Episode 188 – HUMANIZING THE HERO

Nov 11, 2021

Photo Credit: Javier Garcia via Unsplash

Mythological heroes defend, protect and quest. They range from warriors, adventurers, and saviors to magicians, loners, and rebels, but one way or another, they battle bad for the sake of good. They have courage, skill, and strength, but never a troubling moment. Although we still delight in heroes with might and shine, modern times have given rise to a new ideal: the everyday hero.

From Harriet Tubman to Anne Frank and Frodo Baggins to Huckleberry Finn, these are heroes of happenstance. Circumstances demanded more of them, and they accepted the challenge to surmount loss, accept uncertainty, and take principled action even in a crisis. Unlike mythical heroes, everyday heroes struggle—and living fully into a larger purpose serves their personal development. Recent history has humanized the archetype of the hero and brought it down to earth. The new myth is about every man’s heroic energy for individuation and meaning. 

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“It’s a bright clear day, and I’m in a forest. I’m walking around when I spot these hybrid creatures, both boar and human, or humans wearing boar heads as helmets. They are absolutely terrifying, and I try to hide from them in the brush. I watch them. Suddenly, one veers off from the rest and leans over and defecates or vomits from its chest. It’s violent and disgusting. The creature seems weakened, sick. Then I’m walking again, trying to get away from the creatures, but they spot me– at least one of them does. I am not afraid now and assume we will fight. There’s a group of swords on the ground–more like big serrated knives–, and I pick one up. The creature and I duel, and I cut it several times. I’m confident in my victory, but then I’m nicked on the face. I’m worried about this; maybe it’s worse than I know. Then the dream jumps, and I’m in a dark bathroom examining the cut in the mirror. It’s a scratch. The boar creature is here with me, but she’s a beautiful brunette woman, and it’s clear we’re lovers. The feeling now is very light and romantic and easy.” 

REFERENCES:

Robert Hayden poem: Those Winter Sundays

Leonard Cohen song: Joan of Arc

James Hollis. Mythologems: Incarnations of the Invisible World. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1894574109/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_94JC2C9MJ644DRC9X76Q

C.G. Jung. The Red Book. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0393065677/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_HRQR02F9ATSSCXRAM8PA

Ernest Becker. The Denial of Death. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0684832402/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_ZDVC08FKDFDW7SS6QE5X

RESOURCES:

Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:  https://thisjungianlife.com/enroll/

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