I know, I know I keep saying the same thing about these last few stages of the Hero’s Journey: we don’t see them fleshed out in modern films. I keep emphasizing this just in case new Watchers and Listeners jump in on a later episode and I really want you to understand that these steps are important even though we only get glimpses of them.
In one sense, I can’t blame storytellers and moviemakers for not giving us more detailed scenes integrating Master of Two Worlds and Freedom to Live. Honestly, we would probably end up with long moments on the screen with main characters staring across wide open spaces with looks of serenity on their faces.
Hmmm, oh, right. That’s exactly how Highlander ends.
Hello, Spiritual Seekers, and welcome to what is technically the very last episode of the Hero’s Journey series of Think Spiritual Podcasts. As always, I am your host, Mark, and this is Step 17 of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey: Freedom to Live.
We have truly been on an epic adventure over the last two years. I am quite certain that there are many people out there who could have finished this project in six months, but sticking to it and living through each step of the Journey as I wrote each episode was important growth time for me.
But now we are at the final stage of the Journey. Now the Journey has truly come to its end. There is no more striving or growing at this time. Now it’s time to rest. Now is the time for peace.
I hinted at this last step of the Journey in the Step 15 episode: Crossing the Return Threshold. I urged you to look ahead and see the end of the journey. I encouraged you to enjoy the experiences you have had and to let this be a time of finding for you.
You see, the Hero’s Journey is a quest and quests are all about searching for something and the ever-present problem with quests is that we can get obsessed or even possessed by them. We can be so driven to keep questing that we forget to take the time to reflect on all we have learned and found thus far.
I learned this important lesson a few years ago from Herman Hesse’s book, Siddartha. It’s a thought that has stuck with me ever since.
I do believe that we have to move forward. I believe we should continue in our personal growth as much as we wish to. But I know that we have to take the time to be at peace with all we have found as well.
Here, let me read you a paragraph from the story:
“It’s true, I’m old,” spoke Govinda, “but I haven’t stopped searching. Never shall I stop searching, this seems to be my destiny. You too, so it seems to me, have been searching. Would you like to tell me something, oh honourable one?”
Quoth Siddhartha: “What should I possibly have to tell you, oh venerable one? Perhaps that you’re searching far too much? That in all that searching, you don’t find the time for finding?”
“How come?” asked Govinda.
“When someone is searching,” said Siddhartha, “then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that which he searches for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal. Searching means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal…”
Being free, being open, having no goal.
Yes, it’s important to have goals.
But what do you do once you’ve achieved those goals?
Are you instantly running off to the next set of plans? Are you not satisfied with your achievement? Are you now feeling lost and confused because your plans are complete?
How familiar do those situations sound? I’m quite certain we’ve all been in them at some point in our lives. I know I have. Even as I write this I’m realizing that I’ve been struggling to get this Hero’s Journey series completed and I haven’t taken the time to reflect on all I’ve found. I’ve already been exploring further ahead.
As has been the case for every episode of this series, I’m having to learn the lessons and live through every step.
Which is good, because this proves my point that the Hero’s Journey is something that can actually be lived. This is what I’ve been trying to impress upon you throughout this entire series.
And if you’ve followed along with me and if you’ve been living through each of these steps as well, then it is also time for you to take a step back and have your own time of peace and time of finding.
Take this time to live freely, no matter what is happening to the world around you.
That may be a little hard to accept at the moment given the circumstances we are currently living through. As I produce this episode, we are now 11 weeks into the COVID-19 crisis that circles the globe.
And here I am telling you to live freely. I am telling you to be free, to be open and to have no goals.
If you are like Govinda and always searching and always questing and always feeling like you have to be doing something during this time, what I’m suggesting to you will seem absolutely impossible. You will feel compelled to reject what I am saying.
But if you are more like Siddartha or even like Connor MacLeod at the end of Highlander, you will know that you can only change the world by living in the moment and at this moment it is time for you to rest and enjoy the fruits of your labours. It is time for you to be at peace with your Self.
And it’s also time for you to learn to live in the Normal World once again. You must somehow integrate all you have found and learned into your everyday Normal Existence.
But that, my Dear Heroes, will have to wait for the grande finale episode of the Hero’s Journey series of Think Spiritual Podcasts.
Thank you once again for listening and/or watching today. Please like, share, comment, criticize and subscribe if you have enjoyed this series and would like more content from this channel in the future.
I have been your host, Mark, this has been a talk about the final step of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey: step 17, Freedom to Live, and I know that if you take the time to rest and take the time to be at peace, that all of the changes you’ve made will become apparent and your world will be at peace with you as well. Because you’ve already changed your world simply by being your best Self.
You have all the weapons and knowledge you need within you. I will see you on the next episode of Think Spiritual Podcasts.