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‘The Way of the Hero’ per Joseph Campbell

One of my gifts or flaws depending on how you view it, is that I’m always searching for a logical context/framework to better understanding all aspects of LIFE in general; and how we humans interpret/make-sense-of all the ‘beings’ and ‘doings’ of this world that we experience in our somewhat unique way—or as ‘unique’ as 7.9 billion people co-existing at the same time can possibly be.

Alberto’s prior attempt at defining ‘The Four Insights’ of the Andean Laika (Earthkeepers) for outlining his approach to teaching their philosophy, resonated a bit within me, but it also hit some discord  with the older Joseph Campbell’s books on the world’s ‘mythic hero stories’. So I reviewed some of Campbell’s writing to clear my thoughts.

Once considered to be the popular ‘godfather of modern comparative religions and documented mythology research,’ Campbell wrote many books on all aspects of the COLLECTIVE MYTHS subject matter, one of which was his best known:  The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell)  by Joseph Campbell .  Here are a few quotes from :

“Joseph Campbell (1904–1987) was an American author and teacher best known for his work in the field of comparative mythology….”

“…As a strong believer in the psychic unity of mankind and its poetic expression through mythology, Campbell made use of the concept to express the idea that the whole of the human race can be seen as engaged in the effort of making the world ‘transparent to transcendence’ by showing that underneath the world of phenomena lies an eternal source which is constantly pouring its energies into this world of time, suffering, and ultimately death. To achieve this task one needs to speak about things that existed before and beyond words, a seemingly impossible task, the solution to which lies in the metaphors found in myths. These metaphors are statements that point beyond themselves into the transcendent. The Hero’s Journey was the story of the man or woman who, through great suffering, reached an experience of the eternal source and returned with gifts powerful enough to set their society free….”

… “In the 2000 documentary Joseph Campbell: A Hero’s Journey, he explains God in terms of a metaphor: ‘God is a metaphor for a mystery that absolutely transcends all human categories of thought, even the categories of being and non-being’.…” [47]


The HERO or HEROINE of each ‘collective myth story,’ by enduring nearly-unbearable experiences during their life journey found inner strength enough to transcend the personal pain and hardships to discover LIFE’s truest meaning—the transcendent experience—then returned back to the rest of us to both describe it and establish ‘the path’ for us to follow so that we may do the same.

That is the basic criteria for most of the world religions ‘Hero-myth’ stories, like for Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Moses, and many others… “If you follow the path of ____________ (insert a name), you will eventually reach God/Allah, or enlightenment, or salvation, or the ‘promised land’.”  

In other words, if you modify your current abhorrent behavior in this particular way and believe these particular things that are defined for you to believe or do, then you will eventually reap the full rewards for your efforts, because it has already been done in the past!  Simple as that; because these ‘HERO/HEROINE models of appropriate belief and behavior’ have already done it, and have established a path for you. “Just believe what we tell you to believe and do, and YOU can do the same!”

That is/was the function of ‘collective religion’ since most of humanity moved out of the ‘animism phase,’ long before the Egyptians and Sumerians.  But with Alberto and the Laika that he follows, they have not left ‘animism’ behind, in fact they have clarified and elevated it to be less about the individual—the HERO—and more about transcendence in general.  Having never lost touch with the Spirit and energies of the Land itself, one doesn’t need to ‘follow’ someone to reach transcendence—just allow yourself to be more fully a part of the environment in which you operate, and that total immersion with the land and the Spirit IS the Transcendence experience.

Religions and Myth Stories in general had their practical functions in fast-growing early societies as behavior modifiers and large-group controllers. They were useful to gaining collective agreement on group goals and common basic-survival focus, besides establishing a standard of human behavior that allowed larger tribes of people to live in closer proximity with each other without vying for resources or partnership.

Sometimes in an attempt to clarify and simplify complex subject matter, we may lose the point of it entirely. But again, that’s just my opinion.


Published by Rebecca A. Holdorf

Rebecca A. Holdorf, has a Masters in English, and is a certified hypnotist specializing in Past-Life Exploration and Spirit World Exploration. She is also a Usui and Karuna REIKI Master Teacher presently located near Davenport, Iowa. Author of five books, she also conducts workshops and training in Self-empowerment, True-self Actualization and REIKI. Her company is Foundations of Light, LLC, web address is . Contact her at .

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