WORLD MYTHOLOGY: COMPARISON OF ARCHETYPAL THEMES AND ARCHETYPAL CONCEPTS ACROSS FIVE CULTURES

Date of Submission: June 22, 2007 By:

_________________________ Harsh Menon

Submitted to Dr. Angela Beck Department of Humanities and Communication College of Arts and Sciences In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of World Mythology Summer A 2007 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott, Arizona

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.0 INTRODUCTION...................................................................3 2.0 BALANCE................................................................................3 3.0 AFTERLIFE.............................................................................7 4.0 HEROIC CYCLE..................................................................12 5.0 CONCLUSION......................................................................20 6.0 REFERENCES......................................................................21

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1.0 Introduction
Mythology, in its simplest form, is a set of stories that try and provide answers to questions to which we have no answers. Mythology seeks to establish a reason and method for how we should live our lives and provides us with role models to serve as beacons in our heroic journeys (Campbell & Moyers 1988). A fascinating aspect of myths from different cultures is that they often share common themes and concepts. These themes and concepts are called archetypal themes and archetypal concepts. An archetype is a universal symbol that provides access to our subconscious (Campbell & Moyers 1988). This paper argues that the archetypal themes and archetypal concepts in myths are representative of basic human thought and emotion.

In fact, even though these myths came into being thousands of years ago, they are still applicable to the life of a young adult in the 21st century. I endeavor to argue this claim through the study of three archetypal themes across myths from five different cultures: Epytian, Mayan and Aztec, Greek and Roman, Mesopotamian, and my own culture. The three archetypal concepts are balance, the afterworld or underworld, and the heroic cycle. These concepts will be highlighted through discussion of the archetypal themes that are found in the myths from the aforementioned five cultures.

2.0 Balance
The first of these themes is that of balance. The concept of balance existed in ancient myths not only as that between good and evil, but also between male and female, and between opposing forces that exist in people’s daily lives. In the Egyptian myths, the

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4 creation of the all-mighty sun god Re (who represented all that is good) was followed by the creation of the god Apophis, who represented evil and the forces of darkness. More importantly, the Egyptians had a goddess of truth, divine order and justice called Ma’at. The importance of balance can be seen in the Egyptian myths about the afterlife where the souls of the dead could be saved if their heart was lighter than a feather of the goddess Ma’at, implying that an individual could be saved only if their lives had a balance of good and evil, with more good than evil. Thus, the comparison of the heart of an Egyptian to the feather of Ma’at highlights the importance of balance in Egyptian culture. Balance in life in the world of the living was considered to be crucial for a peaceful existence in the afterlife, and therefore, the goddess Ma’at was often seen as more powerful than the sun god Re. A balance can also be seen between the hero of Egyptian myths, Horus, and his adversary, Seth. Seth was seen as a lord of misrule and chaos, the antithesis of everything that Horus represented. The battle between them represents the ongoing battle that exists within us: to conform and live according to the social order or to rebel and indulge in chaos and anarchy (Littleton 2002).

The Mayan and Aztec myths also introduce a concept of balance that exists between the gods that they worshipped. In Aztec mythology, there are two primary gods: Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca. Quetzalcoatl is projected as a plumed serpent and represented fertility, life and peace, while Tezcatlipoca, visualized as a jaguar, represented war, political discord, and seduction. The two gods represent opposing forces that maintain balance in the Aztec world. An important Aztec myth that deals with balance explains the story of how the sun and the moon came into being. The story starts with two

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5 individuals: Tecuciztecatl and Nanahuatzin. Tecuciztecatl was vain and handsome, while Nanahuatzin was humble and presumably so because he was disfigured. They were both competing to be the new sun (they did so by jumping into a sacrifical fire). Tecuciztecatl could not bear the heat and so he jumped out of the fire, but Nanahuatzin remained and so Nanahuatzin became the sun. Seeing Nanahuatzin, Tecuciztecatl jumped in again and rose to be another sun, but since his light was too blinding, the gods threw a rabbit on his face and he thus became the moon. Both these individuals represent opposites that balance each other. Tecuciztecatl represents vanity and pride, while Nanahuatzin represents humility and modesty. In the same way that these individuals represent opposites, the sun and the moon also represent opposites in celestial bodies that maintain a balance in the sky with day and night (Littleton 2002).

The Greek and Roman myths show balance in several ways. The most common method is through pairs of brothers and sisters such as Ares and Athene and Artemis and Apollo. Athene was the goddess of good counsel and symbolized wisdom and reason applied to both war and peace. On the other hand, Ares, the god of war, represented war and brutality. Artemis was a virgin goddess associated with uncultivated land, wild animals, and the moon. On the other hand, Apollo, god of light, was seen as partaking in love affairs, many of which ended unhappily. Another balance can be seen between the Titans and Olympians, originally representing a balance between those in power (Titans) against those not in power (Olympians) or trying to rebel against the higher powers. Eventually, the Olympians defeated the Titans and came to power. However, when the

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6 Olympians came to power, a race of demi-gods sought to overthrow them, thus reestablishing the balance in the world (Littleton 2002).

The Mesopotamian myths also reveal the principle of balance, especially in the myth of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh was seen as a philandering king, wasting all his time on women and other vices, creating more problems than solutions. Enkidu, created by the gods in the shape of Gilgamesh, was very different from Gilgamesh. Enkidu spent all his time away from people, with animals in the forest. Gilgamesh could be seen as the corrupted king with Enkidu as the innocent human who is yet to be tainted. These highly opposing forces finally met in a battle and even though Enkidu defeated Gilgamesh, they became good friends indicating that these two opposite emotions can co-exist peacefully within us (Littleton 2002).

Unlike the four aforementioned myths, the concept of balance in my hybrid culture stems from demographics more than a particular story. In a country of one billion people, an individual realizes the importance of individual identity and seeks to find a balance between being a part of the sea of people and standing out from the rest. This concept of identity continues if the individual enters a foreign place. In the foreign place, the individual seeks to achieve a balance between one’s individual culture and beliefs and those of the people around him. An extension of the concept of balance beyond issues of identity is the concept of balance in life and death. This balance is one that all humans strive to accomplish. Life represents all that we think we can control while death represents all that we know we cannot control.

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This theme of balance has several subtle, deeper meanings. Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth (Campbell & Moyers 1988) provides a detailed account about what he thinks these myths mean and why they apply to us. Campbell believes that this balance is omnipresent existing as the balance between man and woman, life and death, and time and eternity (1988). Campbell maintains that the purpose of mythology is for us to obtain a metaphysical realization about the truths of life, one of them being balance. The two different forces that maintain balance are metaphors of different factors in life that are constantly at war with each other. In fact, Campbell calls myths manifestations of the energies of our organs in conflict with one another. So these myths try and establish the truth that our lives are highlighted by internal conflict. The myths also reveal the fact that human beings are multi-faceted organisms inherently provided with different conflicting forces that require balancing (Campbell & Moyers 1988).

This realization of how balance is an inherent property of human beings helps understand why these century-old myths are still valid for young adults in today’s world and why they will continue to remain valid in the future too. Human beings have evolved and will continue to evolve, but the essential core of human beings will always be a combination of several conflicting forces and therefore, balance will always remain a crucial aspect of human life.

3.0 Afterlife
The second of these archetypal themes deals with the existence of an afterworld or an underworld after death. The underworld is generally described as a conduit for souls

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8 after they have died. The underworld eventually leads to a place of judgment, after which the souls enter the afterworld (Littleton 2002). From a purely psychological viewpoint, the reason why these myths existed is because of terror management theory. Terror management theory states “that in order to ward off the anxiety we feel when contemplating our own demise, we adopt death-denying attitudes, motivated by the belief that a part of us will survive death” (Gilovich, Keltner & Nisbett 2006). The belief that a part of us will survive leads to the creation of an afterworld.

Egyptian mythology mentions the existence of an underworld called the Duat, ruled by the god Osiris (also the ruler of the afterworld), which resembled Egypt having natural features such as lakes, deserts and islands. However, in order to distinguish the Duat from Egypt, Duat also had lakes of fire and demons. The souls eventually had to journey to Osiris where their hearts would be weighed against a feather of Ma’at. If their heart was lighter, they would be saved and would go to the afterworld, the Field of Reeds (a world of fertility and prosperity); otherwise they would be devoured by the monster Ammut. The concept of journey after death to the afterlife was so ingrained in Egyptian culture that several texts with spells were created to safeguard the spirit as it journeyed through the Duat. Mummification was also practiced as preservation of the corpse was seen as crucial for going to the afterworld. The need to preserve the corpse was based on the Egyptian belief that life after death could only be enjoyed if three conditions were met: the dead body had to be in immaculate condition, the soul had to be supplied with sustenance, and the dead individual’s name had to be honored by prayer. Often, the

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9 corpses of the servants were buried with the master so that the servants could serve the master even in the afterlife (Littleton 2002).

The Mayans also had an underworld called Xibalba. The lords of Xibalba were portrayed as evil and they tricked the father and uncle of the Hero Twins to their death. The Hero Twins were the heroes of Mayan mythology and they avenged the death of their ancestors by killing the lords of Xibalba. Xibalba was depicted as an evil, dark place, also known as the “place of fright”. The Mayans often buried food and precious objects with the dead for use in this underworld. The Mayans also depicted the afterworld in a manner similar to that of the Egyptians, but the primary difference was that the treatment of death was often comical. The comical treatment of death represented the Mayans’ relationship with death – part fascination and part derision (Littleton 2002).

The Greeks and Romans also had an underworld, ruled by the god Hades. After burial, the souls of the dead were taken by Hermes, the messenger god, to the river Styx. Styx was the river between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead. The souls were carried across the river by Charon, a ferryman, who charged the souls a small coil for the travel (the coin was placed in the dead person’s mouth before burial). Eventually the souls reached the seat of judgment where their fate would be decided. Based on the verdict passed by the council, the souls could go to one of three afterworlds: either Elysium (sunny paradise), the Asphodel Fields (purgatory), or Tartarus (where the souls would suffer the torment of the damned). The Greek attitude towards death was ambivalent. Those individuals who believed they had lived a balanced life embraced

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10 death as a continuation of their lives in Elysium, while those who had committed sins feared death, afraid of going to the Asphodel Fields or Tartarus. The Greek obsession with going to Elysium can be seen from the existence of Eleusinian cults called the Eleusinian Mysteries, that told people how to reach Elysium after death (Littleton 2002).

The Mesopotamians also had an underworld which was ruled by the female goddess Ereshkigal. The Mesopotamian underworld had a different set of rules than those of the world of the living. Death was enforced by the gallas of the underworld who were sent to arrest those destined to die. The Mesopotamian myths mention Nergal, a youth who was fascinated by death, personified by Ereshkigal. Nergal went to the underworld based on his fascination and as a result fell in love with death, and never returned (Littleton 2002). This myth shows that death was not necessarily viewed as something to be feared by the Mesopotamians. On the contrary, death was something that was to be embraced, in the same manner as Nergal embraced Ereshkigal (Littleton 2002).

The concept of an afterlife is discussed in almost every culture. But, my understanding of life and interpretation of culture pertains only to that which is immediately visible. The death of a loved one brings to mind feelings of sadness and a realization of the ephemeral nature of life. But instead of pursuing the question of what happens after death, I would use death as a motivation to make the most of the life that I have now. Probably the primary reason why the concept of an afterlife does not exist in my culture is because of the profound influence of science of my life. However, even though I do not endorse the existence of an afterlife, I do endorse the existence of an

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11 invisible world beyond that of our own, based on scientific fact, namely quantum mechanics.

The concept of an invisible world, whether in myth or science, is supported by Campbell. Campbell argues that the afterlife or the invisible world acts as an invisible plane support the visible plane (1988). The world is full of uncertainties and intangibles. There are many questions to which we have no answers, what happens after death being one. But Campbell argues that what we do not know supports what we do know (1988). Essentially what he means is that not knowing something helps us establish the boundaries of our knowledge. He also means that not knowing something helps us realize what we know. For example, not knowing what death is helps us establish death as boundary of knowledge beyond which we cannot know what happens. Also, death makes us aware of our own existence and helps us realize what life means.

Even though human civilization has progressed dramatically since the caveman days, certain aspects of human life have not changed. Death is a stark reminder that even though we might try and use technology to control everything around us, there is still an intangible aspect of life that we know nothing about. Therefore, the myths pertaining to an other world, call it an afterworld or an underworld or an invisible world, are still applicable to a young adult in the 21st century. These myths help the adult realize the nature of life and the fact that their life is not completely under their control. They also help the adult realize that there is more to life than what meets the eye. Since life is not under our control and since there is more to life than what meets the eye, we must live

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12 life for what it is and accept things the way they are, almost the same way as Nergal, who embraced death (Ereshkigal) and began a new life with her.

4.0 Heroic Cycle
The presence of a hero in mythology stems from the basic human need for a role model. However, different cultures present their heroes in different lights, some as being immensely powerful and others as being no different from any of us. The hero’s adventure begins with the absence of something valuable in the character’s social or political life and is followed by a series of adventures that take the hero from the world of the living to a much darker world. The hero is generally assisted by one or more allies. After completing his trials, the hero returns to the real world with a new realization or boon, which he then endeavors to pass on to the rest of the world (Campbell & Moyers 1988).

The hero in Egyptian mythology is considered to be Horus, son of the god Osiris and the goddess Isis. Osiris taught the Egyptian people the art of agriculture and civilization, while Isis remained a symbol of fertility and motherhood. However, Osiris’ brother, Seth, was envious of Osiris, and plotted to kill Osiris and usurp the throne. Seth eventually managed to kill Osiris, but he went a step beyond that and hacked Osiris’ body to bits and scattered them throughout Egypt. Isis was upset, but she used her powers to resurrect Osiris long enough for him to impregnate her with Horus. Isis then took care of Horus and when he was old enough, she approached the other gods for Horus’ rightful claim to the throne. Through Isis’ cunning, she managed to elicit a confession from Seth

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13 about the fact that Horus should be the rightful king. However, the confession only disgruntled Seth and he ended up challenging Horus to a series of combats.

The first test saw Horus and Seth transforming themselves into hippopotamuses fighting each other in the Nile, trying to survive for three months. Isis came to Horus’ help and harpooned Seth, giving Horus an advantage. The next attack was a sexual attack where each opponent tried to throw his semen on the other. Semen was considered to extremely potent and powerful. Seth initially sexually attacked Horus, but Horus was ready and caught Seth’s semen and took it to his mother, Isis. Isis then devised a counterattack, whereby Horus sprinkled his semen on the vegetables in Seth’s garden. Seth ate those vegetables and was eventually humiliated when he discovered what had happened. The final battle consisted of the two gods trying to build a ship of stone in attempt to race each other down the Nile. But in this case, Seth destroyed Horus’ ship, and Seth’s ship also sank because it was too heavy. The gods resorted to attacking each other leaving everything unresolved. Finally, after consulting Osiris, Horus was handed the throne. Horus returned to Egypt as lord and eventually created a human race of kings (pharaohs) who were believed to be his descendants (Littleton 2002).

Horus’ heroic cycle begins with a quest to take back the throne which rightfully belongs to him (since he’s next in line after Osiris). In order to retake the throne, he goes against his uncle Seth. In Horus’ fight, his mother Isis constantly appears and helps Horus emerge victorious over Osiris. Horus’ trials against Seth involve the fight as hippopotamuses in the Nile, the sexual attacks and finally the boat race on the Nile. In all

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14 these events, Horus is attacked by Seth. In one event, Seth takes Horus’ eyes and leaves him blind. Isis comes to Horus’ rescue and restores his eyesight. Throughout his trials, Horus keeps trying and never gives up. Finally, when the gods empower him as the rightful king, he comes back to the land of the living. Having fought for so long, he values the importance of peace and prosperity and thus establishes a golden rule in Egypt where his people will never have to go through what he went through.

The Mayan myths have two heroes known as the Hero Twins – Hunahpuh and Xbalanque. The father and uncle of the Hero twins were summoned down to the underworld (Xibalba) by the evil lords One Death and Seven Death. Once down there, they were given three tasks to do. However, in each case, the evil lords fooled the father and uncle and eventually executed them. The Hero Twins had a hard childhood living with a grandmother who spurned them and brothers who were jealous of them. Despite all these obstacles, the Hero Twins continued helping their grandmother and eventually learned how to play the ballgame that was then responsible for their ancestors being summoned down to Xibalba.

Upon playing the ballgame, the Hero Twins were summoned down to Xibalba. However, they were more cunning than their ancestors and managed to successfully complete all the tasks given to them. They endured the hardships in dangerous places such as the House of Knives and the House of the Jaguars. However, towards the end of their ordeal, the Twins suffered a severe setback: Hunahpu was decapitated. Xbalanque devised a plan to restore Hunahpu’s head and successfully fooled the evil lords of

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15 Xibalba to resurrect Hunahpu’s head. Finally, after making the evil lords believe that they were dead, the Hero Twins returned to Xibalba under a new guise. They presented themselves as magicians with the power to kill something and be able to resurrect it. The evil lords were very impressed and asked the Twins to use their power to kill the lords and resurrect them. Using this ploy, the Twins managed to kill the lords of Xibalba. The other inhabitants of Xibalba were afraid that the Hero Twins would slaughter them too, but the Hero Twins saved them on the condition that they would never ask for human sacrifice. The Hero Twins’ final act was disinterring the remains of their forefathers and taking them up to where they belonged. After this struggle, one of the twins became the Sun and the other the Moon (Littleton 2002). The Hero Twins’ began their heroic cycle with the deaths of the father and uncle. Their trials began in childhood where they had to deal with a grandmother who used them and siblings who hated them. Their penultimate trial was going down to Xibalba and avenging the deaths of their ancestors. The Hero Twins used their intelligence and cunning to complete the tasks given to them and make it through the dangerous places like the House of Knives. However, one of the Hero Twins, Hunahpu, got decapitated during their journey. Xbalanque, the other Hero Twin, came to the aid of his brother and managed to restore his brother’s head. The Twins finally came up with a ploy to kill the lords of Xibalba. Their ploy succeeded and they managed to return the remains of their ancestors to the world of the living. The also made the inhabitants of Xibalba promise never to ask humans for human sacrifice. The Twins thus returned with a boon for all of humankind: the guarantee that human sacrifice would no longer be required. They also became the Sun and the Moon, representing brotherhood, companionship, and balance.

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16 The Greek and Roman myths have several heroes, the most famous of them being Herakles (or Hercules). Herakles was believed to be the sun of Zeus and a mortal woman, Alcmene. Zeus’ affair with a mortal woman angered Zeus’ wife Hera, and therefore, Herakles had to face her wrath throughout most of his life. After a few childhood trials, Herakles settled down with his wife and had two children. But, Hera made Herakles insane making him believe that his sons were enemies. Herakles thus killed his two sons. His wife died from the shock of the news. Having lost his family, Herakles wanted to atone for the crime that he had committed. He was told by Apollo’s priestess that he was to serve Eurytheus, king of Mycenae, to atone for his crime. Thus began Herakles’ series of adventures.

Eurytheus was afraid of Herakles as he saw a rival in Herakles. He thus sent Herakles to challenges that would bring Herakles’ death. But in every challenge, Herakles returned successful. Herakles undertook several labors that ranged from killing the Nemean lion to capturing the Ceryneian Hind, a deer of extraordinary beauty. Herakles’ exploits occurred both close to home and away from home. His final and twelfth labor took him to the underworld where he fought the triple-headed dog guard, Cerebrus. After completing his trials, Herakles began a new life but was killed by one of his enemies. Finally, after his death, he was embraced by his father Zeus, who made him immortal and gave him a place on Mount Olympus (Littleton 2002).

Herakles’s heroic voyage began when he murdered his sons under the influence of Zeus’s wife, Hera. The loss of his sons (and subsequent loss of his wife) devastated

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17 Herakles. He thus set out in search of a means to atone for his crime. This search for atonement began Herakles twelve labors. Each of his labors tested his strength, bravery and courage. The labor took his from Greece to the far reaches of the world and eventually to the realm of Hades. Herakles fought monsters in different corners of the world and emerged victorious in every battle. After his battles, Herakles emerged a free man, with his labors being equivalent to a pardon for his sins. Herakles labors allowed him a state of peace where he no longer held himself responsible for what had happened. Instead, he began a new life with Princess Deianira. Herakles’ labors were a boon for humanity as he helped rid the world of some of the most fierce and dangerous monsters. Ultimately, his elevation to god-hood represented the culmination of all his labors where he was rewarded for doing a great service to mankind.

The Mesopotamian myths talk about Gilgamesh as a superhero, although he was closer to a mortal than most other heroes in other myths. Gilgamesh was a mortal king, who indulged in women and other vices. Upon hearing the people’s prayers, the gods created a rival for Gilgamesh, called Enkidu. Enkidu was the opposite of Gilgamesh, living with animals more than humans. Upon hearing of Enkidu, Giligamesh sent out a prostitute to corrupt Enkidu. The ploy worked but when Enkidu realized that he lost his friends and his strength, he was devastated. He decided to go to the city to meet Gilgamesh. When the two met, they engaged in a furious battle which Enkidu won. But despite the fight, the two resolved their differences and became good friends. They then went ahead to fight a forest monster. Gilgamesh did so for fame and ambition, but Enkidu did so for his companion. They eventually slaughtered the monster but in doing so

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18 angered the god Enlil. Enlil responded to the killing of his forest monster by killing Enkidu by an earthquake. Gilgamesh was distraught at the loss of his friend and was overcome by feelings of death. He went to the ends of the Earth to find immortality, but failed in doing so. Finally, he returned back to his kingdom with the realization and acceptance of his mortality (Littleton 2002).

Gilgamesh’s heroic cycle began with the absence of a sense of purpose in his life. Most of his time was spent on excesses with him being more of a bane than a boon to the people of his city. His first trial was one of discovery. He fought and lost to Enkidu. This loss and Enkidu’s friendship helped Gilgamesh discover himself. He regained a sense of purpose and adventure. He, along with Enkidu, thus began another adventure whether they fought and destroyed a forest monster. However, the death of the forest monster angered the god Enlil, who in turn killed Enkidu. The death of Enkidu sent Gilgamesh into another cycle. The loss of Enkidu made Gilgamesh obsessed with the fear of death. He traveled to the end of the world to achieve immortality and avoid death, but returned empty-handed. Even though he returned a mortal, he returned with the realization that death is inevitable. His new-found boon was one of acceptance of death and the ways of mortal life. Having understood and realized this truth of life, Gilgamesh dedicated the rest of his life to helping build his city.

In my opinion, even though most people of my age in today’s world have role models who have been immortalized for their great service to humanity, I think that my true role models are the people around me. For a child, his or her parents are the role

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19 models. As the child goes to school, the teachers become role models as they shape his or her life. The process continues in university and even in the work place where the people who shape our lives become strong forces in their lives and become the true role models and heroes. Besides the influence of others, each individual is a hero too. Every individual goes through a series of heroic cycles in their lives through which they rediscover who they are. None of them might be as epic as the adventures of Herakles, but each cycle could start with ignorance and then end with a realization of the way things are, just as in the case of Gilgamesh.

Campbell argues that the heroic cycle involves leaving one condition of life and finding source for another condition (1988). He claims that everyone is a hero in his or her way. The heroic cycle involves a transformation of consciousness that is achieved through the trials and revelations that the hero endures. The hero discovers an aspect of himself that did not exist before. Campbell quotes the example of Hans Solo in Star Wars who appears as though he is someone who would do anything for money. However, through his trials in the movie, he discovered his true nature. Thus, the adventure evokes a quality of the character that he or she is not aware of (Campbell 1988). In the end, the hero discovers a place, either mental or physical, where he has achieved balance and from where he can pass on the knowledge he has learned to others. Every individual thus spends their life in a series of cycles. Each cycle helps the individual discover different aspects of themself.

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20 In today’s world, individuals often go on with their lives not paying attention to what they are doing, but just continuing with a routine. In this atmosphere, people are motivated only my materialistic goals and often when things go wrong, people break down and do not know how to recover. The realization that each individual is a hero and is going through a heroic cycle would make people realize the cyclic nature of life. In realizing this cyclic nature, they would learn how to deal with failure better and would give greater thought to the meaning of their lives and the greater purpose of their existence. This greater awareness of the greater order of their life would uplift them and help them recover from setbacks. They would view the setbacks and obstacles as stepping stones in their heroic cycle.

5.0 Conclusion
The myths from different cultures represent wisdom that was collected by humans centuries ago and that is still applicable in today’s world. Universal concepts like the concept of balance, the concept of an invisible world supporting our world, and the concept of a heroic cycle are still applicable to youths in today’s world. The archetypal myths associated with these concepts help us realize certain truths of life that are beginning to get lost in a technological society. The concept of balance helps us realize that balance is not only external in the world, but also internal to who we really are as humans. The concept of an invisible world lends to the notion of control and shows to us that we cannot know and control everything. Finally, the concept of a heroic cycle gives a greater meaning to our lives and helps us break out of the daily monotony of our lives. The realization that every one of us is a hero undergoing a different cycle helps us discover different aspects of our lives, which in turn makes us a complete individual.

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6.0 References
Campbell, J. & Moyers, B. (1988). The Power of Myth. Broadway: New York.

Gilovich, T., Keltner, D. & Nisbett, R.E. (2006). Social Psychology. Norton: New York.

Littleton, C.S. (2002). Mythology: The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth & Storytelling. Thunder Bay Press: San Diego.

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