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For me, it reads as if Yvonne and I are having one of our philosophical conversations the same as we have always hadshe talking and me listening! I knew the author personnally, and her book was a good read. I wish she was still alive to smell the roses. In her book The Metamorphosis of an Authentic Spirit, Yvonne Clay writes "I'm usually very private when it comes to matters dealing with letting go of ones I love and grieving.

Frontiers | The Metamorphosis of the Hero: Principles, Processes, and Purpose | Psychology

She speaks of her various intuitive teachers, and the significance they played in her growth process; however, I find the most memorable lesson she learns comes from a wonderful story she relates about her dog "Ther. Reading her narrative it is much like witnessing the unfolding of a butterfly. She inspires her readers to look within, to cultivate the inner spirit where the imagination lives.

After all, as she quotes Albert Einstein, the "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Israeli et al. We believe that the research reported by Shahar and Israeli et al. Future research might productively be directed toward further establishing the circumstances under which adopting a heroic self-representation yields favorable versus unfavorable consequences for people. We now turn to factors that can stand in the way of people undergoing a positive transformative experience in life. It would behoove the world to understand why so many people are stuck and what can be done to nudge more of us along the transformative journey.

Earlier we reviewed activities that promote transformation, and one might argue that any barriers to change are merely the inverse of these promotional activities. While there may be some truth in this idea, it is also true that some barriers are less intuitive or obvious than one might suspect. A major source of arrested development is the problem of self-ignorance. A recurring theme in psychological research is that people are unaware of much of their own psychological functioning Nisbett and Wilson, ; Wegner, ; Bargh and Morsella, ; Alicke, Early psychoanalytic theories of Freud, Adler, and Horney were the first to point to the destructive effects of behaving unconsciously.

Jung described the shadow as the dark, unknown aspects of our personalities that prevent us from transforming into our full potential. A second barrier is found in impoverished environments that deny people opportunities for transformation. Heroic potential may be suppressed when individuals are afflicted by poverty or safety concerns that hinder their ability to progress upward in the hierarchy toward higher-level goals. Resolving this problem is easy in theory but extremely difficult in practice, as most world societies either lack the will or the means to eliminate poverty.

Safety and security needs become paramount to the traumatized individual, rendering higher level needs unimportant. The good news is that most people can show great progress in recovering from the deleterious effects of trauma. This healing is the basis of the hopeful phenomenon of post-traumatic growth Rendon, Individuals who have been harmed and who derive their entire personal identity from being wronged by someone else, or by society, may find it difficult to grow and transcend their victimhood.

We are not making the claim that there are no legitimate victims; there most certainly are people who have been harmed and have real grievances. Our argument is that adopting a strong and permanent victim identity is a sure way of avoiding growth and moving beyond the pain of having been harmed. A highly unfortunate consequence of harboring a victim mindset is the need to scapegoat. People tend to reason that if someone has harmed them, then that perpetrator must be punished. There is no doubt that scapegoating others has been the primary cause of most violence and warfare throughout human history.

Until people learn to take individual responsibility for their lives and for their anger, the deadly duo of victimhood and scapegoating will continue to work in concert to thwart heroic transformation. Another barrier to transformation lies in the absence of good mentorship. Social sources of wisdom, inspiration, and change are critical elements of the hero monomyth as described by Campbell These social sources appear in the form of friends, mentors, peers, and allies, all of whom represent rich and essential sources of transformation.

There are times, moreover, when people encounter the wrong mentor whose advice does more harm than good. Related to this problem is the prevalence of narcissism. The narcissist assigns blame for his problems to others, leading the him to believe that other people need to change rather than the narcissist himself. Those classified as low in psychological flexibility have been shown to experience less growth and development Kashdan and Rottenberg, To help people overcome inflexibility, Hayes et al. Psychological flexibility can be achieved through six core ACT processes, several of which sound like mindful pathways to Buddhist enlightenment.

The six elements of ACT are acceptance, cognitive defusion, presence, seeing the self in context, values, and committed action. All of these processes reflect positive psychological and spiritual skills that enable people to grow and evolve into healthy adaptive human beings. They also resemble Franco et al.

As did James, we suspect that many people spend their entire lives resisting change, denying the need for it, and suffering as a result of avoiding it. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. The transformed hero exemplifies the zenith of human development. The wisdom of writers and philosophers, from Homer in BCE to Phil Zimbardo today, informs us that we are all called to lead a heroic life.

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Yet most people are unaware of this fact, or they face impediments that impede the realization of their heroic potential. We hope that this article represents progress toward shedding light on why transformation is elusive and what can be done to promote it. All authors contributed equally to the development and expression of the ideas in this article. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Algoe, S. Find, remind, and bind: the functions of gratitude in everyday relationships.

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Campbell, J. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Myths to Live by. The Power of Myth. Reflections on the Art of Living. Thou Art that: Transforming Religious Metaphor. Flight of the Wild Gander. Pathways to Bliss. Chakrabortty, A. Brain Food: The Psychology of Heroism. Csikszentmihalyi, M. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York, NY: Harper. Dik, B. Efthimiou, O. The search for the hero gene: fact or fiction? Heroism Sci.

Heroism science: frameworks for an emerging field. Efthimiou, S. Allison, and Z.


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Kinsella, E. Lay perspectives on the social and psychological functions of heroes. Kohen, A. The making of a hero: cultivating empathy, altruism, and heroic imagination. Kramer, R. Kurtz, E. The Spirituality of Imperfection. Langdon, M. The Hero Construction Company. Latane, B. Le Grice, K. London: Muswell Hill Press. Lopez, S.

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The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. Loy, D. Machin, S. The crime reducing effect of education. Maslow, A. A theory of human motivation. Milgram, S. Behavioral study of obedience. Nisbett, R. Telling more than we can know. Perry, G. The Descent of Man. Phipps, R. My Trip to Melbourne.

Piff, P. She inspires her readers to look within, to cultivate the inner spirit where the imagination lives. After all, as she quotes Albert Einstein, the "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Go to Amazon. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Length: pages. Word Wise: Enabled. Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled. Page Flip: Enabled. Language: English. Audible Download Audio Books.