The Reluctant Suitor--the Heroine's Journey

Who was Joseph Campbell? What is a myth? What does "Follow Your Bliss" mean? If you are new to the work of Joseph Campbell, this forum is a good place to start.

Moderators: Clemsy, Martin_Weyers, Cindy B.

Locked
Scarlett
Associate
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:00 am

Post by Scarlett » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

I was just wondering...

the hero that is reluctant or unwilling ... what happens to her/him if they refuse their "calling."

I will check my chapter in Hero With A 1000 faces for what Campbell has to say.

However, I am curious...has anyone experienced this before?

Is it on a conscious or unconscious level of thinking?

I would think that it is both.

I remember in my Chatholic High School religion class (my junior year)... a Brother of the faith who was our teacher, became very angry at a student. She could not understand a spiritual concept he was trying to explain.

Although I don't remember the idea he was trying to express... I remember thinking she is just not ready to understand.

Anger seemed pointless.

If we feel ourselves becoming reluctant...how do we access our guides?

I think our dreams, and reading myths is one way...are there any other methods ?

Any thoughts?

Scarlett
For all men live by truth and stand in need of expression. In love, in art, in avarice, in politics, in labor, in games, we study to utter our painful secret. The man is only half himself, the other half is his expression. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
SkiaOura
Associate
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden.

Post by SkiaOura » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Scarlett,

I would say: If you´re not ready, let it be.
To me, spiritual growth has much in common with psysical and mental growth. From my own experience with body-work and psychology, when there is a resistance, it is there as a protective measure. The body and mind think that the resistance is necessary for survival, or necessary for something else, and experiences trauma if the wall it has put up suddenly is broken down.
Rather, I think one can walk around the obstacle, ponder it, accept that it is there. And leave the rest to... oneself, I guess. :wink:

What do you think?

Julia.
Scarlett
Associate
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:00 am

Post by Scarlett » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Tree Hugger,

I will certainly miss your presence in this thread. Your posts always spark good conversations. However, I realize that it may be uncomfortable for you to remain in a place where people try to reopen wounds.

I appreciate your efforts to begin this thread with a fresh start (without dwelling on the past). I enjoyed your attempt to refocus the discussion on Judith's original ideas -- I do hope you will reconsider participating... but if not... I will surely talk to you elsewhere :smile:


Ski,

That is an interesting way to look at spiritual growth. I just wonder what the effects are if we forever remain reluctant to look past the wall -- to see what's on the other side.

Currently I am reading a small book written by Carl Jung. CG Jung's Four Archetypes: Mother/Rebirth/Spirit/Trickster

On the chapters about rebirth Jung talks about the enlargement of personality...something in his words reminded me of our recent discussions on this thread about reaching a higher level of consciousness.
The personality is seldom, in the beginning, what it will be later on....

Therefore if some great idea takes hold of us from outside, we must understand that it takes hold of us only because something in us responds to it and goes out to meet it. Richness of mind consists in mental receptivity, not from accumulation of possessions. What comes to us from outside, and, for that matter, everything that rises up from within, can only be made our own if we are capable of inner amplitude equal to that of the incoming content...

It has therefore been said quite truly that a man grows with the greatness of his task. But he must have within himself the capacity to grow; otherwise even the most difficult task is of no benefit to him. More likely he will be shattered by it.


I wonder, Judith, if your friend had this dream because he has the "capacity to grow" in whatever life transition he is experiencing at the moment.

It's a good thing that our Maiden in the Iroquis myth was ready to grow. I would like to know what happens next as well.

Also...do you think we have any control over this "capacity to grow" ... the ability to recogize and seek the help we receive from guides along the way? (whether they are from the conscious or unconsciousness level)

Ski,

getting back to what you said... perhaps we do have a choice whether or not to embrace these changes and take a peek behind the wall or to remain hesitant.

Jung gave a good example of this concept by describing St. Paul's spiritual confrontation with Christ...


Scarlett


For all men live by truth and stand in need of expression. In love, in art, in avarice, in politics, in labor, in games, we study to utter our painful secret. The man is only half himself, the other half is his expression. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
SkiaOura
Associate
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden.

Post by SkiaOura » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am


Scarlett,

This is such an interesting topic.
I am thinking that there is a limited amount of conscious control of mental barriers available to most people. I do not feel that pushing against the wall until it breaks is wise, because that is, really, raping oneself. I feel.
I think that the important question is "why is the wall here? Why am I not ready for this insight?" by working with the material around the wall, and with the associations that come up, maybe I can get rid of the need for the wall.

I can give one example, that happened recently: I visit a therapist that does rosen-therapy. It involves touching the body in ways that releases the tensions and traumas that have become stuck. Recently, I felt that most outer "debris" had been cleared away, and what was left was this solid mass of tension that I could not let myself connect with. After a few weeks, I mentioned this to the therapist, and we had a long conversation about what I can expect from her and myself, and things like safety and comfort. That conversation relieved much stress that I was feeling about the possibility of a large breakthrough, and though the "wall" between me and the tension still remains, I can feel that it is softening and becoming more flexible.

In general, I think that it is important to love oneself and trust oneself. It is essential to trust that there is a reciprocal love and trust coming from the non-conscious parts of oneself. When that is considered, the important thing becomes to act in harmony with all parts of oneself, whether that means to break the wall, to climb it, or to stay put and have a cup of tea. :smile:

I guess there are no rules.

As for the reluctant suitor: Maybe it was wrong for the girl to accept anyone other than the man she accepted. Maybe at that time, she needed the experience that she received. Ïsn´t the refusal a source of insight as well?

Skia.
judithfeldman
Associate
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2002 5:00 am

Post by judithfeldman » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

scarlett....it's hard to say with any certainty what another's journey is about, and i don't feel comfortable talking about his, but i can only say i met him after my own awakening, which came out of nowhere. an experience that resembles i am told, that of Saul on the road to Damascus (so i'm curious about your reference to Jesus and St.Paul.. if you would share more, it would be most appreciated). Anyway, back to my awakening, it came in the form of joy, a joy that i had never experienced before.. at a moment when i was fiercely angry. it reoccured every day over a period of a week. shortly after that i met him... i look back now and realize i was unprepared for this elevated level of consciousness i found myself in and unbeknownst to me had invited in the magician, the handsome stranger...my trickster... intended to take me off my path, which i was only beginning to find my way on. he's been in my life for over two years and have tried to leave him many times.. i feel like the girl who was running and the snake said you can run but you'll never get away. but i've gotten a glimpse of my journey .... it is magnificent and i am deeply humbled by it...and i must consciously resist him, take myself away and go back on the path, doing the work, particularly in meditation, so i can achieve it.... surrendering to something greater. and laughing about it ... thanks for the jungian resource....
Scarlett
Associate
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:00 am

Post by Scarlett » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Skia and Judith,

Thank you for sharing your personal stories. I think the things we talk about become much more relevant when we can relate these ideas to our own lives.

Skia,

The type of therapy you mentioned seemed very interesting.

You wrote something that I thought was very beautiful:
In general, I think that it is important to love oneself and trust oneself. It is essential to trust that there is a reciprocal love and trust coming from the non-conscious parts of oneself. When that is considered, the important thing becomes to act in harmony with all parts of oneself, whether that means to break the wall, to climb it, or to stay put and have a cup of tea.


I have a tendency to over analyze myself. Until you wrote the above statement I never stopped to think about how I view my inner SELF. Usually, I think of all of the things I repress and the growing I need to do. So in my conscious mind...my inner SELF is frowning apon my outer personality. However, like you said, harmony is what we are seeking. You described it very well!

Judith,

How brave you are to recognize and ackowledge the role your beloved plays in your life! Like Skia touched apon in an earlier post, as reluctant as you may be to leave, this experience may be bringing you more opportunities to grow as a person.

You asked for more information about St. Paul's experience. I will provide another quote from Carl Jung (the same book I quoted from earlier)
True though it may be that this Christ of St Paul's would hardly have been possible without the historical Jesus, the apparition of Christ came to St. Paul not from the historical Jesus but from the depth of his own unconscious.
When a summit of life is reached, when the bud unfolds and from the lesser the greater emerges, then as Nietzsche says, "One becomes Two," and the greater figure, which one always was but which remained invisible, appears to the lesser personality with the force of a revelation....


Skia, after rereading this it makes me think about those walls again!

If we are reluctant or blind to the Greater part of our being, it may grab hold of us and reveal its splendor. Is that what you experienced Judith? However, like you said, even if you have an awakening...their are still trials a herione/hero must face.

I have a story to share about being very reluctant to become a mother when I discovered I was pregnant four years ago. However, I feel this post is becoming too long and I feel very tired. I will post soon.

Take Care Everyone :smile:

Scarlett

_________________


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Scarlett on 2003-11-05 22:02 ]</font>
User avatar
Vissi
Associate
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 3:16 pm
Location: Symbol City, Deep In the Heart of the Sonoran Desert
Contact:

Post by Vissi » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Hello all,

The tale of The Refusal of Suitors, Joseph Campbell relates in the Hero's Adventure segment of the Power of Myth videos has interested me for some time. Having read the other version of the story posted here, I would be interested in learning if there are significant differences between this version and the one given in PofM.

My interest in this theme turns on two points: 1) the intention of the hero in refusing her suitors; 2) her eligibility for the adventure. Joseph Campbell describes the hero as "very proud". Does this intimate she refuses her suitors due to egotism? If so, is her ego-driven intention the causal factor that leads her to be caught in the negative powers of the adventure?

As with all myths, the symbols of this story can be read in infinite ways. I've wondered if the hero's intentions, rather than ego-driven, could be spirit-driven.

Perhaps knowing herself to be incomplete in spirit, she intentionally chooses to refuse the men of her village in favor of a spiritual adventure that will lead to her inevitable wholeness.

In accepting the magician as her partner, she chooses a person whose heart is not in his body, someone incapable of spiritual rebirth but at the same time, someone who shape shifts with serpent power, a power associated with rebirth.

In my reading of the symbols, it seems the hero intentionally takes herself out of the realm of local concerns to seek her own spiritual rebirth. Though she may not be eligible for the adventure on the level she has chosen, when Joseph Campbell's telling of the tale ends, she is being pulled from the waters of the abyss by the higher powers of the adventure. This suggests to me that through the trials of the adventure, she has successfully navigated the realm of higher danger, the waters of the abyss, and been reborn on the other shore. Later in the discussion with Bill Moyers, Joseph Campbell states that one has the option of saying yes or no to the serpent and by doing so, one says yes or no to life.

I would be interested in your thoughts on this interpretation. Please feel free to tell me if you believe I'm misreading the symbols or simply projecting a meaning the myth doesn't support

This thread has provided many insights for me. I'm grateful for the resurrection of this particular discussion.

Vissi



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Vissi on 2003-11-06 12:30 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Vissi on 2003-11-24 19:55 ]</font>
Scarlett
Associate
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:00 am

scarlett

Post by Scarlett » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

scarlett
Last edited by Scarlett on Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Vissi
Associate
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 3:16 pm
Location: Symbol City, Deep In the Heart of the Sonoran Desert
Contact:

Post by Vissi » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Scarlett,

Thank you for the kind welcome and your thoughtful response. What a wonderful metaphor for the process of parenthood and parenting. Thank you for sharing it.

Vissi


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Vissi on 2003-11-22 10:09 ]</font>
Scarlett
Associate
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:00 am

Post by Scarlett » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Scarlett on 2006-01-22 20:39 ]</font>
User avatar
Vissi
Associate
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 3:16 pm
Location: Symbol City, Deep In the Heart of the Sonoran Desert
Contact:

Post by Vissi » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Scarlett,

Thank you for posting this superbly beautiful encapsulation of the cycles of life. What a gift to read!

Vissi
Merrikate
Associate
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2002 12:20 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Post by Merrikate » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Smacked by synchronicity again! Thanks so much, all, for this thread and most especially for the The Pomegranate poem it led to, so recently, via Scarlett.

As a newbie to the forums here, and a former teacher of myth, I hopped into this Heroine's Journey stream for fun. Found lots of that in its abundance of provocative insight...and then WHAM! there is the poem before my eyes at exactly the right time! (Am now eager to find out more work by the poet.)

In a nutshell, recently reached a new turn in the road with retirement. And at the moment, both my daughters (28 and 38) --products of a transformative 'demon marriage' I'd never give back to destiny!-- are in the throes of transition, in the dark. Feels as if my role is to witness only, with (sometimes) Yeatsian "tragic joy" at their anguished growth. The younger is feeling 'too' independent and the elder 'too' dependent vis-a-vis mother energy at present...projection of their own inner mother-spirits, I guess?

Yikes--rambling here! Today, thanks to discovering this forum, I'm a bit more awake to my own centre and to my own casting about for new direction, for new paths to access my Bliss. My two girls, now women, need to be let be, and so do I. As the poet Eavan Boland words it so finely: "She will wake up. She will hold/the papery flushed skin in her hand./And to her lips. I will say nothing."

Of course, the poet DID say, indirectly, through these lines.

Even though the temptation is steaming to send both daughters the poem NOW, as both know my bond with the Demeter/Persephone myth, NOW is palpably not the wise time.

Hmmm...even/especially 'exile' can be healing?

So glad to have found you!





&quot;Reality,&quot; said Joyce Cary, &quot;is a narrow little house <br>which becomes a prison for those who can't get out.&quot;
User avatar
Clemsy
Working Associate
Posts: 10645
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:00 am
Location: The forest... somewhere north of Albany
Contact:

Post by Clemsy » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Merrikate,

A warm welcome to the JCF Forums! Kick your shoes off and stay a while. Is there any such thing as a 'former' teacher of myth? I hope not! Please feel free to look around and jump in where ever you are moved to do so.

Peace,
Michael
JCF Forum Moderator
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
User avatar
Vissi
Associate
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 3:16 pm
Location: Symbol City, Deep In the Heart of the Sonoran Desert
Contact:

Post by Vissi » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Merrikate wrote:
Feels as if my role is to witness only, with (sometimes) Yeatsian "tragic joy" at their anguished growth.
Merrikate,
Your above comment wisely and beautifully distills what I consider the most difficult work in being a parent of an adult, witnessing the throes of my child emerging from unconsciousness to more consciousness. I hope you will enjoy participating in the community expressed here.

Vissi
Scarlett
Associate
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:00 am

Post by Scarlett » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Merrikate,

I'm glad that you have joined in the conversation. I'm always looking for personal insight into the herione's journey...especially from a fellow teacher...being one myself.

I am a young mother, yet the poem caught my attention for a slightly different reason. One, because I had a dream of this quality as a young girl. Also, the poem caught my attention because of the role I take as an older sister. I certainly feel like Ceres at times when I watch my younger sisters (especially, the youngest, who is 9 years younger than me). However, the sister-sister relationship is certainly very different from a mother-daughter perspective.

Yet I find myself watching her enter into her journey...and at times, I want to intervene.

I enjoyed these lines of the poem which I think can be appplied in many situations and in many relationships
If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.


Off track a bit, I would like to say that,
pairs in mythologies/stories always intrique me whether they are mother-daughter relationships, lovers, or brother and sister (or both!)...such as Ceres and Persphone, Psyche and Eros, Isis and Osiris, Frolo and Sam (Lord of the Rings) even Spiderman and MaryJane!...very powerful characters... The interactions can be positive and negative yet very powerful.


Many of these relationships are very strong unions. Yet in a relationship we may have the opportunity to play out different roles. It's funny how in our everyday lives the roles we take change as we continue along our journey!


_________________


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Scarlett on 2004-07-13 21:02 ]</font>
Locked