The God-Shaped Hole!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Looking For An Old Butcher

The Hero's Journey is the blueprint for every halfway decent story. Like appreciation for rainbows and power chords, it's instinctual. It's built into our brains. It runs our lives, if we let it.
But the Hero's Journey gives us certain expectations of the world around us, which usually don't happen. Because we've been raised on these tales, we expect to be given the rules when we enter a new situation, a realm of experience new to us, and we freeze up if nobody does. We expect to fail, because we know the transformative nature of the Night Journey. However, not everyone finds the Sword Of Light in their Night Journey. Some people stay in darkness for a very long time.
Today, I'm going to talk about the old butcher. According to Merlin Mann, he's the guy who's been a butcher for forty years, and if you're his apprentice and you call out for two and a half pounds of roast beef, you'll get exactly that. When you put it on the scale, it's not an ounce over or under. You keep practicing, and someday you'll be him; in the meantime, he'll teach you the little things that, while they don't really make sense, they make work flow so much easier.
He's a master of his trade or art, and he's your mentor. The universe provides one for each hero.
That's what we think, because of the Hero's Journey. In reality, we need to actively seek these people out and ask them to teach us, and DO WHAT THEY SAY, because we're not storybook heroes, we're just people. The universe doesn't follow our private story arc.

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