The Hero’s Journey

I took the kids out to see a movie this afternoon : The Seeker – The Dark Is Rising , which was built on the often reproduced artistic archetype of “The hero’s Journey”, which has been popularized by recent Hollywood blockbusters (such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy).

Preview of The Seeker:

Although The Seeker, as a whole, was not especially well put together, and unimaginatively ‘borrowed’ images and themes from a few other successful movies (such as the Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter) , I did enjoy participating the essence of the many classic elements of this type of journey:

  • a child-figure is called to adventure (This movie’s hero has just turned 14)
  • Passage through many stages and challenges, including
    • Confusion and denial
    • Resistance and hesitation
    • Leaving behind the family and the familiar
    • Fear
    • Temptation / betrayal
    • Discovery of inner strength and self-knowledge
    • Ultimate overcoming of danger
    • Return home transformed

I always enjoy experiencing this sort of adventure on the big screen, as it re-connects me with the essence of what the inner journey of Heilkunst Medicine is like for myself and my patients. No matter what symptom a patient wants to address, its true resolution ultimately parallels the Hero’s Journey played out on the set of the interior world. When a film like this is done well (which this wasn’t!), I leave the theatre with a re-invigorated sense of my own purpose, and feeling that I am uniquely qualified to fulfill it.

What are some of your favourite big screen Hero stories?

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