“I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin…”
These are the Iconic Lines from Neo in the, now classic, The Matrix (1999).
The “Hero’s Journey” tells the Story of how Mr. Thomas A. Anderson becomes Neo.
It is also the story of how young Arya Stark becomes a formidable Fighter, Schemer and Maker of her Own Destiny in a very Uncertain and Difficult World.
Our Folklore and Fiction is filled with a never-ending procession of Heroic Characters who went far Beyond the Average Expectation of what a Life should Be.
In his Seminal Work: “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” Joseph Campbell puts forth the idea that we have been telling the Same Story over and over again for Hundreds of Generations, he calls this the “Monomyth”.
The Simple Layout of it is as follows:
A Hero Ventures Forth from the World of Common Day Knowledge
(so here we find Mr. Anderson working as a Computer Programmer for a Corporation.
Earlier a strange Message on his computer causes him to Follow the White Rabbit to a Club, where he Meets Trinity.
Often the Adventure Begins through the Invitation of Another and sometimes the Hero is tricked into it, like Bilbo Baggins.)
The Adventure takes the Hero into a Region of Supernatural Wonder, which is well Beyond his Every Day Experience.
(meeting Morpheus, the Oracle, Agent Smith… all these characters Push him, Stretch him and Challenge him into a Greater Version of Himself.)
This is the Main Reason for the Adventure, the Growth, Change and Transformation it brings to our Hero.
At this stage of the
(Neo Getting Back Up after being Shot Several Times overcoming the Illusion of Death and Obliterating Agent Smith.)
After the Victory is Won, and this is often seen as the Most Important Part of the Hero’s Journey, she Comes Back from the Adventure with the power to Bestow Boons on her Community.
The Knowledge Gained, the Experience Received brings the Hero a very Special Point of View with Novel Information to Share with the People Back Home, and here in lies the Value of Adventure.
Yes, the Adventure is great in and of itself, it is wonderful to come out the other end having survived. Will Smith puts it very nicely:
This is why we call these individuals Heroes.
Some went on an Adventure and Never Came Back, they did not make it
(like Christopher Mc Candless in “Into the Wild”),
some Chose to Keep what they Learned for Themselves,
others Kept Going onto other Adventures and maybe ended up Giving their Knowledge to a Different Community.
The ones we call Heroes are the ones who Came Back, to Enlighten us, to Educate us, to Show us a New and Better Way.
You see, not much is
Had Mr. Anderson not followed the White Rabbit there would be no Neo, the Story would Not Exist.
He had to Say Yes to the Invitation.
Invitations don't come around often, but they come Often Enough, you need to be Aware and Awake enough to Spot them.
This Is Your Invitation!
Maybe, like Mr. Anderson, you are sitting in a Job you've been sitting in for Far Too Long!
You've known for awhile now, it's Time to Change.