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

Dennis Slattery

    Thank you for your second set of insights, Shaahayda. I touched on your thesis in the last missive. But here you hone in on that mystical sensibility that Campbell had, making many of us who read him feel as if we are truly in the presence of an Elder, someone who has matured into his own work, his vocation, and into himself as a bellwether for us to be directed by. I have tried to follow Campbell’s image as a teacher, to open the space, to create a temenos of the imagination for us to enter and be entertained–not distracted–by his insights. That he so often spoke without notes I can only envy; that is the depth to which he has embodied his discipline and speaks directly from the insights he is having at the moment, as well as a phenomenal memory to retain what he has worked out for himself.

    And story, as you mention after working my image of the inner sleeve of a jacket being the mythic fabric that guides and shapes the history on the outside, is at the heart of his work–to find the appropriate metaphor to ground his insights, and I find that stories are like extended metaphors that allow our own stories space to rest beside his, to make the correspondences, one of his favorite words, with the story he tells. His gifts as a literature student gave him a massive treasury from which to pull out the patterns of the plots that guide all of our lives. Wonderful insights from you, Shaahayda. I am very grateful to you for extending what I wrote.