One of the critical elements of the Hero’s Journey is the belly of the whale.
This is according to Joseph Campbell, the guy who discovered the hero’s journey.
Many successful books and movies follow this template.
The clearest example is the very first Star Wars.
Because George Lucas specifically hired Joseph Campbell to help him make it.
A deliberate attempt to put the hero’s journey into a movie.
The hero’s journey has five major components.
Three phases with two extra components within these phases.
The first phase is the orphan phase.
The hero, in this case Luke Skywalker, living with this aunt and uncle.
All heroes start out as orphans.
Who Am I?
Because of all the stories told and retold since the dawn of the time, the orphan-hero is the one we most identify with.
Maybe because we all feel left behind.
Maybe because we have no clue what we’re supposed to do.
The next phase is the wandering hero.
When we are FORCED out of our boring but safe comfort zone.
Why do we identify with this transition?
Maybe because it reminds us of being born.
Being FORCED out of the womb and into the chaos.
Or maybe because ancient cave kids were FORCED to get out there and start killing.
Then there is the warrior phase.
When we KNOW there is a fight coming.
When we KNOW what we’ve got to do.
Why do we identify with this?
Maybe this is supposed to be the first time a hunter had a big animal in their sights.
Maybe because this is very common experience.
When you need to face the schoolyard bully.
When you need to stand up for yourself.
When you need to stand up for somebody else.
These are the three phases.
What about the other two elements?
One is the moment (during the warrior phase) when you realize that killing the bad guy is THE most important thing.
More important than life itself.
Our very purpose for living.
Maybe because ancient cave people who had this sudden burst of adrenalin in the face of an angry wooly mammoth did better than those who didn’t.
Maybe because the “go big or go home” instinct is the one thing that drove humans to conquer the Earth.
The final element is the Belly of the Whale.
Named after Jonah, of the old testament.
Who was in the belly of the whale for three days.
Foreshadowing Jesus who was in the tomb for three days.
Kill The Inner Demons
The metaphor is pretty clear.
Unless you dig deep, and battle your inner demons, those outer demons will be insurmountable.
But when you DESTROY your inner demons?
All those outer demons are yours for the taking.
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