The topic of the basic needs for a human being to survive has been studied in the works by many authors.

Nevertheless, the message that there is more to human life than the basic needs is also a common place. In particular, the intent on survival does not coincide with Campbell’s definition of a hero in his book "The Hero with a Thousand Faces".

His stance on human needs is rather radical and helps to understand the tremendous impact of adopting the hero’s journey perspective on the process of developing personal mastery, as explained in another of his books, Pathways to Bliss:

“Survival, security, personal relationships, prestige, self-development- in my experience, those are the values that a mythically inspired person doesn’t live for. They have to do with the primary biological mode as understood by human consciousness. Mythology begins where madness starts. A person who is truly gripped by a calling, by a dedication, by a belief, by a zeal, will sacrifice his security, will sacrifice even his life, will sacrifice personal relationships, will sacrifice prestige, and will think nothing of personal development; he will give himself entirely to his myth …

…. Maslow’s five values are the values for which people live when they have nothing to live for”.

Still, common usage frequently portraits the hero as someone that strives and succeeds at surviving because of a strong will to do so. In Campbell's approach, however, that would be only a part of the story. For Campbell, what really counts is the inner transformation that takes place in the hero / heroine. That allows him / her go beyond mere survival to manifesting the whole person and its connection to society. That is captured in the phrase: master of two worlds, which refers to the state of the hero’s consciousness at his return from the adventure. In this phrase, Campbell refers to the hero’s newly developed capability to handle the ordinary world (the world as usual) and the extraordinary world (the world of adventurous transformation).

At the Campbellian hero’s return, his / her mindset now encompasses, distinguishes and utilizes skillfully the principles of each of each of these two worlds, without confusing them.

“Freedom to pass back and forth across the world division … …-not contaminating the principles of the one with those of the other, yet permitting the mind to know the one by virtue of the other- is the talent of the master.”


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