Some Thoughts On Labor Day

Monday, September 03, 2007

Appearing at The Jaundiced Eye, the Independent Bloggers' Alliance, and My Left Wing.

This is the opening sequence from what I believe is one of the most under appreciated movies of all time, "Joe Versus the Volcano." Protagonist Joe Banks undertakes a Joseph Campbellesque "hero's journey," which frees him from the illusory demands of wage slavery. Anyone who has seen the movie will recognize the elements of Campbell's "monomyth."

This fundamental structure contains a number of stages, which include (1) a call to adventure, which the hero has to accept or decline, (2) a road of trials, regarding which the hero succeeds or fails, (3) achieving the goal or "boon," which often results in important self-knowledge, (4) a return to the ordinary world, again as to which the hero can succeed or fail, and finally, (5) application of the boon in which what the hero has gained can be used to improve the world.

The story-line also incorporates many elements which would be familiar to shamanic practitioners; most notably the symbolic death/rebirth experience which frees the man from the limitations of the ego.

"Man is born free, but is everywhere in chains."
-- Jean-Jacques Rousseau