The Way of the Hero: The Divine Journey

by Murray Johannsen. Excerpt From: For a Change, Chapter Titled “On the Journey of Discovery,” Copyright © 2014  Access The Ebook at Apple’s ITunes. Feel free to connect with the author by  Linkedin or by  email


Buddha Amitayu (Amitabha), Museum Rietberg, Zurich.

The divine journey,  the path to the sacred, doesn’t involve getting rich at all — it often means forgoing the BMW for a simpler life style. But for those who travel this path, it is no less difficult than the Treasure Hunt.

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men are full of doubts.” ― Betrand Russell

One person who has written extensively on this subject is Joseph Campbell. He has written many books on myth and one focused on the hero’s journey called: The Hero of Thousand Faces (Campbell, 2008).

According to Campbell, a divine journey has three major phases:

Departure. Here the hero or heroine begins the quest based on a call to adventure.

Initiation. These are the challenges and adventures along the way.

Return. This deals with the return home with knowledge and powers acquired on the journey.

Source: Wikipedia

The Divine Journey Campbell described is not a secular one, as in the Treasure Hunt. This is the evolution of a normal person in the secular world into the divine as a mystic or Bodhisattva into the realm of sacred.

Edward Burne-Jones (1833–1898): Painting of Saint Itta


Joan of Arc’s Journey

She is unusual since she has elements of her way that is both secular and divine.

556px-JoanOfArcLargeJules Bastien-Lepage (1879): Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc)

In this painting above, you see the agony sometimes associated with a Call To Action. In this case, Joan of Arc’s voices are urging how to take up her mission to save France from British control.  Clearly, this was not an easy decision — she would have leave the world she knew for one completely unknown.

Image of Joan of Arc

And above we see the the results of her Quest. Her actions directly contributed to the Siege of Orleans, the turning point, the fulcrum for the French to rally and stay independent towards the end of the Hundred Years War. And she became a Saint of the Catholic Church.

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