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Reply To: Symbol(on)s of Love,” with Professor Mark C.E. Peterson”


Mark, first want to tell you how much I enjoyed your previous essay on “reflection.” “Lions, Tigers and Athena. Oh my!” Loved those perspectives! And the realm of “play,” which surrounds them!

When you speak of “in completeness,” in your current essay the proverbial Joe Campbell metaphor of “the ladder against the wrong wall,” arose in my mind.
Not sure if that fits…but the realization that comes when one keeps climbing and when they arrive at the top it’s there in reflection they find out they are still missing “that wholeness” that completeness, that “passion,” that bliss? That other half? Of being alive?

You write: This wondering about things, committing ourselves to follow the things we love, out there beyond what we know, can easily lead us astray — but I think the greater danger lies in never leaving the house. :^)

So since everything calls forth symbol and metaphor within the human life…

I wonder if that Greek splitting in two…

could also symbolize not only what one strives to attain in a lifetime but also a splitting of Self or loss of wholeness from perhaps even childhood or early years of youth?

The Greek idea is born in an imaginal mythic realm but it seems that blueprint could also play out in a person’s own life?
Starting out in wholeness but losing on the road along the way. Turning away from ones passions…maybe because of life choices or maybe because of necessity or the sorrows of the world.
Or hardship. Or expectations. Duty.

Or could that loss also represent a loss of that Wonder…that other part of the human spirit?
Maybe even someone spends a lifetime learning to “divide themselves,” maybe it’s educated out of them? Who knows?   Then they spend the rest of their journey learning how to recover what they lost?
The wholeness…the completeness…the passion…

I am very  thankful that my parents who were all educators allowed for the playful and imaginal and reflective in my life. And supported my passions.
So know I am lucky.

Enjoyed your essay Mark! (Both essays)

Thank you!