In the spring of 1968 the master of myth himself, Joseph Campbell, was invited to give a series of lectures on schizophrenia by the Esalen Institute’s director, Michael Murphy. He recalls in his essay “Schizophrenia—the Inward Journey,” that he didn’t know a thing about schizophrenia and he couldn’t understand this invitation one bit.
Murphy explained to Campbell that he’d be giving this talk with Dr. John Perry who had an amazing insight. That schizophrenia was not to be cured, rather it was a natural process that needed to be helped along. What made Campbell so perfect a match to Perry was that the schizophrenic’s necessary journey looked remarkably similar to what Campbell called the hero’s journey.