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Reply To: Talking with filmmaker Patrick Takaya Solomon about Finding Joe””


Patrick; thank you so much for your thoughtful response which was most insightful. Yes; I think there are different manifestations of the bliss/journey that most people identify with that you mentioned; which I think lies at the root of what we’re discussing. Chris Vogler wrote something about this years ago which has to do with a kind of general script that many writers; (especially in Hollywood); are familar with that in your documentry Bob Walters addresses when he says that there are really only 3 basic stages of the journey: “seperation; initiation, and return”; but the confusion I think lies within the individual circumstances and what the requirements are for that person’s needs. In other words as you were pointing out your son may have one set of needs or requirements for the stage of life he is addressing; where as for an adult in mid or later life may have quite a different life crisis situation. (This is a problem that Joseph describes we all have to work out for ourselves within the context of our own lives because the older ways of interpreting a myth are out of date and no longer work and the individual is thrown back on themselves to find their own way.) And I think there is a social or cultural assumption that projects a kind of: “one size fits all”; where a scripted idea of the life process says: it has to follow a certain defined set of rules and steps in a certain order.

There is also the subject which is brought up about: “Archetypes”; which Deepak Chopra briefly mentions that I think is critical; (at least from a Jungian interpretation); that most people in the general public have little adequate understanding of which Joseph goes into greater detail in his more academic lecture series. By that I mean the psychological aspects that myth addresses as compared to the spiritual, religious,or more mythological aspects. (He calls this the 4 functions that myth serves.) In other words trying to describe to a 16 year old about: the Shadow, Ego, Persona, or Anima/Animus and what an Archetype is not the same as an adult trying to describe a mid-life crisis to his analysist or mental health professional or spiritual advisor. But understanding what a myth in the form of a “metaphor” is as opposed to a “literal” or concretized version of religion; much less learning how to read a symbol as such; I think lies at the heart of much of this chaotic turmoil modern society is up against. Or in other words telling an individual that a dark forest adventure path to: “follow their bliss in finding their own way” is a metaphor; not a set of concretized: “thou shalt” scripted commands. This Joseph calls following the left-hand path of the hero; as opposed to the right-hand path of the village compound. Here is a clip from one of Joseph’s lectures describing what I mean.