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


I can add that I first encountered Campbell while in a creative writing program at BGSU during my undergraduate years in college. It just felt right and true as I read it–true for me, in one of those eureka I found something moments! His ideas rang true for me and expanded my mind back into time and out into those ancient communities and then to bring those “truths” back into community today of today’s world and that transcendent travel back and forth feels like the universality of the human condition throughout eons of time which I marvel at. The Flight of the Wild Gander and The Inner Reaches of Outer Space are both so transforming to my life in what I felt to be a powerful inspiration. By powerful, I mean life-changing and life-affirming. It helped affirm things I had wondered about or as far as life’s mysteries as a child. It goes back to Alison’s dead bird story way back at the beginning opening of this new Forum and memories of finding a dead baby bird fallen in its nest from a tree when I was little and feeling so sad and so puzzled about death. When Campbell traces the growth of folklore historically in Flight of the Wild Gander, I can almost see and feel the emigration as if I am walking in it with the ancients across land and time.

As for Jung, I encountered Jung’s work in the same writing program. I had a prof who studied at the Jungian Swiss Institute who talked about archetypes and symbols and for me that rang true too. Encountering ideas like synchronicity were never something I found out about then had to adopt–for me what I found was that Jung’s theories had already been at work in my life throughout its entirety. His theories were things I already had sensed and experienced. I had always been interested in my dreams ever since I was little and frequently experienced synchronicity with encounters with symbols/words/events.  That is why I always say that I like to use to my personal experience of “lived experience” as it can be called or my personal myth when I write about Jung’s theories, as if my lived experience is “testimonial” to Jung’s theories, and I would add a smiley face emoji here.