The Heroine’s Journey is an article I wrote to tie in with the Virtues of Moriarty & the Joker, as it touches on the dangers of progress in a society driven by the pursuit of wealth and power. Progress is truly only progress in the hands of responsible and balanced human beings, if not in their hands then progress simply becomes a detonator waiting to explode.
(excerpt from The Heroine’s Journey)
Both Superman and Anakin were heroes with access to great power and incredible gifts that could benefit society. But once they lost their connection to humanity their actions and purpose became out of balance. It is this connection that keeps us from becoming lost in the machine of progress and power. Once severed, the hero becomes a tyrant that dictates to society rather than integrating his gifts to benefit society. Without the balance of human centered purpose a heroic cause/institution becomes a machine without a soul.
This is akin to the gift of fire burning down the village or taking wise words from a great spiritual teacher and establishing a lifeless religious institution which focuses more on doctrines and dictating behavior rather than the spirit and soul of the teachings. When hunters/explorers’ actions fall out of balance then prey/food becomes scarce, lands are invaded and native communities enslaved. The development of character and balance through the Heroine’s Journey is a necessity for the hero/heroine to keep their humanity. Maureen Murdock references the thought process behind those who’ve become aware of being lost in the machine…
“Everything is geared to getting the job done; climbing the academic ladder or corporate ladder; achieving prestige, position and financial equity; and feeling powerful in the world…She finds her treasure: an advanced degree, a corporate title, money, authority…After a period of time of enjoying the view from the top there may be a feeling of ‘Okay, I’ve arrived; what’s next?’ She begins to ask, ‘What is all of this for I’ve achieved everything I’ve set out to achieve and I feel empty. Why do I have this gnawing sensation of loneliness and desolation? Why this sense of betrayal? What have I lost?’…She must not discard nor give up what she has learned throughout her heroic quest, but learn to view her hard-earned skills and successes not so much as the goal but as one part of the entire journey. She will then begin to use these skills to work toward the larger quest of bringing people together, rather than for her own individual gain. This is the sacred marriage of the feminine and masculine” – The Heroine’s Journey, Maureen Murdock
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