Daniel Carter

Composer Publisher Author

The Reluctant Hero

The reluctant hero’s journey always begins with the discovery of flawed man-made conventions. She/He has no desire to leave comforts to take up an inconvenient cause, however, the nagging injustice of these wrongs becomes intolerable, so reluctantly she/he embarks on a journey of truth. But threat and rejection cause great self-doubt of ability and importance.  A mourning period halts the journey until mentors appear who strengthen the hero against powerful enemies. (In real-world experience, this is where most of us get stuck—in grief and anger, believing we are powerless to do anything more than accept what we cannot control. But as headlines prove, anger and depression build until some commit suicide, and others become insane with hate resulting in lashing out at the world with a murderous vengeance. But most become compliant, miserable, complaining sheep.)

But as mentors teach the hero of her/his primordial origin—which is that all human beings are created whole (which completely opposes man-made conventions which teach that humans are innately flawed), the hero’s intuition and moral compass are reaffirmed revealing that the conflict as the hero perceived it is spot on, which reignites action to take up the cause of truth again.

The hero is bolstered to leave the conventional world, crossing a threshold into very dangerous realms with unknown rules. The rules change because those who protect man-made convention will do anything to perpetuate the lie (because they receive enormous rewards for protecting it). Enemies surround until the hero confronts death and greatest fears. The treasure is won, but the threat of loss is constant as the road home is equally dangerous.

Near the end of the hero’s journey is the climax—a final, terrible test that brings a spiritual and/or physical death, which serves as a rebirth, transformation, or resurrection to a higher level, thus resolving the conflicts of the beginning. The hero may continue on or may mentor other heroes.

The secret of the reluctant hero’s journey is this: The fear of pain and loss is greater than the sum of both. The only way out is through. Through fear, through grief and loss, we are able to draw strength to rise.

But whether or not you or I are ever heroes, this may be the most important question: If you could believe you are created whole—not flawed as human convention teaches—what would your life be like?