How did you come to the Hero’s Journey?

Michael, how did you come up with the topic of the Hero’s Journey?

When I trained in experiential education over 25 years ago, some strange guy mentioned this thing.

Back then it was all about “experiential education in nature“… 

Nature speaks to itself … 

and people change when they are in the mountains and so…

And someone mentioned it: Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey and Star Wars…

and that’s when it clicked for me!

And I’ve been working on the topic ever since.

Because he also said that back then: Not only does nature change…but deep, inner, archetypal processes change.

And nature activates your deep connection to this inner level of perception.

And when did you really go into depth?

I really went into depth when I wrote a book with someone about people who are committed to the common good. The book still exists today.
Modern heroes
it is called.

The theme was: he wanted to photograph real personalities. That was a photographer.

And I told him. Where is the concept?
You can’t just take photos of faces and then give them out. And then I said to him: Look, why don’t you take this… Let’s take the concept of modern heroes or the hero’s journey and you can make pictures based on that. And you take people who are at the very beginning of their commitment… So take modern happiness research.

Modern happiness research said at the time:

Commitment to others, plus self-awareness, plus community makes you happy.

Take that and then take the hero’s journey and see where you find people who are at the beginning of that development journey and where you find people who are at the very end.

This is how the book is organized. At the very end is the fool. This is a clown doctor who works as a clown in cancer clinics and doesn’t entertain the people there, but makes a fool of them.

And this is how the book is organized.

And the questions in the book are really like that:

Radiation level – What are you doing?

Then rather the inner emotional level – how do you experience that?

Then to what is your truth about the world?

And how do you bring that together?

And that’s how the book was made.

And at that moment, I slipped deeper and deeper into this topic, and I’ve been dealing with it ever since.

Why do you think the Hero’s Journey is a suitable building block for personal development?

Because it allows you to experience the paradox that no development is actually needed.

But rather an unfolding of your deep inner qualities.

And the question is: How do you come up with this inner quality?

So, it’s a way to get into self-awareness and self-development and get out of the prison of the ego that tells you self-optimization. You get out of the labyrinth of the ego.

Hero's Journey


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