Through culture and the media we learn to cover up our true nature with what people tell us we are. This class is based on the documentary Finding Joe to explore the ideas of Joseph Campbell and his work on mythology and how we can rediscover our true nature. Campbell’s discovery was that all great mythologies are the same story told in an infinite number of different ways. He called this archetypal story the Hero’s Journey. It is a cycle of separation from the norm and awakening from the mass hypnosis of mainstream culture, an initiation, vision or a call to adventure where tests and challenges are faced with courage and then finally there is a return from the journey as a transformed person who can share their newfound wisdom to enlighten others. This epic story has been told and experienced by all cultures throughout human history. You can see it being told in many of our own favorite stories and in mega-popular movies. We love and resonate with these stories because they are reflective of journey we are all on to discover our true nature and accept the challenge of embracing our fears, chasing our passion and purpose in our life. These archetypical stories talk to the inner potential in all of us and we often leave the movie theatre energized and ready to awaken to something new. We will try to tap into this reservior that is within.
The most important lesson that great myths are designed to teach us is to go beyond what we perceive as the limits of our possibility. These stories are metaphors, or guides, to a process of transformation. We will utilize creative writing and art to delve into a personal mythand discover the essence of the hero’s journey: Do what makes you feel most alive. As Campbell states, “I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”