DOI: 10.18536/jge.2017., Balkaran

Jump to: Journal of Genius and Eminence | Volume 2 Issue 2

Joseph’s Journey: Uncovering Israel’s Unconscious

Raj Balkaran
Ryerson University

This paper decodes the story of Campbell’s namesake, Joseph of Genesis, son of Jacob. It demonstrates that Joseph, much more so than Moses, represents the archetypal hero. Joseph is called to adventure into the unknown. Due to the boundedness of the Abrahamic worldview, Joseph must leave monotheistic Israel to fulfil his potential in polytheistic Egypt. It is as viceroy of Pharaoh that he comes into his own power, his political eminence an emanation of his intuitive, creative power. Joseph’s journey itself serves as the Call to Adventure for the hero’s journey of Israel: Israel, as a people, must recognize Joseph’s creative power and follow him into Egypt to realize their own procreative power. Before returning to the familiarity of the desert, the motherless children of Israel are called into the unknown to be nourished by the Nile. It is at the banks of the Nile that they fulfil their divine mandate to multiply. Joseph’s intuitive power—the ability to receive and interpret prophetic dreams—makes explicit what is implicitly encoded in the Campbellian hero’s journey: the masculine individual consciousness venturing into the feminine collective unconscious, matrix of creativity, in pursuit of wholeness. His story moreover celebrates the centrality of personal transformation to the Campbellian heroic quest, flourishing through embodiment of transformational leadership.


Balkaran, R. (2017). Joseph’s Journey: Uncovering Israel’s Unconscious. Journal of Genius and Eminence, 2(2), 95-103. http://dx.doi.org/10.18536/jge.2017.