Joseph Campbell hero's journey examples

The Hero’s Journey of Modern Men (Part 2 – Departure)

This is part 2 of a 4 part article. Click here for part 1, part 3, and part 4.

 

First Phase: Departure

Our story begins with Jerry, a lonely, downtrodden young boy. He’s not very confident, he doesn’t work out, he’s never had a serious girlfriend, and he’s generally pretty depressed.  But, he’s only 16—he has his whole life ahead of him! Surely he’ll magically find an amazing woman who will love him for who he is, right? Surely all of his problems will just magically fix themselves, right?

Jerry exists in the ordinary world. He believes that men and women are 100% the same, that feelings are more important than facts, and that masculinity is something that’s evil. He’s only been in one relationship, but his girlfriend cheated on him and ended up dumping him for some douchebag. Despite this obvious glimpse into the female psyche, Jerry refuses to accept that women are attracted to confident men.

Jerry doesn’t earn much money and he’s constantly down on himself and the world. He’s a white knight who thinks that being chivalrous will get him laid (“Can I take your coat, m’am?”) and spends most of his days playing World of Warcraft, neglecting his nutrition, and slinking deeper and deeper into depression.

This is what is known as the ordinary world. It’s the plain, mundane, dull world that most men exist in. Then, however, Jerry stumbles upon the manosphere. He’s in for a wild ride.

 

1. The Call to Adventure

Joseph Campbell hero's journey examples

Jerry reads through my blog, and is shocked. “WHAT?!” He says. “I have to…learn GAME? That can’t be…that’s so manipulative!” Jerry’s chode brain can’t handle it…but something calls him to it, again and again. Like the Sirens calling Odysseus, Jerry can’t seem to resist the call of the manosphere. Something about it seems intuitively right, even though it is quite jarring to those who’ve never been exposed to it…so he keeps coming back.

“I have to get jacked? B-b-but women should love me for my sweet soul!” he’ll say. Jerry can’t wrap his mind around the fact that you have to actually be worthwhile if you want to have a successful love life. He’s been brainwashed from a young age to believe that “If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen!”

Despite Jerry’s initial visceral reaction to the manosphere and its contents, something inside of him seems to recognize it as being true. He’s experiencing the call to adventure—the manosphere is beckoning for him to come along.

For me, when I was around the age of 15, I was called to adventure. I’d had very little success with women up to that point, was very depressed, didn’t have the life that I wanted, and I was fed up. I was raised by my mother, since my father was never really around, so I was extremely feminine. I was overly-emotional, weak, and pathetic. But, I decided to make a change (and you can too).

I started reading up on female psychology and gender dynamics to better understand my situation. I started scouring the underground worlds of PUA culture. I started observing the guys at my school who seemed to be drowning in pussy…what were they doing that I wasn’t?

The wise men of the manosphere were imploring me to learn game, and to improve myself. They told me that I’d been lied to—and whether they told me implicitly or explicitly didn’t matter. They told me.

This is the call to adventure that most men experience—up until a certain point in their lives, usually around the age of 18, they’ve been lied to with anti-male indoctrination. They think that girls should love you because you’re really sweet, that the world is a loving, super comfortable, cozy place, and they think that it’s okay to be an overly-emotional little bitch.

But eventually they stumble upon the manosphere, or some sort of  “Call to Adventure.” It could be your gym coach telling you to stop focusing on bullshit, and to start taking your life seriously, it could be a buddy who gets laid really easily who drops a few controversial truths on you, or it could be this blog…the point is that you’ve been called to adventure. Most men, however refuse this call…at first.

“The hero can go forth of his own volition to accomplish the adventure, as did Theseus when he arrived in his father’s city, Athens, and heard the horrible history of the Minotaur; or he may be carried or sent abroad by some benign or malignant agent as was Odysseus, driven about the Mediterranean by the winds of the angered god, Poseidon. The adventure may begin as a mere blunder… or still again, one may be only casually strolling when some passing phenomenon catches the wandering eye and lures one away from the frequented paths of man. Examples might be multiplied, ad infinitum, from every corner of the world.” -Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces

 

2. Refusal of the Call

Joseph Campbell hero's journey examples

Any time your beliefs become shattered, it’s very difficult to maintain your sanity. This is why most men, upon first being exposed to the manosphere, have a violent, visceral reaction. “ASSHOLES! MANIPULATIVE PLAYERS! SEXISTS! FUCK OFF!” they shout. And can you blame them?

You likely had a similar reaction at first. I know that I did. I used to think that gender psychology, evolutionary biology, and the manosphere in general was sexist and hateful. But this was only because I couldn’t accept something that I’d been brainwashed to reject.

I was angry that my anti-male indoctrination was being challenged—it was hard for me to accept that I could be wrong.

But, eventually, men are faced with reality. You can only ignore the truth so many times before it bites you in the ass. Eventually, maybe, you’ll get tired of having girlfriends cheat on you. Or of having no girlfriends at all. Or maybe you’ll start to notice how hard work and discipline tend to lead to success, and that believing that everything is 100% equal often leads to horrible consequences.

What usually happens, after men refuse the call to adventure, is that they’re burned in some way. Let’s say that Jerry refused the call, because “learning game is manipulative!” One day his girlfriend (who cheated on him before) wants to get back together. Jerry is ecstatic. “Wow, she finally sees that I’m such a gentleman!” he’ll think. God dammit, Jerry. C’mon.

And then, his girlfriend, to his surprise, cheats on him again. He’s heartbroken. “Wh-wh-what! How c-could she do this to me? I loved her, I was a g-gentleman!” He doesn’t get it…yet.

It is in this state of complete and utter depression that Jerry is most vulnerable to change.

Because his previous beliefs about how being a white knight is a good thing have been completely shattered, he is vulnerable to having the seeds of masculine beliefs sowed into his mind. Unfortunately, most men don’t ever get past this phase. They simply bury their burning desire for the truth underneath a landslide of self-hatred, anger, and depression, never to uncover it again.

But, if you’re on this blog, that isn’t you. You most likely refused the call at first, because it was too difficult to accept…but something pushed you on wards. Something inside of you seemed to recognize the wisdom of the manosphere; something inside of you seemed to intuit how our culture has become lost, and ungrounded. Something inside of you was yearning for the truth.

“Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or ‘culture,’ the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless—even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building an empire or renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him his minotaur. All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration.” -Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces

 

3. Supernatural Aid

Joseph Campbell hero's journey examples

The Lion King follows the Hero’s Journey pretty closely

“Wait, didn’t I read something about this a while ago? Fuck, what was the website called? …Let me see if I can find it.” Jerry will start trying to find the solution to his problems. What seemed like a hateful, sexist idea before, now seems to hold some grains of truth. Likewise, this is what happens with most men.

They experience some sort of a deep heartbreak that literally FORCES them to accept reality for what it is. This draws them to the manosphere where they are able to find a mentor. Maybe the mentor is Roosh, Good Looking Loser, Victor Pride, or me; or maybe their mentor isn’t even on the manosphere. Maybe it’s the old school college teacher who tells it how it is, that they start to develop a connection with.

Regardless, this is the point when you meet your mentor. Supernatural aid can come in many different forms; for Luke it was his Jedi mentor Obi-Wan-Kenobi. For Frodo in Lord of the Rings, it was Gandalf, the wise and powerful wizard. For Jerry, it will be Jon.

One lonely weekend night, as Jerry goes through dozens of tissues crying over his lost girlfriend, he remembers the name of my blog. Previously, he had rejected the ideas contained within it, but now, they’re starting to make more sense.

Maybe he drops me an email, and I empathize with his situation. I tell him that I know what it’s like, and I offer him some advice. Maybe I’ll feel bad for him, and give him a discount on some of my eBooks, so that he can jump start his journey. Either way, I’ll set him on the right path.

So, Jerry starts to become more and more open to the “extraordinary world,” or the collection of truths, wisdom, and “red pill” ideas that have been passed down, but that are denied by the masses. Jerry, just as Luke looked to Obi-Wan-Kenobi, will look to me for guidance. If he has a problem with something, he’ll ask me for a solution—and I’ll gladly give it to him. He’ll start to look at me as more and more of a mentor.

The point is that Jerry, and most men nowadays, will eventually meet some kind of mentor. For some, this takes the place of a gym coach, or if you’re lucky, a father. For most, however, it takes the place of the manosphere. Most men that get to this phase start plugging into the manosphere and its ideas; they read up about shit tests, about how to be successful, and about other truths that are condemned by the masses. In short, they get aid from a mentor who has been where they want to go.

“For those who have not refused the call, the first encounter of the hero journey is with a protective figure (often a little old crone or old man) who provides the adventurer with amulets against the dragon forces he is about to pass. What such a figure represents is the benign, protecting power of destiny. The fantasy is a reassurance—promise that the peace of Paradise, which was known first within the mother womb, is not to be lost; that it supports the present and stands in the future as well as in the past (is omega as well as alpha); that though omnipotence may seem to be endangered by the threshold passages and life awakenings, protective power is always and ever present within or just behind the unfamiliar features of the world.” -Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces

 

4. Crossing the Threshold

Joseph Campbell hero's journey examples

Once you cross it, you can never go back…

Eventually, Jerry starts to really cross into the world of the manosphere. Not only does he start learning how to be an alpha male, but he also starts working out, and realizes that if you want the results (with ANYTHING), you have to put in the work. He starts shedding his old, juvenile beliefs such as:

  • “You get girls by being a white knight!”
  • “The world is all sunshine and rainbows!”
  • “Every opinion and belief is equal!”

He begins to become a man. Slowly, as his old pathetic pussy self dies off, and his new, confident, hard-working self grows. This is the point at which he begins actually integrating the manosphere wisdom into his life. Before, in the “Supernatural Aid” trial, he’d only been reading about it and making connections. Now he’s actually utilizing it.

Jerry starts practicing game on the girls that he knows. He doesn’t do anything too risky, but he’s slowly getting more and more socially calibrated. He’s started to understand what women are attracted to, and even though he hasn’t slept with any new girls, he’s gotten a few kisses and some more female attention which makes him feel amazing.

He’s beginning to “cross the threshold,” where he’s slowly becoming more and more immersed in manosphere philosophy. He starts investing in himself, so that he can have a better life not only now, but also down the road. He starts reading good books, implementing good habits into his life, and he becomes a more successful man in general.

He eventually decides to take it to the next level, and buys a copy of Body of an Alpha. He starts doing the workout routine, and growing his body into a work of art—he’s amazed at how fast it’s working, and at how amazing he feels when he follows the nutritional advice that I recommend. Jerry is well on his way to having not only a better body, but a better life.

Most men will follow the same path as Jerry. They’ll originally cross the threshold to get good with girls, but will eventually end up focusing more on themselves, and women will come as a byproduct of that intense self-love.

They’ll start working out, reading good books, learning game, meditating, and getting rid of negative self-beliefs. They’re slowly entering into the world of the manosphere. And eventually, they enter the “Belly of the Whale.”

“With the personifications of his destiny to guide and aid him, the hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the ‘threshold guardian’ at the entrance to the zone of magnified power. Such custodians bound the world in four directions — also up and down — standing for the limits of the hero’s present sphere, or life horizon. Beyond them is darkness, the unknown and danger; just as beyond the parental watch is danger to the infant and beyond the protection of his society danger to the members of the tribe. The usual person is more than content, he is even proud, to remain within the indicated bounds, and popular belief gives him every reason to fear so much as the first step into the unexplored. The adventure is always and everywhere a passage beyond the veil of the known into the unknown; the powers that watch at the boundary are dangerous; to deal with them is risky; yet for anyone with competence and courage the danger fades.” -Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces

 

5. The Belly of the Whale

Joseph Campbell hero's journey examples

The Belly of the whale is the final frontier, before a man goes through his first metamorphosis. This is symbolic of the transformation that Jerry is about to undergo. He is swallowed into the unknown, and appears to have died, so to speak. His old chode-self has died, and he goes through an intense metamorphosis—this is accomplished by intense training and application of the manosphere’s principles.

This is often accompanied by a “Dark Night of the Soul,” experience which I’ve talked about before. Essentially what happens here, is that as your ego completely dies off, your body literally thinks that it’s dying. Now this doesn’t happen to everyone, but when it does happen, it’s fucking intense.

I was reading a book by Eckhart Tolle, and stumbled across the line “You are not your thoughts.” I suddenly felt very strange, as if everything I knew was wrong—I laid down and tried to wrap my head around this profoundly simple, yet life-shattering sentence. “You are not your thoughts.”

Over the next 3 days I became fucking ill. I literally felt like I was dying. Every muscle in my body was sore, every bone in my body ached, and I couldn’t sleep. Yet somehow I was more present than ever.

I wasn’t even upset that I felt like shit; oddly enough I was happier than I’d ever been. Why? Well, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I experienced what’s known as ego death. It’s been written about by sages of the past, but the idea is that when you are confronted with an idea or event that radically contradicts your identity, it has no choice, but to die off. My chode, pussy, depressed self literally died off.

After those three days, I was happier than I’d ever been—that was my “Belly of the Whale,” experience. It was when I went through my first metamorphosis. For others this may not be as intense, but it will still be a time of radical change. As your old ideas and beliefs start to die off, you begin to emerge into a new, more powerful self. And what lies beyond is even greater.

For many people, this takes the form of your first pull acting like a douchebag. It is the “point of no return,” so to speak. After this point, there is no going back to your old chode self—you realize that women are attracted to confidence and charisma, and this completely changes your reality, because it brings into question other lies that you’ve been fed.

I vividly remember another “Belly of the Whale,” experience that I had. It was my first cold approach pull with a gorgeous woman (probably a solid 9, and I’m a harsh grader). I was at a party trying to cold approach women, but to my disappointment, nothing seemed to work. I got blown out by several girls, and I had a few dance with me, but none of them wanted to stick around.

I kept getting rejected…and rejected…and rejected…and rejected, again and again.

It got to the point where I was rejected by literally around 15 girls IN A ROW. Now for anyone who doesn’t actively cold approach women, this might be difficult to understand, but it takes a MASSIVE toll on your ego. I was literally just about to give up. “This shit doesn’t work, it’s all bullshit, I’m a loser, fuck this…” when I saw a stunning girl in the corner all alone. “UGH FUCK, should I do it?” I thought.

After 20 seconds or so of intense internal struggle, I finally managed to work up the courage to talk to her. Long story short, I ended up pulling her back to my apartment, and we ended up fucking in every position that I wanted. She had a tight waist, a round ass, a beautiful face, nice perky tits, she was 18…I literally couldn’t believe that I was fucking this girl who looked like a model.

Then, after bed, when she was snuggled up against me, I started to realize…

“Holy shit. If I did this once…I can do it again.”

It’s a very simple, yet life-changing thought. I started to realize that hard work and persistence really do pay  off, and that girls are attracted to decisiveness and confidenceThe characteristics that I worked so hard on building. I started to realize that there is no such thing as a slut or a prude…girls are just girls, and if you’re an attractive man, then they’ll probably want to sleep with you. It’s that simple.

All of the things I’d heard on the manosphere started to make sense…”Wow. I understand now.”

  • Don’t overly validate the girl
  • Be assertive, confident, and decisive
  • Girls want an alpha male
  • You’re good enough
  • Don’t place hot girls on a pedestal
  • She’s just a human being, not a goddess

As we laid there in bed, with her supple tits pressed against me, I underwent a metamorphosis. I started to realize that I am good enough, and that game really does work. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience—I genuinely hope that you have. If you haven’t, though, keep at it. I promise that you will.

For some men this is when they have sex for the first time, period. Maybe they’ve been a virgin their whole life, and after implementing the strategies that I recommend, they’ve managed to bed an attractive girl. This single action can lead to a dramatic transformation in their personality.

Once you reach this phase, THERE IS NO GOING BACK. If somebody tried to tell me that girls like it when a man is a white knight after this, I would’ve said “Dude, you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.” If somebody told me that game didn’t work after that happened, I would’ve just ignored them. If somebody was angry that “all women are sluts! None of them want a gentleman!” I would’ve thought to myself: “You’re just mad you aren’t getting laid, and I am.”

After this point there is no return. You have completely transformed your personality and your old, white knight, chode self has died off. Now, the road of trials begins.

“The idea that the passage of the magical threshold is a transit into a sphere of rebirth is symbolized in the worldwide womb image of the belly of the whale. The hero, instead of conquering or conciliating the power of the threshold, is swallowed into the unknown and would appear to have died. This popular motif gives emphasis to the lesson that the passage of the threshold is a form of self-annihilation. Instead of passing outward, beyond the confines of the visible world, the hero goes inward, to be born again.” -Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces

About the Author Jon Anthony

Jon Anthony is a world renowned dating coach and the founder of Masculine Development, a website specifically dedicated to helping men improve their personal, dating, and financial lives. After years of training men how to attract women, build muscle, and make more money, Jon created the "7 Strategies" program to help kickstart your journey to success. Jon firmly believes that every man should have control over his own life, and he created Masculine Development to share his passion with men who want success in all areas.

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