The myth of the hero's journey is a symbolic portrayal of the individual's struggle for greater consciousness, psychological wholeness, and spiritual realization. In this book, Keiron Le Grice draws on the ideas and life experiences of C. G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Friedrich Nietzsche to explore the spiritual journey of the modern self, from existential crisis and the mystical "awakening of the self" to the dramatic encounter with the underworld of the psyche and the arduous labor of psychological transformation. In a work of wide-ranging scope and insight, Le Grice analyzes myths, religious texts, and scenes from a number of popular films--Jason and the Argonauts, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and more--to illuminate the archetypal stages and themes of the hero's journey, helping to make the deepest of transformative experiences more readily intelligible to us all.
"It is a great gift when a scholar has the ability to synthesize ideas from several deep thinkers and multiple disciplines, and then write with a clarity and directness that renders those ideas accessible to a wide readership. It is an even greater gift when that author has integrated these ideas with his own personal journey, so that what he writes has the emotional authenticity and existential relevance of life lived, not merely books studied. In The Rebirth of the Hero, Keiron Le Grice has brought those gifts to his readers in a way that many will find of immense value as they pursue the spiritual adventure of our age." --Richard Tarnas, author of The Passion of the Western Mind and Cosmos and Psyche.
"In this much-needed accessible navigation of the hero's journey, Le Grice gathers dynamic sources--C. G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Friedrich Nietzsche--to provide a fresh perspective on the evolution of consciousness and psychospiritual transformation. Exploring the often-avoided subject of death and rebirth experiences from a non-pathological view, he makes an outstanding contribution in offering a freshly-laid path for the individuation process. Most importantly, he invites us to renew the value of myth, which, in turn, transforms the individual, culture, and the heartbeat of the earth." --Kathryn Madden, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, Quadrant: The Journal of the C. G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, and author of Dark Light of the Soul.
The study presents the most comprehensive analysis of the descent to the underworld in Modernism. The work shows that the nekyia was the single most important myth for the Modernists writing between 1895 and 1946. It focuses on ‘necrotypes’, symbolic images typically found in association with descent to the underworld. It also takes an interdisciplinary approach to the subject, with chapters on the nekyia in film, science, psychology, and painting. It pays careful attention to the multicultural sources for the myth – Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian, Celtic, Norse, and Native American. “This is a courageous and broadly-sweeping study of many key literary and artistic figures of a crucial half century of creativity in Europe, England, Ireland and the United States . . . . Smith’s study is not simply a survey, but a study in depth, in descent, and in a kind of scholarship that is remarkably free of the current horizontal jargon of literary theory. . . . The book’s interdisciplinary flavor makes such a study an excellent resource not only I showing the confluence of various disciplines but a model for how interdisciplinary studies can be used to see the larger whole of work rather than the narrow confines of a particular agenda.” – Dennis Patrick Slattery
This study presents a comprehensive analysis of the descent to the underworld in Modernism. The book shows that the nekyia was the single most important myth for the Modernists between 1895 and 1946. It focuses on "necrotypes", symbolic images typically found in association with descent to the underworld. It also takes an interdisciplinary approach to the subject, with chapters on the nekyia in film, science, psychology, and painting. It pays careful attention to the multicultural sources for the myth - Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian, Celtic, Norse, and Native American.
"Richards writes skillfully and soulfully about the most pressing issues of our times, and the deeper crisis out of which they have emerged. Drawing from a vast trove of knowledge about the world's religious, mystical, and philosophical traditions, he extracts the most valuable gems, polishes them with the revolutionary insights of modern science, and forges a radiant, new cosmosophy - a universal wisdom that honors the wisdom of the universe. The beauty of this mythos is that it, like the cosmos, is not static but dynamic, inviting our active participation and imaginative engagement. "This book succeeds in instilling reverence for a living universe and hope for a dying planet. May Cosmosophia blossom and flourish in the hearts of all beings!" -Darrin Drda, author of The Four Global Truths
Whatever our cultural and religious background or personal psychology, a greater intimacy with myth provides a vital link with meaning, the absence of which is so often behind the neuroses of our time. Here the acclaimed author of The Middle Passage explains why a connection with our mythic roots is crucial for us as individuals and as responsible citizens of our age.
Riting Myth, Mythic Writing: Plotting Your Personal Story is a both a theoretical as well as interactive book on the nature of personal myth. Its intention is to offer participants who wish to explore further the terms and structure of their personal myth over 80 writing meditations that are spread throughout 9 chapters in order to guide the readers-writers on a pilgrimage into the deepest layers of their personal myth.
An added feature of the book are writing meditation responses from participants who have been part of the author's writing retreats in both the United States and Europe. Their power and authenticity attests to the strong desire and need of each of us to explore what myth guides us, what terms it does so within and what one can learn to become more conscious of those deep forces in the psyche that seek expression in all we do and are.
Starting with a new preface that describes the dual nightmares of global terror and global warming, The Water of Life addresses meaning and purpose in personal life and the need to return culture to its mythic context. Meade is a masterful storyteller with a genius for metaphorical thinking; he draws on the power of myths, fairy tales, and his own personal story of descent and transformation during the Vietnam War. At once a mythic journey, a study in depth psychology, and a treatise on initiation The Water of Life addresses the roots of conflict, the recurring hunger for war and the issues of reducing the warrior. Throughout the text the water of life functions as the core symbol for both personal and cultural renewal, and redemption in the spiritual wasteland. Using ideas gleaned from many years working with youth and communities at-risk Meade s writing rings with the echoes of truth and sings with an incantational voice that takes you right to the edge of elemental knowledge.
This new edition includes an introduction by Michael Chabon.