial of their truth.

The call to adventure can always be refused later on, either rejecting the original call by rejecting future choices, and Neo is again offered this choice through a more stark choice via the Red Pill or Blue Pill. 

In the Matrix the Red Pill seems to be mescaline, and in the material world psychedelics represent this stark choice. For those choosing to use psychedelic substances in our reality many take a leap from which they cannot step back, just as Neo is told he can never return to as it was before. In my case I would never want to go back to how I viewed the world before.

Relating the Hero’s Journey as a transition from mind to Body, even Morpheus describes the modern world’s Matrix as “…a prison, for your mind.” This prison, I feel, is already upon us, with the extent to which the Ego runs rampant in the United States and its denizens are trapped in worlds of mindless euphoria. We may soon have a choice to live entirely in the Matrix, the material world, with “immortality” beckoning around the corner. The story proceeds with Neo ultimately breaking others out of the Matrix to defeat the malevolent overlords and mindless clone agents entrapping all of humanity. Entrapment sounds like today’s world filled with mindless zombies, with out of control addictive algorithms leading many towards an eventual ending with permanent immersion in virtual reality. Just add feeding tubes and, voila, we’re almost there!

The Matrix pods the monster of the Hero's Journey VR machine as the Matrix



Heroes of All Shapes

Odysseus’ call to adventure comes as he is summoned by King Agamemnon to serve Greece against Troy in the Trojan War, requiring that he leave his young son Telemachus and wife Penelope behind. Troy is the monster, darkness, of his world. Like everyone’s Hero’s Journey, Odysseus has many incarnations throughout his nearly never-ending Journey back home. Each incarnation is shown by the various monsters he encounters and is entrapped by; the cyclops Polyphemus, sirens, Circe, Calypso, the Lotus Eaters. These monsters represents a weakness keeping him from reaching his figurative home of wholeness and literal home with Penelope. Waylaid each time, he sets down his Hero’s Journey, his call to adventure, and must face another monster of his psyche before he can once again keep traveling to his beloved. Each time, in facing another form of his Shadow, he must take back up his call to adventure. This shows how easy it is to refuse the call at any point.

Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, saw an Angel on a hill in wooded upstate New York telling him of some magical golden plates. Upon that vision he founded the most successful religion founded within our country’s fertile roots. How are we to make sense of how he convinced so many to follow him and even allow him to marry some of his early followers’ wives? Whether he saw an angel or not, he certainly believed he did, and with several million supplicants thrives based on his belief.

Pinocchio is an inanimate object at the beginning of his story, a wooden puppet completely under control from others, with no choices, no free will, and no conscience. After finishing the puppet, Gipetto wishes upon a star–like shooting for a star–and thus Pinocchio takes on an animated life, becomes the beginnings of a boy capable of making moral choices, having a conscience. Soon after Pinocchio is offered his call to adventure, in this case by a fairy; it might also be a spirit, angel, a magical being or supernatural presence or even something rooted in the material world.

The call to adventure, coming from within, may be a dream character, angel, or psychedelic plant spirit; coming from without, this may be a new friend that sparks an idea, a craving to visit Tahiti, as in The Truman Show, or initiation into some group, lifestyle, or experience. From the outside looking in, the call to adventure always seems, if even faintly, magical, coming from somewhere that cannot be explained. Your call makes sense to nobody except you, which is why the Hero’s Journey is about living your truth. My call to adventure has usually appeared as some kind of random thought, or idea, having spent most of my life in the external Hero’s Journey.

Pinocchio’s choice, the Hero’s Journey choice, is between Good and Evil, the child in-between, following meaning or being beholden to the material world’s whims; he can choose to die, to remain a puppet forever, or live as a boy, innocent inside but torn from that innocence like all children are, thrown into the world of others who have long since refused their call and run from their shadowy lower demons. Pinocchio, choosing life, undertakes to discover his Self through numerous tribulations and trials.

In the TV series Rome, a somewhat fictionalized story of Julius Caesar and later Augustus is told through two Heroes, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, we see the call of the simpleton Hero which is everyone. This clip shows a moment at which Julius Caesar, perhaps as the model for Jesus Christ some 80 years before, took up a personal call to save Rome from the decadence and destruction of the Republic, to save it from becoming an authoritarian Empire. Caesar sought to give power back to the people.

I hope someone soon rises in the United States, similar to Caesar, to save our Republic.

Away from abstract stories and myths, the lives of every real person in this world fit into the Hero’s Journey pattern; perhaps the delineation is between those who refuse or heed their call to adventure, those who live or deny their truth.



Mohandes Ghandi

Ghandi could be considered to have had his call to adventure around 18 when he left India to study Law in London. Later, grounded in the law’s personal importance to him, but struggling with certain aspects of legal work, he received another call to adventure, to South Africa. Facing discrimination for his darker complexion, the Apartheid system in place, Ghandi saw great injustices, monsters, and sought to right them, a seemingly daunting and perhaps even foolhardy quest. Yet, Ghandi ‘s idealism came to fruition and the seeds, the tools he learned of how to protest and fight oppression non-violently, enabled him to accept the calling to finally return home and, after a few more transformations, to radically change India. Ghandi heeded his calling, and we can see where it took him.

   Middle Aged Ghandi on the Hero's Journey Young Ghandi on the Hero's Journey Ghandi as the Hero Transformed

He even wears white robes upon his transformation, the same way Jesus is often represented.

There could be thousands, millions, perhaps even billions of Ghandis waiting, hidden behind a mask, the destructive form of the Ego which leads people into temptation, away from their true calling. Had he not died, how far would his transformation have continued? How far can human potential be transformed? The most exciting thing to me about the Hero’s Journey is that nobody knows. One conclusion I take from Joseph Campbell’s work, Jungian psychoanalysis, all mythologies, even psychedelics, are that anyone can undertake the Hero’s Journey and have transformative potential through redefining their identity, releasing obsessive control, facing their Shadow. That transformative potential, manifesting unconditional love, only results when the Ego, the Evil god within, quiets through integration, and the Body, the feeling of the Good God, comes out.



Joan of Arc

Another powerful example of the Hero’s Journey is Joan of Arc. From an early age Joan had visions from an angel declaring France was in desperate need, with her the destined savior. This was her call to adventure. The best source I could find quotes her as saying:

“Saint Michael taught me and showed me and proved to me that I must believe firmly that it was him…he told me to be a good child and that God would help me. And, among other things he told me to come to the help of the King of France….And the angel told me the pity (pitiful state) that was in the Kingdom of France.” — Peroud, p. 30, (1962).

St. Michael as angelic vision told Joan that she was meant to save France.

Joan of Arc Call to Adventure

“The voice told me that I should go to France and I could not bear to stay where I was. The voice told me that I should raise the siege laid to the city of Orleans” (Peroud, p. 30-31, 1962).  And raise the siege she did, a peasant girl of 17, saving Orleans, one of the final French strongholds against the English invasion, the monster of her time. Perhaps the English might have conquered France, without her as the Hero, had she denied her visions. Her story, more than almost any other, amazes me given her lowly beginnings as a peasant girl. How could a peasant girl possibly have changed the trajectory of France’s history?

The implications of following our dreams is very real.

One final example of another person’s Hero’s Journey comes from my mother, who early on had a dream, some feeling, which she always held; that she was meant to have five children. Her call, to be a good mother to her children, came from an early age, and she has dedicated herself to raising her children with love, promoting their individuality, her whole life. For my part, being the last of the five, my being here is a consequence only resulting from her having followed her Hero’s Journey–or Heroine’s Journey if you prefer. At the age of 40, still with four children, she somehow managed to fulfill her calling; having been the result of her following this Journey I feel a personal connection to the outcomes that can occur from this personal quest, be they on a small-scale like most of us, or the world-redeemer scale like a chosen few throughout time. 



My Call to Adventure

Fafnir against the dragon on the Hero's Journey

My Hero’s Journey begins at the time of leaving the military, recreating a new identity. The military inherently involves a hard-wiring of recruits’ identities, and successfully transitioning from that life to the life outside the military required a new identity. Otherwise, most males’ Hero’s Journey begins around the late teens, somewhere in the range of 17-20 give or take a year, which is where the military prefers to recruit from. This is the point at which we are freed from the bonds of our parents and must begin to make choices of our individual being. For young men lacking rites of passage in almost any form, and veterans lacking them in transitioning from the military, this time of identity-formation or reformation can be a difficult one and for me it has continued for 10 years.



A Prescient Dream

Prior to leaving the Navy there was a dream I had not cared at the time to remember. Three or four months before being discharged from the Navy, and around a time when I simultaneously slid down a dark mental well in the Summer of 2009, I had a strange dream-nightmare experience my friend Lee related to me. At the time I was subletting his roommate’s room in the house he lived in and I spent a good amount of that Summer immersed in playing computer games and eating cookies. The details are a little fuzzy, but Lee told me the next morning he heard me clearly from the floor below in his room, that I was shouting and yelling and he came up to see my hands flailing in the air, embraced in some form of violent combat. I typically recall only about 1-3 dreams per year, so this one seemed significant in time and place. Somehow it was as though I was fighting to escape some prison, the clutches of some monster which I see now as a Prison, and perhaps this dream was a call to adventure itself, to save myself from the monster I would personally become by staying in the Navy.

This slide into a mental break was intertwined with my identity, and before the Navy decided to exit me on medical grounds, it was as fighting monsters in the Mind, struggling desperately to hold onto a personal truth the Navy sought to kill. The cause of the breakdown: an inability to reconcile my inner sense of Self with who the Navy expected me to be—cruel to others, to subordinates, a user of humans as machines of war, to become a machine oneself. Had I not broke down and instead swallowed the Navy’s version of me–living a lie to build a career I resented–then the suffering in the Mind almost certainly would have been sent down into my Body to become physical ailments, pain, a moral injury.

Morality, to give an old idea new meaning, may be thought of as the act of being moral; of living one’s truth (Kopacz, 2015). I was certainly not living my truth and the breakdown was some inner truth holding fast, shining through, telling me to leave the control of puppetmasters seeking to use me for their aims.



Leaving the Military as Call to Adventure

The call to adventure is both a greater calling we are working towards, some final goal, and a series of smaller callings throughout our life. We heed each as far as able, get stuck at some point along the Way, perhaps find a bit of treasure and return with it to others, and are called again hoping to take our meaning in life as far as possible, towards an illusive wholeness, until the next life beckons. That is what the Ouroboros, being a Taileater, means to me; the snake that eats itself to be reborn into the next life, the next incarnation in this material life, embracing the Hero’s Journey, an internal call of personal meaning. Nobody knows for certain whether the happily ever after of personal transformation exists like in fairy tales, but the searching is an adventure in itself.

Although the call to adventure was first offered upon leaving the Navy, like it is for many veterans given the clear transition, the loss of my metaphorical military father coincided with the loss of my actual father several days later. This led me further into refusal of the call. Only a year later did I finally heed the first call, an adventure abroad to New Zealand, living out of a bag and hitchhiking everywhere; first, however, I spent nearly a year after the Navy lost in a metaphorical dark forest, trapped in Egypt as many men young and old find themselves, adrift in the ocean of my Mind Prison, refusing the call to adventure. The refusal is the next step in the Hero’s Journey, since often we must live in darkness to recognize the light. After that travelling iteration developed and died, my Journey has entailed many different calls. Among these calls: I studied in university thinking I might become an archaeologist, or a professional social worker, or non profit manager, or eternal pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago or taking other trips, living numerous places in the process of each.

Of my many previous callings the most transformative was the one preceding this one as pilgrim, which I wrote extensively about at my personal blog Liminal Wayfarer. There you can read more about me or my previous/current callings should you wish. That Journey has started as one thing, had a break, and continued as another coinciding with this one. The pilgrim incarnation, resulting in a personal spiritual awakening, led directly to this one. 

The call to adventure and Hero’s Journey works like this: we find one call, take the journey as far as possible until something sets us back, and then set that call down and begin another. Eventually the Hero’s Journey process, through constant identity/Ego death and rebirth, is meant to lead to unity of consciousness. 



Many Lives, Many Calls

My current call to adventure came from a wish to write about the Hero’s Journey through understanding my personal story and also to conduct other personal research that I am interested in–primarily psychedelics. This call resulted directly from a personal experience using psilocybin which helped connect with some future version of myself already contained within. That’s what psilocybin does: shows you some alternate version of yourself.

The goals of my current call are to integrate with my Shadow or raised my awareness of it as far as I can using psychedelics, to face the darkness hounding within, to see if the Ego can be turned into a tool for Good. At varying points I have utilized Cannabis, psilocybin, and other entheogens as the primary tool for seeking to “dent” my ego, my assemblage point (Castaneda, 1970). My feeling is that psychedelics represent the most immediate and impactful way to transform the destructive potential of the ego by being more aware of it, to also transform humanity through facing our personal and collective Shadows. 

Another aspect of my current call to adventure is to point out my personal truth of the monsters I see in the world through symbols. Many of these monsters have been real parts of my life, they have been me, and many still are. These monsters are the various forms of technology controlling humans from actualizing meaning and purpose in life, trapping us in a Prison of the Mind. Some of these monsters include algorithms, vampires leaching off stem cells for immortality, chemical and pharmaceutical companies pumping our bodies with poisons and destroying our food and water systems. Alcohol for some, sugar for others, chemical addictions for all.

Soon some may even have the choice to hook themselves into digital worlds permanently, to whatever end, or artificial intelligence may consume our world once it grows beyond our control, Pandora’s Box. Atomic weapons still threaten, a growing threat even now in today’s rapidly changing world. Consumerism and uncontrolled desires have fed climate change and destruction of the Garden of Eden that once was Earth. We can only imagine, dream, of the veritable paradise humanity once lived in compared to our present condition and the destructive direction we are heading at lightning speed.  

The Garden of Eden

All, every danger posed to rebuilding a better world on Earth, I see as manifestations of humanity shunning their Shadow, the Ego. Selfishness



Revisiting Your Call to Adventure

Has there ever been a mentor who appeared in your life, offering some potentiality of a better future if only you took the leap? 

Have you had an idea to change, an idea or personal vision of another future for you with you in it; away from the suffering of the past conditions of living, say isolation or depression or addiction or being lost in mindless forms of technology, if only you would have listened? Have you ever listened? What happened when you did, or didn’t?

What about some inner passion or desire to pursue something creative, your own personal art or craft? How about right now? What talent could you cultivate within, and why aren’t you cultivating that? What holds you back, prevents you from spreading your gifts?

Is there a monster dwelling within the recesses of your psyche, a monster you sought to hide from others, your own form of personal darkness? How about some monster afflicting your community, society, or the world at large that you, unlike others, recognized and had some inkling of how to face? 

Do you see any monsters within or without, now? What prevents you from riding out to face the dragon?

Ignoring for a moment the voice of doubt, of giving an excuse for why not; what, like Lau Tzu said, is a single step you could take, towards taking your Hero’s Journey and accepting the call to adventure, right this very instant?




Campbell, J. (2008). The hero with a thousand faces. Novato, CA: New World Publications.

Castaneda, C. (1970). The fire from within. Washington Square Press.

Kopacz, D. (2015). The hero’s journey. Self-published.

Lau Tzu. (1997). Tao Te Ching. Legge, J., Trans. New York: Dover Publications.

Marlan, S. (2005). The black sun: The alchemy of art and darkness. Texas A & M University Press: College Station, TX.

Peroud, R. (1962). Joan of Arc by Herself and Her Witnesses. Scarborough House.

Andrew Haacke is a lifelong spiritual seeker who researches and writes about the Hero's Journey, symbolism, mythology, and psychedelics. He studied anthropology at the University of Utah and social work and public administration at the University of Southern California.

Andrew Haacke

Spiritual Seeker, Taileaters

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