Do you sometimes daydream about being the protagonist of your own life-story and having the freedom to live out your deepest desires? Or do you ever feel trapped by your current circumstances and wish things were different? Are you currently carrying the weight of a particular challenge, health setback, or major grief? If you answered yes, then the power of the myth “The hero’s journey” can help you face whatever tribulations lay ahead in order to shift your circumstances and step into your inherent power. In this month’s newsletter we are speaking to Merle and Jeff Levin about a common theme across all of humankind’s stories – the theme of the hero and how the system of Life Alignment facilitates this powerful process. We tend to view heroes as those who have superhuman powers like the ability to fly. But what if everyone is born a hero?
The path of the Hero’s Journey by Merle Levin
“What is it we are searching for?” writes Joseph Campbell in his book, ‘Pathway to Bliss’.
This is the existential question that drives our lives, the urge to discover the truth of why we are here; what we bring to this life; what our challenges are and what our unique, “original medicine” is that we bring to our lifetime.
The universal myths of indigenous wisdom teach that life is a hero’s journey and that we are each the hero of that journey.
“The goal of the hero’s journey from the normal world to the jewel point, is to find those levels in the psyche that open, open, open and finally open to the mystery of your Self being. That’s the journey,” wrote Joseph Campbell in “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.”
His lifelong research on the universal myths as told in all indigenous stories, shows how demons, dragons, and allies that show up in myths are the projections of our own inner energies, or what C. G. Jung calls the ‘collective unconscious’.
He defined the journey into several stages. This structure often underlies all stories, novels, movies, plays and operas. For example blockbusters such as Star Wars or bestsellers like The Lord of the Rings or The Odyssey.
It begins with what he calls “The Ordinary World”. The hero (or heroine) begins the journey in their normal life. Something begins to shake up the status quo. It could be an inner or outer event. It could be some dramatic event, or health issue, or an inner sense of needing to make a change. Some form of crisis impels us out of our comfort zone and we feel the urge to move into a new level of understanding. The current pandemic is a great example for this. He calls this “The Call”. Here we have our first significant choice – we can either hear the call and act upon it or we can refuse to hear it, and stagnate. Choosing “The Refusal” means that we may miss the opportunity for growth. The opportunity may return again and again in a repeating pattern until we hear “The Call” and take action.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
– Joseph Campbell
Once we hear “The Call” and begin to consciously move into the journey, we enter the next stage, which he calls “Crossing the Threshold”. We do not do this alone. We invariably meet our field of support, our helpers and allies, the benevolent forces all around us, that make themselves known to us if we open ourselves to them. Campbell refers to these forces as “Supernatural Aids”. They come to be with us as we face the courage to cross into unfamiliar territory. We, like the snake, shed our old skin and face the newness in a state of vulnerability. We enter the unknown world that awaits us which is often depicted as a dark wood filled with terrors.
Wow, thank you Merle. Jeff, this reminds me a lot of the journey we take during a Life Alignment Session. When we start to take responsibility and show up for ourselves.
Yes, during the first phase of the journey which Merle describes and which we all go through while we still in the “normal or ordinary world”, a Life Alignment session helps us to release the programs that cause us to constantly repeat the dysfunctional patterns that keep many of us trapped in egoic patterns of behaviour which prevent us from recognising “The Call”. It also prepares us for our response to “The Call” and the breaking through the threshold towards our spiritual journey. This often involves releasing fear and resistance to move into the unknown.
Once we have moved beyond the threshold, the system of Life Alignment is designed to support the process of meeting our allies – the always available field of unconditional support. This may include our friends, family, ancestors, guides and our own Soul. We are then more prepared and empowered to meet the challenges along the path, to symbolically “Slay the Dragon”, which is mostly our own shadow, and access our inner wisdom, the elixir, which accompanies us on the journey home.
Merle, can you tell us more about the stage of “Slaying the Dragon”?
Of course there are trials along the way, this is part of the journey and perhaps preparation for what Jung calls “The Supreme Ordeal”. Things go wrong and added conflict is introduced. This can often feel like the lowest point of despair. We face a dragon, perhaps an old dragon that has haunted us all our lives. The way to slay this dragon is not by force, he is fierce and large and has fire raging out of him. The way the hero slays him in all indigenous stories, is by looking him in the eye. Seeing him for what he is. Having the courage to face the situation with honest self-reflection.
This is the teaching of the crisis, the gateway to transformation. Often more allies join us if we open ourselves to see them. We might discover new strengths and skills or develop aspects of ourselves we had previously ignored. Sometimes we are victorious. Sometimes we are not. This is the journey, there are no guarantees. The important part of this stage is the journey of discovery that we engage with, in ourselves.
Jeff, what if such trials have been severe trauma that happened to us, maybe even in early childhood?
From a microcosmic perspective, many people that have experienced trauma in their lives, have left their bodies. What we aim to identify during the process of Life Alignment is the individual’s dissociation and to provide the appropriate resources in order to bring them back safely to themselves, their natural home. From that safe space – a place of Presence – we can go out and travel to discover our true Purpose, as we gain the ability to observe our journey from a higher perspective. When we feel the flow of the universe, when we enjoy what we are doing and love who we are being, then we are connecting to our true consciousness which is for our and the collective’s Highest Good – always. That is the true result of following our hero’s journey.
Do you have an example out of your own life where it took time until you heard “The Call”?
Sure, the most recent example is when Jeff came to the hospital with Covid. For years we have travelled, flying from one place to another to spread Life Alignment around the globe. We’ve been physically drained but haven’t accepted the fainter signals that it’s time to slow down and find new ways to do the work. Just before a serious burn-out, the pandemic has made us follow our calling by circumstances. We probably would not have resonated with this calling by choice.
Most of our life-decisions/ Calls like daring relocations across the continents, investments such as opening a healing centre in Toronto or quitting secure jobs – we made mostly by choice through Jeff’s immensely intuitive abilities to follow his calling. It was scary but worth it each time.
Merle, Is the journey complete when I followed “The Call” and faced my own dragons?
No, the next and equally important phase is called “The Return” or “The Elixir”. Our journey does not end. We must take what we’ve learned, and integrate it back into our lives, back to our “ordinary world” with more awareness, with something to offer those around us. This is the fulfilment of our potential.
The hero’s gift to the world is the truth of themselves. This is the way they inspire others to walk their own hero’s path. Like Jeff said, our life is our own, unique story, and when we can demonstrate our story to others, through our presence, or as the indigenous people say: “when we reveal our original medicine,” we inspire others to have the courage to take their own journey.
Here is the link to the Hero’s Journey workshop 2022 with Jeff and Merle.