You are a hero, and like the heroes in myths and movies, you are a mythical being with magical powers. This is your Greatness. This is who you really are, and you are here to use your magic to resurrect into your Greatness and create your own paradise on earth.
But you've hidden your mythical self behind the mask of your humanity. Consequently you’ve forgotten who you really are and you’ve lost your magical powers. Without them you’re struggling to survive in an illusory world of separation, while pretending to be someone you’re not. And the only tools you have to serve you, are your unconscious beliefs and your thoughts and feelings.
Your destiny is to restore your magic with your imagination and intuition and resurrect the mythical being you really are. Then you will stop struggling and surviving, and start transforming yourself and your world into a magnificent work of art.
The most effortless way to fulfil your destiny is to travel along on your own unique Hero’s Journey.
The concept of the Hero’s Journey was initially articulated by Joseph Campbell, who was a professor of mythology. Campbell devoted his academic life to studying the creation myths and stories of every religion and form of spirituality throughout all of human history. In doing so he discovered that they were all telling the same story. Campbell realised there were specific phases every Hero and Heroine in history went through to transform into their Greatness.
I’m going to explain and elaborate each phase of the Hero's Journey for you and illustrate them with some well known myths and movies. Most of the movies which have been huge successes have the Hero's Journey weaved into their script. I love referring to movies because they are our modern day way of sitting around a fire and sharing our stories and myths.
Some of my favourite Hero's Journey movies include; Star Wars, The Matrix, The Hobbit & The Lord Of The Rings, Iron Man, Avatar, The Last Samurai, Thor and Interstellar.
I’ve included a diagram of the Hero’s Journey for you at the end of the article, so you can have an overall perspective of how the phases relate to one another.
It is important to note that the Hero's Journey applies equally to women as it does to men because it's the journey of the soul and as a soul we are both masculine and feminine, so when I refer to ‘Hero’ I am referring to both men and women. Our Greatness is best symbolised by the symbol of the Tao, which is the embodiment of Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine).
There are some fabulous movies where the Hero is a woman; such as Whale Rider, V for Vendetta, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, The Fifth Element, Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and one of my all time favourite films; Pan’s Labyrinth. The Disney movies; Brave and Moana are also exquisite Heroine’s Journey films.
THE PHASES OF THE HERO'S JOURNEY
BORN OF ROYALTY
This is where the Hero's Journey begins. The Hero is always Born Of Royalty. This is symbolic of your inherent divinity. We were all Born Of Royalty. Your royalty is your Greatness, which is who you really are, and being divine you were born with magical powers, namely your imagination and intuition.
When you were Born Of Royalty you created your energetic body, mental body, emotional body and physical body, which you infused with your essence and power to use as your vehicle to create your own heaven on earth.
In our Royalty we engage with life metaphorically and symbolically, instead of literally and rationally. This allows us to have a deeper and richer relationship to life and each other. Whereas, when we live rationally and literally, we get stuck in the veneer of life and live in reaction to each other.
When you approach being Born Of Royalty symbolically, the crown a king or queen wears is made from gold, which is an alchemical symbol of transformation. It’s round, which is the symbol of the soul and it’s worn on the crown of our heads, which represents the highest vibration of our energetic body.
Being Born Of Royalty is very evident in mythology. Horus was the son of Osiris, Thor was the son of Odin, Hercules the son of Zeus, Jesus the son of God and King Arthur was the son of Pendragon. It is also evident in many movies; Luke Skywalker in Star Wars was the son of a Jedi Knight. Harry Potter’s parents were wizards. Neo from The Matrix is “The One”.
Another expression to describe being Born Of Royalty is that you have a heart and your destiny, like the heroes and heroines in myths and movies, is to live from your heart.
Saying we have a heart is essentially saying we are beings of love. This makes sense because the heart is the organ of the body most associated with love. Love in its true essence is an immensely powerful and creative force. When you’re living from your heart you know who you really are and what you really love. You also intuitively know what direct action to take to create it.
Many people ask me the question; "If we’re Born Of Royalty and we’re all divine, then why don’t we all naturally live from our divinity? Why don’t we live our Greatness from the moment we’re born to the day we die?" The reason is because we are wounded in relation to our Greatness, which is called our Threat To Life. The Threat To Life sets up the next phase of the Hero's Journey, which is when the Hero becomes a:
CHILD IN HIDING
As soon as the Hero is born there is a threat to their life and they go into hiding in order to survive. While in hiding they take on a new identity, usually that of a commoner or peasant. The Hero becomes oblivious to who they really are and convinced they are their new identity.
Jesus’s story is a great example of this phase. When King Herod hears that a new King of the Jews is born, he kills every first-born Jewish boy. Consequently, Jesus goes into hiding in Egypt and then grows up as the son of a carpenter. Arthur is another great example. When Pendragon died, had all the Lords of England, (who were vying for the crown), found out that Pendragon had a son, they would have killed him. Consequently, Merlin took Arthur into hiding and he lived as a keep boy. He grew up having no concept that he was the heir to the throne.
In The Matrix, the machines represent the threat to Neo’s life. He goes into hiding, living as Thomas Anderson and is oblivious to who he really is.
Harry Potter’s threat to life occurs when Voldemort kills his parents and creates the scar on his forehead, which is symbolic of his wound. (You needn’t worry, I can say Voldemort’s name, he has no power over me). Harry then goes into hiding and lives as a muggle, again having no concept that he is really a wizard.
We have all gone on exactly the same path. Our Threat To Life occurred when we were wounded in relationship to our divinity, which can happen from the moment of conception. Once wounded, we fell asleep to our Greatness and went into hiding by forming an Identity. We then became convinced our Identity is who we really are. Our Identity became our persona. Interestingly, the word persona is derived from Latin, which means theatrical mask.
We formed our Identities by creating core beliefs in an attempt to resolve the intense pain of our wound. These core beliefs then triggered unconscious behaviours, which in turn determined what we thought and what we felt. We then began to assume our thoughts and feelings were real, which consequently locked us into a very limited perception of ourselves, others and life.
In other words, once we created our Identity our focus went onto unconsciously trying to resolve the pain of our wound with our beliefs, instead of living from our heart and creating what we love. We also perpetuate our limited perception of life by putting ourselves into structures, environments, jobs and relationships which we believe will better help us to survive, but what they really do is imprison and limit us, locking us into our Identity.
The Child In Hiding phase is a crucial phase to establish because this is when we create the illusion of separation and in so doing create a pretend world where we erect an invisible threshold between it and the real world of our Greatness. Our Greatness is our true self, living in the real world of love and magic. While our Identity is our false self, living in a pretend world of struggle and survival.
Once we’re wounded and form our Identity we forget our Greatness and convince ourselves that the pretend world is real. Our Greatness still exists but it’s lost behind a veil of mist, it’s like a vague dream we once had which constantly eludes us.
Every person who has ever been born has gone on this part of the Hero's Journey. Whereas, not everyone continues on their journey home to their Greatness, because they are completely convinced their Identity is who they really are, so they live their entire life completely within this phase. They live in a delusion of separation believing the pretend world of their Identity is real. These people go to their grave having no concept of their inherent divinity and power.
You will stay in the Child In Hiding phase until you come to a certain point in your life, which causes you to move from the pretend world to the real world and continue your Hero's Journey. This happens when you’ve been living in your Identity for a period of time and you feel like your life force has being drained from you. It can express itself as boredom, desperation or futility. It happens when you’ve been living the same life over and over again, making the same mistakes and playing out the same patterns of behaviour over and over again. You arrive at this point when you realise you've been stuck in mediocrity and enslaved in delusion.
You’re ready to continue your Hero's Journey when you come up against the invisible threshold that separates the pretend world and the real world and say to yourself; “There has to be more to life than this!” This is a magical statement to make because that’s when every Hero unknowingly embarks on the next phase of their Hero's Journey, this is when they hear their:
CALL TO ADVENTURE
In this phase the Hero and Heroine get a glimpse of their heart, they get a glimpse of their Greatness because they momentarily step into the real world of love and magic.
The Call To Adventure phase is also known as the Heralding phase because the Hero encounters a mystical being with magical powers who innocently lures them out of their comfort zone into the realm of love and magic, where things start happening around them which they can’t explain. The herald also encourages the Hero to pursue their heart.
Mythically, the herald is often a faun or fairy who lures the Hero along a forest path with music and dancing. The Hero thinks they’re innocently walking through a forest, but they’re actually being drawn into another dimension.
The Matrix demonstrates the Call To Adventure phase wonderfully. Thomas Anderson is in his dingy little apartment, feeling very despondent with his life when his computer starts talking to him, telling him to; “wake up Neo” and “follow the white rabbit,” then suddenly there’s a knock on the door and there’s a girl standing there with a tattoo of a white rabbit on her back. He then follows her to a nightclub where he meets Trinity. The white rabbit is symbolic of the herald who lures the hero and heroine into an another dimension, just as the white rabbit did to Alice in Alice In Wonderland.
Star Wars - A New Hope, also does this phase brilliantly. Luke Skywalker hates his life as a moisture farmer and dreams of being a star-fighter pilot. Suddenly, out of nowhere two droids appear and while performing the mundane task of cleaning R2D2, Luke discovers a holographic message of Princess Leia, which mesmerises and captivates him and suddenly gives him a higher purpose to life.
Princess Leia, like Trinity for Neo, is a symbol of Luke’s heart. These are both great examples of the Hero getting a glimpse of their heart.
R2D2 is the perfect herald because he mysteriously comes into Luke’s life from a magical world and innocently lures Luke out of his small mundane life by wandering off into the wilderness. Luke chases after him and in doing so meets Obi-Wan Kenobi and avoids being killed by Imperial Stormtroopers.
Merida from Brave, goes on her Call To Adventure when the Will-o'-the-Wisps lure her into a magical world where she meets the wood-whittling witch. When she sees the Wisps, Merida says, "Some say Will-o'-the-Wisps lead you to your fate."
The Call To Adventure phase is your first step into the real world of love and magic, which is why you’re suddenly experiencing magic all around you. However, the magic soon disappears when you:
ENCOUNTER THRESHOLD GUARDIANS
This is the phase when the Hero and Heroine makes the commitment to step from the pretend world into the real world. However, there are always guardians at the gates of the real world. Only those Heroes who are committed to their Greatness get past the Threshold Guardians. This weaves beautifully back to the Garden of Eden myth.
Adam and Eve each represent the masculine and feminine aspect of our Greatness. Being Born Of Royalty is like being born in the Garden of Eden. The tree of eternal life is a symbol of the immortality of our Greatness. The Threat To Life is symbolised by Adam & Eve being banished from the garden as a result of eating the apple from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is when we are wounded in relation to our Greatness. The cherubim and flaming sword God places at the gate are Threshold Guardians.
There are two trees in the Garden of Eden. Interestingly, most people seem to forget or aren’t aware of the tree of eternal life, they just know of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. All the focus goes on the tree filled with apples, where the serpent resides. Based on this focus, there has a grown a maligned premise that because Eve was tempted by the serpent, it’s her fault we were banished from paradise. This literal translation of Genesis has led to the subjugation of woman in many cultures and religions for thousands of years. This is an example of the consequences we create when taking symbolism literally.
Adam and Eve were meant to eat the apple and be banished from the garden, just as we were meant to be wounded and go into hiding.
The Hero's Journey is the journey back home to the Garden of Eden, it is the map leading us to our treasure, which is to eat the fruit from the tree of eternal life, but to get back into the garden you have to pass through the threshold which is guarded by the cherubim and flaming sword.
Threshold Guardians are always two faced, they have two masks. The mask that faces the pretend world is the face of a demon and the mask that faces the real world is the face of an angel. Although the mask can make the Threshold Guardian appear as a demon, in truth it’s only a pretend demon. The purpose of the Threshold Guardian is to test your Will and conviction. Its purpose is also to scare off those Heroes who are timid and who don’t have the conviction to enter into the spiritual realm to claim their treasure. Threshold Guardians deliberately trigger the Hero’s beliefs and intensify their doubts and fears.
However, when you do commit to your Greatness and cross the threshold, the demon face transforms into the face of an angel. The Threshold Guardians make you think you’re crossing the threshold into hell, but you’re actually crossing the threshold into heaven.
In Star Wars - A New Hope, when Luke initially finds R2D2 in the wastelands of Tatooine, the Sand People try to kill him. They are his Threshold Guardians. Likewise, Neo Encounters Threshold Guardians when he’s trying to escape from the Agents in his office. He doesn’t have the conviction to climb the scaffolding to the roof of the skyscraper and get away. Instead, he’s consumed by his doubts and fears and consequently he gets arrested and interrogated by Agent Smith.
Whenever we're scared off by our Threshold Guardians, instead of heeding the Call To Adventure, we inadvertently:
REFUSE THE CALL
When you Encounter Threshold Guardians, if your doubts and fears are greater than your Will and conviction, instead of entering into the real world of love and magic and continuing onto the next phase of your Hero's Journey, you will Refuse The Call and return to the Child In Hiding phase. This is a very common phenomenon in the Hero’s Journey. This happens because one minute you’re having a great time experiencing lots of magic, relishing in the beauty of your heart and then suddenly you encounter obstacles, which can be both internal and external. The internal ones are your doubts and fears, while the external ones are the circumstances of your life such as the lack of time and money. They also include being easily swayed by ‘helpful’ friends and family who caution you from continuing along this supposedly perilous path and who convince you to go back where it’s safe, certain and sensible.
People plug themselves back into the pretend world because the demon face of the Threshold Guardian scares them off. People will always rationalise and justify their decision to go back by saying; “it was too scary” or “it wasn’t meant to be” or they make up that spirituality should always be beautiful and wonderful. They insert themselves back into the pretend world and forget their heart actually opened. The magic they experienced then ends up becoming a distant memory.
In The Matrix, Neo Refuses The Call for the first time when he can’t climb onto the scaffolding and says: “This is insane, why is this happening to me. What did I do? I’m nobody. I can't do this.” He wants to Refuse The Call again when Switch points a gun at him on his way to meet Morpheus for the first time. He opens the car door and just as he’s about to get out, Trinity says to him; “You’ve been down there Neo, you know that road, you know exactly where it ends and I know that’s not where you want to be.”
What’s very important to note at this point is that, even though you may Refuse The Call, your heart will never give up on you. Now you’ve had a glimpse of your heart it’s impossible to completely close the door on it when you Refuse The Call. It’s impossible to completely convince yourself you’re just a peasant and pretend the magic you experienced never happened.
Once the eternal flame of your heart has been lit, it’s impossible to extinguish it. The Call To Adventure phase doesn’t just happen once in your lifetime. There will be many opportunities to hear the call of your heart again. The theory that opportunity only knocks once is not true. Your heart is always trying to reveal itself to you to get you out of being a Child In Hiding.
There will come a time along your Hero’s Journey when you may have Refused The Call once or a number of times, and having done so, you’ll realise there’s nothing of substance in the pretend world for you anymore. When that time comes you’ll make the decision to commit to your heart, despite your doubts and fears and the siren call of your friends and family.
At this point you’ll effortlessly cross the threshold and enter into the real world of love and magic and as soon as you do you will:
MEET THE WISE PERSON
Immediately after crossing the threshold into the real world of love and magic, the Hero Meets The Wise Person who is a master of this realm. The first thing the Wise Person does is to reveal the truth to the Hero of who they really are, and in so doing, dispel the illusion of who they’re not. Effectively the Wise Person says you are not a peasant, you are a King or a Queen. In other words, you are not your Identity you are your Greatness. The second thing the Wise Person does is to invite the Hero to go into training with them in order to empower the Hero in their inherent gifts and abilities. This is so they can be equipped to reign as a King or a Queen. Up to this point the Hero has only acquired the skills to be a masterful peasant. In other words, your Identity has developed masterful survival strategies and your Wise Person is inviting you to develop and master the inherent, but dormant abilities of your Greatness, namely your imagination and intuition.
Mythically, the Hero is invited to go into training with the Wise Person in order to save the world. The world you go into training to save - is your own. When you save your world, you save the whole world.
It reminds me of a wonderful story I heard many years ago. A man was trying to get some work done, but couldn’t because his six-year-old son kept interrupting him, wanting to play. To distract his son he tore out a page from a magazine on his desk, which had a map of the world on it. He ripped it up into many pieces and gave it to his son telling him to put the world back together. He thought this would keep his son amused for a couple of hours, but instead he returned after twenty minutes with the map of the world complete. His father was completely gob-smacked and asked his son how he was able to do it so quickly. His son said; “Well daddy, you see, on the back of the page was a picture of a man and I thought if I could get the man right, I would get the world right.”
Meet The Wise Person is the most obvious phase to see mythically and in movies. Jesus’s Wise Person was John the Baptist. Neo’s Wise Person is Morpheus. Arthur’s Wise Person is Merlin. Luke Skywalker's Wise Person is Obi-Wan Kenobi and Harry Potter’s Wise Person is Dumbledore. Each Wise Person revealed to each Hero who they really are and each Wise Person invited each Hero to go into training with them.
After Obi-Wan Kenobi rescues Luke from the Sand People, he tells him he is the son of a Jedi Knight. He then gives him his fathers light sabre and after seeing the message from Princess Leia, invites Luke to learn the ways of The Force.
When Neo meets Morpheus for the first time he tells Neo the truth about The Matrix, he says; "It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. You've been living in a dream world Neo." He then gives Neo the choice to step into the real world or stay in the delusion of The Matrix by offering him the red pill or blue pill. After Neo chooses the red pill Morpheus shares the legend and myth of the creation of The Matrix with Neo and tells him he is The One.
What some people can do instead of going into Training is Refuse The Call, either for the first or second time.
This is another place where the Hero can potentially Refuse The Call because as I often joke; there you are living your normal life, you wake up one morning feeling despondent, and say; “there’s got to be more to life than this.” You suddenly experience some magic and get a glimpse of your heart, immediately followed by encountering a scary threshold guardian or two who you manage to get past, only to meet a weird character with a cape and hood or long leather jacket and glasses who says; “You’re not who you think you are. You’re a Hero, and you’ve got to come into training with me so you can save the world.” The Hero is so far out of their comfort zone at this point; of course they’re going to want to return to the security of the life they know if they’re not committed to their Greatness.
This is brilliantly illustrated in Star Wars - A New Hope when Luke meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, who says to Luke, “You must learn the ways of The Force if you are to come with me to Alderaan.” Luke’s instant response was; “Alderaan! I’m not going to Alderaan. I’ve got to get home, it’s late. I’m in for it as it is. I can’t get involved, I’ve got work to do. It's not that I like the Empire, I hate it, but there's nothing I can do about it right now.” Obi-Wan’s response was simply; “You must do what you feel is right, of course.” Luke does, however go into training with Obi-Wan after he goes back to the farm and discovers his aunt and uncle have been killed by the Empire.
The Hero can want to Refuse The Call here because the truth their Wise Person shares with them is too shocking and too much to take, which was the case with Neo after Morpheus told him the truth about The Matrix. Neo does of course start training with Morpheus because he knows there's nothing to go back to.
Having spent the last seventeen years mastering my intuition and the premises that underpin it, I have grown to become the Wise Person. Like all the wise men and women who have gone before me, I am constantly reminding the people I meet that they are Heroes and inviting them to go into training with me by joining me in The Transformation.
If the Hero accepts the Wise Person's invitation, they will then:
GO INTO TRAINING
When you Go Into Training with the Wise Person, you do so within the real world of love and magic, to learn how to harness and master your inherent power and natural abilities, which are unique to you. These abilities and powers are within you, but they are latent and have to be developed.
Your Greatness is like the butterfly that lies dormant within the caterpillar. In order to resurrect the butterfly the caterpillar has to form a cocoon and go through the magical process of metamorphosis. In order to resurrect your butterfly you have to; Go Into Training. You've developed the muscles of your Identity and not those of your Greatness and the most powerful muscles you can develop are your imagination and intuition. You do that by learning to master premises, which are fundamental principles aligned with the laws of nature, which you learn to build your life upon.
While in training, there are times when it’s very challenging, confronting and disorientating. Your Wise Person stretches you and takes you beyond yourself. There are many times when you seriously question why you’re doing this. It’s not surprising, because during this phase your whole world is literally being turned upside down. You are learning to live in a brand new world where the rules are completely different to the ones you know and have lived by until now. This is why the mastery of premises is so vital.
When you master premises you bring your latent imagination and intuition from the background of your consciousness to the foreground. In other words, you lower the volume of your thoughts and feelings and increase the volume of your imagination and intuition. When you’re living from your intuition you’re able to wield the Power of Love. This is what you use to step into the real world of love and magic and live there. Before being trained in premises we live out of assumptions and theories that aren’t based on truth, they’re based on what we assume to be true.
Premises underpin your imagination and intuition and are the catalysts for your Greatness to resurrect. Once trained in them you don’t need to rely on your beliefs, unconscious behaviours and thoughts and feelings any more. You have learnt to masterfully live in the real world of your Greatness and rule over the pretend world of your Identity.
Mythically, the training phase is a very obvious one. Every movie with the Hero’s Journey at its foundation will have a section devoted to the Hero being trained in a magical world.
Neo goes into training with Morpheus whenever they are in the training construct together. Three obvious scenes are; when Neo fights Morpheus in the dojo, when he sees the woman in the red dress and when they load the jump program. Neo is learning to become The One, as does every other Hero.
Arthur goes into training in the forest with Merlin to become the King. Luke with Obi-Wan Kenobi on the Millennium Falcon to become a Jedi Knight and Harry Potter trains with Dumbledore at Hogwarts to become a wizard.
When you enter into Training, you do so alone, however you never travel along your Hero’s Journey on your own. As soon as your Training begins you:
MEET HERO PARTNERS
When you Go Into Training with your Wise Person, you Meet Hero Partners. Your Hero Partners are also being trained in their imagination and intuition with premises. They are also progressively transforming into their Greatness. Your Hero Partners will serve you with love and truth and help you make choices that serve your Greatness. The relationships you build with your Hero Partners are very often life lasting. You get to know each other very intimately and serve each other very powerfully.
When you Go Into Training there’s nothing you won’t know about your Greatness or your Identity and there is nothing you won’t know about your Hero Partners and they you. Your Hero Partners become invaluable assets, because there is no way you’ll come home to your Greatness without them. They will be there for you in your darkest moments and will serve you in ways even your Wise Person can’t.
The best example of a Hero Partner is Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings. Prior to joining the Fellowship, Sam was Frodo’s gardener and like Frodo he had never left The Shire. Along the way, the relationship Frodo created with Sam and the bond they built was invaluable to creating the ultimate end result of returning the ring of power to the fires of Mount Doom. In fact, if it wasn't for Sam, the ring wouldn't have been destroyed because Frodo was deluded by Gollum’s constant manipulation and too weak from the burden of the ring to complete the task on his own.
In Star Wars, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia are Hero Partners for Luke. While Trinity, Cypher, Apoc, Switch, Mouse, Dozer and Tank are Neo's Hero Partners.
Having gone into Training, you are now equipped with the power of premises along with your imagination and intuition. You also have the guidance of your Wise Person and the support of your Hero Partners, all of which you'll need in order to take the next step along your Hero's Journey. Without them there is no way you'll be able to enter into the next phase, which is when you:
FACE YOUR DEMONS
Without going into Training there’s no way the Hero can get past this phase and complete their Hero's Journey. This is the phase where the Hero faces their demons. If you thought Threshold Guardians were scary, they don’t hold a candle to your demons. Your demons are your wound and your core beliefs. Your demons are also represented by the underlying structures you’ve created to underpin your Identity, which are the structures your Identity put in place to help you to survive.
These structures are the things you relied on for survival when you were a Child In Hiding and they are the things that flare up and fight you and try to bring you back to living as a child and a peasant.
When you’re trained in your imagination and intuition you realise your wound and core beliefs are not real because you know you made them all up. You also realise you no longer need the underlying structures your Identity created in order to survive because you’re now building your life upon premises.
In effect, what you do when you Face Your Demons, is you die to them because you know they’re not real. The good news is it doesn’t have to be a physical death; it’s a metaphorical death. It’s a death to believing your Identity is real. When you die to what’s false, then you resurrect into what’s true.
However, prior to facing them you will Fight Your Demons because they appear very real and very scary. You fight them because your Identity doesn't want to die and doesn't want to let go of the underlying structures it has defined itself by. You will always Fight Your Demons before facing them because your demons represent the things that have underpinned your life and perpetuated your survival. They also flare up because your Identity thinks that your very survival is at stake.
If you consistently Fight Your Demons you will choose to Refuse The Call here, because the more you fight your demons the stronger they get. It’s a very common phenomenon, not only because your demons can appear very scary, but also because they are very convincing.
The Matrix does this phase very eloquently in the scene where Cypher is having dinner with Agent Smith and he says; "I don't wanna remember nothing.....nothing! You understand? And I want to be rich, you know someone important, like an actor. Get my body back into the power plant, insert me into The Matrix, I'll get you what you want."
In The Matrix, Agent Smith represents Neo’s demon, who he is constantly fighting and every time he does, Neo gets his butt kicked. The Wachowskis really play with this in the sequels to The Matrix. Every time Neo fights Agent Smith he duplicates himself and becomes more powerful, which is leveraging off the Greek myth when Hercules cut the head off the dragon and two grew back, he then cut off the two heads and four grew back and so on. Ultimately all the fighting is futile because Agent Smith ends up pumping a whole clip of bullets into Neo at point blank range.
Mythically, every Hero has a demon and every Hero dies in this phase of the Hero's Journey. Jesus had Satan and he died on the cross. King Arthur was killed by Mordred. Aslan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe had the White Witch and he died, Harry Potter’s demon was Voldemort and he died.
There is also another dynamic that can occur if a Hero continues to fight their demons. George Lucas portrays this beautifully in Star Wars. He brings to life a whole other phase of the Hero's Journey. As a result of fighting your demons, if you don’t end up dying or refusing the call, you travel along the dark side of the Hero's Journey. Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader because he succumbed to his wound and used his Jedi powers to try to resolve the pain of his separation from his mother, instead of serving the Jedi Council and the Republic. He then got consumed by the dark side of The Force, sold his soul to the Emperor and used his power to kill, dominate and control others.
This is important to mention because this can also happen to you in the scope of your Hero’s Journey. You’ll learn to master your imagination and intuition when you go into Training and if you don’t die to your Identity, then it can sabotage you and use your newly discovered powers to create its own end results. That’s exactly what Anakin did and you may do it as well. You may use it to serve the survival agendas of your Identity rather than serving what your Greatness loves. The notion of dying may be far too frightening for you. The great thing is that it doesn’t matter. Regardless of what you do there will still be the opportunity to Face Your Demons and resurrect into your Greatness, just as Anakin Skywalker did at the end of Return of the Jedi.
Another movie which addresses this theme brilliantly is; The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. The antagonist in this movie is absolutely beyond redemption, or so you think for 99% of the film, and then when you least expect it, he redeems himself.
No one has gone through a Training and not fought their demons, but as long as you don’t Refuse The Call, there will come a time when you will face them. To your Identity this is the scariest part of the journey, but to your Greatness it’s the most exhilarating because this is when you die to your illusions.
When you appreciate the beauty of the Face Your Demons phase you will choose to go purposefully to your death, just as Aslan, Gandalf, Harry and Jesus did. You will do so because you'll know that the Power of Love will resurrect you. You know you will:
FIND YOUR TREASURE
The treasure you find after you Face Your Demons is you transformed into your Greatness.
Treasure is always hidden in a chest and your treasure is in your chest, it's called your heart. This is where your treasure is and this is where your power is. Ultimately the Hero's Journey is the journey from your head to your heart. It’s the ultimate journey you’ll ever take. When I refer to your head I’m referring to your thoughts and feelings. When I refer to your heart, I’m referring to your imagination and intuition, not your emotions and feelings. This is one of the first myths I dispel when training people, the myth that your emotions and your feelings are your intuition. It’s because of this misconception that so many people have a blurred relationship with their intuition.
When you Face Your Demons you die and when you Find Your Treasure you resurrect. What resurrects you is the Power of Love.
Once you resurrect and Find Your Treasure you’re operating on a completely different plane of existence, you’re living life on a whole new level. Once you’ve resurrected, your Identity and beliefs have no power over you. You don’t kill your Identity; it’s now serving its true purpose of being a vehicle for your Greatness.
Joseph Campbell expressed this beautifully during an interview he did with Bill Moyers, which was turned into a video series called, The Power Of Myth; "This is an essential experience of any mystical realisation. You die to your flesh and are born into your spirit. You identify yourself with the consciousness and life of which your body is but the vehicle. You die to the vehicle and become identified in your consciousness with that of which the vehicle is but the carrier. That is the God."
When you Find Your Treasure you are another person living in another world. You are in your power and none of the forces that had power over you when you were living in your Identity determine the outcome or quality of your life; whether they be your boss, the economy, your finances, your partner, the weather, your upbringing, your education or any other internal or external factor. The power is completely within you as the creative force in your life.
When you’re in the Call To Adventure phase you can have glimpses of this, but it’s not until you Go Into Training and Face Your Demons that you fully embody the divine and powerful being you truly are. Like when the caterpillar turns into the butterfly, there’s no going back. You’ve transformed into your Greatness.
The resurrection scene in The Matrix is by far and away the best illustration of this phase of the Hero's Journey. Agent Smith has just killed Neo and Trinity is standing beside his body in the chair in the Nebakanezar. There is a monitor beside him with a picture of his heart, and it stops beating, remember Trinity symbolises his heart. Trinity calmly whispers to Neo’s corpse as their ship is about to be destroyed; “Neo, I’m not afraid any more. The Oracle told me that I would fall in love and that man that I loved would be The One. So you see you can’t be dead, because I love you.” She leans over and kisses him. He suddenly takes a gasp of air and you see his heart start to beat again on the monitor.
When she acknowledges her love for Neo, Trinity is tapping into the deep magic of love and it is the power of that love which resurrects him.
Neo then wakes up inside The Matrix and the Agents fire bullets at him. He simply puts his hand out and says, “No”. The bullets drop to the floor and he now sees The Matrix for what it really is; computer code, an illusion. Agent Smith attempts to beat him up again, but Neo toys with him like a cat would a mouse. After effortlessly kicking him down the hallway, Neo then runs and dives into Agent Smith, who explodes to leave Neo standing there as a luminous being. He is now an actualised God in physical form. From that point onwards he has super human powers because he has tapped into and released the inner power that was always there. Consequently, The Matrix has absolutely no power over him any more.
Seeing Neo as a luminous being reminds me of my favourite scene of any movie; the swamp scene in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke is attempting to use The Force to lift his X-Wing Fighter out of the swamp and Master Yoda says to him; “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”
Every Hero, once they resurrect into their Greatness, dedicates their life to being of service. This leads us into the final phase of the Hero's Journey, when you:
GO INTO SERVICE
When you Go Into Service you serve love and lead with love. You masterfully wield the Power of Love. You share your wisdom and serve something greater than yourself. This is how you wield your magic, it's that simple. In our Identity we make things so complex, convoluted and out of reach. Once you Find Your Treasure and Go Into Service life is very simple. It’s in your service you experience your treasure and live your Greatness. You’re living from your heart, that's what it’s all about. You are now living in the real world and ruling over the pretend world, or as The Kybalion says, you are using the "higher over the lower."
When you Go Into Service you complete one cycle of the Hero's Journey and begin another. It’s the beginning of what I call the Wise Person’s Journey because when you Go Into Service you lead other Heroes on their journey home to their heart. Also, you never go on the Hero's Journey only once, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone around this cycle. Having gone on the Hero's Journey once, you then purposefully go on it again and again because you know it’s the fast track to create more of what you love and bring more of your Greatness to life.
You see Neo Go Into Service at the completion of The Matrix when he's standing at a telephone booth speaking to the people who are still plugged into The Matrix, he says; “I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid. You’re afraid of us, you’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone and I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you, a world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries, a world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.” He then hangs up the phone, slowly puts on his glasses and soars into the sky like Superman.
Jesus goes into service when he bestows the Holy Spirit onto his disciples. Arthur by keeping the myth of Camelot alive and Obi-Wan Kenobi serves Luke by being the voice of his intuition on the assault of the Death Star.
There is nothing more rewarding than Going Into Service, bringing someone to love and seeing them shine in their Greatness.
BRINGING THE HERO’S JOURNEY TO LIFE
There are many movies that have the Hero's Journey written into the underlying structure of the script. Now you know the phases of the Hero's Journey, you will not see films the same way anymore. What I focus on is how well filmmakers do it and how creative they are with it. When it’s done well the film will make you realise you are the Hero and the myth or the story the film is portraying is really your story.
Having gone through each phase of the Hero's Journey with you, the most important thing now is that it becomes alive and real, so you can embrace it for yourself and go on your own Hero’s Journey home to your Greatness. I would love you to take it beyond theory, to take it beyond having a great time at the movies. I want you to know you are a Hero and would love you to purposefully embark on your own Journey.
Remember, you are divine. You chose to come to earth to have an individual experience of your Greatness and create your own heaven on earth. Choosing to travel along your unique Hero’s Journey will ensure you create it.
I think it’s only apt that I finish with Joseph Campbell’s immortal words:
“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a God. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the centre of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”
THE HERO'S JOURNEY