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


Shaahyda writes,

“Then later when the sleeve is turned inside out the myth would be revealed.  So, my first big question is, do myths always have to have that time lapse?”

I am wondering if there can be a whole bunch of answers to this question at the same time and not one or the other being the correct one–like many things at once, like the inner lining is still there with the outer material even if not seen all the time, that it could depend upon one’s perspective at the time. Some mystics refer to this as the “inner planes” and the “outer planes,” that the inner planes are always there in the outer planes.

Inner and outer do exist at the same time but most the time we can see only one layer at a time, either the inner or the outer, unless we do fold up the sleeve while still looking at the outer suit material. Since they can exist at the same time and if we apply this to myths, perhaps no time lapse is needed for the outer material or events in history to become the myth–we mythologize life all the time as we go through it. However, I would suppose that in the “actual” myths that got recorded and handed down through time and generations there would be at times that time lapse when people look back in retrospect. This is one reason why I never tire of the old myths. I hear so many people say the old myths are outdated now and tiresome, yet Campbell all his life looked at the old myths and constantly found new things to say about them and I think many a time we here on this forum do the same thing, as well as adding in newer myths a Campbell also did.

Another time for me in which I have no time lapse in myth-making or in psyche is during a moment when I experience synchronicity, when a seemingly non-causal meeting of the inner and outer worlds meet, the inner as if there is something deeper at work behind the scenes. The coat and the lining of the upturned sleeve seems also like a great metaphor for synchronicity when looking at them both together.

Just a few thoughts. It is probably that later if I came back to this I would find I could have said these things in a different way–I am being more or less in stream of consciousness mode here as I write. I am sure thoughts on these subjects could roll on and on…