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Barack, Lance, Oprah, & Rudy- Exploring Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey in Contemporary American Society

By Joe Guse

Copyright 2007, Crown Publishing


Each of us has a potential hero inside of us. Every life has rising and falling actions, friends, villains, loves, heartbreak, failure, and victory. The work of Joseph Campbell has provided us with a template for finding this hero inside us. Campbell called this “following your bliss,” and through the pursuit of this bliss, Campbell believed we could find rapture over the course of our lives. We can get derailed from our Hero’s Journey by ignoring our call toward bliss, and instead settling for things that provide money and comfort at the expense of what truly stokes the fire of our desire.

In Campbell’s own words, from The Hero with A Thousand Faces,For when the heart insists on its destiny, resisting the general blandishment, then the agony is great; so too the danger. Forces, however, will have been set in motion beyond the reckoning of the senses. Sequences of events from the corners of the world will draw gradually together, and miracles of coincidence bring the inevitable to pass.”

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