Joseph Campbell, in his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces, writes that the Universal Hero from monomyth must pass through a stage of Apotheosis. According to Campbell, apotheosis is the expansion of consciousness that the hero experiences after defeating his foe.

Apotheosis (from Greek ἀποθεοῦν, apotheoun "to deify", in Latin deificatio, "to make divine") is the exaltation of a subject to divine level. The term has meanings in theology, where it refers to a belief, and in art, where it refers to a genre.

In theology, the term apotheosis refers to the idea that an individual has been raised to godlike stature. In art, the term refers to the treatment of any subject (a figure, group, locale, motif, convention or melody) in a particularly grand or exalted manner.

Like the Buddha himself, this godlike being is a pattern of the divine state to which the human hero attains who has gone beyond the last terrors of ignorance.

Cont’d… “When the envelopment of consciousness has been annihilated, then he becomes free of all fear, beyond the reach of change.” 85   1000 faces, pg 127

… the distinction between eternity and time is only apparent – made, perforce, by the rational mind, but dissolved in the perfect knowledge of the mind that has transcended the pairs of opposites.  1000 faces, pg 130

As the original intruder into the paradise of the infant with its mother, the father is the archetypal enemy; hence, throughout life all enemies are symbolical (to the unconscious) of the father.  “Whatever is killed becomes the father”

All of the good mother-father content is saved for home, while the “bad” is flung abroad and about: “for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God”105  “And Slacken not in following up the enemy: if ye are suffering hardships, they are suffering similar hardships; but ye have hope from Allah, while they have none” 106  1000 faces, pg 133

Totem, tribal, racial, and aggressively missionizing cults represent only partial solutions of the psychological problem of subduing hate by love; they only partially initiate.  Ego is not annihilated in them; rather, it is enlarged; instead of thinking only of himself, the individual becomes dedicated to the whole of his society.  The rest of the world meanwhile is left outside the sphere of his sympathy and protection because (they are) outside the sphere of the protection of his god.  1000 faces, pg 134

ConnectedIf the God is a tribal, racial, national, or sectarian archetype, we are the warriors of his cause; but if he is a lord of the universe itself, we then go forth as knowers to whom all men are brothers. 

Cont’d… And in either case, the childhood parent images and ideas of “good” and “evil” have been surpassed.  We no longer desire and fear; we are what was desired and feared.  1000 faces, pg 138!!

Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world.  1000 faces, pg 134

Cont’d …  (8 circles)   The laws of the City of God are applied only to his in-group (tribe, church, nation, class, or what not) while the fire of a perpetual holy war is hurled (with good conscience, and indeed a sense of pious service) against whatever uncircumcised, barbarian, heathen, “native,” or alien people happens to occupy the position of neighbor.  1000 faces, pg 134

Once we have broken free of the prejudices of our own provincially limited ecclesiastical, tribal, or national rendition of the world archetypes, it becomes possible to understand that the supreme initiation is not that of the local motherly fathers, who then project aggression onto the neighbors for their own defense.  The good news, which the World Redeemer brings and which so many have been glad to hear, zealous to preach, but reluctant, apparently, to demonstrated, is that God is love, that He can be, and is to be, loved, and that all without exception are his children.110   1000 faces, pg 135

One would think that we had been called upon to decide or to know whom, of all of us, the Father prefers.

Cont’d … Whereas, the teaching is much less flattering: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”111 

God has made different religions to suit different aspirants, times, and countries.  All doctrines are only so may paths; but a path is by no means God Himself.  Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole hearted devotion…. One may eat a cake with icing either straight or sidewise.  It will taste sweet either way.114   1000 faces, pg 135 (check quote)

Briefly, nirvana means “the Extinguishing of the Threefold Fire of Desire, Hostility, and Delusion.”    1000 faces, pg 138

“The verb nirva (Sanskrit) is, literally, ‘to blow out,’ not transitively, but as a fire ceases to draw….Deprived of fuel, the fire of life is ‘pacified,’ i.e., quenched, when the mind has been curbed, one attains to the ‘peace of Nirvana,’ ‘despiration if God.’ … It is by ceasing to feed our fires that the peace is reached, of which it is well said in another tradition that ‘it passeth understanding’”123 The word “de-spiration” is contrived from a literal Latinization of the Sanskrit nirvana, nir = “out, forth, outward, out of, out from, away, away from”; vana = “blown”; nirvana = “blown out, gone out, extinguished.”   1000 faces, pg 139

This greatly celebrated legend (Buddha’s tangle with Mara) affords an excellent example of the close relationship maintained in the Orient between myth, psychology, and metaphysics.  The vivid personifications prepare the intellect for the doctrine of the interdependence of the inner and outer worlds.  1000 faces, pg 139

Cont’d … No doubt the reader has been struck by a certain resemblance of this ancient mythological doctrine of the dynamics of the psyche to the teachings of the modern Freudian school. 

Moreover, the unconsciously grounded delusions from which desires and hostilities arise are in both systems dispelled by psychological analysis (Sanskrit: viveka) and illumination (Sanskrit: vidya).  1000 faces, pg 139

For Buddhism:  Psychoanalysis is a technique to cure excessively suffering individuals of the unconsciously misdirected desires and hostilities that weave around them their private webs of unreal terrors and ambivalent attractions; the patient released from these finds himself able to participate with comparative satisfaction in the more realistic fears, hostilities, erotic and religious practices, business enterprises, wars, pastimes, and household tasks offered to him by his particular culture. 

Cont’d … But for the one who has deliberately undertaken the difficult and dangerous journey beyond the village compound, these interests, too, are to be regarded as based on error.  Therefore the aim of the religious teaching is not to cure the individual back again to the general delusion, but to detach him from delusion altogether; and this not by readjusting the desire (eros) and hostility (thanatos) – for that would only originate a new context of delusion – but by extinguishing the impulses to the very root, according to the method of the celebrated Buddhist Eightfold Path:    1000 faces, pg 140

 With the final “extirpation of delusion, desire, and hostility” (nirvana) the mind knows that it is not what it thought: thought goes.  1000 faces, pg 140

… in the understanding of one in whom the Threefold Fire of Desire, Hostility, and Delusion is dead, this world is nirvana.  1000 faces, pg 141

The Boddhisatva, however …  good paragraph on form/emptiness, etc.   1000 faces, pg 141  


… in Hinduism: the one freed in life (jivan mukta), desireless, compassionate, and wise, “with the heart concentrated by yoga, viewing all things with equal regard, beholds himself in all beings and all beings in himself.  In whatever way he leads his life, that one lives in God.” 128    1000 faces, pg 142


noun \kwin-ˈte-sən(t)s\

Definition of QUINTESSENCE

: the fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy that permeates all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies
: the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form