I have loved the notion of the “hero's journey” – though I didn't really understand anything about it back then – ever since as a young fellow in postwar Britain I began to feel a strange, painful, but irresistible longing in my heart.
It was a longing I was at a loss to explain. I had a good life in many ways. A good job as a reporter on a London daily newspaper. A nice girlfriend. But the realization kept pounding away in me that there was more to life than the traditional middle-class existence I had been brought up in.
So it was that one day I said goodbye to my parents and my girl-friend and England. In search of a dream for I knew not what I travelled to an unknown land called British Columbia.
A blueprint for a meaningful life
I’ll be 80 in May. I have found what I was seeking – what was calling to me so insistently through the years. It's not an illusion, but is very real. It’s myself. It's who I truly am. It's my own presence, eternal, free and forever undisturbed by the turmoil and traumas of my life.
I’ve found that while life has its challenges, it actually holds a magnificent promise for every one of us.
What has come to be called the “hero's journey” – referring to both male and female, and brilliantly re-focused in Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces -- gives a pretty good blueprint, it seems to me, as to how we may fulfill this rare promise that life holds for us all.
The basis of The Raven Who Spoke with God
I'm hoping it will be of interest at this point to mention a fascinating book entitled The Writer's Journey, by Christopher Vogler. He points out in his book, "I'm retelling the hero myth in my own way, and you should feel free to do the same. Every storyteller bends the mythic pattern to his or her own purpose or the needs of a particular culture."
I am immensely grateful to Mr. Vogler for his book, which gave me the inspiration and framework for my own book, The Raven Who Spoke with God, which after being published in 11 foreign language editions since 9/11 is available now as a Kindle edition.
My own version of the hero's journey
My own version of the “hero’s journey,’ then, is this. We are all born, through no fault of our own, into a world that despite its good intentions, is often not really too interested in our personal journey, or the unique gift we are here to give.
So if we want to find out what our true destiny is, we have to be willing to separate ourselves from "the ordinary world" at first anyway, and face the Unknown – where all true inspiration already exists.
You will meet challenges and dangers, of course. But you will also, I guarantee, find a mentor, perhaps several mentors, to help you on your journey. And as you persist, and persevere, and listen to the wisdom of your own heart you will find the lasting peace and happiness for which we all long. The happiness that is our birthright.
I’d love to hear any thoughts or experiences you may wish to share on this topic.
PS If you’d like to check out my inspirational book PLEASE CLICK HERE. Please note you can read it on your computer or in other ways besides a Kindle.
Picture credit: Runemaker