Musings

I believe there’s a practical reason why the hero’s journey is reiterated over and over within our scriptures and stories.  We are constantly faced with the impending truth that we must venture forth from our comfort-spun caves and confront our problems before they become large enough to bring danger to our doorstep.  In my opinion, the qualities employed by the hero to overcome adversity (self-honesty, creativity, discipline, audacity, sound logic, a focus on effectiveness, etc.) aren’t just poetic calls to be a “good person,” they are the truest weapons one could ever wield, for across the span of eons and culture, they seem to work time and again.

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17 thoughts on “Musings

  1. Such an interesting connection you bring up: the living of a dynamic life of self-determination with that of the ‘hero’ archetype. I tend to think that the opposite life, one of low self-determination and aimless convenience, is perfectly fit for the archetype of ‘fool’ or ‘village idiot’.

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    • With the disclaimer i’m agnostic, I’d say that it hews closer to that of Cain, who always insists that the sacrifices he’s making are the right ones, rather than taking on the burden of responsibility. The fool is sometimes the precursor to the hero, as the fool has the courage to go against conventional expectations. Of course, it is only the first step; he can’t stay the fool forever, and must keep learning from his mistakes to avoid permanent fooldom. 🙂

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    • How about “tool?” 😉 I have to admit I’m pretty biased; I have spent years in the military, and the strategic principles used to ensure that one does not get overrun by circumstances seem to translate very well to the adversities and obstacles of life. Attention to detail. Aggressively pushing strategy (which doesn’t mean outward aggression. Often, the most strategic approach to dealing with people is being kind and considerate), contingency planning, the ability to articulate why I am doing what I’m doing, or why I’m at fault, and how I plan to remedy it (and why I think my remedy will work).

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      • “tool” is great, Kent, and it appears meanwhile that what you learned in the military is admirable, even exemplary – cheers, R ! chard

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      • dare I say, Kent, that “those lessons… nested in most, if not all, traditions” are love, however corny, the example of our own, yours and mine, compromise on a word, indeed agreement, perfectly illustrates comity, what the world needs now, dear friend, and probably ever – cheers, R ! chard

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      • I suspect that you’re right (after years of meditation, I was curious about the supposed merging with the divine induced by a heroic dose of DMT. I arranged to undergo it and was, for 15 minutes, viscerally convinced of the underlying truths that seem to be asserted by a wide variety of spiritual traditions), but I’m not sure. How do you define love? Or if that approach is counterproductive, how do you characterize it?

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      • first of all, Kent, what’s DMT, is it anything like LSD – secondly, How do you define love?, you ask, that’s a biggie, but let me tentatively answer, love is the energy required to make the moment of serenity in your meditation become the outside world, we can chip away at that one for a while if you think it might be worth it – cheers, R ! chard

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      • Interesting! I’m not sure what love is myself…I think the most fulfilling and practical goal (for me, personally) is transcendence, which (I’m probably going to butcher this) is being able to employ all range of emotions, all states of serenity and chaos, to propagate a state of harmony. Personally, the visceral signs for harmony for me are a sense of timelessness and a feeling that every molecule in my body is doing exactly what it needs to. Sometimes that means being comfortable with wallowing in hate, sometimes that means being loving, sometime that means seeing faults in my heroes and virtues in my villains. Sometimes it means enduring suffering, knowing, and sometimes it means indulging. The way to navigate all this ambiguity, for me personally, is to be brutally honest with myself, and constantly ask myself what is my intent? And then I quality-check by also asking, are my strategies serving my intent? The day-to-day actions are fairly easy to figure out most of the time, in my experience, when I know myself well enough to know my true intent. An example might be a philanthropist who doesn’t realize their intent is to experience personal recognition. So even though they purport to want to help people, they experience dissonance if they receive no acclaim. This is not a moral judgment. I would simply say go ahead and help people, but also ensure you receive some acclaim so that the dissonance does not arise. When I feel dissonance, I examine myself all the harder, to ensure I am not deceiving myself about my intent.

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      • to gauge my particular kind of involvement in whatever action I thoughtfully undertake, Kent, I consult my conscience rather than my logic, my body senses in all its moral intricacies the intent of all of my behaviour, listening to music helps, it’s much more in touch with one’s instincts than the morass of, too often, moderated words, music can’t lie, words do by the minute, even to oneself – cheers, R ! chard – psst: once again I’ll recommend Beethoven’s 32nd Piano Sonata, try Daniil Trofonov, he’ll knock your socks off (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcFFxvG8pWg), take you through the wringer, you might also like to read what I’ve got to say about it in this one (https://richibi.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/beethoven-piano-sonata-no-32-opus-111%E2%80%8F/) of several other instances

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      • Well not to be contrarian, but I’d say that you’re actually being logical. I’ll frame it thusly: if you’ve achieved results that personally fulfill you over the course of time through your approach (consulting your conscience), then you are using inductive logic. Here’s why I’d say so: you have drawn the conclusion over multiple instances that the best way to engage with life is by consulting your conscience. 🙂

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    • Is it a matter of belief, or a matter of format? I believe “religio” implies a “linking back.” Everyone has seen the potential for the misuse of religion, but I actually believe within many religious parables, there are practical lessons, such as the hero’s journey as defined by Joseph Campbell.

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