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Reply To: I’m surprised there is no topic for Personal Mythology


Hello All,

Such an interesting topic and I am hoping we’ll have this thread alive for a while. So, here is one angle of personal mythology (PM) that has me puzzled.

Beginner’s guide to Japan”, By Pico Iyer- Pg. 101:  Here Iyer quotes Joe Campbell and leads the readers into a unique Japanese trait, pointing to the lack of “I”, “Me”, “My”.  “For a Westerner Joe Campbell noted in Japan, meditation may awaken a sense of divinity within; for a Japanese, it’s more likely to inspire a sense of divinity inside a temple, a flower, a gnat.  The person sitting still doesn’t say “I’m awake”.  She says, “The world is illuminated! ”

Similarly, in some parts of the Indian subcontinent, the “I”, the “Me”, is totally secondary to the needs of the parents, and parents’ needs within their community.

Pico adds, Japan’s foundational novel, The Tale of Genji, is notoriously hard to translate, because proper names are sometimes hard to translate, avoided….As the scholar of Japan, Ivan Morris notes,  ‘the hard and fast rules we like to maintain between past present singular plural, male femaledon’t apply.”   “Beginner’s guide to Japan”, By Pico Iyer- Pg. 104:

In Japan, there are twenty ways of saying “I”…women are expected to refer to themselves in the third person, men not.” Pg. 104.

My sense”  is that the personal myths of women growing up in Japan  have got to be on a different track than for women growing up in a Western culture.  Hampered?  psychologically blocked?  How different is their archetypal energy and their sense of individuation from their Western counterpart?

“In meditating, meditate on your own divinity. The goal of life is to be a vehicle for something higher. Keep your eyes up there between the world of opposites watching your ‘play’ in the world. Let the world be as it is and learn to rock with the waves”
— Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell Companion, A (p. 189)
Find more quotations at