by Trevor Malkinson
“To refuse the call means stagnation. What you don't experience positively, you will experience negatively” - Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces
In the Hero's Journey ”˜monomyth' that Joseph Campbell discovered scattered throughout the world's mythological traditions, the journey always starts with the call to adventure. The hero or heroine, often an average unsuspecting person, is summoned to leave the safe confines of their world and journey into the unknown on a quest they don't yet understand. In the 20th century, two major motion picture trilogies- Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings- gave epic representations of the hero's journey, and people flocked to these films en masse. Why are we so drawn to these depictions of the hero's journey and the adventure of taking up ”˜the call'? What exactly is the calling, where is it emanating from, and why are we so attracted to it? This article is an extended reflection on the nature of the call and how it shows up in our religion, our art, our culture, and perhaps most importantly, in ourselves.
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