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Reply To: My story ..


Hello Stephen!

Thank you so much for welcoming me to your club!  It’s taken me a little while to get back to you because I’ve been busy trying to rescue my old Toshiba laptop with Windows XP.  It’s an ancient operating system, but it’s done the job for me for 15 years, and I stupidly took it online and got infected, necessitating an operating system overhaul.  All is better now.

Joseph (Joe?) once said that if you find an author who grabs you, you should read everything he wrote, and then go read what that author had read, and the world opens up for you in a consistent way.  So, of course, I’ve read most all of Campbell’s works.  And, believe it or not, I’ve read most of the Collective Works of Carl Jung, many decades ago now.  You see, I’ve always been anima-obsessed, and it wasn’t until I read Jung that I even had an inkling of what I was up against.  I’ve spent many years trying to exorcise her, or, more precisely, to at least mollify her somewhat.  I haven’t quite turned her into an ally yet, but I’m getting there.  She’s very strong, and dangerous, in me.  But learning about the anima turned out to be only half of the story.  I recently came across Dorothy Tannoy’s 1979 book Love and Limerence, and let me tell you, it would have come in mighty handy during a particularly fraught period for me, 1986-1991.  Alas, I remained mostly blind to my own condition, and now have the scars to show for it.

I’m now on a Will Durant kick.  I really liked his The Story of Philosophy book, and so I bought half of his (and his wife’s) 11 volume The Story of Civilization series.  That’s about 6 thick books, and I’m only on the first one!  Interesting though!  I’ve since been able to download (for free) a whole bunch of audiobooks from him.

The problem I have now, as for most people, is time.  I doubt I’ll get through 5% of my personal library before I finally kick the bucket and zoom out of here.  There’s so much to read, watch, and listen to!  I took some comfort from Joe’s experience when he returned from Europe and decided against a Ph.D.  You see, unlike Joe, I’m not a scholar, as I have a severe allergy to specialization.  The best part of college was studying 4 subjects at once.  As soon as I do a deep dive into any subject, I pretty much lose interest, and worse, become depressed.  Joe called himself a “generalist,” something I can relate to.  Despite interdisciplinary studies, there’s not much profit when you don’t specialize in something.  I’ve recently taken some comfort in reading an essay called In Defense of the Dilettante (or was that conveniently just in my imagination?  It often runs wild).

Anyway, thanks again for the welcome.  I suppose I should look over some of the threads on this site.  I don’t really know where to begin, so maybe I’ll just stumble upon something good.

Take care,

Mark Brennan

(Intrepid psychonaut extraordinaire)