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

Dennis Slattery

    Thank you both for writing, Shaahayda and Gard. I will respond to Shaahayda first and I hope I am using the right place to do that. I love the fact that your thesis on technology was ahead of its time in seeing the mythic dimension of technology. It is a place for science and the humanities, including the place of myth, to inform people in a massive way.

    Also in your first missive above, Shaahayda, you mention a student who attended one of Campbell’s lectures and was struck with the passion that he expressed in his talk. I can feel and hear that passion in his writings as well, when I read him. My sense is that you can as well. So much of what makes something present to us is through the affect it carries, in addition to the words expressed.

    I wish I could respond with some certainty about Campbell’s observation of living one’s name. If you do find that source, please share it. But I can share a personal example. It has been many years now, but I remember being told by a Greek friend of mine in San Antonio that my first name, Dennis, is derived from the Greek Dionysos. When he told me, it somehow felt right and true. I have always enjoyed and loved teaching and giving talks and I cannot help myself in becoming enthusiastic when I enter the material I have prepared. Then I learned that one of Dionysos’s qualities is enthusiasmos, the god of enthusiasm. When i learned that I became convinced that my parents had named me correctly. So that Campbell made such an observation, I would agree wholeheartedly. Thank you so much for your first missive Shaahayda. I will answer your second one in a moment.