The World Myth

The Hero

What else does the hero have to do with us?

In myths as in dreams, all the characters and actions are the direct products of those who dreamed them. In this sense, the hero of the world myth is analogous to the Ego or Persona of dream. All cultures dredge up trials and demons peculiar to their traditions. But it is to the universal world hero who emerges from a comparison of his or her many emanations that we must look for insight into our collective consciousness, our human psyche. We can relate to the world hero to the extent that we understand the need to succeed, to persevere against seemingly impossible odds. And we can relate to the nationalistic, familial, or ethnic loyalty that versions of this hero, in particular cultural clothes, represent. These, after all, are values we all preach in our schools, homes, legislatures, and places of worship.

It is also true that the archetypal world hero can evolve. It is to our current versions of the hero that we must look to discover how that change is taking place. To study the hero is to gaze into a mirror.


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