The Tyrant’s Confusion

the tyrant's confusion

The journey out of the tyrant’s frenzied fantasies returns our sense of self to the felt reality that holds us in its arms.

In his classic book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell presents not just the hero, but also the tyrant with a thousand faces – and shows him to be an equal force at work within the stories of world myth. As those stories bring the tyrant to life for us, we witness his desperate self-centeredness, his need to acquire and hold fast to whatever he can, and his impulses to manipulate people and circumstances to suit his personal agenda. What distinguishes the tyrant’s attitude above all else is his belief that he deserves his special status because, according to some private yardstick, he is better than others.

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