Thank you Stephen for this way into thinking about life[breath being the substance that gives us this life] and illness-by the sheer number of responses I see, you have opened us all to the adventure to contemplate this all. I want desperately to see this utter chaos and danger [I am responding to both the virus and the recent upheavals] as a call to re-form, re-create, re-imagine a world that will make us more aware of one another , more sensitive to what we are experiencing both personally and on a more macro level. we can perhaps then better response to the pan and suffering of those who have lived on the margins, to those that have been invisible. That is how I believe the new myth will emerge-it is a question I am exploring as I continue to reread Campbell on myths -Myths of Light.
In German the word for breath is Atem, it is a word that I understand in a much different way than in English [German is my mother tongue], it is a word related to the god Wotan-the root of the verb wehen, Wotan and Odin, the wafting breath of the universe. This is important because Stephen’s remark about the mythical breath and our collective journey are rooted in this word-Atem.
If we do as Campbell explains and affirm the call to adventure. if we acknowledge the common breath we share and the common air we breath, perhaps we can than re-imagine a world where we at the very least begin the difficult work of caring for one another and consequentially the nature we share. We are metaphorically speaking, breathing in the universe-sharing something aural[breathing and sound and music] , primal, seeing the essence of the divine-that is what is in all of us. Would that not compel us to preserve it-to preserve one another?