Thursday, February 4, 2010

Awakening the Heroes Within

Have I ever told you that I'm kind of addicted to self-help books? Okay, I'm addicted to all kinds of books really, so maybe it's more of a sub-addiction (I totally just made that up! Maybe I should become a psychologist...or a writer of self-help books!)

So, I won't tell you how many self-help books I'm reading right now, but I will tell you about the one I got in the mail today: Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World
by Carol Pearson. This one has been on my Amazon list for, well, probably years, but I saw that I could get it through my bookclub for much less, so I ordered it a few weeks ago.

First, I guess I should tell you that I'm also fascinated by archetypes. This fascination started when I was first introduced to the idea in a literature class my junior year in college. The idea of the collective unconcious floored me, and, I had to believe, that the reason we have this collective unconcious (this invisible background knowledge that people all over the world have!) is because we all did come from the same place, that this collective unconcious that is carried in the DNA of our spirits. These archetypes are character types that are found in the stories of cultures and peoples all over the world. Want a simple example (and probably my favorite)? Cinderella. All over the world there are Cinderella stories. Cultures that never interacted with each other have Cinderella stories. How is that possible?! you ask. The collective unconcious, is my reply.

So, I saw this book, I finally ordered it, I opened it up tonight and right away I see that I can take a quiz to see what kind of archetype I am, or, more accurately, which archetypes I am most like. My highest score was for the Seeker, so I promptly turned to the chapter about the Seeker. This is what Pearson writes: "The quest always begins with yearning. We feel discontented, confined, alienated, or empty." (Um, hello, is she channeling me? Sorry, I'll continue.) Often we do not even have a name for what is missing, but we long for that mysterious something. Cinderella longs for her prince to come; Gepetto longs to have a child; Telemachus searches for Odysseus; the prince seraches for a great treasure. The urge to sek the grail, to climb the mountain in search of visions, to seek wisdom, to cross new frontiers, to achieve the formerly unachievable in all areas of life seem endemic in the human race. The Seeker responds to the call of the Spirit--to ascend."

Seriously. This is so me right now. Probably, if I read every archetype in the book, or if I scored differently, I would probably say, "Seriously. This is so me right now." Despite that, I can't wait to see what more Pearson says. Maybe she can tell me how I can feed my children and be a full time writer. Keep your fingers crossed for me!


Nicole said...

Ak, I've been trying to leave a comment on your blog since yesterday and for some reason it won't let me post. So this is a test comment, to see if it will let me leave a comment today.....

Nicole said...

Hooray! It worked!!!

So, I am offically putting myself on the "Hold" list to borrow this book when you are done reading it. :) (I'll even return the last book I borrowed.)

I was all into self help books for a little while then started to feel overwhelmed and depressed because I couldn't live up to everything they wanted me to do/be. But this one sounds good.

orangemily said...

Good luck in your seeking!

amanda said...

Adding to my "must read" list. The books stack so high in my home, little towers of inspiration.