Thinking about this month’s theme of wisdom, I remembered one of the most powerful ideas I have ever encountered: the Hero’s Journey. In his famous book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), Joseph Campbell describes the hero’s journey as follows: “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”
The most powerful part of the story is when the hero finds himself at the lowest point in his life. This is when he surrenders all his preconceived ideas and asks Spirit to help him. When he does this, he receives the answer as to the cause of his suffering and is able to release it and start a new way of living.
I like to think of this journey as the path to wisdom. Being able to learn from our mistakes, to realize why we did the things we did, and how to let go of them is how we become wise. To acknowledge our mistakes, forgive ourselves and others, and to go in a different direction is the essence of wisdom.
No, it isn’t easy. And sometimes we have to keep making the same mistakes again and again until we finally say to ourselves, “Wait! Why do I keep doing this?” That is the important moment. And to me, the most important question in this process is, “What is it I believe that causes me to keep making the same mistakes?”
That takes us back to what metaphysics tells us: that we have within us the creative energy of the universe that we can use to create anything we want to in our lives. And to learn how to use that energy in a creative, loving, peaceful way is the essence of wisdom.