Man is a quest – not a question, but a quest. A question can be solved intellectually, but a quest must be solved existentially. It is not that we are seeking some answers to some questions; it is that we are seeking some answer to our being.
It is a quest, because questions are about others. A quest is about oneself. Man is seeking himself. He knows that he is, but he does not know who he is. Hence, a great inquiry arises in the innermost core of every human being at the moment of birth…. it is intrinsic to human nature. It is intrinsic to consciousness to know ones quest.
The Monomyth, Hero’s Journey
The yearning for the adventure into the unknown and the unexplored, the journey to attain a great boon and bring it back for the benefit of all is central to our existence as human beings. The origin of all stories and myths lies in the one fundamental story, the one myth.
The Hero’s journey is the archetypal quest pattern present in the stories and lives of individuals across time and culture. This story is told over and over again in a multitude of ways, resonating deeply with every human being, because it is the expression of deep and largely unconscious impulse in the human being. These stories give the perceiver of the story in experience of identifying with the hero and attaining the ultimate victory.
There is a need to have purpose and direction in life, to dedicate ones efforts to some great ideal or achievement, to dedicate oneself to something bigger than oneself. The individual must see itself as living his or her own incarnation of the Monomyth. It is everyone’s duty and destiny to undergo their own unique Hero’s Journey.
There are innumerable journeys and quests to be sought and each has its place in the greater whole. There are many seemingly ordinary ways of being the hero. The mother is a hero in sacrificing herself in giving birth and raising the child, and the child must undergo a great journey just to come into the world. Also, the parents who sacrifice their own dreams and comforts so that their children may have a better life than they had.
Ultimately, however; the fundamental, archetypal quest which we must all follow sooner or later is the attainment of ones innermost Being – God, Reality, or Truth. The highest aspect of the Hero’s Journey, which is the central teaching of humanities sages and seers – is the discovery of the Kingdom of Happiness, Love, Freedom and that which is beyond thoughts, words, and concepts – the sacred, the immeasurable.
This is the journey that many individuals throughout history have undertaken and returned, most famously Jesus and The Buddha; able to bestow the boons of their personal transformation for the betterment of humanity. These human beings as well as others are seen as savior figures not because they slayed the dragon and broug
ht freedom to the lands; rather, they are saviors because they are a light whose teachings and influence can guide the individual to slaying the internal dragon and attaining liberation, not as a follower and a believer but as an individual explorer. Rather than attempting to change the world in a superficial and limited way from without, these individuals recognized the world’s problem as the individual problem – and set about establishing wholeness and reality in themselves first and foremost, only then being able to truly help others.
This internal rather than external quest is the quintessential Hero’s Journey and is for all.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in that way: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it.