I like that you say that Campbell regarded symbols as “an energy-evoking and -directing agent” generating a response; with some of the discussion on rituals lately, this phrase you used reminded me of how symbols are used in religious/spiritual rites–or how they can “work.” The symbol when used in ritual is charged with meaning, and it is that charge that as you mention reaches the heart. Sometimes that happens so fast it almost seems to bypass the mind and go straight to the heart or emotional “level.” Repetitive symbols/acts are recognized almost instantly, such as certain parts of a ritual that is done over and over each time. And writing or preparing to write can be such a ritual too. This post has gotten me thinking about some of the rituals I do before or during writing. I always have my coffee (and like a certain cup most when I write) by day or my tea if I am writing at night. I do not keep much on my desk because it is not very big. I like the idea of having my desk near a window–somehow I find a window inspirational for my writing. A writing instructor once told me that from one’s window or one’s backyard one can see the whole world. I think there is that saying or something similar in the Tao te Ching.