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Heroes, Mythology, and Religion
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Falkonn



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 307
Location: Beneath the pile of babies~

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone that is here is right that you are here advertising for your site. It would be nice if you would take responsibility for your own actions now that you got called on it.

Your honestly surprised that stories focus on "heroes" and that the hero archetype comes up in multiple cultures from around the world? What? No...your right, it would make more sense if the storyline followed the sheep that didn't do anything to further the storyline. People that write want to talk about people that are interesting...groundbreaking theory Christo.

I can't remember all of the different things you said about the hero archetype, but they can all be easily explained. The water bit for example is used b/c water is a symbol for life. Ineffectual leaders are used because they cause tensions that the writer can use to contrast against the hero. If you are surprised by things that are so easily explained then kudos to you. But I don't believe that and I'm not the only one. You used this as an excuse to post your comic link.

As others have stated before, if you read the sinfest forums as much as you claim to have then you wouldn't have posted this in the first place.
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Snorri



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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Location: hiding the decline.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Heroes, Mythology, and Religion Reply with quote

Christo wrote:

You guys have thoughts?

Yeah. If you want to pimp your comic so badly don't try to hide it.
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Yorick



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falkonn wrote:
As others have stated before, if you read the sinfest forums as much as you claim to have then you wouldn't have posted this in the first place.

no no no no no no no. as noted, Christo's cursing the darkness instead of seeking the light. he don't read no forums, dig? just the comic (supposedly).

I mean, if we're to be mocking people, lets at least get the facts right. or distort them more horribly.
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Christo



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falkonn wrote:
Everyone that is here is right that you are here advertising for your site. It would be nice if you would take responsibility for your own actions now that you got called on it.
Hey, I admit I whore my site all over the place, but my showing up here was honestly in search of intelligent discussion.

Quote:
I can't remember all of the different things you said about the hero archetype, but they can all be easily explained.
I think there's a lot of complicated sociology and psychology going on in the Hero's Journey. If you disagree, I think you're missing out on what could be an interesting discussion.

Quote:
As others have stated before, if you read the sinfest forums as much as you claim to have then you wouldn't have posted this in the first place.
Never have I ever claimed to have read anything in the sinfest forums. I read the strip. It's hilarious and thought provoking.
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Falkonn



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
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Location: Beneath the pile of babies~

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, well in that case I think Christo is a perfectly wonderful human being and will shower him with praises and such. Very Happy
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Christo



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:06 pm    Post subject: Re: I'm always late to the evisceration Reply with quote

Usagi Miyamoto wrote:
Christo (sadly, not that Christo) is apparently Ethan somebody:Seems to sum it up right there.

Ethan's the webcomic's co-creator. My name's actually Christo--short for Christopher. I'm not big on handles.
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Sojobo



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christo wrote:
my showing up here was honestly in search of intelligent discussion.
So what discussion are you looking for?

Everyone agrees that there are archetypes and themes that show up regularly, including chains of them (such as the hero journey) which appear often enough to suggest there's a deeper-in-the-consciousness thing going on.

We've begun pointing out that some of the specific ones you've mentioned aren't very strong examples. You've ignored us. We've pointed out that it might be useful for you to actually learn what the Hero's Journey is, so we can discuss that. You've ignored us. You haven't been acting like you're interested in discussion.

But here, I'll be even more direct and clear:

You mentioned being an orphan. This isn't common to the stories you named, or to most legends, unless you count all demigods as orphans, which would be wrong, since they would be better characterized as miraculous births. Obviously this is common because it's the easiest explanation for heroic powers. Also, this isn't part of Conrad's Hero's Journey.

You mentioned special talents. This is pretty universal, but not at all interesting, because we're talking about heroes. Of course they have special abilities. We wouldn't be talking about them otherwise. Also, again, not part of Conrad's Hero's Journey.

You mentioned a mentor. This is interesting, but not even close to universal. Even some of the very people you listed - Gilgamesh, Oedipus, and Odysseus, don't have significant mentors. Unless you blur this out into counting supernatural aid (not mentoring), it just isn't a good example. Also, yet again, not part of Conrad's Hero's Journey.

You mentioned allies. I don't think this is a major theme, either. Of those you mentioned, only Oedipus was without, but I don't think Odysseus' allies were that significant, and I don't remember significant allies for Hercules, Perseus, Buddha, or Jesus, either. Also, one more time, not part of Conrad's Hero's Journey.

You mentioned special equipment. Again, not universal. Again, not part of Conrad's Hero's Journey.

Do you see why we're having trouble giving you the conversation you're asking for? Read the book! Read the book! Read the muh'fuckin book! Then get back to us.
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kame



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

also,
brush your teeth! brush your teeth!
brush your god damn teeth!
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn, I wanted to post that.
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Christo



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sojobo wrote:
So what discussion are you looking for?
Just this. I like what you wrote, and I'd like to respond.

Quote:
...which appear often enough to suggest there's a deeper-in-the-consciousness thing going on.
Right. Exactly. So what makes something significant enough to be included across cultures?

Quote:
Also, this isn't part of Conrad's Hero's Journey.
You mean, Campbell. Joseph Conrad is the guy that wrote Heart of Darkness. Campbell is certainly the guy that first drew a lot of attention to the hero's journey ubiquity, but he didn't invent it, and I think a lot can be discussed about the hero's journey without following his specific path. You mention the fact that a lot of the components that I listed aren't in his book. Right. I know. That's why I'm not sticking to his book.

Also, you use the word 'universal' a lot, and I don't think any of the components that I mentioned always appear. They just crop up often enough that people have noticed them.

To respond to some of your specific points:

Quote:
You mentioned being an orphan. This isn't common to the stories you named
I'm thinking of Moses, Frodo Baggins, Luke Skywalker, and an awful lot of comic book characters. Other archetypal heroes like Jesus, Buddha, Ged from A Wizard of Earthsea, Santiago from The Alchemist, Ada from Cold Mountain, they frequently are either half-orphans or very intentionally separate themselves from their parents. I think that's really interesting. Does that frequency say something about our species?

Mentors. Right, so I think mentors are particularly interesting as well. I think their ubiquity reflects the fact that as a species we define ourselves largely by our education. Most animals know what they need to know from birth. Every culture on earth has had a notion of teaching.

Equipment. The closest that Campbell does with this is talking about the Hero's Reward, but I don't think it quite fits. I was thinking about Spider-Man's webshooters and why Stan Lee didn't do what they did with the movies and just make his webshooters part of his powers, and I've got a theory, which I think is kind of cool, and you might think is dumb, but here goes: Humans don't have big claws or armored backs or the innate ability to fly, but every society has compensated with technology, so it would make sense that we would arm our heroes with tools to help them in their quest. But that reliance on technology leads to a level of anxiety shown by that equipment failing the hero. Wands break, light sabers are lost. I can name a bunch of examples, if you want. The heroes frequently reforge or refind their equipment, but they often don't use it when facing their final challenge.

Quote:
Do you see why we're having trouble giving you the conversation you're asking for?
Naw brother. You gave me a lot of good stuff to think about. I hope you'll respond and we can continue this.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christo wrote:
You mention the fact that a lot of the components that I listed aren't in his book. Right. I know. That's why I'm not sticking to his book.


i thought the reason you weren't sticking to his book was because you hadn't actually read it.


...oops, sorry, i forgot. you are ignoring my comments.
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The Highlord



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nature sums up my take entirely. http://www.metro.co.uk/news/802617-starlings-give-twitchers-the-bird
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Sojobo



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christo wrote:
You mean, Campbell. Joseph Conrad is the guy that wrote Heart of Darkness.
Ugh. Can't believe I did that. Five times! Sorry.

Christo wrote:
Campbell is certainly the guy that first drew a lot of attention to the hero's journey ubiquity, but he didn't invent it, and I think a lot can be discussed about the hero's journey without following his specific path. You mention the fact that a lot of the components that I listed aren't in his book. Right. I know. That's why I'm not sticking to his book.
When we discuss that a single archetype is kind of common, like say a mentor appearing to teach the hero, it isn't really making much of a claim. Any role that appears in society, like that of mentor, should appear in stories, too. And when, again, like mentoring, a social role is pretty ubiquitous, we should see it in a lot of stories. Nothing surprising.

The difference with the Hero's Journey is that Campbell was listing a number of common event archetypes, and saying that nearly all hero stories used most of them. This is a much stronger claim, and kind of turns all hero stories into variations on one gigantic pattern (or would, if he was correct).

So when you say you're adding components that he wasn't using, you're just not talking about the same sort of thing that Campbell was.

Christo wrote:
Also, you use the word 'universal' a lot, and I don't think any of the components that I mentioned always appear.
I didn't mean it as an absolute - I was modifying it like "pretty universal" and "not even close to universal", which describes more of a continuum - some things being more universal than others.

Christo wrote:
they frequently are either half-orphans or very intentionally separate themselves from their parents. I think that's really interesting. Does that frequency say something about our species?
I'm not sure it does. An orphan is powerless and vulnerable. I think orphan as a starting place for a hero is just a natural move for any storyteller who wants to emphasize exactly how extreme the barriers were that the hero overcame.

I also feel like I should mention again that Jesus wasn't an orphan. Divine parent is a whole 'nother thing from no parent. Also, Buddha wasn't an orphan. I don't really know where that came from. Moses was an orphan, and definitely had a nice hero's journey, but Abraham, Israel, Joseph, and King David weren't, so I don't know that the Tanach really favours the orphan type, either.

Christo wrote:
Right, so I think mentors are particularly interesting as well. I think their ubiquity reflects the fact that as a species we define ourselves largely by our education. Most animals know what they need to know from birth. Every culture on earth has had a notion of teaching.
I think there's a strong tendency to define ourselves by our professions - we are what we do. I realize that profession is largely based on education, but I still think it's a different focus.

Anyway, ubiquitous, yes. Mentors are in stories because mentors are a significant real life role, across nearly all cultures.

Christo wrote:
it would make sense that we would arm our heroes with tools to help them in their quest
We arm our heroes with tools because we use tools ourselves. I don't really think it's a statement of any kind.

Christo wrote:
But that reliance on technology leads to a level of anxiety shown by that equipment failing the hero. Wands break, light sabers are lost. I can name a bunch of examples, if you want. The heroes frequently reforge or refind their equipment, but they often don't use it when facing their final challenge.
This is seperate from having equipment, which is good, because this trope is actually very interesting. I don't think it's a reliance on technology thing, though. I think it emphasizes how great the Big Baddie is when you attack him with the best tools available, and they break, and so you need to find/make even more legendary tools to have a chance. Seems like a storytelling device rather than a matter of psychology.
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Sam the Eagle



Joined: 02 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christo wrote:



Quote:
You mentioned being an orphan. This isn't common to the stories you named
I'm thinking of Moses, Frodo Baggins, Luke Skywalker, and an awful lot of comic book characters. Other archetypal heroes like Jesus, Buddha, Ged from A Wizard of Earthsea, Santiago from The Alchemist, Ada from Cold Mountain, they frequently are either half-orphans or very intentionally separate themselves from their parents. I think that's really interesting. Does that frequency say something about our species?



Just pointing out that with the expection of Moses, the ones you're mentionned are taken from last century fiction books, some good some bad but all nowhere near universal. Same goes from the other points: Maybe Lukes has the hots for Leia, but his trip is nothing new (part Oedipus, part Orpheus). With the coming of internet ages, it may be a new archetype is underway, the last one I can think of were late 18th century's Frankeinstein and Dracula.

Another item of note : Neither Buddha gautama nor Vishnu fits the hero's model. Maybe you were thinking of Vishnu's avatar Krishna, but then that'd be only one aspect of that god. Sometimes the hero model doesn't apply at all, like 1001 night' heroine.

Our specie, as you mention it, is far from unified. Legend and myth are shaped by both land and events. You won't find anywhere a flooding myth except near the mediterranean for a reason.
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Christo



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sojobo wrote:
Ugh. Can't believe I did that. Five times! Sorry.
Could be worse. Just yesterday I meant to call my boss by his first name but accidentally said, "Damnable Lucifer, Prince of Seven Hells." It happens.

The following's got Spoilers for His Dark Materials.. Be warned.
Mentors and orphans I hear you, but I think there's an interesting sort of paradox here. We take away a hero's parents as a sort of trial by fire, but then we give them a mentor to teach them stuff. Why is it so rare to have a parent be a mentor? Doesn't it say something about our species? I also think it's particularly interesting that Pullman sort of inverts that notion in The Golden Compass. The fact that Lyra has parents is her trial by fire, and as far as I can tell, she has no discernible mentor, which is her blessing.

As far as Jesus and Buddha goes, my point was that they both have very distinct separations from their family. As to the Hebrew Patriarchs, there's a fascinating second son fixation that I'm far from understanding. That's an entirely different conversation.

Quote:
So when you say you're adding components that he wasn't using, you're just not talking about the same sort of thing that Campbell was.
It's an off shoot certainly. I'm interested in his events, but I'm also interested in the characters, props, and settings that appear again and again.


Quote:
Seems like a storytelling device rather than a matter of psychology.
I think effective storytelling devices reflect our psychology.

Quote:
We arm our heroes with tools because we use tools ourselves. I don't really think it's a statement of any kind.
I think it is. Here's what I find most interesting, and I'll try to keep this brief. I think most people think of their lives as "normal." On some level, we tend to think that what we're doing is natural, but if you look at the way we live--look at this conversation on the internet--and look at the way that some people live in Thailand or Ecuador, the way people lived in pre-Colombian America or in pre-English India, the human experience has been extraordinarily diverse. And it leads me to the question: What is the quintessential human experience? Is their a unified field theory for our existence? If there is, I think it has something to do with our heroes' stories.
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