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Reply To: Merlin . . . & the Lost Art of Mentorship, with Dr. John Bucher


    Mary; a quick thank you response to you, Shaheda, and John’s kind references to my earlier offerings. (My computer connection may sabotage me before I finish so I’ll attempt to describe some of my recent thoughts about these “awesome” posts this week. It’s been a real privilege to join in so I’ll try to add something worthy that compliments them.

    More and more I keep coming back to the role archetypes play in the different influences the mentor makes in it’s appearance in our lives whether as teacher or mythical advisor. Whether as the (S)elf as the main regulating center of the entire psyche in it’s journey towards wholeness; or as the “ego/self/hero” as the “I” that we perceive with that interplays with: the shadow, persona, anima/animus systems; I think the mentor wears various costumes in influencing our lives. The “wounded-child or wounded-healer”; the Merlin/Crone advisor; the young male as Arthur seeking forth as self/initiator or maiden as young mother or Joan of Arc all represent various characters as vehicles of transformation to the individual lost in the woods with no direction of where to go. The mentor or teacher appears whether: as Obi Wan or Yoda or Gandalf or whatever other figure this form takes as a guide dispensing wisdom of the individual’s inner power they have not yet discovered. Joseph referred to what they may give us as not only a skill but more importantly a: “psychological center” and may also provide a inner commitment course to follow to come to this self-realization.

    I also think there are different life stages these archetypes can make their appearance depending on what type of psychological crisis may be occurring; and the “thresholds” that must be crossed for achievement to take place. And whether there is a boon or a transformation to be brought back from the battle with the unconsciousness that must be addressed these mythical figures help to provide the necessary inner tools; (often in the form of some sort of symbol); that will help them in their heroic journey. Joseph talks about some of these forms such as: apotheosis, atonement, the sacred marriage, and the flight of the Promethean fire theft in his discussions with Bill Moyers in: “The Power of Myth” as these are motifs where many of these psychological transformations present themselves.

    (One such story with the symbol as tool is the Navajo”: When the two came to their Father”; where a (feather); as a psychological device; is provided as something to hold on to so they won’t (crack-up) on their adventure. This is not the same as the sword; “Excalibur” lodged in the stone which young Arthur must pull out; so these devices and their application may vary. Two of my very favorites of this psychological transformation are Robin Williams’ roles; one as the mental health therapist; Sean Maguire; in: “Good Will Hunting”; and the other as high school English Teacher: John Keating in: “Dead Poet’s Society”. These are definitely mentors worthy of the term for what they exemplify in providing knowledge of these inner terrains that must be traveled; although for different reasons. One for inner healing; and one for the transformation of youth into adulthood.

    But to me the chief questions that must be asked are:

    “What do these figures and devices symbolize in relation to the individual’s unique quest; what is the mission? What does this adventure or journey symbolize where this figure is conjured forth whether by circumstance or from the unconscious?” (Whether as a real personal relationship; or as a symbolic realization what does this figure or crisis situation represent; what is it’s message?; (And we all need mentors whether we know it or not).

    (Okay; so this seemed to work regarding my internet connection and I got it all in. I did a “system restore”; so maybe everything is back to normal; lol). This discussion has been a real thought provoking treat to participate in; so please keep it up!