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The Hero Within Six Archetypes We Live By by…
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The Hero Within Six Archetypes We Live By

by Carol S. Pearson

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This book was recommended to me by an unemployment counselor in the 90s. What I remember 20 years later is that the archetypes can be seen as stages that you go through and that there is hope that you will go from the negative powerless one to the positive powerful one.
  raizel | Feb 21, 2013 |
INNOCENT, ORPHAN, MARTYR, WANDERER, WARRIOR, MAGICIAN.This book spends 80% of the time explaining 6 heroic archetypes that we all live by and the journey we must all take to complete the cycle. The last 20% of the book has a quiz to identify the archetypes roles in your current life and lists exercises on how to maximize your potential through each role. The two issues I have with this book are that it's descriptions of the archetypes seem to ramble on and on;I've said it before, why say in 500 pages what you can say in 100 pages. Secondly, unbeknownst to be the book has a strong feminine bent. I have no problem with that per say, but I may have gleaned more information if I was a female. If it wasn't for these issues, it definitely would have been a 4 star book. ( )
  Diwanna | Aug 3, 2010 |
This is a book I purchased with the idea of gaining an understanding of character types for writing stories. It provides those insights and much more.

Pearson descripes the six archetype and also shows how all the archetypes are part each person. We don't go through them in any set order, though a couple of paths are most common, based on our society. Even more, though, she makes it clear that we may seem to be in one particular archetype mode, and as we grow and learn, move into another and another until we've covered all six, (or get stuck in one) we actually are processing all six all the time. She clarifies what each archetype is and contrasts it to stagnant societal understanding or stereotype.

Although my copy of the book was written in1989, it does not seem at all dated. In fact, I see more of the changes she believes our society is going through. You can see what archetype was and is dominant in our society. I think it can help make change less scary to those who identify more with the outgoing archetype and more hopeful for those who don't identify. She addresses this particularly with the stereotypes for male and female roles.

This isn't a book you can use to make people change (probably not even yourself), but it offers understanding of where others, and you, are. It helps answer the question 'Why do people do what they do?' This understanding can be what you need to help you make a change, if you are ready, but no one will change until it is time for them to change.

The book is a lot of psychology, but Pearson treats religion with respect. I appreciate this. I didn't find it at odds with my own beliefs as I have sometimes found with some psychology books.

As someone who occasionally writes stories, I find it gives background and understanding that will help me flesh out my characters when I need to figure out things like motivation. Mostly, though it's been a book that helps me see who I am and maybe where I'm going. ( )
  Airycat | May 29, 2009 |
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Epigraph
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy...
At length the man perceives it to die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
- William Wordsworth, "Ode: intimations of Immortality"
From RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD
I fear me this- is Lonliness-
The Maker of the Soul
Its Caverns and its Corridors
Illuminate- or seal-
-Emily Dickenson

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime.
And departing, leave behind us
Footprints in the sands of time.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"A Psalm of Life"
Perhaps the dross of flesh
Is no more than a familiar garment
That grows looser as we diet
on death, & perhaps we should discard it
or give it to the poor in spirit,
Who have not learned yet
What a blessing it is
To go naked?
Erica Jong, "Is Life the Incurable Disease?"

She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang, and when she sang,the sea,
Whatever self it had,became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,
As we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there was never a world for her
Except the one she sang and, singing, made.
- Wallace Stevens,"The Idea of Order in Key West"
Dedication
With love and gratitude
For the depth of his faith
And the power of his example,
I dedicate this book to my father,
 
   JOHN A. PEARSON
First words
PREFACE
Writing this book was, in part, an homage to the archetypes that have helped me grow as a person and a scholar.
PREFACE TO THE EXPANDED EDITION
I was initially inspired to write The Hero Within out of a concern that we would not be able to solve the great political, social, and philosophical problems of our time if so many of us persisted in seeing the hero as "out there" or "up there," beyond ourselves.
INTRODUCTION
This is a book about the stories that help us make meaning of our lives.
Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
In The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell introduced readers to the significance of myth and archetype in understanding who we are and how we live our lives. Carol Pearson's bestselling The Hero Within combines literature, anthropology, and psychology to clearly define, with insight and understanding, the six heroic archetypes that exist in all of us. This expanded edition features exercises designed to awaken and illuminate these archetypes so that we may make better sense of ourselves and our life-journeys.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006254862X, Paperback)

In this newly revised edition of the bestselling classic The Hero Within, Carol S. Pearson gives us a unique vocabulary to explore the link between ancient archetypes and our contemporary lives.

Works like Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces have introduced readers to the significance of myth and archetype in our lives. Carol Pearson's bestselling The Hero Within takes us further by combining literature, anthropology, and psychology to clearly define, with insight and understanding, the six heroic archetypes that exist in all of us: the Innocent, the Orphan, the Wanderer, the Warrior, the Martyr, and the Magician. This substantially revised edition features new chapters that illuminate these archetypes, showing how to reach our fullest potential by achieving a balance between work, family, and the self.

"An excellent and useful book about the course our psychological and development can take.... {Pearson's} is an evolutionary archetypal psychology". -- Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., author of Goddess in Everywoman and Gods in Everyman

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:35 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Combines literature, anthropology, and psychology to define the six heroic archetypes--innocent, orphan, wanderer, warrior, martyr, and magician--that exist in all of us.

» see all 3 descriptions

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