How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Freedom to Live
Previous: Master of the Two Worlds
At last, having conquered the demons without and within, the hero has earned the right to live life as they choose.
The life of the hero may hence take many paths, often one of wisdom. They may become rulers, teachers or advisers. They may get married and settle down or perhaps go adventuring again.
In Star Wars, Luke becomes one with the Force and is later able to teach others.
Having beaten Moriarty, Holmes wanders the world, going where life takes him.
In Lord of the Rings, the hobbits become leaders in their own land of the Shire. Aragorn reins as king over a long and peaceful period. Frodo chooses to go over the seas with Gandalf.
Freedom also means freedom from fear, hope, anxiety and other emotions that distract the hero from living in the here and now. It is a characteristic of great people that they can just be, in the current moment, without worrying about the future or the past.
In Greek and other legends, the hero's existence after returning home is far from happy. The problem lies in the way that the journey has changed them such that they no longer fit in with the local culture. As a result they may leave on other adventures, perhaps seeking the highs of the original journey, or are shunned and even slain by a grouchy population who fear the hero's power or just do not get their worldly views.
This happens in the real world too, as people who have travelled the world come home and find their old friends and family to now seem petty and narrow minded.
Campbell, J. (1949). The Hero With a Thousand Faces, New York: Bollingen