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Reply To: What is the father, exactly?


Hello James,

Thanks for pointing me to Pathways to Bliss. I love this book and was busy flipping through other chapters, “Necessity of Rites” “Myth and the Self” “Society and the Symbol”. There is so much to learn from every page of this book and all of Joe’s books.

In Chapter “The Self as Hero”, pg. 117 – 119:  What I enjoyed reading were  the  three main realization symbols that Joe discusses, 1. the reconciliation with the animus and anima 2.  the atonement with the father and 3. the realization of oneself. The third one is the surrender of one’s identification with forms – our physical and mental forms.

Would you say James that such a journey where one meets these symbols reminds one of a few of Charles Dicken’s characters?  In Christmas Carols, there are four stages to Scrooge’s journey. He is becoming more aware of his character and with each stage, another dimension opens up.  Atonement comes with losing his attachments to all that he was chained to – yes he must untie the knots that chained him to  the money boxes forged during his lifetime of greed. The way to the father is through surrender. His last stage is when he awakens a changed man, surrendering to his greed and attachments.

On the subject of personal myths, I have also been listening to Joe’s lecture (as Lynn thoughtfully  drew my attention)  on the subject, where he discusses Jung’s search of his personal myth. How turning towards his childhood symbols, and incorporating them, “REACTIVATION OF SYMBOLS” says Joe, is what begins to define his personal myth. His dream world becomes intensely rich, there are dream images that he begins to draw and paint and soon, scholars come into his life and on and on.

Have you reactivated your childhood symbols James? I have not, only because it’s difficult to do at this stage in life. Things I enjoyed when my mother said. ‘go out and play’, things that made me lose track of time, were two:

1. Skipping Rope for hours and hours. 2. Swinging on a swing….Now thinking of rope and swinging reminds me of Oscar Wilde’s poem, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” (That’s my association with these symbols) And my personal myth might be somewhere in between…Who knows?

Also, what stories come to mind when you read the following, “In stories of atonement with the father, the woman either becomes the guide or the seductress..”