The heroic tradition reaches back into antiquity, and beyond even that, and for good reason. Man was created in a world devoid of mercy, where every element stood allied against him. And in order for man to survive and to thrive in such a world, he needed to be fearless, and also fearless in the pursuit of truth, so that he could develop ever more sophisticated strategies for overcoming the many obstacles that stood in his way, and if he should fail, willing to lay his life down for those he called his own. Then, when he was old, he would pass these secrets on to his son so that he too might carry on the work of man.
These patterns of behavior were evolutionarily determined, and persist in us today. However, lest we make the mistake of thinking that man was formed merely by his material concerns, we must remember that physical truth and spiritual truth often reflect one another. But it was not until the great mythologist Joseph Campbell developed the Hero's Journey that this relationship became clear. For the Hero's Journey, which itself was an evolution of the work of Carl Jung, described the classical tradition as a deeply rooted psychological program for male development, without which man would re-descend back into animality.
Campbell's work has had a profound impact not only on psychology and philosophy, but also on art, for it was the Hero's Journey that provided the structure for many modern stories, and its author was even consulted on a number of occasions by George Lucas during the development of Star Wars. The Hero's Journey can be seen in many written works as well, including Homer's Odyssey, J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings, Lloyd Alexander's The Prydain Chronicles, Frank Herbert's Dune, Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising, and of course George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones. Comic books, an overwhelmingly male phenomenon, have also been influenced by the Hero's Journey, and we see it in the stories of Superman, Batman, and many others. The same can be said for video games, which are, like comic books, an overwhelmingly male phenomenon; the entire RPG genre, from Final Fantasy to The Elder Scrolls, is of course a Hero's Journey. Finally, we see it in mythologies spanning the world, whether Greek, Roman, Scandinavian, or Celtic, and also in various religions. After all, Campbell himself argued that the Hero's Journey was a quintessentially religious journey.
Truth, it would seem, wears many faces.
Sadly, although the Hero's Journey has become more and more ubiquitous in art, it has receded from the public spaces of human interaction. With few exceptions, the Hero's Journey is now almost entirely fictional in its expression; it no longer touches the lives of men. This has been much to our loss, and the world is suffering for it. For where men, especially young men, are not permitted to discover their own heroism, to discover the Master Within, they are inevitably led away from their own humanity- but into what? Nothing good.
We should remember the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, when in Thus Spoke Zarathustra the titular character speaks to the young man under the tree on the hill:
""Spirit is also voluptuousness," said they. Then broke the wings of their spirit; and now it creeps about, and defiles where it gnaws.
Once they thought of becoming heroes; but sensualists are they now.
But by my love and my hope I conjure you: Cast not away the hero in your soul!"
When we give up the hero in our soul, we break the wings of our spirit; then it "creeps about, and defiles where it gnaws." Man is meant to strive ever upwards, ever onwards, to something greater than himself. And not merely for himself, but for God, for his wife, for his children, for his brothers in blood, and for that unbroken chain of man that has existed since time immemorial. This is man at his best, but such a man does not fall from the sky: He is forged by his father, by his brothers, and by those he calls brothers even though they are not; he is forged by an idea that lives within him, an idea that must be cultivated if it is not to perish.
And this is what is lacking in the world today: the cultivation of manhood.
As a result of this failure, which is a cultural disaster on a truly epic scale, we no longer live in a world where manhood is aspired to; rather, it is routinely mocked, as though it were somehow unnecessary, old-fashioned, inferior, and evil. Indeed, this animosity towards manhood has manifested itself in a quintessentially modern bogeyman: the Patriarchy! Such is the ravening madness of a world in which men had once "thought of becoming heroes; but sensualists are they now."
This creates a vicious cycle:
The deterioration of manhood has resulted in contempt for men.
Contempt for men has resulted in toxic relationships.
Toxic relationships have resulted in boys being raised without their fathers.
Boys being raised without their fathers has resulted in the deterioration of manhood.
No matter what is taught today at our universities, it takes a man to teach a boy how to be a man. For it is not education that makes a man but rather emulation. Men must be raised by men; they cannot be raised by women. Moreover, we as a society have tried to do exactly that, and to disastrous effect. We have had three generations now of liberal psychology in our academic institutions and the result has been the slow motion destruction of three generations of young men brainwashed into self-hatred. And for what? Nothing but this: Where manhood has been abolished, a nation is easy to control.
The Nazis knew this well, for in World War II, whenever a Nazi officer was murdered in an occupied territory, the Nazis would round up and summarily execute all the men in the town, but they allowed the women and children to live. They knew there was no need to execute the women and children because they knew that women and children left without the leadership of men do not rebel. And this has been the case throughout history. War is the province of men; if men are destroyed, the war is won.
This should give us cause to question: Why exactly would our academics look forward to the destruction of manhood, when the destruction of men is a necessary precondition of slavery?
But that is a question for another day.
In any event, it should come as no surprise that feminism, pacifism, and nihilism, all grew up together as auxiliary ideologies to communism, whose stated goals include the destruction of faith in God, natural families, and patriotism. These all share a singular characteristic: Religion, family, and patriotism are all masculine in orientation. After all, God is referred to as the Father in virtually every religion on Earth; the natural family is almost universally patriarchal; and patriotism is itself rooted in patrus, a word that literally means "father" in Latin.
So no matter what our academics may claim, what communism really is directed against is not inequality of any kind but rather the teachings of the fathers, the classical tradition itself. The modern and post-modern worldview is anti-classical; it condemns manhood, and any authority dependent upon manhood, including any and all concepts of moral restraint reflective of manhood. In other words, the modern and post-modern worldview is one in which the animal instincts want to run wild; it is a return to bestiality.
This orchestrated destruction of the very principles upon which human society is dependent is a very real danger to the world, and there is no solution to the problem but the revitalization of all that is noblest and strongest within, which is, of course, nothing but the rediscovery of the Hero's Journey.
~ Joshua van Asakinda
28 February, 2018