What does the shift to the collective journey mean to you?
I was raised on Star Wars.
Almost literally; we went on exchange to the USA when I was five, and I saw the movie 14 times that year. I’m sure I could have recited the entire script for you well into my ‘tweens.
And that story – modelled on Joseph Campbell’s ‘monomyth’, the archetypal Hero’s Journey – is still seared on my memory. It had Jungian depth. Good people could turn to the dark side. Bad people could be redeemed. You might become your shadow. Parents might not be flawless. Heroes might be reluctant, or over-enthusiastic. Rag-tag rebels might overcome the evil empire.
And yet, it had a simple pattern. Taking up arms against fascists, training and fighting and ultimately destroying them – with self-evident justification. The righteous overcome evil!
Of course that fitted in with the global narrative at the time – the Evil Empire behind the Iron Curtain, memories of WWII etc. (Though it’s very notable that among the people inspired by the vision of a few scrappy heroes fighting the evil empire, some who took the message more seriously than most were the Taliban).
So after the fiasco of the new ‘first three’ movies in the Star Wars cycle, I went to the ‘final three’ with some trepidation. I loved them. Lots of flabby scripting, too much shooty-shooty, fighty-fighty.
Instead of a hero’s journey – the lone (white, male, blond, young) saviour – this was a new thing: the Collective Journey. A true ‘community’ of people coming together.
Instead of black and white, this was shades of grey. A story which reflects real world dynamics – no pure evil, no pure good, just people trying to make sense of things. No Non-Player Characters; a multiverse. It’s a form of story which suits our understanding of complexity and the challenges of ethics, which suits our multi-device world with commentary as important as the main act. And it might represent a collective shift in our culture.
If you want to read about it, go to the collective journey blog.
And if you want to experience it, watch Cobra Kai and see the good vs evil Karate Kid story remixed into something a lot more real and a lot more interesting.
What possibilities do you take from this?
- The wisdom on the collective journey comes from Jeff Gomez – https://blog.collectivejourney.com/why-is-this-happening-d1287d5ee4ee
- Another really interesting blog I lifted the right-hand image from is from Maya Zuckerman at https://medium.com/regenerative-narrative/transformative-media-from-the-heros-journey-to-our-collective-journey-246780b42bcd