The revolutionary hero is the individual who decides voluntarily, courageously, to face some aspect of the still-unknown and threatening.
-Peterson, The Hero
After we are torn up into pieces, burned alive in a metaphorical fire of metaphysical purification, and spit back out, we become the mythological hero of our own story. The old us could have never challenged our past, present, future, community, family, but the hero can—and thrives in such propositions. Born anew, spontaneous, healthy, prepared, creative, the individual now has a restructured value system and is ready to explore more meaningful ventures in life—ones that adhere to their own belief systems. The status quo is no longer sufficient, and systems that once were part of the old regime now must change along with the hero.
Having known that change arises from chaos, the hero seeks to explore various boundaries of known and safe territory and go through them, converting them—affecting old chaotic reality into new and ordered form. More efficient, effective and alive, the heroes new mission is to never be the same again, and bring all of their being with them in everything they do. Significance is now sought after in every culture, tradition, and act. Praise or blame is no longer a concern as the hero manifests change and seeks to disrupt the normal flow of life.
For the hero, the new constant is change. Older systems once lead by regularity now cannot bear the chaotic emergence that the hero surrounds themselves by, and crumbles. This is how old systems get destroyed and resurrected, and in order to stay the same the old schemas must never allow heroes to enter. Thus, cultures and traditions eventually die out and lose traction as every generation breeds new heroes to change the face of history itself.
The Heroes’ Dilemma
Our own spiritual evolution is somehow limited by group identity. That is to say, the more investment into group identity and interest the more we lose ourselves, our individuality, and our own personal purpose and meaning. The group identity is considered a type of order in ancient mythology, and it is order and the mediocre that destroys the heroes’ personal pursuit of meaning—and that very meaning is what gives us our identity.
What does the hero seek? The alteration of chaos into order. It is the alchemistic transformation of chaos into order that gives us, the hero, our purpose and meaning in life. Without it, we get engulfed by mediocrity and slowly die inside—thus limiting our pursuit of what means the most to us. Without the struggle of striving for what we believe in, we adhere to old systems of morals that don’t belong to us. The more we cling to someone else’s’ dream, the more we lose hope in humanity, in the future, and in life itself.
Rebirth is re-establishment of interest after the adoption of culturally-determined competence. The rebirth of interest moves the individual to the border between the known and the unknown and thereby expands adaptive competence. In this manner, God acts through the individual, in the modern world, and extends the domain of history.
— Peterson, Maps of Meaning
The Heroes’ Journey
Seeking chaos means to find what makes you wake up in the morning. Find out what makes you, you. The very seeking of our personal interest is what gives purpose to our life, and taking one step after another toward that interest is our meaning. It all begins with the breakdown of group identity into personal freedom. The breaking down is what causes ego-death and the dark night of the soul.
While every human will experience pain and hardship, not everyone will experience the dark night of the soul. The need for change, alteration and transformation doesn’t always enter the mind and being of the individual, so safe and orderly realities persist without drastic identity transformations. In the search for meaning and purpose, and when asking where are lives are going, we might need to wonder about the controlled crisis known as the dark night of the soul and if our life needs to take a dramatic spiritual alteration. How do we even begin applying for this position?
How do we poke the mythological dragon of chaos into breathing fire on our souls, burning our ignorance from the inside out? I think if it is supposed to happen, it will all by itself. One thing is for sure, we must constantly approach the unknown and unexplored areas of life in order to keep growing, expanding, and converting chaos into order as the hero of our own lives.
With an ever-expanding global social culture, our mind’s ability to confuse itself also expands. After enough pressure builds inside the container of our souls, we either burst and break; or use the hot-house pressure-cooker of life to learn from the stress, use it to increase our capacity for pressure, and become more effective powerful people than ever before.
To explain the solution to life’s experiences, our harshest hardships, and our own personal dark night of the soul in one word would be endure. To endure is our greatest asset in life, and without it we never rise from our dark night and never explore that which we don’t know and what truly makes us happy. To endure suffering becomes the goal as we outweigh the meaning of living our own future or someone else’s.
This is why the mystic does not seek to lie to oneself and abandon interest, making us unimportant and human. But, knowing our individuality creates purpose-giving-interest, the mystic explores the unknown, making our existence meaningful and divine. We naturally seek a middle-path in our heroic endeavors, not having too much chaos or too much comfort. The balance of the two—taking one step into the unknown while keeping one back in comfort and stability—becomes the meaning of our lives.
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