The Hero represents you. Your needs, your passions, your sense of identity. Who are you and what’s special about you? The hero, along with the mentor, is the key to how you move forward on the hero’s journey and how you grow as a person. Your identity is always grown in relation to the villain, who provides you with challenge and a chance to test your power, and who has a grounding influence on your behavior.
Function: The first function / Dominant
Jungian name: The Hero
Age: Your own age Developed: After the mentor
Positive role: Being in touch with yourself
Negative role: Lack of grounding
Opposed to: The Villain
Passion, motivation, flow, power, good, heroic, virtue.
The Four States
|The Hero||Your first function|
|The Mentor||Your second function|
|The Sidekick||Your third function|
|The Villain||Your fourth function|
What is the hero state?
Being in the hero state triggers us to move forward on the hero’s journey. We are following our passions and what we are motivated to do. We are happy and in touch with ourselves. When people say “Be yourself!” they are advising you to use your dominant function. Despite this function being your ego, it’s often only developed secondly. The hero can be described as virtuous and good, but remember, that this is from the perspective of the person themselves.
At our best, when in touch with what we love and what we value, we feel more heroic. When we look at those with opposing values, it’s easy to slip into the habit of thinking that they are evil or less heroic. But from the bigger picture, good is when all humans can express themselves, regardless of their values. As such, the problem for the hero is to be overtaken by arrogance or a sense of feeling that only their own way is the right way. When this happens, the hero is in need of grounding, often provided by the fourth function.
The Hero, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization.
– Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey
The Hero’s Development
Your first years, you are developing your identity, as seen from your parents and the people in your environment. How they view you, and their expectations, will come to play a huge impact in your life. They are represented by the second function, the mentor function. But when you begin to develop your own ego, your own interests, and who you are outside of your parents wishes, that’s when your true development and role of becoming a person begins.
It’s necessary that you find a way to assert your ego and your own needs throughout your entire life. Consider if you are accurately representing your own feelings, your own needs, and your own passions? Are you able to express what you want and who you are to others?
At times in your life when you fail to be yourself, when you lack belief in yourself, or when you feel weak, what you are experiencing is a temporary loss of ego. If this feeling remains for long, you may also find it more difficult to say what your passions are, what you love, and what you wanted to do to begin with. The key to reclaiming your sense of self is to regain confidence and to once again rally to face what you fear, and to remember times in life when you were happy or where you lost your course, and to find a way back, or a way to make peace and start over on a new quest.
Integrating the Hero
The hero is integrated as it comes into contact with it’s unconscious, fifth function, often described as a prince or a princess of the other gender. This prince or princess is often representing the same values, but different methods. This prince or princess is often portrayed as less effective and more helpless and in need of being saved by the hero.
At other times, you have a need to prove yourself to and to show you are worthy of them. When we are able to save, aid, or be of value to this archetype, we become more integrated and we gain a more complete picture of how to achieve and meet our values.
Think of how easily it is to be overly set in your own way, perhaps you have your unique way of pursuing freedom? But what if there are other ways? And what if you are limiting yourself by being stuck in a certain process? The goal here is to be of aid and to complement the other persons missing perspectives, and to take learning from the things they can teach you, in return.
Grounding the hero
The hero is grounded with the help of the villain or the opposing fourth function. Though the hero and the villain has opposing values and needs, the villain can help us overcome things that we are struggling with, or they can provide motivation or challenges to overcome.
This process of being grounded can be described as the process of deciding on whether to be good or bad. Perhaps there is dark magic, that we shouldn’t use, associated with the values of the villain? This is like a metaphor for how you want to succeed in life. The use of dark magic may help you temporarily, but can also put you off course.
Do you want to become self-realized, and happy, at what cost do you want to succeed? What are you prepared to do? While we may all feel the temptation to sometimes fall into the villain state, on the longer term, it’s important to succeed through your own power and your own ability, or you may risk losing your course. It’s common to look at the villain as an outside influence. There might be things in your environment that inconvenience you, demands that you find tedious. Things you feel are wrong with the world, politically, socially, or culturally.
However, the villain function is ideally balanced with the hero. While we may disagree with the villain in priorities, ideally we are able to find a way to meet both people’s needs. The goal is to find a positive compromise and to make peace with the villain. Try to be able to have the help of the villain in times when you must deal with things that you find tedious.