Campbell's book "The Thousand-Faced Hero" reveals the psychological basis of the heroic myths of different times and peoples. Turning to the myth, the author analyzes the deep sides of the human psyche.
J. Campbell, like other authors (Claudio Naraho, Alexander Pyatigorskiy, Geza Roheim, Victor Turner, Mircea Eliade), proceeds from the fact that the foundation of the heroic myth is composed of symbolic forms of expression of two events important for the collective and individual human history - the creation of the world and the formation of the personality . In other words, in the heroic epic, we have a cosmogonic myth and a ritual of initiation. The birth of a hero and his wanderings correspond to the symbolism of initiation (rites of passage), and deeds, accomplishment and death - to the world order, the creation of the Cosmos (order) from the universal Chaos. Both these processes are to some extent unified, and the initiation itself often has the character of a cosmogonic act, for example, in the Caucasian legends about hero-sledges studied by J. Dumasil or in Campbell's own myths about Krishna and the Buddha.
The first part of Campbell's book is devoted to the individual story of a thousand-faced hero. The general scheme of his adventures corresponds to the main stages of the initiation process and reproduces various forms of rites of passage (rites de passage). The well-known folklorist Arnold van Gennep singled out three such stages: a separative , consisting in the detachment of the personality from the group into which it had entered earlier; Limit, or the stage of finding on the edge & quot ;; Rehabilitation (reintegration). A change in social or other status, which is the main goal of initiation trials, assumes the "exit" from the former state, the rejection of cultural functions, the destruction of the social role. In myth this is symbolized by literal withdrawal, flight, wanderings and wanderings of the hero. Before that, he hears a call, often accompanied by a warning of deadly danger, threats, or, conversely, promises of unprecedented good. Whether the hero takes note of the appeal or refuses it is always the beginning of a way of separation from everything that was native and familiar. The typical form of the call is embodied in a famous epic and fairy tie: "To the right you will go - you will find your wife, you will go to the left - you will take the riches, you will go straight - you will lay down a riotous head".
The liminal stage is represented by crossing the boundaries (thresholds, limen - literally, "threshold"), staying in an unusual intermediate state. Absence of status is marked by blindness, invisibility, nakedness, ridiculous attire (reed cap, donkey skin, turned inside out caftan), mud, silence, prohibitions that relate to sleep, laughter, food, drink. "Liminalisms, such as neophytes in initiation or adulthood," Turner points out, "can be presented as possessing nothing. They can dress up as monsters, wear only rags and even walk naked, demonstrating the absence of status, property, decorations, worldly clothing indicating their place or role, the position in the kinship system, in short, anything that could distinguish them among the neophytes or initiated. Their behavior is usually passive or humiliated; they must unquestioningly obey their mentors or take unjust punishment without complaint. "
Liminality can be combined with being in the other world (dungeon, womb of whale or other monster, the bottom of the sea). The hero is in the realm of death, this is a living dead man, who will have a new birth and transformation.The content of the third stage of regeneration (transfiguration, salvation, magical flight) ends with the apotheosis of the power and power of the hero, who acquires extraordinary strength, magical skills, beauty, royalty, marries the princess, becomes a god. The main conquest of the hero in the myth is called Campbell's "freedom to live." "Mighty in his illumination, cold-blooded and free in his actions, rejoicing at the fact that his hand will be moved by Viracochi's favor, the hero becomes a conscious instrument of the great and terrible Law, whether his deeds are the actions of a butcher, jester or king."
However, the adventures of the hero are not exhausted by his apotheosis or death. The individual destiny of the divine hero is closely connected with the destinies of the world, its emergence and renewal. The very birth of the hero, as Campbell points out, occurs in the sacred center of the world (the so-called "navel of the Earth"), sometimes this place becomes, on the contrary, the burial place (the legend that Calvary, the place of the crucifixion of Christ, conceals the skull of Adam) . From this center begins the creation, with the material for it often serves as the flesh of the hero or the body of the giant killed by him, the snake, the chthonic monster. The victory of Indra over the dragon Vrithra, the mortification of the terrible Tiamat by Marduk, the creation of the world of people and gods from the body of giant Ymir, are described in detail in Campbell's book.
Creation of the world as a heroic deed is not a single, but a repeating act. "That which was brought to life in the act of creation," writes V. II. Axes, - has become a condition of existence and is perceived as a blessing. But by the end of each cycle it fell into decay, waning, "erased" and for the continuation of the former existence needed to be restored, renewed, strengthened. The possibilities of the ritual in this respect were determined by the fact that it was, as it were, co-born with the act of creation, reproducing it with its structure and meaning, and re-creating what had arisen in the act of creation. "
The hero, reproducing the actions of the demiurge-creator, was this creator and all the subsequent - the events of the myth and its participants, again and again, repeating the cosmogonic act, they are its various variations - "allobsity" and allogames & quot ;. This is how a hero emerged and marched through the earth in thousands of persons.
A reduced, partially desacralized version of the heroic myth is represented by a fairy tale. In Campbell's book, there are no strict boundaries between myth and fairy tale - in fact, they are just different genres of the same story. Analyzing similarly the fairy tale, V. Ya. Propp singled out similar functions of the fairy-tale hero: absence, prohibition and its violation ("do not go up the carved porch, do not leave the golden tower"), misfortune or shortage (the decrepit king needs juices and living water), expulsion, flight and persecution, tests of courage, fortitude and strength, finding a magical means or magical helper, mysterious forest, grateful beasts, trekking to another kingdom (in the image of an animal, horse, bird, tree or ladder, falling in the abyss), b The snake with the serpent (the serpent is connected with mountains or water, acts like a thief, absorber, snake's kits-every month a young girl took and devoured), crossing a fiery river, conquering a princess, difficult tasks (often in response to matchmaking), magic escape, false hero and recognition of the true, transformation and accession of the hero.
A heroic myth and a fairy tale are phenomena similar in nature. Their ubiquitous distribution, immense popularity, timelessness and universality point to the psychological nature of this phenomenon, which is best explained and understood within the framework of Jungianism. Although in his book Campbell appeals to the works of other authors (mainly Freud and his first students - O. Rank, G. Roheim, V. Shtekkel, Jung's influence seems to be basic and paramount).
The hero's wanderings and exploits reflect the process of individuation - the formation and development of the personality, the achievement of its completeness and integrity of being. This process, according to Jung, is the continuous expansion of consciousness, the strengthening of its functions and capabilities. The center of consciousness of the person (it) is and is the active, active subject, and metaphorically - the hero, the main character of a myth or a fairy tale. This development can be suspended ("thirty years on the stove sidney sat") or, on the contrary, go too fast ("not by days, and by hours"), Individuation in the myth is represented by a series of heroic exploits, the main of which is the victory over monsters (the personification of unconscious contents and complexes) and the acquisition of a magical bride (integration of the feminine principle). In Jungianism, the corresponding archetypes of the personality structure are called shadow and anime. This (the hero) must meet the shadow (serpent, dragon), and by defeating it, connect with the anime (the beautiful beloved , the princess). The result of the process of individuation is the emergence of the self - the original potential integrity of the personality, which, as Jung points out, "despite its given, can not be fully understood. This, by definition, is subject to the self and refers to it as part of the whole. "
The wisdom and grandeur of the hero at the end of difficult trials expresses the idea of the power of the self.
Here you can ask questions: And why? What brings the human desire for self, this endless process of knowing the world and yourself? What does a thousand-faced hero do for his exploits? " One possible answer to these questions is the following: A holistic person, personality-self can overcome the eternal duality of existence. She feels equally well in the daytime world (consciousness) and in the night world (the unconscious). Every person is familiar with the evening a sense of the importance and value of the depths of psychic life, unusual thoughts and feelings and the "morning", sober, slightly bashful and mocking disappointment at what seemed to be such a significant night.
J. Campbell writes about this as follows: "However, from the point of view of a normal waking consciousness, there must always be some embarrassing reason for the discrepancy between the wisdom gained by de profundis and the prudence that is effective in the world of light. Hence the familiar gap between opportunism and benefactor and the resulting degeneration of human existence. Martyrdom for the saints, ordinary people have their own regulations, and they can not be abandoned to the mercy of fate, like field lilies; Peter continues to strip his sword, as in the garden of Gethsemane, to protect the creator and savior of the world. The blessing brought from the transcendental abyss quickly becomes rationalized into nothingness, and the need for another hero is brewing to renew the world. "
The main feat of the hero consists, if not in the perfect ability to explain in the language of the illuminated world the unrevealed speech of the manifestation of darkness, then in the constant readiness again and again to undertake courageously for the solution of this task. This is metaphorically expressed by the final tests of the hero who has already returned from the "journey through the sea of night" (a symbol of wandering in the depths of the unconscious).
The first problem of the returning hero is that after experiencing a vision saving for the soul after the completion of the path, accept as reality all the passing joys and sorrows, all banalities and flagrant obscenities of life. Why return to such a world? Why try to make it plausible or even interesting to get acquainted with the transcendental bliss of men and women engulfed by passions? Just as dreams, filled with meaning at night, may appear empty in the light of day, so a poet and a prophet can be fools in the eyes of sane judges. The easiest way is to entrust the human society to the devil, and most to return to the divine stone abode, close the door and lock it on the bolt. But if any spiritual obstetrician in the meantime has blocked the path of retreat (Simenava), then the task of imagining eternity in time and realizing in time eternity is inevitable. "
Campbell's book "The Thousand-Faced Hero" is very similar to such a siemane, a straw rope that does not allow it to dissolve in the darkness of the unconscious, to be absorbed by the self. CG Jung considered the cases when it is assimilated by the self, a genuine psychic catastrophe. The image of integrity then remains in the unconscious, so that, on the one hand, it shares the archaic nature of the unconscious, and on the other hand it falls into the mentally relativized space-time continuum. " The solar goddess Amaterasu, having retired to the dark grotto, condemns the earth to the cold darkness of death. Its properties (light, warmth, vitality) are vital. Thus, if this for some time falls under the control of the unconscious factor, its adaptation is broken, and the way for all sorts of accidents is opened. "
J. Campbell, striving, as he himself says in the preface, to uncover certain truths disguised for our view by the images of religion and mythology, having brought together many simple examples, used for this the "truth in the garb of symbolism." A hero can be understood not only as a metaphor for this, but also as a symbol of the transcendental function arising in the process of individuation of a unique psychic ability to find the middle region between light and darkness, thought and feeling, consciousness and unconsciousness, the numinous nature of the archetype and the reality of reality.
The mediation function, mediation, mitigation, reconciliation of contradictions is the main means of maintaining mental equilibrium and the stability of the individual. The absence or weakness, the unformedness of the transcendental function dooms a person to a disharmonious, confused existence, aimless wandering in search of a lost paradise of wholeness and beauty. In the East, this is called the Tao - the Middle Way. Sometimes, as shown by Campbell, this way is thinner than hair, but only it leads to salvation. Hence the soteriological (saving or saving) function is the main content of Campbell's book.
Do we listen with the condescending interest of some Congolese sorcerer with burning eyes or read with exquisite delight the subtle translations of the mystical poetry of Lao Tzu; whether we try to understand the complicated argument of Thomas Aquinas or suddenly catch the meaning of the bizarre Eskimo fairy tale - we always meet one and the same, changeable in form, but still surprisingly constant history and, at the same time, the same persistent insistent hint at that , that the unknown, somewhere waiting for us, is much more than ever will be possible to learn and tell ". Mythological symbols are not a product of arbitrariness; they can not be brought to life by the will of the mind, invented and suppressed with impunity. They are a spontaneous product of the psyche, and each of them carries in the bud untouched all the strength of its primary sources.
H. Freud, K. Jung and their followers have irrefutably demonstrated that the logic of the myth, its heroes and deeds are actual to this day.
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