Philip Folsom is a US Army veteran and anthropologist who has studied ancient warrior cultures from every age. He describes The Hero’s Journey as, “the unavoidable psychological response to the unknown that is encoded in our DNA.” In this episode, Philip breaks it down in an easily understandable way using popular stories from our culture. He explains that in order to have a meaningful life, a man must move from self-centered “boy psychology” to self-sacrificing “man psychology.” Philip is co-founder of K4 (King of the Four Houses) men’s group which is committed to the values of growth and service and giving men the tools they need to move from “pride to honor and Prince to King.”
Hello, and welcome to the mission manhood podcast. Today our guest is Phillip Folsom. Hello, Phillip.
I’m so happy to be here.
I’m so happy you’re here. Could you tell us a little bit about what you do, what your vision is and anything you think is important for us to know?
I just love right before we hit record, you were saying that some of the men you’ve been talking to have shared that men’s work has saved their lives. And I think that’s a, we might as well get right up to cruising altitude right off the bat. I corroborate that. And that’s the reason why I’m in men’s work. I am an army veteran and somebody who’s struggled with depression and addiction and some of the bigger challenges in my life. And obviously it stems from a core inadequacy issues that men have who are uninitiated. So of course, I didn’t really understand that idea or even have that language when I first started this journey. The men’s work that I’ve been in for close to 30 years is really uncovering some of these best practices. And male suicide is up almost 40%, it’s not just a personal growth, good thing to do. This is a survival protocol for the American man.
So it’s not just somebody who’s trying to enhance themself or lead a better life. I mean, we really are at a crisis point.
Uh, clinical depression, anxiety, addiction, ultimately suicide, which is a response to a life without meaning. And men’s work, dives straight into that. And I believe in, and I’m also a consultant for large organizations around the world, and I am absolutely positive that men’s work is the tip of the spear in applied leadership. It really is the best work that I see humanity currently doing today.
Can you say a little bit about that? I mean, what do you mean by that?
Leadership is intentional decision-making, leaders are people whose decisions affect other people. So the study of decision-making is vast. In fact, the word decide, contains the same root as homicide and suicide. So in Latin, cide means to cut or kill. So those of us who are making decisions, if we are the deciders, then we’re dealing with what we give birth to and what we kill off. And that’s a very, very powerful idea that applied psychology is how people shape their individual lives, their partnerships, their families, their organizations, and ultimately societies. That’s leadership.
So you said you’ve been in this area, this field for 30 years, I’m guessing that you started as a novice, were you seeking to heal or help yourself?
They called pre trauma. And this is an important dynamic for a lot of men and women. And I, you obviously have, you know, women who are listening to this because in my experience, being involved in a lot of different men’s programs, not only my own, there’s a tremendous amount of women who are trying to get in because they love men or they love their men. Or they’re looking for a man to love who is available and not an adolescent boy pretending to be a man. So my journey was addressing the pre trauma piece. Pre trauma are the events that we have when we’re usually under the age of seven. And that’s your formative core psychological foundation. And all people take on pre trauma because at that young age, you are marginalized. You have no power, you can’t defend your boundaries. And so things are taken from you and forced on you. And this is called pre trauma. And it’s particularly, uh, sharp when it deals with poverty or neglect or abuse or any of these events that happen. And it turns out that pre trauma is one of the number one factors in looking at post-traumatic stress and how resilient men are, particularly who go into certain fields like first responders, military, hospitals, entrepreneurship, these are all high trauma fields. And the reason why high trauma men enter high trauma fields is that we’re looking for power. We’re looking for structure, we’re looking for freedom and it’s, we’re attempting to either heal the wound or fill the hole that was left from our pre trauma. And that was, that was my story. And it’s the story of almost every single veteran, police and fire that, you know, we have three times the amount of pre trauma as the average civilian man.
How do you figure that out? Is there an assessment,
Theres a number of assessments and what’s wonderful about our current, like when I talk about applied leadership or psychology, the, the work that is happening in the veteran’s field in particular, and it’s being very quickly followed by our, all of our first responder industries is that they’re exploring resiliency at a very active rate. It’s exciting. And it was, again, that wasn’t something that was altruism, which is, that’s a good thing to do. This was a survival protocol because I think we all know the rate of veteran suicide and for your listeners who don’t since 9-11, we’ve had under 8,000 deaths in combat in all of our various excursions or out the world in that same period of time, since 9-11, we have had over 150,000 deaths by suicide and men have vastly higher numbers of suicides than women. What’s causing that? And what is the solution to address that? That is what the current men’s work movement is, is moving towards. And it’s driven by the military because the military had to deal with that. And Jordan Peterson talks about, if you have to fight the dragon, you should go to its lair before it comes to your village. In the military, we’ve been dealing with that dragon for as long as there have been militaries. And so that dragon of resiliency and suicide is now firmly in the villages of our civilian population. And so everybody’s going, Holy cow, here’s this dragon. And those of us in the military can like, Hey, yeah, we’ve been fighting that for a long, long time. And we happen to have a lot of weapons. It’s great to see some of the, some of the resiliency best practices flowing back.
You started off and you had that pre trauma piece. I’m assuming you got into the men’s work sort of after your military.
Yeah. The men’s work field is obviously connected intrinsically to humanity. There’s always been men’s work and I’ve studied a lot of indigenous cultures. This is one of the things that I’m passionate about, particularly warrior reintegration rituals. There aren’t societies that are purely, I’m talking about indigenous societies that are purely patriarchal or matriarchal. It’s always a combination, a partnership of the two. Like we need each other. We’re built for collaboration and it’s still happening. And patriarchy is definitely taken a bad rap recently. However, they fulfill very different roles in our tribal structure, the men, their job, besides defending and hunting and protecting and exploring, and travel and all the rest of the extra tribal behavior that men traditionally do. Our job is to take the boys at the appropriate age from your house and move them into their house. And that rite of passage involves the death of the old operating system, which is very individual centric and installing the new operating system of service that is required for men. So men’s work has been around as long as there have been men, we have lost that initiation practice and it is now coming back in waves and the first wave hit in the late eighties and then it died off. And now men’s work is back with a furious vengeance. And it’s very, it’s really, really exciting time.
Yeah. I think your point there about the patriarchy and the furious vengeance, I do think a lot of people are nervous that we’re going to swing back too far. You know, there most people agree that there’s something that needs to happen. I love that you’re saying that, yes, we need each other. There’s a dance. There’s a balance. I mean, that’s a super hopeful message.
It’s a harmony. There is in everything, a going to be change. And so harmony implies a certain fluidity of events. And there are certain times where certain people are best suited to lead. And that’s that versatility of our species is what drives adaptability. And that gave us the planet. Evolution is not survival of the fittest, evolution is survival of the most adaptable. And so having differentiation between our gender roles between personality styles, and this is what the archetypes is about, that a lot of your listeners know those four archetypes are actually leadership styles. They’re all incredibly valuable in, in different scenarios, which drives versatility within the tribe and adaptability as a tribe, as a whole,
You had a quote by James Garfield on the K-4 Instagram page that said, “I mean to make myself a man, and if I succeed in that I shall succeed in everything else.” And I don’t know to me, that’s just a great introduction to this, the why of the hero’s journey. Why do you put yourself through that?
That quote is referring to the transition, going from a boy into a man. And that’s that initiation process where the boy dies and the man is born. Boys are inherently focused on their own trauma. Their own needs their own desperate bottomless pit of external validation. That that’s the boy psychology. For all you listeners wondering about that; like, am I really a man? Are you serving? Are you able to sacrifice, are you able to intentionally sacrifice the things you want in the short term for something greater, either in the long run or greater than yourself. That ability to intentionally sacrifice for the sacred is what a mature psychology is. If you’re able to do that, if you’re able to live like a man, then you’ll be able to do everything else you want. You’ll be able to make money, get in shape, have powerful relationships, raise a family…you will be able to serve the kingdom because the currency of the kingdom is much more valuable and louder than the currency of validation. And so when you become a man, it’s not free; you to put away childish things. There are many full grown, physiologically adult males, not men, who are still playing video games. And if that offends, some of you adult males who are listening to this who think that you deserve to play video games, I would ask you, what are you sacrificing for all those hours? All those hours that you’re killing space monsters. We need you. Society needs you to return to Gondor and man the walls and mentor the kids and all the things that men are required to do
That makes me want to shout, “Hallelujah!” I don’t know. It just kind of rose up in me like we’re in church. That’s right. I just did a post the other day that said seek the kingdom first. And it was based on, there’s a verse in the Bible that says, seek ye first, the kingdom of God and all these things will be added. And it’s almost like, that’s just what you described. You do the sacrifices and you’re seeking the kingdom and all this other stuff is going to be added to you, the job or the whatever. But you have to do that work, that sacrificial work first.
And that’s the hero’s journey. Yeah, That, that is what is encoded in this ancient system of the human engagement with the unknown. So the hero’s journey, AKA the monomyth a phrase by Joseph Campbell. If you don’t know Joseph Campbell and you are a man, it is mandatory reading to maintain your man card along with Iron John, by Robert Bly and King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Dr. Moore and Dr. Gillette, those are the three books you must read.
There’s a book called Monomyth?
The book, I would encourage you, and Joseph Campbell wrote a lot of books, “The Power of Myth.” Yeah. The “Power of Myth” is, is a nice digestible entry into Joseph Campbell’s work. And so he’s a mythologist and he studied the cultures all around the world. And one of the things that he noticed, and this is along with Carl Jung and Freud, and, just great thinkers of the previous generation, is that all of these central mythological teaching stories, that all cultures have, have the same plot. And this just shook him because it didn’t matter if he was studying medieval mythology of Europe or Sub-Saharan African mythology or Greek mythology, or even, you know, going way out to, um, you know, any of the, you know, South American cultures to the same story. So he referred to that as the monomyth. There’s only one story and why we keep retelling the story is because it’s encoded in our DNA as the unavoidable psychological response to the unknown men are going to go through these stages or this process and if you understand what it is, then it will give you these three most important things. What these three things are, are the same things that any map will tell you. Really the hero’s journey is a map. It’s a, a roadmap towards flourishing, building your kingdom, or becoming a King or, or the hero. Um, maps tell you these three things. Number one, where are you? And there’s a lot of lost men out there. Like, where am I? What is going on? Where, what am I doing? Where am I? And so that’s the first stage, boy, once I know where I am, at least I’m here.
Very comforting to know where you are.
Yeah. And then number two, obviously, because we all, we have, we’re predators, we have eyes in the front. We like to hunt. So we’re always moving towards something or away from something. So the next thing that all maps and the hero’s journey in particular provide is “where are we going?” Where am I, where am I going? Now, you would think that the next question is, well, how do I get there? And the truth is you already know, you know exactly what you need to do, but what the hero’s journey really tells you is, who do you need to be to get there. The hero’s journey is contains basically four different stages, you know, and things are usually in either quadrants in mythology or they show up in three.
I heard that four is the number of the earth, which kind of makes sense for the hero’s journey.
Um, there’s four seasons. There’s four directions. It’s an easy way to look at the unknown because the unknown is an incredibly complex thing. It’s very hard to describe it. And so what maps do and the hero’s journey is the map. They are symbols that represent either objects or ideas that are too large or too complex to fully understand. So what a map does is it allows us to be able to engage with these gigantic complex ideas or objects, and then be able to not only chart our course through them, but also to partner with each other. So if we share the same map, now we can build, we can hunt, we can travel, we can heal. And if we don’t have a common mythology, then we’re lost. We don’t know how to interact with each other.
Well, gosh, that just explains a lot of what’s going on right now. Doesn’t it? I mean, we kicked out a lot of our rituals, our sacred times, our traditions. And so we’re all just wandering around feeling empty and lost.
Correct. So all cultures require a common myth and that may be a religion, it could be a society, it can be a common enemy, but there is a unifying thing that humanity requires. And at this point, America has none of these things. We have universally rejected politics and our government, we’ve rejected traditional spirituality. Uh, we don’t really have a big threat that we can rally behind. So we’ve turned inward and this is always going to happen. You see it happen with the Roman empire…in Rome, they actually have statues of their enemies and they believed loved thine enemy in the same way that Jesus said it. But it was a very different application. Jesus saying, forgive your enemy, where the Romans are like, thank you for being our enemy because it defines us. It gives us vitality and focus and they revered their enemy generals. Even when King Richard, the Lionheart, you know, he went to go on the crusades and got deathly ill and his opposite on the Persian side, stopped the war because they knew that Richard was sick and he sent ice from the mountains to cool him. There was a tremendous respect because they realized they needed each other. We need something to push against. It defines us; light needs dark, men need women. There is a healthy tension between all things. So the hero’s journey is a very good unifying myth because it’s so universal. You can divide it up in a lot of different ways, but the quadrant model is as clean and easy and effective. So stage one is the point in the story where the main character. And I use that word intentionally because they’re not the hero yet, they’re the main character, realizes that there’s something missing in the world. They realized that they have lost something that they had, or that there’s something that they want more of, or maybe there’s something that they want less of, but something needs to change. This is your intuition. You can feel that something is off. You know, a lot of us were to actually have access to these Intuit. They weren’t buried under all of our social media and addictions and junk food and electronics have numbed us out to the point where we can’t even hear her anymore. If we could hear that, we would all realize that there are things screaming at us and saying, this is absolutely wrong. Go back. This is called the call to adventure in the story. And you can imagine Luke Skywalker standing on that desert planet Tattooine. And he’s like, man, I know I’m meant for more than this or it’s Dorothy in Kansas. Who’s getting bullied. She’s poor. She’s unhappy that old lady being mean to her dog. This is that call to adventure. It means it’s time to handle your life, engage with the dragon. And so the universe comes to Luke and said, Hey, do you want to go train to be a Jedi? Hey, Rocky, you want to go fight Apollo Creed? Hey, Frodo, would you like to take the ring of power to Mordor and save all of the Middle Earth? And then what does the hero respond with?
No! So Luke Skywalker says, I can’t go train to be a Jedi, I’ve got work tomorrow. Does that sound familiar to anyone listening or I don’t even know what to do or that’s not my job or who am I to go in the case of Rocky fight, Apollo Creed the champion of the world, who am I to go make a million dollars to heal my ancestral trauma, to start a company who am I? So the hero refuses the call. And the reason why this is encoded in all of our hero’s journey is that it is an absolution for all of us who have refused the call because answering the call is hard. It’s brutal. And you know, what’s coming. As soon as you answer the call, people are not afraid of their greatness and people are not afraid of failure. People are afraid of what success will require from them. That’s what people are afraid of. Cause you know, to go make that million dollars to heal, to fix your relationship, to establish your spiritual practice, to quit drinking and whatever these things are. It’s going to be tough. You’re going to have to suffer. This is where we talked about sacrifice earlier. You knew you’re going to sacrifice. As soon as you start engaging with your purpose, your dreams, your aspirations. One of my favorite quotes is an old Roman proverb that says, “fate guides those who will, and those who won’t she drags.” Write this down or maybe go get a tattoo or something. “Fate guides those who will and those who won’t she drags.” So if you do not answer the call, if you do not make time for your health, you will make time for your sickness because fate is always more powerful than you. And she can has an endless amount of escalation for you. No matter what, if you refuse your call relationships, career, money, health, she’s coming with one up until you finally hear her. And usually at that point, it’s too late because you are on the journey. Luke Skywalker did not answer the call and his family gets wiped out. Dorothy does not answer the call in Kansas. All of a sudden fate comes in the form of a tornado and just sucks her out of Kansas or sucks Luke, out of Tattooine, what happens then is you’re pulled into the next phase of the story. And this is called the road of trials, hardship, adversity in Dorothy’s case, quite literally, it’s the yellow brick road of trials. It’s adversity and flying monkeys and poison and betrayal. And that’s where she gets to go into it Lukes case it’s, The Death Star like, Oh my God, I’m not ready for The Death Star. I don’t have, I have no training. I mean, I’m here. I am dealing with Darth Vader all of a sudden. So we don’t generally get eased into the road of trials. We’re in over our head. It’s the deep end of the pool. Immediately. You are in the giant churning sea of chaos. You’re stuck in the dark woods. And what’s incredibly important for all of us who either intentionally entered those woods or were pulled into the woods by fate, there is a solution or survival protocol embedded in the story. And there are three things that every hero receives. Number one, they receive allies. And this is terrifying for those of us who were out here. What if people don’t like us when we start telling our truth? What if people no longer want to hang out with us? Because we’re not drinking anymore. That’s terrifying for a pack animal like a human. And the truth is you get better friends, you get more powerful allies and they’re waiting for you right now. There are allies out there going okay. When, when she coming out, when’s he coming out because we need them. And so allies, you cannot wait for, you get them once you go. You will, you earn your allies. So if you’re hanging around with knuckleheads, you’re a knucklehead. You have to leave the knuckleheads. Once you earn the right for, you know, drop the zero, get with the heroes. Once you start hanging out with the heroes, your life’s going to change. You’re going to get in shape. You’re going to make money. You’re going to have discipline. Cause that’s what they’re doing. So the second thing that you get is called elder wisdom. None of us know what we’re doing. We’re all crippled by imposter syndrome. We’re all desperately hoping we don’t get found out that I’m a fraud like, Ooh, Angela, who is she to run a podcast about men? And the truth is that’s universal. You cannot make a plan for the unknown. A lot of people are waiting like, well, as soon as I know what to do, as soon as I get the information, then I’ll start. Doesn’t work that way you get the plan once you start.
I totally can vouch for that. It wasn’t until I started walking that the direction started to reveal itself a little bit. I’m still in the dark. But it’s exciting.
I think it’s Seneca. One of the Stoics. He said, when fate calls, all you can hope for is to be active and prepared. You don’t have a plan for her. You cannot plan for the unknown because the unknown is inherently unknown. You can’t make a plan for that. Now you can have practices, protocol, friends, you can be engaged. That’s the best way to deal with tremendous unknown. So elder wisdom you earn by starting your journey. That’s why they call it elder wisdom and not elder information. All the men who are listening to this, I am only giving you information. Now, the moment you actually start your journey and then you go, Oh yeah, that Phillip Folsom dude, Oh, I get it now. But you don’t get it until you integrate you walk it. Like you said, you have to walk it. And then the third one that all heroes, and again, you’re not heroes yet, all main characters receive is, uh, what’s called supernatural aid. Which means once you have committed to your journey, once you’re on it, then you get carried. You get synchronicity, you get the blessings, you get access to all the things that were already there, but you didn’t see them and you go, Oh wow. Those three things are the things that enable the hero to survive on their journey. And in your case, Dorothy, she receives her allies. She receives the tin Woodman and the lion and the scarecrow. She received supernatural aid in the form of Glenda, the good witch. She starts learning about how to navigate the poison poppies and the all these things. And she finally gets to Oz. And so this is the transition between the road of trials and transformation. This is the most important part of the whole story is this moment. She finally gets to Oz and the wizard is going to save her. Obi Wan Kenobi is going to save Luke, Gandalf will save Frodo. Dumbledore will save Harry Potter, Morpheus will save Neo. There’s always an authority who is going to save us And it’s a lie. And this is encoded in the story. No one is coming to save you. And in fact, every single one of those characters, as I mentioned, dies, Gandalf dies, Dumbledore dies. Obi Wan dies. Nick from Rocky dies. And when Dorothy gets to Oz, cause the wizard is going to save her. It’s not a wizard. He dies and becomes a regular dude. So that is the event in the hero’s journey called the abyss or the ordeal or the dark night of the soul. And it is the moment that we are completely destroyed. And this is the moment that all of our fears are true. We are inadequate. We are a failure, all that. The reason why we didn’t go on this journey, the first place I was all comes to fruition. And we realized it’s the end of the story. That is rock bottom. At that point, you know, all these characters, they, you can just see the collapse, not only in them as individuals, but it’s the moment when the story itself dies and Jesus himself had this moment on the cross, what did he, what does he say to God?
He said, why did you forsake me?
Yeah, I did everything. I tried so hard and now it’s done. All this work I did. And it’s done all this work to get to Oz. I’ve been betrayed and let down it’s over. And at that moment comes salvation. After the crucifixion comes the resurrection. When the Phoenix burns to death, she’s reborn the moment the hero sheds his or her skin, then they’re reborn, not as just the main character of the story. But now as the full hero of the story, they claim the mantle of the decider, the mature man or woman who now has the ability to sacrifice, claim their kingdom, do the hard things. That’s the moment where they become the hero of the story. They, they drop the victim story of the world is happening to me. That’s a victim story. And they realize that they are happening to the world. The moment that Dorothy has her abyss and she’s been betrayed, she realizes that she, number one has a pretty bad-ass crew. She’s got a metal dude with an ax and a lion, and then she realizes, wow, I’ve kind of Batting, you know, a hundred and Oh, I have never lost a battle. I I’ve already killed two witches and taken all their stuff. I always had these magic shoes. And if you reframe the Wizard of Oz as Dorothy being the hero or the boss you realize is that she just lands in Oz and kicks ass all the way through that entire kingdom, getting exactly what she wants. The difference is that she didn’t live like the hero. She lived as the victim and the same thing with Harry Potter. He’s the boy who lived until Dumbledore died. Then he became the chosen one. This is the story of the hero’s journey. You know, we all, at some point have to go through the abyss and our old stories burn to death. They die so that the new story can be born. And that monster in the cave always has our face on it. Because the thing that was actually that we can blame for our life. I’m fat now because my dad is fat and the fast food industry, or I’m poor and broke or the government or whatever your story is, it’s you, this is the bitter and powerful pill that we all must swallow as men to realize that everything bad about your life, you have to own that. And then everything good about your life, you get to own that too, Now choose. That’s what a man does. And at that moment, we’ve entered the next phase of the story, which is transformation. It’s where instead of fighting the dragons, we get to ride the dragons. We have clarity of brand. We understand our purpose. We understand the whole world is not against us. We get to work with the world and there’s resolution and synergy and partnerships. It’s a really vital, exciting time. And most men never get here because they’re stuck in their victim story. All adolescent men are inadequate and they’re victims and they’re waiting for someone to save them. They absolutely know that there’s someone to blame. There’s no one to blame. When like when Luke Skywalker goes into the cave training with Yoda and he said, I’m ready. I’m not afraid. And Yoda says, well, you will be. And Luke goes into the cave and there’s Darth Vader and Darth Vader by the way, stands for in German, the Darth Vadar, which is the dark father. So we’re all, it’s really our dad, all of us men, it’s really our dad. I’m going to blame my dad for everything because he was not around to teach me how to be a man. If you’re an adult male and you don’t get to blame your dad anymore. Because when Luke Skywalker cuts off, Vader’s head in the cave, right? It’s a metaphor. Uh, under his helmet is Luke Skywalker’s face. We’re terrified of becoming all of that weakness we see in our dad, all the corruption, all the failures that our dads embody that we blame them for. We’re terrified of becoming that. And the truth is, if you, if you fight monsters long enough, you will become a monster. We all have to take on some monstrous tendencies. When we fight monsters, if the other veterans who are listening, you had to learn how to kill people to go be a soldier. That’s monstrous. That is a monstrous thing. And you accepted that. If you end up fighting monsters too long, you end, you end up becoming one yourself. That means you become your father. You fight your father too long. You become your father.
So for people who were unwilling to do the work, that’s their kind of fate. They’re going to become the thing that they were fighting against.
And you will loop through that refusing the call, yanked into the road of trials and then running from the cave you fear to enter, cycle forever. It is almost, I’m going to actually say it is impossible to go through the abyss by yourself. So if you are a lone Wolf, man, you will not. You’re not going through the abyss by yourself. This is why the initiation process involves the tribe of men, the mentors, the elders, your brothers, they’re the ones that they basically push you through. They drag you through, they support you through, you can’t do this alone. And it’s one of the reasons why the lone Wolf culture that we have right now is so catastrophic for men and why mens work is so important.
And on the rise.
Oh yeah. It’s just men know it now. They feel it intuitively.
Your work. Your K-4 men’s work…
K-4, Which stands for King of the four houses, which refers to those four masculine archetypes. Our journey starts with what’s called the Rite of passage its a 13 week online curriculum of masculine studies. And we spend multiple weeks going through the hero’s journey. We also spend multiple weeks doing the masculine archetypes. We dig deep into Iron John, and a lot of our work is about emotional regulation. And that’s part of the thing that comes along with becoming a man is that you no longer are subject to being pushed around by your emotions. You can still feel them, but what you feel about being inadequate, doesn’t stop you from doing what you need to do. When we’re in an adolescent activated emotions we’re, we’re dealing with our fear, obsession with self, anger, depression, and there’s a whole bunch of very maladaptive stuff. Just to close the loop again, really quickly because we left things in the transformation phase and I just wanted to get you home again. How we all come home again is the number one, the realization that there is no destination to the hero’s journey. It is always a return home. It’s different. Not because home is different, but because we’re different, we have been transformed the world and your life is not getting any better after this journey or any other journey. However, you can get better. Now, the moment we get better, stronger, more capable, more aware, then all of a sudden life is better, even though life itself is what it is. We return home and we see it again for the first time with our new eyes, our new power, our new tools, and Joseph Campbell says that the purpose of the hero’s journey is not to save the world, but to save ourselves and in doing so, we end up saving the world because the effect of a vitalized person vitalizes. Meaning, if we’re healthy, our families are healthy, our careers are healthy, then our communities are healthy. Our work is the thing that heals the kingdom, and that is held in the metaphor of the Holy grail, which is what every night wants their hero’s journey. The Holy grail is the cup of Christ. The Holy grail is that object that if you drank from it would heal you. And if you brought that back to the kingdom, the King and the kingdom would be healthy again. So ultimately the hero’s journey is about healing yourself. But by doing so, you have healed the kingdom. Would that be your family, your corporation, or our country.
I love that when you’re willing to do that inner work, you stop transmitting those things that you’ve accumulated over generations, you stop it. And then you can leave a new legacy for your children, who of course have to do their own work.
Absolutely. The risk of that. I see a lot of men in the men’s work movement who are being run by adolescent men, because the easiest way to get validation is to provide service to other people. But there’s a lot of men that they read a book, or they immediately start the process of trying to elevate other men without having done their own work. And this is called spiritual bypass. So if you haven’t done the work, then it’s going to be inauthentic. It’s not going to work for you. Like you have to go through that transformational process yourself.
I can’t thank you enough for really enlightening me, and it brought up a lot of emotion for me, especially when you said the thing that I know that no nobody’s coming, I’m going to have to do it. And I really had an experience with that last week, that realization, and it’s really heartbreaking. And I think you had to take a breath and then get up and do what you need to do. I just appreciate your generosity for being here.
Oh, absolute pleasure. And let me leave with kind of a little blessing to everyone. And this is another Joseph Campbell quote, cause he’s the hero’s journey guy. He says, we need not fear this journey alone for the heroes of all time have gone before us and the labyrinth is fully known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero’s path. No stories don’t exist to tell us that there’s dragons. We know that there’s dragons. What these stories tell us is that the dragons can be beaten. That’s the reminder is Dorothy comes home. Dorothy gets what she want, Dorothy wins. And so do we all, if we follow the thread of the hero’s path, don’t quit, get with your allies, achieve elder wisdom, say yes to your journey, do the things you know you’re supposed to do. And yeah, they’re hard and they’re scary and overwhelming. That’s the game. Make the sacrifice.
Well, thank you so much. Can you let people know how they can contact you or the best way to look for you?
Really simply, my, uh, the men’s group is called K-4 and the website is K4men.com. Letter K, number four, men.com. Hey, don’t show up light. Uh, if you want to join, we, we demand that you are committed to growth and service. Non-denominational it’s not political, it’s not religious. All walks of life are welcome, but be committed to your growth and the need to serve other people.
All right. Well, thank you so much. Hopefully we’ll talk again soon.