Reply To: The Power of the Personal,” with Mythologist Dennis Slattery, Ph.D.”
Dennis; it is just wonderful to have you here. Concerning your thoughts about the Spiral and Dante’ it occurred to me that the Labyrinth motif that was utilized on the floor in so many of the Gothic Cathedrals; (i.e. some of my links); that this meditative symbol had much to do with one’s internal journey; (much like the spiritual pilgrimages undertaken throughout Europe); that was symbolized in much this same way.
Although this was rather clumsily described on my part; I recall in another video podcast of yours a panel discussion you had with several other people describing a kind of spiritual journey you undertook in New Mexico I think it was to different locations like a monk or an individual would travel on a trip to the Holy Land; but “internally’ if that makes sense. In other words when walking the Labyrinth in the Cathedral you were internally evoking this quest of spiritual awakening or transformation. And your shared “reflective” insights with the other members was so informative of how one might invoke their own “meditations” of their individual personal myth in everyday life; just like in your (W)riting rituals. The devotee or monk or individual is internally or meditatively traveling this same road in everything they do as a meditation to the wonder of their own life; even though it includes the Opera that hurts or Ouroboros of life eating life. Joyful sorrow/ sorrowful joy participation of life as is and must be. Rubbing the prayer beads of our own life as we circle down through the Spiral through our own: “House of Mirrors” to meet our Minotaur and listen to what he has to tell us about who we are.
I loved what Joseph recalled in “The Power of Myth” where he recounts the story of the policeman who risked his life to save an individual from committing suicide by grabbing him by the legs as he was about to jump off a bridge. When another policeman grabbed them both and pulled them up to safety he was asked why he did not let go knowing he was about to be pulled to his own death. His response Joseph recounted was: “If I had let go I could not have lived another day of my life.” Joseph revealed this was a one pointed meditation of realization: “that you and the other (are) one”.
It seems this is what your referring to in these spiritual themes one might contemplate while walking or writing or meditating or whatever they are doing while going about the daily tasks of living seem to be symbolized by this psychological focus Joseph is pointing out; this: “thou art that”; this journey the everyday hero of us all as we stand on the corner waiting for the light to change while watching “Beauty and the Beast” or any number of manifestations of our mythic landscape while trying to figure out who we are and what is our next step we must take to get there.
Please forgive these all too elaborate descriptions; but your book has been such a joy in conjuring up so many of these themes as I sit each day with pen in hand in amazement with what comes out. Thank you for this gift!