Amanda F. Rooke
Heroism is for everybody - like this little “Ewok”, we’re all fighting the battle on the ground with the limited means to hand, using the wits and courage inherent in our hearts - the hero’s ultimate task, I think, is to find the inner eternal well-spring of common human/divine experience and then teach the hero path to rest of humanity. The Pocket Oxford Dictionary defines a hero as a “demigod, man of super human qualities; man admired for great deeds and noble qualities, chief man in poem, play or story; one who has fought for his country.” Situations even in daily life can call forth and thereby hone, these qualities in ourselves.
Everyday heroes come in many forms, like the firemen who put out the bushfires, & the C.W.A. women giving food and drink. Every parent, I think, is a hero! Cleaners, are garbagemen, so is the Woman of today who juggles a high-powered career with parenthood and a wonderful marriage. My personal hero is grandpa Mitchell who left school at age 12 to help rear his 7 siblings whom he was rearing single-handed at age 19, and then went to war, retrieving the dead and dying from the battlefield under enemy fire. After that he raised his own family. Any care-givers, but especially school-children, are heroes. Some of us only need reminding that we are heroes, like the old footballer who dusted off his Club jacket, had it mended, was praised for his former deeds, and then bought a huge picture of a black stallion for his tiny room in the old peoples home, and bought a rubber spider to scare off the nurse so she wouldn’t object!
Then there are cosmic heroes like Noah, who saved animate life from extinction, Christ and Buddha, the saints and holy men.
One day a soldier was the road to join his unit when he came to a city terrorised by a monster which the locals fed, first their sheep, and then with their children. The beast’s pestilential breath poisoned all who breathed it. One day it was the turn for the king’s daughter to be eaten, despite her father’s protestations. The soldier struggled valiantly with the beast in the name of his god, leading the beast home like a tame dog on a leash made of the virgin’s belt. Later he beheaded the monster. This act enabled him to convert thousands of locals, and earned the king’s ransom, which he gave to the poor. He worked to prevent persecution of Christians, and was nearly martyred in many gruesome ways; later he destroyed the pagan temple in Palestine. This hero was later called St. George of Cappadoccia. The local St. George’s church Sunday school class once made a mural of their saint; his armour made of Easter-egg wrappers & the dragon, from Victoria Bitter labels! The demon drink! Yet he was just doing what he had to do at the time, in all good conscience.
There are many similar and earlier dragon-slayer tales, such as Apollo (& Python), Bellerphon (& Chimera), and Perseus (& the Cracken). 1 Western Dragons, I think, symbolised our lower passions and George, our higher self and/or intellect (the buddhi-manas.) According to Joseph Campbell, dragon defeaters are asserters over the worship of the Earth-mother (the sword-wielding male over the female mother-principle), as symbolised by Medusa (the woman with snaky hair), having powers of both life and death.2 Perseus - was given the impossible task of obtaining the Medusa’s head by the king who wanted to persue Perseus’s mother - the head turned the viewer to stone. With the aid of winged sandals, a cap of invisibility and a wallet in which to carry the captured head, Perseus reached the outer rim of day to where it joins the darkness where the planets and stars disappear for rebirth, where he met the 3 Graeae, hags with a single eye and tooth which they constantly passed between them. Perseus snatched the eye ‘til they told him the way to the Gorgon’s cave which they were guarding. Using his shield to see their reflection only, he beheaded the Medusa and took it back to the tyrant-king, whereupon he and all his court turned to stone. He later turned the Cracken into stone, too, and saved the maiden, Andromacae.
Prometheus ascended to the heavens, stole the fire from the gods, and descended. Jason sailed through the Clashing Rocks into a sea of marvels, circumvented by the dragon that guarded the Golden Fleece, and returned with the fleece and the power to wrest his rightful throne from a usurper. Aneas went down into the underworld, crossed the dreadful river of the dead, threw a sop to the three-headed watchdog Cerberus, and was revealed, in conversation with his father’s ghost the destiny of souls, and the destiny of Rome, the city he was about to found”, and how to avoid or endure every burden.” He returned through the ivory gate to his work in the world.” 3
The quintessential Western hero, according to Joseph Campbell, is an individual who stands against the foe, a doer of derring-do and ultimately a tragic figure who must confront his own temporality - the Eastern hero is the opposite, an idea, “an absolutely impersonal law suffusing and harmonising all things”. These 2 are like the seeker and the sought, polar opposites but also two ends of the one pole.
Again, according to Campbell, the basic pattern of the hero’s life, East Middle East or West, goes like this: 1) (a) Virgin birth - father unknown or deceased, 2) Father is the Mountain-God. 3) exposure on the waters, 4) rescue and fostering by simple folk or animals, 5) hero as fructifier of the goddess (garden), 6) beloved of Ishtar, (b) 1: Noble or divine higher birth, 2) Infant exile or exposure, 3) adoption by a family in which lower than himself (i.e. than that of his parents) 4) ultimate prospect of return to “true” estate in which those who had humbled him & caused his exile, are humbled, and there is a general sense of great achievement all around 4
We recognise this pattern in the stories of Moses, Christ, Perseus and Danae who were cast a-sea in a sea-chest and cared for by a fisherman, or even Harry Potter (In Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone), modern kids’ hero. Harry’s parents were killed by an evil wizard, but the good wizards left him to be raised in obscurity, living in a cupboard under the stairs, in the home of materialistic relatives and, knowing nothing of his parents’ prowess. Then he is taken to Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, were he overcome his parents’ killer, to reaffirm the hero-status already given to him by all and sundry among the wizard-folk. He held steadfastly to the path of good, never seduced by the dark side. He and his friend Ron saved Hermione, from a Mountain Troll roaming the school, using their Year 7’s style of magic. Finally Harry cornered Valdemort and stopped him obtaining the Philosopher’s Stone which bestows eternal life, thereby bestowing eternal evil on the wizard-folk, Harry, Hermione and Ron, the trio, (like Luke, Leah, and Chewbacca from Star Wars, work together using their individual skills of intellect/higher self, strategian/ raw courage and innate goodness. (Like in “Return of the Jedi” where there was a 3-way battle, on the levels of the heavens, the sky (Jedi and rebel fighter pilots), and the ground - the Ewoks, “teddies” with attitude who fought with rocks and logs, ambush and pure selfless courage, bewailing their fallen and then returning to the fray.) Back to Harry!
Valdemort could not kill Harry who was protected by his mother’s love, a thing the bad wizard couldn’t understand. In the end Harry finds out he was “enabled” to take up and win this quest, by the headmaster Prof. Dumbledore: “I reckon he had a pretty good idea we were going to try, and instead of stopping us he just taught us enough to help”. 5 Teachers, the best of them, do this, and they’re the ultimate heroes, they see a person’s potential and think the person is ultimately, infinitely improvable - that they have what it takes within them and it only needs to be drawn out, and it is their professional privilege and calling to bring these potentials into reality. I think that’s what our brotherly spiritual guides do for us, watching over us in our daily lives, observing and perhaps observing and perhaps advising on the choices we make in the actions we take.
St. George’s story shows that any passer-by can save the day, albeit having the proper skills and knowledge to help: the right person at the right time. Life provides many of these opportunities to the everyday person. Love lifts us up where we belong, courage give us wings, we are all heroes sometime. Often we also have feet of clay. Sportsmen rise to fame by their remarkable agility, strength, tactical ability and knowledge of the game, but people expect them to be pillars of moral rectitude at the same time, but are often disappointed in this vein. We expect them to be perfect - why? Buried deep in the human psyche seems to be a model of the hero per se. It might be “a knight from some old-fashioned book”, Odysseus/ Ulysses, Anaeus, Theseus, Perseus, or many others. It may be the Kabirim, or those they inspired, Aesclepius, Hermes, Orpheus, Cadmus, etc.6
For every hero is an adversary, a “baddy”, a monster to slay, and a crisis situation as the scene for the drama. Some say we could tame the dragon rather than kill it; if you tell a person they’re good they’ll be good. Heroic acts occur when the doer, who can be anyone, forgets the dangers and acts selflessly. Once a 6 year old Rockhampton girl pulled her pet kitten from the jaws of a boa-constrictor which had slid onto the back porch of the family home. If we forget the dangers, and forget Self, we can be St. George and not the dragon.
Some say a hero is one whose parent is a god. The Webster’s Dictionary: “In Classical mythology, a kind of demigod, sprung from the union of a divine with a human being, regarded as mortal but partaking of immortality and after death, placed among the gods.”) Odysseus’s son resolved to seek his father when inspired to do so by his patron goddess Athena (both war and intellect), who came in the guise of a grizzled old warrior friend. (Odysseus himself was held at the will of the sea god his enemy, from coming home from the Trojan wars, and underwent many marvellous adventures during his journey.) HPB in the SD explains how this divine linkage occurred. She says that heroes are the human “doubles” of the rishis, who are adepts, inspired ones. In Vedic literature it is the rishis through whom the various Mantras were revealed & written down. 7 Mantras act as “prayer tools”, whose utterance links the speaker with the “ineffable cause”, whilst ever reinforcing the one, the army of the voice or the host of the Logos. In a kind of binary numbers process the Logos is harmonised with the One Eternal Principal to give the 10, which is the eternal mother from which the universe proceeded. The one is the spirit or life, the Zero the ever procreating mother”. 8
The rishis are the “right hand men” of the Dhyan Chohans or planetary regents; the rishis are the creators who become the Prajapata or Lords of Beings, then who RE-become the 7 or 14 Manus (Adams), as representatives of the 7 or 14 cycles of existence (Days of Brahma). At the end of the 1st Aeon or stage of evolution they are transformed into the 7 stellar Rishis, while their human doubles appear as heroes, kings, and sages on earth; they have a hierarchy of 7 as did the Egyptian gods: 3 groups of divine, the cosmical sub-lunary, then the cosmical solar gods of our system, the planetary and the Sub-Mundane, and the purely human, the heroes and the Manoushi Buddhas or human buddhas.9 Every nation refashioned and adapted a Pantheon (common once to all) of universal, into national, tribal, gods and heroes, of every nation. 10
The heroes, Patriarchs and Manes, up to King Menes (1st king of Egypt) ruled earth after the 3rd root race, before which in the preceding yugas the “Watchers” reigned in all ages during and after the 1st, Golden age. 11 Egyptian dynasties of divine kings were followed by dynasties of heroes or giants which are told of internationally. These divine kings taught Mankind their arts and sciences, and their teachers, Dhyan Chohans, “revealed the great spiritual truths of the transcendent worlds” to these Monads. These monads had just shaken off their animal bodies, the vehicles of the lower kingdoms, and had thereby lost all memory of their divine origin. Before, in the golden age man was innocent and naturally good, lived in harmony and side by side with the gods, needing little evolutionary effort to reach at-onement with them. As said above, these divine Kings “are” the Watchers, they are their embodiments. The kings will rise to higher spheres of existence and their place will be taken by the Elect, Pioneers, the cream which will rise to the surface in this Manvantara. They in turn will become the instructors and guides of the humanity of the day and releasing them from the bonds of the animal kingdoms, and at the very same time as they’re animating the hearts and intellects of entities in the vegetal kingdom. All Life is an outbreathings of the one life, and evolves through the progressing 7 spheres, each microcosm of it’s higher macrocosm, through countless lives, and every plane of existence and back again, reaching through its own merits and efforts that plane where it re-becomes the one unconditional ALL”. The pilgrim, beginning pure and immaculate, sinks into the valley of matter and half way through the cycle identifies himself with collective humanity which he’s made in his own image, and then to return to God himself at the Golgotha of Life which is the martyrdom of self-conscious existence; he sacrifices himself to himself in order to redeem all creatures, to resurrect from the Many into the one Life. Then he ascends to the bliss of Paranirvana, to redescend at the Christ of the second coming, or the Kalki Avatar.
Heroes are numbered in 7’s in the Deluge story, from the 7 Rishis who saved the Vaivasvata (Noah) Manu to Noah’s ark into which all the creatures were taken in 7’s. 12 The chief gods and heroes of the 4th and 5th Races, as of later antiquity, are the deified images of these men of the 3rd”, initially pure but falling into materiality, though their former glory held in the hearts of their descendants, explaining these gods’ dual nature.13 This was the race first endowed with the God-spark of the manusaputras who were the spiritual and psychic parents of man, our physical bodies having been made by the lower Pitar Devata. At it’s peak, this race were “towering giants of godly strength and beauty, and the depositories of all the mysteries of Heaven and Earth.”14 Their learning came to them more easily than it does to men of today, it was innate, not needing to be fixed in the memory, and which knowledge “his informing Principle knew at the moment of its incarnation”. “They commanded the elements, knew the secrets of heaven and earth...the sea...and read the futurity of the stars...not men as we are now but spirits of the Elements sprung from the bosom of nature and having full sway over her”, according to Creuzer, quoted by HPB. But with time the spiritual and divine spark was extinguished in them and they fell into their animal natures, breeding “monsters, their knowledge and mastery of nature turned into magic and sorcery.15 They are the giants of many mythologies, in which they are usually the anti-heroes. But the heroes of this race are from the time before the Fall, with their upper triad, given to them by the Manasiputras, intact. It is this aspect which is used by all manner of heroes of the later times.
However, these giants of 4th Race worshipped the human body but descended into phallicism and sexual worship. 16 Then occurred an ousting of the old ways, female Earth dragon worship, for new male Hero, victory of the new gods over the old Titans, the expulsion of the dragon (the old nature worship) through a hole (down to the nether world) behind the church altar - the new place of worship being cleansed of the stain of what was worshipped there before. 17 This links to Campbell’s “theorem of the death of the “father” - (Titans preceding the gods) by the son (the gods), and dragon symbology. In the old druidic and Egyptian temples, the dragon is connected with sun-worship and symbolises wisdom, immortality, and rebirth - a symbolism retained in the far east. 18 The Celtic cross (show it), was St. Patrick’s symbol of the Cross of Christ supervening the orb of the Druidic sun-worshippers. But seen esoterically it could be the sun of the inner heart of the universe shining through the crossing of the vertical (matter) and the horizontal (spiritual) bars of the cross, symbol of life as we know it on our plane of existence. Those from on high, first the sishtas, then the manasuputras, and finally the Buddha & his enlightenment, led us back out of this abyss after passing through this interface and back again.
Campbell says the world Mother slain in the Norse Edda is seen as an abyss, a dark and obscene, but nevertheless generative force, separated from its masculine half to become the sky mother and the earth father, or vice versa, according to the degree of separation that the culture has reached from its earth mother worshipping roots. This “abyss” the young hero disdains, and slays and butchers it into slices - the original abyss of the Titans, which abyss is destroyed by it’s ungrateful but more evolved child. 19 This abyss is symbolised by the dragon slain by many a hero. This is part of the one breaking into the many, the old god still remaining in its uncomprehending parts who; from its dismembered parts the gods were created 20 - the mirror of the story (Greeks and HPB) of the titans giving way to the gods, and the 4th Race to the uncomprehending child the 5th. The dragon symbolises this “father”, the generation prior to the young hero his son, who, oedipally, or like the young bull challenging the old, challenges and overcomes its parent. “the work of the hero is to slay the tenacious aspect of the father (dragon, tester, ogre king) and release from its ban the vital energies that will feed the universe.” In the pair of opposites of titans and gods, the dragon is the death on whom successive life depends.21 Eventually it is resolved that the father and the son are one and these pairs of opposites dissolve back into the primal chaos. This is the wisdom of the end (and beginning) of the world.” 22
The Age of the Classical Greek heroes coincides with the Biblical Book of Judges (Odysseus and the like) come from a key-point time in history, “after a long period of interplay and adjustment between settled agricultural and intrusive pastoral-warrior peoples (the Hebrew of Palestine and the Dorians of Greece), at the end of the Bronze age. 23
These great men go through the hero-quest outlined in the Ox-Herding stories told by Stephan, once. They seek and find their inner nature and become “masters” - who have “awakened the divine flame within and are more or less constantly expressing it in their daily life”, they have “shaken men’s hearts by the magic of their teaching and the example of their lives and their power to explain life’s mysteries to inquiring minds for truth and light - Buddha and Jesus - who embody the spiritual life and make us realise our preconceptions about our destiny are true. 24 Below them are men or genius like Leonardo da Vinci or Einstein. 25 They are the example of what we are to become.
Joseph Campbell admirably describes this process in his Hero of 1000 Faces, beginning with the tribal initiations into adulthood at puberty where one dies as a child, overcoming the Oedipal attachment to his mother and mystically is parented by his masculine self. Then he goes onto the spiritual dimension of initiation with which we are more familiar in Theosophy, that of Christ and the Buddha, inspirers of the inner god in every man and woman through the Imitation of Christ process that elder brothers are supposed to inspire in us.
Campbell explains that to overcome crises, social or just personal, we must submit to the new circumstances, by rediscovering and rebirthing the eternal part of ourselves, a rebirth which must be constant, in response to changing events. We begin with a retreat to the inner haven of peace, which for Freud and Jung this is the subconscious, the home of the collective unconscious, and of all the golden seeds of unrealised life-potentialities, at the gate of which place the difficulties to be met actually reside. Once we call on these golden moments we have a powerhouse of potentialities for the “vivid renewal of life. He who contacts this becomes “the boon-bringer, the culture her of the day - a personage of not only local but world historical moment.”
The difficulties at the door of pairs of opposites are like the kivas of the Hopi, where the hero descends to the various infernal regions (of himself), like when Luke Star Walker goes into the cave, beheads Darth Vadar, and sees his own face beneath his visor!
They are faced by the hero of Arrow to the Sun, a Pueblo Indian Tale.
1) Long ago the Lord of the Sun sent the spark of life to earth. 2) It travelled down the rays of the sun, through the heavens, and it came to the pueblo. There it entered the house of a young maiden. 3) In this way, the Boy came into the world of men. 4) He lived and grew and played in the pueblo. But the other boys would not let him join their games. “Where is your father?”, they asked. “You have no father!” They mocked him and chased him away. The Boy and his mother were sad. “Mother,” he said one day, “I must look for my father. No matter where he is, I must find him.” So the boy left home. 5) He travelled through the world of men and came to the Corn Planter. “Can you lead me to my father?” he asked. Corn Planter said nothing, but continued to tend his crops. 6) The boy went to Pot Maker. “Can you lead me to my father?” asked the Boy. Pot Maker said nothing, but continued to make her clay pots. 7) Then the Boy went to Arrow Maker, who was a wise man. “Can you lead me to my father?” Arrow Maker did not answer, but, because he was wise, he saw that the Boy had come from the Sun. So he created a special arrow. The Boy became the arrow. 8) Arrow Maker fitted the Boy to his bow and drew it. The Boy flew into the heavens. In this way, the Boy travelled to the sun. 9) (picture of the flight) 10) When the Boy saw the mighty Lord, he cried, “Father, it is I, your son!” “Perhaps you are my son,” the Lord replied, “perhaps you are not. You must prove yourself. You must pass through the four chambers of ceremony - the Kiva of Lions, the Kiva of Serpents, the Kiva of Bees, and the Kiva of Lightning.” 11) The Boy was not afraid. “Father”, he said, “I will endure these trials”. 12 & 13) (lions become like house-cats!) (snakes are tamed) 14) (he makes the crazy bees into honey makers) 15)and turns the lightning into a rainbow) : When the Boy came from the Kiva of Lightning, he was transformed. He was filled with the power of the Sun. 16) The father and his son rejoiced. “Now you must return to earth, my son, and bring my spirit to the world of men.”
17) Once again the Boy became the arrow. When the arrow reached the earth, the Boy emerged and went to the pueblo. 18) The people celebrated his return in the Dance of Life.
It would seem these same “kivas” were passed through by Gilgamesh in search for the elixir of immortality to save his bosom friend Enkidu, erstwhile a wild man of the plains created by the earth mother to be his deadly foe. His friend lay near death needing the elixir of life - Gilgamesh met lions in the mountains, and prayed to the moon god who guided him in a dream, so he took up an axe and cut his way past the lions. Scorpion men guarded the gate of the mountains of the sunset, who it is death to behold; but one of them opened the gate where he passed into a thick darkness and came to a fair plain with a fair tree whose fruits were precious stones on branches of lapis lazuli, which didn’t deter our hero, who likewise avoided a woman’s advice to eat, drink and be merry for life is short. Thence she sent him to the ferryman of death to pole him across the cosmic sea to the isle of the blessed where the deathless hero of the Flood and his wife lived. They gave him refreshment and told him of the plant of immortality at the bottom of the cosmic sea which he must pluck to live for ever. In the ferryman of death’s boat Gilgamesh voyaged, as no one ever before him, paused in the midway of the ocean, tied stones to his feet, which drew him down to pluck it, though it tore his hands, he cut the stone-ropes, boarded and went ashore where he stopped to bathe by a stream inhabited by a serpent which smelled the fragrant plant, ate it, and shed it’s skin - thus the serpent power of immortality, once the property of man, was taken away and remains apart, in the keep of the accursed serpent and defamed goddess, in the lost paradise of the innocence of fear.” 26
Having contacted the font of ancestral knowledge, the hero becomes eloquent in it, rather than in the temporal contemporary self of knowing the jingles of the latest ads on TV and the latest fashions in clothing. Having reconnected with his eternal self, he becomes eternal. He treads with alacrity the difficult path, the still small path that leads on high. “Like as a bird cleaves the eternal ether, ... (he) (the mystic) advances on a path not ordinarily manifest.” 27
These Masters have awakened the divine flame within and are more or less constantly expressing it in their daily life,28 who have “shaken men’s hearts by the magic of their teaching and the example of their lives and by their power to explain life’s mysteries to inquiring minds for truth and light - Buddha and Jesus.29
Like Ariadne we’re finding our way through the maze with a skein of thread provided by Daedalus, the very man who made the maze in the first place! 30 Heroes blaze this trail, leaving clues to later pilgrims on how to follow it - we don’t go it alone! We follow the path past our own monster, slain by our own inner hero, travelling to the centre of the maze which is ourselves, where we are one with all the world.
This is passed on by the seemingly ubiquitous seers who have tamed the bull and returned home unsung, except by those who recognise the wiseman disguised in rags, returning to the mundane existence of the daily round. “The manusaputras came because the human pioneers who came to re-evolve the earth chain with what they had learned from the Moon chain, were inadequate - they could only fashion the exterior body for mankind and needed assistance from higher realms to fashion our higher triad”. 31
The end of the story of Jonathon Livingstone Seagull gives the purpose of the hero’s mission, to teach. Jonathon was shunned by other “sensible” gulls who only learned to fly to scrabble for food, while Jonathon practised flight for the glory of it, and to become ever better. Shunned by the flock, he practised and learned until at an advanced age he passed into the next dimension, piloted by two immaculate spiritual seagulls. He learned all there was to learn about flying by the power of thought, but was told by his teacher that even greater than this was the power of love, and he yearned to return to find other shunned individualists to teach the Way. They thought they couldn’t do it as he was gifted and divine, but he said no-one was that special and the only difference is to understand what they really are and begin to practise it. 32 His key student Fletcher crashed into the cliff to avoid a baby bird darting suddenly to find its mother, and when he returned forthwith the flock thought he was the devil and tried to kill him. He said to Jonathon: “I don’t understand how you manage to love a mob of birds that has just tried to kill you” - “you don’t love that! You don’t love hatred and evil, of course. You have to practise and see the real gull, the good in every one of them, and to help them see it in themselves.” 33 “Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly”. 34 This is like OB One Knobe saying “Reach out with your feelings, Luke, let the Force flow through you”! ... and Fletcher the student: “suddenly saw them all as they really were, just for a moment, and he more than liked, he loved what it was he saw. No limits, Jonathan? he thought, and he smiled. His race to learn had begun.” 35
Joseph Campbell also describes the task of the hero as passing the portals normally crossed by the dead, whilst still alive, to pass beyond the “pairs of opposites”, the male and female, conquering and mothering aspects of his Self, finding the source of Life, the elixir of life, the Philosopher’s Stone, only for the pure and the good. The initiate also passes these portals, upon a cruciform couch he reaches the heart of the sun on a two-week journey during which his outer form is in a torpid slumber; he returns radiant with the inner Sun’s rays, raised to face it at sunrise, he is allowed to stay this way ‘til the glory “wears off”. At the centre of this cross-form is where his heart, the organ most connected with the Sun is at this crossing - “God assumes the life of man and man releases the God within himself at the mid-point of the cross-arms of the same “coincidence of opposites”, the same sun door through which God descends and Man ascends - each as the other’s food.” 36 The “tree” to which he is fixed, is like the great world “naval” through which the God is brought to birth in the Man, “the umbilical point through which the energies break into time”, a place of continuous creation, the well-spring of continued revivification of the world. 37 It is the door through which the souls of the dead and those being reborn, pass from time to eternity 38 It is this force of the “life-centring, life-renewing form” which any person entering the inner sanctum of the temple evokes within himself and in doing so is imitating this deed of the original (and everywhere everliving) hero. 39
This is reflected in the Medicine Wheel of the Hopi, a balance of wisdom, innocence, introspection, and illumination - we are all minor aspects on the edge, but also mirrors of the greater harmonious whole in the middle, symbolising the Total Universe whose harmony it is our life’s mission to find through the Vision Quest (i.e. the hero path of Campbell).
The Buddha (then Gautama Siddhartha) achieved the ultimate expression of this “journey out and in”.40 His mission was ordained from before his birth, a mission his father sought to circumvent - he was to find and solve the cause of human suffering - to release oneself from the wheel of Samsara and overcome the cycle of cause and effect by committing only selfless acts devoid of desire for self-directed results. This knowledge was achieved with great struggle, through long austerities and meditations beneath a tree, which became illuminated with his radiance. 41After partaking again of food he returned to the world of men and took to the path to the next tree, the Bo tree of enlightenment, at which act nature rejoiced as soon, under the Bo tree he would achieve the enlightenment which would redeem the universe.42
There are allusions here to the tree of life in Paradise, and Christ’s cross, often referred to as a tree in carols, etc., with a reverse of the tree of the fruit of the knowledge of life and death, around which the serpent (not evil so much as eternal life and supreme knowledge), was coiled.43 Buddha overcame the demons of his own lower psyche and triumphed. But then Buddha doubted whether he could tell this message, being tempted to keep its glory only to himself. Then Brahma descended from on high to implore him to become the teacher of gods and men. 44 Thus the will of the god became that of the “man” - “the 2 - the hero and his ultimate god, the seeker and the found - are thus understood as the outside and inside of a single, self-mirrored mystery, which is identical with the mystery of the manifest world. The great deed of the supreme hero is to come to the knowledge of this unity in multiplicity and then to make it known.” 45
The buddhic one becomes twice-born, of himself, through the aforementioned “sun door” through and the pairs of opposites of good and evil to “the majesty of cosmic law.” 46 He must release the potential within us all, (as Dumbledore did), a thing anyone can attain - through herohood, for “All things are Buddha-things”, “All beings are without self.” 47 Through knowledge of this lord of the universe we realise that all men are brothers, “all the gods Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas have been subsumed in us, as in the halo of the mighty holder of the lotus of the world.” 48 Like a Bodhisattva’s he renounces Nirvana or “the Extinguishing of the 3fold Fire of Desire, Hostility, and Delusion” and becomes an embodiment of the Emptiness beyond thought, the Great Truth, to serve others who have not arrived there yet.49
Following the evolutionary path, with the aid of spiritual hero-teachers, we will attain this state, and proceed to states beyond on an everlasting continuum of unfoldment. We are own inner Lipikas or recording-Angels, and attain the meaning of a “hero” as “any leading person in a story”, - so we are all heroes in a sense, in the story we are writing of our own lives.
1 Clement pp. 120-123.
2 JC: The Masks of God, Occidental Mythology, pp. 24-25. The blood from her left side being used by Asclepius to kill, and that from her right side to restore life. Like Kali she kills and creates, is Time, to which even the gods are subject. - the reverse side of the male powers or Reason, of the heroes, the “unbroken male powers of arete or pride in excellence”
3 1000 Faces, p. 31.
4 J. Campell, Occidental Mythology, 73-4.
5 Harry Potter, p. 208
6 SD ii, 364.
7 SD I, p. 442, Glossary, p 278.
8 SD I, 655
9 SD ???, and II, 436.
10 SD I, p. 655.
11 SD ! 266-7.
12 SD II, p.35
13 SD II, 172
14 SD II, p. 171.
15 SD II, 285.
16 SD II, 271
17 Seminar, Robert Gaston.
18 Theosophical Glossary, p. 104.
19 1000 Faces, p. 284.
20 ibid p. 288.
21 1000 Faces, p. 352.-3.
22 ibid., p. 354.
23 J. Campbell, Occidental Mythology, p. 146.
24 “when we survey these human imbodiments of spiritual light we realise that our intuitions and intimations are true”.
25 G. de P, “The Masters of the Path of Occultism”, pp. 3-4.
26 Occidental Mythology, pp. 91-92.
27 WQ Judge, quoted in flyleaf of Theosophy: The Path of the Mystic by K Tingley.
28 GDP, The Masters of the Path of Occultism, p. 3.
30 Campbell, pp. 16-22.
31 Rounds and Races, p. 29.
32 JLS, p.83.
33 p. 91.
34 p. 92.
37 1000 Faces p. 41
38 ibid, p. 42.
40 Moody Blues.
41 1000 Faces, p. 31.
42 ibid, pp. 31-2.
43 The cross on Calvary/Golgotha “skull-rock”, was supposedly directly above where Adam’s skull was buried, and Christ “reversed the damage” done by his forebear, as Mary “Ave” reversed Eve’s (Ave = Eve in reverse). per Dr. Barclay Lloyd, Early Christian Art lecture.
44 ibid, p.33.
45 ibid, p. 40.
46 1000 Faces, p. 137.
47 ibid, p. 151.
48 ibid, p. 162.
49 ibid, pp. 163 and 166.