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Reply To: What’s In a Name?” with Stephen Gerringer”


    Stephen; your piece to me by far expresses how I think about Joserph’s work and how profoundly his insights have affected my life. In other words the way we see ourselves and the life we are living as being composed by ourselves; not by the society or the cleric or the political order; but through our own experience of it. His sayings of: “The rapture of being alive”; “the meaning of your own life is whatever you ascribe it to be”; “Follow your Bliss”, “the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are”; this deepest call of your soul to it’s own high adventure is as he put it: “the Hero’s Journey”. To me the: “personal myth template” is what he is talking about. And one of the main components of this model is what he describes as the: “Sacred Space”.

    The is the place of creative incubation where one can bring forth who and what they might be. It is also the creative space of the artist; and whether in movement or stationary this enclosed mind-space is the tabernacle of the individual’s creative soul expression; the holy space out of which the individual identity expresses itself. A place where the prayer is whispered; the song is sung; the picture is painted; and the word is written: and it may include thinking of others as well as oneself. And it is also expressed within the daily life through the things that “symbolize” access to this sacred realm. It is a place where dreams are born and nurtured and expressed and meaning is given as to their value in one’s life. And these most intimate of human gifts and realizations are not brought forth by demand from any religious deity or social order or construct; but by the human heart that recognizes in it’s expression it’s other half. He felt these things were absolutely critical to having any kind of an inward life which is what the soul cries out for.

    In the above post you write:

    I wanted to offer a glimpse into how Campbell approached symbols as more than just words on a page. He thought of a mythic symbol as ‘an energy-evoking and -directing agent’ generating a response that ‘bypasses the brain and dilates the heart.’ “

    I love this because it expresses so much of what to me Joseph was trying to communicate within his themes. As he said; “The world is a wasteland”; and if one does not listen to what the inward life is asking they risk; as he puts it: a possible schizophrenic crackup because they are not addressing the soul’s inner needs.

    In the MythBlast article you write:

    Mythic symbols, for Campbell, are more than just words on a page. Embodied in pictures, figurines, a car’s nickname, a book’s title, or even one’s own breath, they serve as touchstones that pitch the mind past the material world, to that which transcends.”

    These were a few of my thoughts on this tremendous article Stephen; so I’ll stop for now to see if others have any thoughts they would like to share.