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Reply To: The Metamorphic Journey,” with Craig Deininger, Ph.D.”


Thanks, All, and thank you Craig for the mythblast, this is such a fun and interesting topic to me.

One fictional story that has always served for me as a great example of change/metamorphosis is a story by that very name:  The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka–what a magnificent story!  While the main character wakes up one day to find himself in the physical form of being a big bug rather than a human anymore, the changes he goes through are also inner–or it could be perhaps appropriate to say that his inner changes he was going through at the time of stress in his life and family have created the outer metamorphosis. We could sit here and wonder whether it was the inner effect on the outer or the outer on the inner–or both simultaneously working upon the other.. Of course the reader is to take his so-called metamorphosis metaphorically! At that same time, when we imagine the character Gregor Sama as a giant bug, we can also see/imagine ourselves as a giant bug and so we see ourselves in the story, our selves/Gregor reflecting our own feelings of alienation back at us as we are all prone to do at times, especially at sensitive times in our lives such s teen years or early adulthood when we have to get out in the world and make choices our family might not agree with, etc.  It is such a fun story as it is gripping. I might say it would be fun to examine this as another type of Jungian shadow projection, or its dynamics–a roundabout way of looking at the projection of the Shadow. As for Campbell, perhaps this is a hero’s journey threshold moment when it is not the others he sees that are alien at the threshold but himself he sees as he ha crossed the threshold overnight into the new strange life as a bug being the threshold because he is still in his own home–so there is a twist on a hero’s journey step, perhaps. Also as Campbell says in the Power of Myth about the story of the woman who married the man who turned out to be a snake (literally, bad medicine man/magician), her threshold was when she crossed the water signifying a spiritual break from the physical or a change from regular earthly known “normalcy,” and this story by Kafka has sort of the same theme only with very different motifs though each one still a vermin of some sort or a pest, whether the snake-man husband who is a evil magician or of Gregor who feels like and therefore has symbolically/metaphorically turned into a bug. Here is a website address you can cut and paste: