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The Phoenix Process
The transformational journey is a voyage with a hundred different names: the Odyssey, the Grail quest, the great initiation, the death and rebirth process, the supreme battle, the dark night of the soul, the hero's journey. All of these names describe the process of surrendering to a time of great difficulty, allowing the pain to break us open and then being reborn—stronger, wiser, kinder. Every religion includes in its texts stories of descent and rebirth. From Jonah in the whale to Jesus on the cross, and from the Hindu hero Arjuna on the battlefield to the prince Siddhartha leaving the castle in order to become the Buddha, the great ones have gone before us on this journey.
In a conversation between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell, who was the 20th century's greatest interpreter of myths, Campbell talked about the hero's journey: "A legendary hero is usually the founder of something—the founder of a new age, the founder of a new religion, the founder of a new city, the founder of a new way of life."
Published on January 26, 2012