Though I’m sticking more closely with the overarching theme of “who is the next Joseph Campbell?”, especially for anyone new to the conversation, no worries about the side-channel you and Mary have taken (which is an enriching read). Naturally there are ebbs and flows to most conversations, along with tangents galore. Readers should be able to figure it out.
But very much on topic is that compelling paragraph of yours that Mary picked up on:
Times now are muddy. How to wade to the shore from phatomless pristine depths? Follow the currents to where they bring the next promise afloat or ashore? Lifted by roaring thundergods into its heaven temporarily, to smashed to the ground again next hailstorm? All born innocent, all faithfull, all on internet, all temptations, all true yet only personal trues. All diminishing horizons. “I’m hungry now. Feed me!” But there is no fast food for the mind. Gut their body with saturating holy sugars until filled, but it does not feed. Funny cat movies are cute, but there is only one. Hollow people. Hollow world.
Yes yes yes! In a hollow world full of hollow people, no wonder so many crave the substance Joseph Campbell offers. He may be gone, but people still want to be fed – hence the hunger for the next Campbell. Of course, at least in Joe’s mind, his work involved not so much feeding the multitudes as offering observations, insights, and tools that allow those who are drawn to this mythic perspective to not just read about it, but experience that substance themselves.
Your exchange with Mary illustrates how you both do just that, cutting through all the intellectualizing with poignant and profound imagery grounded in personal experience . . . a marvel indeed.