Shopping Cart

No products in the cart.

Reply To: The Power of the Personal,” with Mythologist Dennis Slattery, Ph.D.”

Dennis Slattery

    Hi Shaheda: I am in Ohio visiting family and friends. My response may be a bit shorter because this laptop is not friendly to my fingers on the keys.

    I have made a note of Bill Thomas’ book. Thank you for it.

    I agree with your observations and his that we have truncated death from life. I remember decades ago reading The Denial of Death by Ernst Becker. It has become a classic in sociology and psychology.

    I think that JC wrote at one point that myth making can also become a way to avoid death, to try to override it, so to master it.

    I have thought much about that. But the true crux for me is the inability to see death as part of the eternal rhythm of life and death. I have thought that what separates Captain Ahab from the narrator Ishmael in Moby Dick is that the latter comes to embrace that rhythm while the former rails against it. So their worlds are very different places: Ahab’s is dark and brodding, Ishmael’s leans to the comic, which is not about laughter but about treasuring the preciousness of life in its elegant ordinariness.

    Perhaps it is a symptom of an adolescent view of life divorced from death that begins the gnawing problem. What could be worse than the thought of not ever dying? Now that may be a version of Hell worthy of Rod Serling.

    My best and more when I return home.