Friday, January 6, 2012

The Armchair Hero's Companion

From Enemy, Cripple, Beggar

Were the hero to believe he already knows all there is to know, and if he would insist on standing on the firm ground of principles and conventions, he would seldom bother to respond to the call to adventure.(Joseph Campbell, 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces', p. 49ff.) Our hero would remain at home, seated like Archie Bunker in the confined and drowsy embrace of the armchair-ego. He would stay away from the unknown, unaware of moonlit nights, and intolerant of the shadow-carrying 'Other'. “The usual person is more than content, he is even proud, to remain within the indicated bounds…,” says Campbell.(ibid.) “The hero,” says Jung beautifully, “is the symbolical exponent of the movement of libido.”(The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, CW 8, par. 68.)

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