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Reply To: Ego, Irony, and the Goddess,” with Bradley Olson, Ph.D.”

Dennis Slattery

    Brad, I thoroughly enjoyed your wonderful introduction to the Goddess theme. But I was particularly drawn to your insights on irony, a feature, or attitude of consciousness that has interested me over the years. I like the way you write of the ego’s most un-ironic stance in the world and the way that irony creates space within ourselves.

    I want to share briefly, apropos the theme of the Goddess. I wrote some years ago about the myth of Narcissus and Echo. There I postulated that when Narcissus spurns Echo’s advances before reaching the virginal waters of the pond, where he becomes transfixed, that his fixation is the consequence of his spurning irony in the figure of Echo. When we can hear ourselves, truly resonate with our own words or thoughts, we gain that sense of irony that does not allow us to be too serious about ourselves. That Echo return to Narcissus his own words gives him that opportunity to create space between his own pronouncements and who he is. Fixation accrues when we lose Echo, a point that you are making in your own language of your fine essay.

    I ran across a book I have owned for decades the other day that I want to make you aware of: Images of Faith: An Exploration of the Ironic Imagination by the Jesuit priest, William J. Lynch (1973). It is a fine study, matched only by his Christ and Apollo: the Dimensions of the Literary Imagination, which I mention here because we share a deep love of the poetic imagination. Thanks for a wonderful lift-off, Brad. Most enjoyable.