Virtue: A Must have for Happiness – Part 6

The final link in the whole virtue process is what pulls the adventurer across Joseph Campbell’s threshold back to the everyday world.  This final link is what the philosopher St. Aquinas described as the ultimate virtue: love of neighbor as oneself.

This love is as much from the community or society towards the adventurer as the adventurer’s love towards his/her community.  In other words, it takes the love of one’s neighbor in both directions to bring the adventurer across to the everyday world.  It is at this moment that the adventurer is greeted with the warm and admiration of society, contributing to his/her happiness.  It is also at this time that the boon is presented to society, adding to the flourishing of society.

Joseph Campbell mentions that, “The hero may have to be brought back from his supernatural adventure by assistance from without.  That is to say, the world may have to come and get him.  For the bliss of the deep abode is not lightly abandoned in favor of the self-scattering of the wakened state.”  But why should the world come and get the hero who, motivated by the virtue of justice, is waiting at the threshold.  The world may not recognize the hero or the boon that has been captured.  The reason is simply the love of one’s neighbor  to help the hero with the crossing.  For this one gesture, which might require a lot of effort, the hero is brought back to a world of happiness, and the boon is presented to society.

Next, a great example from the world of cinema.

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