The Hero’s Journey
17th – 19th April 2015
Closing Date: Friday the 10th of April.
Are you ready for the Hero’s Journey? Apply before the 20th of March and avail of the early bird price.
Return completed applications to firstname.lastname@example.org
Prologue – The Ordinary World
Sharing stories around the fire is one of our most ancient activities. We all recognise ourselves in a beautiful story, even more so if it’s well told. Because all human stories tell us about ourselves. The story of all stories is our own story. For thousands of years, men and woman have grown up, formed communities, shared fears, hopes, dreams and information. We have evolved as a species; we have accumulated experience, even before we started to convey it in written form. Sharing stories around the fire kept away the fear of the dark and helped us to overcome our limits, making us stronger, wiser, closer to the divinities or to the heroes that, thanks to those stories, we got to know. Sitting together and sharing our stories, our deeds, makes us grow. It makes us feel alive. It makes us realise that maybe what we really miss in our lives is that little bit of magic or mystery. Our life is dominated by change. Continuous change. We are convinced that it’s possible to influence or even to avoid it, but it’s not always possible. Maybe the best thing to do is not to resist change, but to go with the flow. Maybe we should face life challenges, instead of fighting against them. But… Can we really face all the changes that life poses us? Can we dominate, or are we destined to be dominated by them? This residential course, over three days and two nights, is an opportunity to face and explore the topic of change through experiential learning in a safe educational environment. We want to provide our participants with a holistic experience, exploring the physical, mental and spiritual dimensions of each of us and stimulating reflection, wonder and inspiration about the great challenge that life is.
The most ancient metaphor in the history of mankind is called “The Hero’s Journey”. It is present in the myths and legends of all cultures, from the most ancient tales up until the modern models represented in contemporary movies and novels. Why is it so powerful? Because it tells our story. It speaks about journeys, challenges, life and death. It speaks of heroes, allies and enemies. Of love and treachery. Of learning, transformation, tests to overcome – that we will meet during our journey. It’s an archetypical tale so deeply carved in our culture, and in our collective consciousness, that it deeply resonates in every one of us. With its many differences, it is present in all ages and cultures. The first academic to study this connection and to highlight it in a coherent model was Joseph Campbell in his “The Hero with A Thousand Faces” (1949). Since then, the model – called “Monomyth” – has been subject of many studies and has inspired the life and work of anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists and artists, and even now is one the references to which writers, screenwriters and authors go back to when trying to realise the “perfect story”. It has inspired the work of George Lucas for Star Wars and J. J. Abrams for Lost.
The Programme – The Journey
Friday, the 17th of April, Arrival at 17.00hr Introductions, presentation of the programme, dinner together and preparation for the “Journey” Saturday, the 18th of April, Experiential Journey. The Journey explores three dimensions:
The Physical One, through an adventurous voyage in the surrounding natural environment. It will be an occasion to stimulate reflections and inspirations linked to everyday life, to our limits and our potential – apparent or hidden – and to prepare us for the challenges waiting for us. The journey will have its difficulties, but the travelers will find that they are not alone.
The Social One, trying to raise questions (but not necessarily looking for the answers) about the people who are the most important to us, the communities to which we belong, and which values are the most important for us The Spiritual One, exploring our imaginary world, investigating symbols and magic. Only by accepting the unknown, is it possible to face it. Only by admitting the importance of dreams, it’s possible to realise them. The day of the “Journey” will be the heart of the whole experience. We will dedicate a whole day free from external influences, switching off mobile phones, with no Internet, away if possible from every external distraction or influence. To increase the experience, it will be recommended (not enforced) to fast for the 24 hours of the Journey. Water and tea will be readily available. The facilitators will have access to Internet and phone, and all the necessary precautions needed. Sunday the 19th of April. At sunrise: Dreamstar Council – recalling the dreams of the night before and weaving them in a collective story. Recalling the stories of the Journey – sharing the experience. Presentation of the model (“The Hero’s Journey from the beginning of history to Hollywood”), movie parts, questions & answers. Evaluation and Conclusion. Participants will depart after 17.00 pm.