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Living the Heroic Life Journey: Part 2

SOUL: Hero’s Journey as Individuation

Dr. Carol S. Pearson, coauthor of the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator® instrument, is an internationally recognized scholar and well-known author of numerous books, among them the bestselling The Hero Within, as well as Awakening the Heroes Within, The Hero and the Outlaw, and Magic At Work. Awakening the Heroes Within provided the foundational theory set from which the PMAI® assessment initially was developed, augmented by analyses of data from fifteen years of PMAI results.
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Dr. Hugh Marr is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Alexandria, VA. Prior to that, he worked in all phases of community mental health, culminating in running a partial hospital program for clients with the co-occurring disorders of substance use and major mental illness. Dr. Marr co-authored the books What Story Are You Living and Introduction to Archetypes with Dr. Carol Pearson and developed the PMAI® (Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator®) assessment with her.
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The meaning of "soul" used in depth psychology does not necessarily imply the religious meaning of what is eternal about you; rather, it is about discovering the deeper, more essential "you" that exists now. While many people have trouble understanding what soul is, most of us know what it means to look in the mirror and think something like, "if I do this one more day, or if I agree to this, or if I allow this, I will lose my soul." Soul, then, is that something very much linked with the treasure of our essence that we lose at great cost to the quality of our lives.

Your Deeper Authenticity

How can you identify your true nature and give it form? The archetypes that assist with this are the Seeker, the Lover, the Creator, and the Revolutionary. And these most often do their most important work in terms that we feel stuck or trapped, when we experience great losses, or when we are in major life transitions, like adolescence, midlife, or retirement. The questions that rises up in us are variations on: "who am I this time?" and "who could I become?"

Seeker and Lover

In addition, the Seeker's insistence on being free to go new places and try new things is motivated by a desire to find and then guard your individuality. In all the experimentation and journeying, a Seeker finds and protects you by identifying how you are different from others. However, this can lead to alienation and loneliness. The Lover, as complement, follows the path of love and seeks to find love, friendship, and places to belong and tends to be quicker to make commitments. However, the Lover can lead you to work so hard to please and make others happy that you lose yourself. These complement one another, together defining the key processes for finding your true self by the choices you make in your life to balance guarding your individuality with guarding your relationships.

Creator and Revolutionary

Under the influence of the Creator, you may find out who you are by what you create; this includes art of various kinds but also the form your life takes. However, sometimes you may not like what you have created. The Revolutionary can show up to weed the garden of your life, by willingly ridding you of what you would rather let go of and by improving your artistic productions, often by helping you be willing to break more rules than before.

While there may be some eternal essence within each of us, for all practical purposes, our authentic self grows and changes as we do. Both the Creator and Revolutionary assist us in the evolution of who we are over our lifespans. Too much Creator can lead to overwhelming you with too many activities, and too much Revolutionary can erase things that in retrospect you would have wanted to treasure. Together they provide balance.


Continue this story in Part 3.


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