When Joseph Campbell lectured on Dante’s life chart in the Convivio, it was in the context of his own charting of an archetypal life pattern. He developed it from his study of world mythologies. He calls it the hero’s journey.
The hero’s journey begins with a call to adventure, a call to step off the well-traveled path and forge your own singular way. The hero often refuses the call initially due to fear of the unknown, but eventually the hero answers. Else there is no journey, and subsequently no story to tell.
When the hero answers the call and sets out, supernatural assistance is sent, a traveling companion, a paraclete. The journey takes the hero through darkness, a kind of death. This is true all the way back to the first story we have, of Gilgamesh making his way on foreign terrain in total black darkness day after day…
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