John, Stephen, Maryanne, Jamesn, and all, thank you ever so much for such an important topic, and I am enjoying it tremendously.
Stephen, you write, “True mentorship, it seems to me, is something less formal and more personal.”
Stephen, I am going back 15 -20 years, and am reminded of the many hours of selfless, dedicated service you accorded at the “ Joseph Campbell Mythology Group (JCMG)” Our group gathered for Saturday night chats on JCMG.. We (Sabrina, Veronica, Tami, Janice, Doug, Michael, and many others) came together to discuss, myths, folklore, Joe Campbell, James Hillman, dreams, and much else.
A typical JCMG evening: As I look back, you as “Bodhi”, became the mentor and perhaps teacher too. Here the line between teacher and the mentor becomes blurred, because you developed a personal relationship with all of us, sharing your personal stories, your “wandering years”, your Joe Campbell years — not out of a sense of duty, but out of love. We asked questions of you, “What does Joe mean by “being transparent to transcendent”, “I think Joe says, Holy Grail, is ‘Unconditional Love”, what do you think it is? “ “What’s your favorite Joe Campbell book? Or what does Joe think of unconditional love?” “ Let’s talk about dreams. Do you write your dreams? And, by the way I had an amazing dream….and this is what I dreamt.”
Many hours you spent going over our dreams, asking us to describe the colors, the scene, dark or light, what are your associations with this or that. You were my mentor, in every respect of the term mentor. Did I thank you for the immense selfless devotion to your coaching and mentoring? Actually, not then, not 15 – 20 years ago, but lately, about two years, I did. I recognized your influence in mine and many of other lives. So, yes thank you, dear mentor.
And yes, this sentence captures it well, “essence of mentoring – sharing the accumulated wisdom of one’s life experience not out of duty, but love.” You did just that.