Hi there, my name is Erik Stoop and welcome to Voice from the Wild – a blog that is dedicated to contemplating life and spirituality.
Joseph Campbell coined the term, “the Hero’s Journey” as a way of describing a process that the heroes of all the great world mythologies underwent in some form or another. Basically, the hero is called to leave the comfort and familiarity of his or her home in order to embark on a journey that will transform them. This is the first step of the Hero’s Journey – the call to adventure. The hero travels through a kind of wilderness where he/she is tried, tested and taught by the journey. The hero later return to their home in order to pass on the wisdom they acquired.
For example, God told Abraham to leave his country behind and travel into the wilderness where he would discover a new land. Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness where he was tested before returning to Israel with his message. The Buddha was a prince who left the comfort of his luxurious life and later sat underneath the Bodhi tree where he became enlightened. Likewise, the prophet Muhammad spent extended periods of time alone in a cave. It is here that the angel Gabriel appeared to him and gave him the revelations that he would later preach. And it’s also worth mentioning Luke Skywalker, the farm boy who left the planet Tatooine behind in order to become a Jedi warrior.
Voice from the Wild is inspired by these stories. Joseph Campbell concluded that it’s not just the heroes of mythology that embark on the journey. We are all on the journey and the myth merely serves as a basic road map. Voice from the Wild is my way of sharing my particular journey – the struggles, the questions and the epiphanies.
For the longest time I have been interested in the lives and teachings of Jesus Christ, Gautama Buddha, Lao Tzu etc. But growing up in the Christian tradition, asking questions wasn’t always encouraged. In the Christian tradition, having blind faith is often seen as a higher virtue than asking questions. It wasn’t until my world was turned upside down by things like addiction, divorce and the death of loved ones that I really began to ask some serious questions about life, spirituality and what it means to be human.
Albert Einstein once said: “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask… for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
As Einstein found, asking the right questions is often way more beneficial than finding the right answers. It is with this attitude that I try to approach my life and my writing. I’d love to share some of the things I’m learning as well as some of the questions I’m still asking as I journey through life. My hope for this blog is quite simply that you, the reader will enjoy my insights. But ultimately, my hope is that you will ask your own questions and find your own truth and that the truth you find will inspire you to greater love and compassion and living a more meaningful life.