“There is the known, and there is the unknown, and in between is the doors.” – Jim Morrison
“Break on through to the other side…Where the day destroys the night and night divides the day…Break on through to the other side.” These were the famous haunting words sung by the American poet, rock artist, Jim Morrison of The Doors. With these words, he electrified an entire generation. And with these words, he began his own destruction. Morrison was talking about the great hero quest that he longed to take: to break on through to the other side, the dark side, the spiritual side, the unknown, and beyond. To penetrate the deepest darkness of his soul, enter on to the other side of pure light, and return with a vision to heal himself and his people. But Jim Morrison never returned from the dark side.
Jim was not prepared to enter into the dark side. He did not understand the psychology of the hero soul, and did not have the capacity to deal with the horror of his inner demons. Instead of slaying the dragon, his ego, he fed his ego with more fire and hatred. He set out to kiss the serpent, to ride the snake to the end of time and beginning of eternity, but he was swallowed by it. He was consumed by his own darkness.
The same thing happened with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. They got stuck in the dark side. By using artificial means, massive quantities of drugs and alcohol, they were able to shut the spinning wheels of their mind and receive a small glimpse of the other side. In their drug-induced trances, they caught the occasional beams of light on ‘the other side’ that penetrated their darkness with visions of poetic expression.
But they did so at a great cost to themselves and people around them. These visions may have electrified their generation, but they did not heal. They simply entertained people, and at best, during their peak, may have satisfied a small yearning inside. But their music did not elevate people to a higher level of understanding like Mozart, Beethoven, or John Lennon.
Joseph Campbell, in his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, beautifully illustrates the path of the hero: “the birth, life, and death of the individual may be regarded as a descent into unconsciousness and return. The hero is the one who, while still alive, knows and represents the claims of the super consciousness which throughout creation is…unconscious. The adventure of the hero represents the moment when, while still alive, he found and opened the road to the light beyond the dark walls of our living death.”
The penultimate hero is able to enter into the unconscious realm and beyond, still awake, and bring back the boons that elevate entire civilizations and create the titan works that give birth to cultural enlightenment. He or she has the strength, will, courage, and inner capacity to defeat the dark demons of the other side. Heroes also survive the cruel impact of the world. They learn to effectively deal with the initial, furious scorn and ridicule from people that don’t understand them upon their return. They learn to shatter the ego, and return transformed, offering people the life elixir to renew and transform themselves as well. They cause the illumination of the collective soul and liberation of the mind. The highest purpose of the hero is to provide a vision that heals our tribe called humanity.
Can we all aspire to become like this in our lifetime? This is a question that I cannot answer, because I have no authority to decide what is possible and what is not. The important thing to remember is that this work is a composite of the universal hero in a state of perfection. We only need to access a small fraction of this power to experience a new life with new power and new blood.” [Excerpted from “Psychology of the Hero Soul,” by Sharif Khan, Chapter 1.]
Psychology of the Hero Soul is an inspirational book on awakening the Hero within and rekindling people ‘s passion for greatness. It is based on author, Sharif Khan ‘s ten years research in the field of human development. The Hero Soul is availble to order in most major bookstores including Borders, Barnes and Noble, Chapters, Indigo, and Coles bookstores. To order online visit: http://www.herosoul.com
Psychology of the Hero Soul, by Sharif Khan, ISBN 0973192208, Diamond Mind Books, 160 pages, $14.95 US, trade-paperback, Self-help/Inspirational, distributed by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and University of Toronto Press.