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The Hero's Initiation


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The Hero's Initiation

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The Hero's Initiation

  1. 1. The Road of Trials <ul><li>The Hero moves into a dream landscape where he must survive a succession of trials. </li></ul><ul><li>The Hero is aided by the advice of elders, amulets, and other supernatural elements that help the Hero to survive and excel when faced with these trials. </li></ul><ul><li>There seems to be some kind of divine power wherever the hero goes that assists him in his quest. </li></ul><ul><li>One example of a Hero being assisted by an amulet is when Harry Potter receives the invisibility cloak and uses it to conquer the task of sneaking into the restricted section of the library. </li></ul>
  2. 2. The Meeting With the Goddess <ul><li>In most tales, the hero eventually encounters a female of the utmost beauty. </li></ul><ul><li>This female can be a goddess, a lover, a mother, a sister, mistress, bride, a family member, or whomever the Hero has admired throughout the story. </li></ul><ul><li>The goddess in most tales represents sublimity to the Hero. </li></ul><ul><li>In many tales, the goddess serves as a guide to the Hero and assists him. The goddess may show the Hero the way to his final destination or she may provide him with an amulet to help him on his journey. </li></ul><ul><li>The meeting with the goddess is the final test of the talent of the hero to win the boon of love. </li></ul><ul><li>One great example of a meeting with the goddess is when King Arthur meets the Lady in the Water. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Atonement with the Father <ul><li>The father in most tales is portrayed as an ogre. </li></ul><ul><li>The father provides the hero with an initiation. At the initiation, the father tends to shatter the ego of the hero. </li></ul><ul><li>The Hero must put his self aside and do what is right for mankind. </li></ul><ul><li>One great example of this atonement is when Luke must accept the fact that his nemesis, Darth Vader, is his father. Once he can accept the fact that Darth Vader (Anakin) is his father, he can take down the empire. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Self-Contradictory Father <ul><li>The self-contradictory father takes two forms, that of the blessing, and that of the curse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each of these beings is described as appearing one of two ways: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The father, when bringing blessings to the world, appears with his attendants applying oil and fragrances to his beautiful skin </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The father, when bringing a curse, however, appears as our conception of the grim reaper, with scabs and sores all over his body, his attendants gathering up the maggots that are falling from his person </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>These two sides of the father could possibly indicate the two sides of God that people see; i.e., that of a God who protects and blesses them, and /or that of a God who punishes them </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Hermaphrodite <ul><li>The word comes etymologically from a combination of the names Hermes and Aphrodite. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The story goes that a child of Hermes and Aphrodite, a male, was bathing in a spring when his body inexplicably joined with that of a forest nymph, ultimately becoming “the first” hermaphrodite. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In this way, the hero, initially just male, has become both male and female, encompassing both sexes, and in doing so becoming the “ultimate” hero. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Apotheosis <ul><li>Apotheosis- the glorification of an individual to a divine level </li></ul><ul><li>Deification or divination of a person to God-like status </li></ul><ul><li>Ex: Jesus, Pharaoh, Hercules </li></ul><ul><li>Hero has anthropomorphic powers </li></ul>
  7. 7. Buddha <ul><li>Close relationship between myth, psychology, and metaphysics </li></ul><ul><li>Psychoanalysis- a technique to cure excessively suffering individuals of the unconsciously misdirected desires and hostilities that weave around them their private webs of unreal terrors and ambivalent attractions </li></ul><ul><li>The aim of religious teaching is to detach people from delusion all together </li></ul><ul><li>Ex: Nirvana- the final “extirpation of delusion, desire, and hostility”- the mind rests in its true state </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Ultimate Boon <ul><li>Hero = superior man- indestructible </li></ul><ul><li>Image of indestructibility is represented in the folk idea of the “spiritual double” – an external soul not afflicted by the losses and injuries of the present body, but existing safely in some place removed </li></ul><ul><li>Immortality </li></ul><ul><li>Ex: Odysseus- wants his reputation to live on forever </li></ul>
  9. 9. Imperishability <ul><li>Humor = touchstone of the truly mythological as distinct from the more literal-minded and sentimental theological mood </li></ul><ul><li>Orthodox teaching of the ancient Tantras “All of these visualized deities are but symbols representing the various things that occur on the path.” </li></ul><ul><li>The gods and goddesses are to be understood as embodiments and custodians of the elixir of the Imperishable Being but not themselves the Ultimate in its primary state. </li></ul><ul><li>The hero seeks the gods/goddesses grace (the power of their sustaining substance) </li></ul><ul><li>This miraculous energy alone is the Imperishable; the names and forms of the deities who everywhere, embody, dispense, and represent it comes and go </li></ul><ul><li>Ex: the energy of the thunderbolts of Zeus, Yahweh, and the Supreme Buddha </li></ul>