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Steiner, J. (2015). The Use and Abuse of Omnipotence in the Journey of the Hero. Psychoanal Q., 84(3):695-717.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 84(3):695-717

The Use and Abuse of Omnipotence in the Journey of the Hero

John Steiner

The author uses Joseph Campbell's (1949) account of the “Journey of the Hero” to examine a sequence of stages in which the hero must first use omnipotence in order to embark on an adventure, and then relinquish it in order to return to the ordinary world. The author detects parallels to this theme in descriptions of the fate of Lucifer in Milton's Paradise Lost (1674), and in the development of toddlers as described in Mahler's (1972) observations on separation-individuation. Finally, he traces a similar process in clinical material drawn from near the end of a patient's analysis.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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