I still seem to discover parallels between social entrepreneurship and Joseph Campbell’s hero adventure archetype in ‘The Hero With a Thousand Faces‘.
Sometimes it’s helpful to be creative, to help you look at subjects from a totally different perspective and create new business ideas. Campbell’s power is his ability to inspire you to uplift yourself; to allow you to envision a sense of heroism in your own self – and for me, I believe this is significant for a social entrepreneur, especially aspiring people who want to change the world.
The Pattern of Adventure for a Hero
Campbell curiously describes the general pattern of adventure that heroes embark. Campbell was an expert in understanding the hero adventure model, as he had read several hundreds or even thousands of hero stories and myths. It’s very impressive.
He comes to realize that several adventure stories are based on a fundamental structure, as follows:
The mythological hero, setting forth from his common-day hut or castle, is lured, carried away, or else voluntarily proceeds, to the threshold of adventure. There he encounters a shadow presence that guards the passage. The hero may defeat or conciliate this power and go alive into the kingdom of the dark (brother-battle, dragon-battle; offering, charm), or be slain by the opponent and descend in death (dismemberment, crucifixion). Beyond the threshold, then, the hero journeys through a world of unfamiliar yet strangely intimate forces, some of which severely threaten him (tests), some of which give magical aid (helpers). When he arrives at the nadir of the mythological round, he undergoes a supreme ordeal and gains his reward.
The triumph may be represented as the hero’s sexual union with the goddess-mother of the world (sacred marriage), his recognition by the father-creator (father atonement), his own divinization (apothesis), or again his theft of the boon he came to gain (bride-theft); intrinsically it is an expansion of consciousness and therewith of being (illumination, transfiguration, freedom). The final work is that of the return. If the powers have blessed the hero, he now sets forth under their protection (emissary); if not, he flees and is pursued (transformation flight, obstacle flight). At the return threshold the transcendental powers must remain behind; the hero re-emerges from the kingdom of the dream (return, resurrection). The boon that he brings restores the world (elixir).