Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hero's Journey - Belly of the Whale

After Crossing the Threshold, the hero enters the "Belly of the Whale”.

Once pass the Threshold, there is no turning back on the Hero’s calling.

Running away is futile. The calling will always be there and will keep visiting the Hero.

Pass a certain point, the Hero after enduring deep inner struggles will re-emerge awakened and transformed by the calling. The Hero then pursues his calling with unshakable conviction and zeal.

The name of this stage “Belly of the Whale” is taken from the biblical account of Jonah.

God instructed Jonah to travel to the prosperous but decadent city of Nineveh, to warn the people there of their sins against the Almighty.

Instead of obeying God's command, the reluctant Jonah attempted to flee in the opposite direction to the port of Tarshish by ship.

God sent a giant storm to block Jonah’s escape. The frightened sailors asked Jonah how they could appease God.

Jonah told them to toss him over the side. The sailors fearing for their lives promptly obliged.

God sent a whale to swallow Jonah, who stayed in its dark, damp, cavernous stomach for three days and three nights.

During the three day ordeal, Jonah reflected and was reawakened to his calling. Jonah asked God to forgive him for disobeying his calling.

God forgave Jonah.

The whale then spat the spiritually transformed Jonah onto the beach.

Jonah then went on to Nineveh to perform the task God called him to do.

The Belly of the Whale represents the final separation from the hero's Ordinary World and old self.

It is the Hero's lowest point. It is the point when the person is between or transitioning between the Ordinary and Special Worlds, and between their old and transformed selves.


  1. Like this one definitely, very clearly elaborated.

    When you mentioned lowest point, what do you mean? It is not clear. Is it the plateau that is being referred on the expectation and performance curve as such you will move on when you learn new capabilities?

  2. Find this a very biblical example that might not reach out to everyone.

  3. You can't understand hero's journey through Campbell or Vogler if you want to make films, you have to deeply involve yourself with Kal Bashir's veriosn.