Ottway Ducard stashed this in writing
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8. THE ORDEAL. Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear. Out of the moment of death comes a new life.
yay, love joseph campbell
Jared, which stage of the hero's journey is your favorite?
Part 11, BTW, makes me think of dark knight rises...
Step 5. All the way! The story of humanity is nothing but man being swallowed by the unknown. Survival of this step allows for the story/our creativity and our knowledge to grow.
The Crossing of the First Threshold
This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known.
Campbell: "With the personifications of his destiny to guide and aid him, the hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the 'threshold guardian' at the entrance to the zone of magnified power. Such custodians bound the world in four directions—also up and down—standing for the limits of the hero's present sphere, or life horizon. Beyond them is darkness, the unknown and danger; just as beyond the parental watch is danger to the infant and beyond the protection of his society danger to the members of the tribe. The usual person is more than content, he is even proud, to remain within the indicated bounds, and popular belief gives him every reason to fear so much as the first step into the unexplored. The adventure is always and everywhere a passage beyond the veil of the known into the unknown; the powers that watch at the boundary are dangerous; to deal with them is risky; yet for anyone with competence and courage the danger fades."
Belly of The Whale
The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero's known world and self. By entering this stage, the person shows willingness to undergo a metamorphosis.
Campbell: "The idea that the passage of the magical threshold is a transit
into a sphere of rebirth is symbolized in the worldwide womb image of the belly of the whale. The hero, instead of conquering or conciliating the power of the threshold, is swallowed into the unknown and would appear to have died. This popular motif gives emphasis to the lesson that the passage of the threshold is a form of self-annihilation. Instead of passing outward, beyond the confines of the visible world, the hero goes inward, to be born again. The disappearance corresponds to the passing of a worshipper into a temple—where he is to be quickened by the recollection of who and what he is, namely dust and ashes unless immortal. The temple interior, the belly of the whale, and the heavenly land beyond, above, and below the confines of the world, are one and the same. That is why the approaches and entrances to temples are flanked and defended by colossal gargoyles: dragons, lions, devil-slayers with drawn swords, resentful dwarfs, winged bulls. The devotee at the moment of entry into a temple undergoes a metamorphosis. Once inside he may be said to have died to time and returned to the World Womb, the World Navel, the Earthly Paradise. Allegorically, then, the passage into a temple and the hero-dive through the jaws of the whale are identical adventures, both denoting in picture language, the life-centering, life-renewing act."
Classical example: In the story of Dionysus, Hera sends hungry titans to devour the infant Dionysus. The Titans tore apart the child and consumed his flesh. However Dionysus's heart is saved by Hestia, goddess of the hearth, allowing Dionysus to be reborn as a god.
The Matrix (first one) was a great representation of this.
As were the first Star Wars, the entirety of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, and certain characters in Game of Thrones.
Do any of you feel as though you're on a hero's journey right now? If so, at which stage are you?
3-4 is a good stage, where everything starts becoming real. Congrats on finding a mentor and good luck with your journey :)
Is it possible I've done all 12 and had to start over?
Feels like I'm between 2 and 3. How about you, Jen?
The call to adventure is way too hard to resist sometimes, so I'm sure it's possible.
I think I'm between 7 and 8 at the moment. Fun stage :)
Between 7 and 8 isn't fun -- it's the hardest part, plus death and rebirth are by definition painful.
Ha, I know 7/8 can be brutal. Just figured I'd stay optimistic and think about how great it'll feel to hit #9...
I love your optimism!
Meanwhile, I'm reading 8 reasons why the hero's journey sucks: http://io9.com/345313/eight-reasons-why-the-heros-journey-sucks
Disagree! It's all about the talent of the storyteller and then also about any unique compelling details within the story to make it more memorable to its audience. You will get subpar product out of subpar talent and/or effort.
Jared, I think you're right.
A great storyteller makes all the difference.