The best heroes in myth, the ones we love and cherish, they follow an arch. They all walked the same path. They answered the call, met the mentor, battled the threshold guardians and come out of it stronger than they have ever been, but towards the end of the hero’s arch, when the rubber meets the road…”POP”…the tyre blows. Something knocks them down, hard!
The hero regresses and they lose everything and become less than they were when we met them, because, well, if a hero is going to be an actual hero they have to be born again from nothing.
Trauma, the death of a loved one or realising a dream that turns out to be a nightmare is a rebirth in that all the insecurities that held us back in the first place flood back amplified and this has the power to tear us apart. When all this is taken away, what is left to lose?
Hero’s can never regress, they can never go back and hit the reset button. They can never erase the most traumatic events of their life, but many heroes try to do exactly that and dive back into the very life they tried so desperately to escape. Whatever it takes to stop the pain, whatever they can do to quell the regret.
This is a desperate ploy to make everything as it used to be.
We root for our heroes to save us all and pull themselves out of the downward spiral, but sometimes the pull of the downward spiral is just too strong, sometimes our hero is too weak. When that happens one of two things go down, we witness the death of our hero or we realise we have been front row to the origin of something else….the birth of a villain!
These stories are about us, hero’s make mistakes because we do. Hero’s do things they regret because we do and like most any story told, this is a mirror, one we hold up to see ourselves more clearly and that is the catch 22 of the human condition, the inability to see ourselves for who we are.
We can often only do that through someone else’s eyes and when we do we may not like what they see. So as we watch the rise and fall of our hero’s the question we ask should not be will they be greater, will they ascend. No, when that rubber hits the road and that tyre blows, the question we should ask is can we be greater, can we ascend?
When the rubber hits the road and the tyre blows…we will ask ourselves the question at the centre of it all…Who are we? Who am I?