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


    Dennis; you are incredibly kind to say that and I’m wondering if when you have a free moment you might share some of your thoughts about the creative process. People have such a difficult time finding their place in life; finding the thing that takes them where they feel they need to go. Joseph Campbell had much to say about this but often I think the world reflects outer value instead of inner meaning. They look around and think to themselves their life has to have fame or notoriety; something that mirrors that what they “do” is who they are; when persona isn’t necessarily the true reflection of what is looking back at them. That what moves them internally isn’t necessarily the accurate picture of what is going on under the surface.

    Your book dives deep into this introspective assimilation to recognize the many faces of the (S)elf archetype which is informing the ego/self/hero of what is happening on the outer conscious plane that isn’t always what the inner subconscious of the individual needs or wants. Joseph talks about the arc-of-life process as it evolves and how the inevitable change from youth through the various stages is going to affect how someone sees themselves and what drives them will start to change as they age. So that when we write within this self-reflective process our awareness will be affected also. I love how your book goes down into the depths of these various dimensions and asks the individual to explore them as they process their own inner world. Can you share some of your thoughts on this in how it has affected your own life and Journey?

    For instance after waking from dreaming last night I remember James Hillman use to talk about waking: “to” the night instead of from; (his emphasis on the aging process changing how our inner focus and alchemy is now changing it’s calling); so that the things one is concerned with are looking backward as well as forward; (Janus principle); and negotiating where it wants to go next because now the life journey is considering it’s trajectory toward death and the legacy of what will be left behind begins to enter the picture. The first half of life is focused on achievement as a vehicle of expression; the self-responsible individual has achieved life and all these inner dynamics are shifting and wondering where to go next. So that as we journal or explore these feelings at whatever life stage we find ourselves how do you think about these things and the way you process your feelings as a writer? We use writing as a vehicle to explore but I think sometimes it’s the things we’ve already done or experienced that give us clues where we are instead of looking outward for new horizons.

    Yesterday and last night I was captivated by the story behind the making of: “Dances With Wolves”; and now coming up for public view on PBS is the biography documentary on Ernest Hemingway by Ken Burns. Both of these projects go deep into huge themes that reflect the life process; and Joseph reminds us that no matter what the Journey or what it entails the alchemy involved to bring it forth isn’t necessarily what it appears. The end game of the endeavor is a reflection of something deeper and these are some of the things you write about in helping the individual to discover as Joseph said to Bill Moyers in “The Power of Myth” of: (what is ticking in them). Hope this makes sense. Thank you again for sharing your time with us.


    (Addendum: Sorry my humble apologies; but I missed you prior entry and you may be winding up this truly wonderful MythBlast . If time is running short and you have other things that need attending we can certainly pick this up another time. If so thank you for sharing these truly delightful moments with us; and will look forward to when you can return.)