Medicine Path with Brian James


MPP107 From Hero to Trickster: Post-Heroic Archetypes for Men with Allan B. Chinen

Ep. 107

NOTE: Initially we were experiencing some connection issues — both technical and otherwise — until an interruption (by the Trickster?) about 20 minutes in. We restarted and found a nice rhythm and flow, so please stick with it. There's some great stuff in this conversation!

Allan B. Chinen, MD is a psychiatrist in private practice in San Francisco and Clinical Professor Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. He has lectured extensively and presented numerous workshops on the role of myths, fairy tales and legends on our life stories.

In our conversation we mainly focus on his 1993 book Beyond the Hero: Classic Stories of Men in Search of Soul which offers a vision of the post-heroic journey that is relevant not just to men struggling with the transition into middle age, but also to the sons, daughters and spouses who care for them. 

Through a retelling and analysis of classic stories that portray a part of the male psyche that is normally buried under conventional male roles, heroic ideals, and patriarchal ambitions, the post-heroic journey dramatically breaks with traditional Western masculine values and typical stereotypes, by making a case for the Trickster as the guiding archetype of the midlife passage.

Topics: myth, fairy tales, archetypes, men, midlife, trickster, shaman, mentor



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Sound collage: "Invocation" by Brian James

More Episodes


Bonus: Men's Work, Magicians, Mentors & The Midlife Crisis with Brian James

Ep. 104
This bonus episode is a recording of a conversation I had with Asher Packman of the Fifth Direction platform, based in Australia ( reached out to me to talk about my work, and it was a nice opportunity to be on the other side of the questions for once. As an intuitive introvert type, it’s not my natural inclination to talk about my ideas unless it’s in the context of a conversation — which is why these intros tend to be short and to the point.So, I enjoyed having the chance to try putting together some of the ideas I’ve been working with lately, and hope that you get something out of this conversation. We touch on a number of topics, including men’s work, the Magician and Trickster archetype, the importance of male mentorship, and some initial thoughts I have about addressing the epidemic of despair that’s afflicting record numbers of middle-aged men here in the West.+++GO DEEPERBecome a member of the Medicine Path online community and school of soul studies: Path YouTube channel: Soul Recovery resources and coaching with Brian James: & APPRECIATIONSend a gift from our Amazon wish list: Make a one-time contribution via PayPal: collage: "Invocation" by Brian James