There is a common story structure that has been around for thousands of years. You may be surprised at its origins.
Stories have been around ever since man learned to talk. Ever since men and women have had to risk their lives on a daily basis to go to secure food, shelter, and safety for each other, stories have been the main source of comfort.To help overcome and fears of daily life, to inspire each other to rise to the occasion, to give hope in times of despair.
One thing that has been discovered, most prominently by mythologist Joseph Campbell, is that most of these stories have the same structure to them. A story termed "The Hero's Journey," this same story has been told in countless societies for countless generations. The basic structure is as follows:
There is a main character, a character that most people can identify with. The character is living a normal life, but feels slightly bored. The idea of "there has to be something better out there." Then the hero receives a call to an adventure of some sort. Usually the character refuses the call, but sometimes not. During the adventure, the character discovers talents and skills he wasn't aware of. He forms new alliances, defeats an incredibly foe, and returns to his group an enlightened leader.
Many popular mainstream stories share this structure. The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, Spiderman, The Matrix, Transformers, and countless others. There is also one other story that shares this same structure. Likely you are well aware of this story, because it has been called the Greatest Story Ever Told.
It is the story of Jesus of Nazareth. He lived an ordinary life of a carpenter. He received a call from the ultimate authority, from God himself. He formed alliances, and defeated the supremely evil enemy. When he rose from the Tomb, he defeated the devil once and for all. He returned back to his followers as a higher being, an enlightened leader.
This can be interpreted this two ways. If you don't believe in God, you may believe that this is simply the most popular of all stories, and as such it is a blue print that many societies have used to guide their moral and ethical principles.
If you believe in God, then you may argue this is in fact the underlying nature of the world, as everythign was created by God, and all of the other stories are merely an unconscious expresion of the beauty and truth of God that permeates all.
Either way, you can't help but to acknowledge the wonder with which you can notice this truth in every story that men and women have been telling each other for millennia. To help, comfort and encourage each other. And will likely continue to do for millennia to come.
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