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Reply To: Lions, and Tigers, Athena, oh my!” with Professor Mark C.E. Peterson”


    ” Mark; thank you for your thoughtful response. My thoughts about adding: “complexes and archetypes” to the discussion was just a suggestion. But from my perspective I will add that these things live within us and visit us nightly in our dreams. And it was Jung’s greatest fear that if we don’t try to understand them they have the potential to destroy us. Yes; these are Jungian concepts and much of Joseph’s theme of the the Hero throughout the life process is based not only on timeless mythological concepts; but harmonizing our inner world as well. As he mentions on several occasions: (life itself has no meaning; we as individuals bring the meaning to it”; and indeed as you suggest we should also be concerned with putting that meaning into play in relationship to the world instead of just attempting to understand it while remaining separate from it. But Joseph also suggested that the hero is a template or model of our interior process of coming to realization of what’s going on inside as we travel our individual life’s journey toward the dark gate. And by integrating our shadow-side or blind spot of ourselves that we can’t see; that “other” that lives within us helps to open up and battle the darkness; and as when Jung refers to the Telesphorus  by providing a light of meaning in the darkness of mere existence).

    We look up at the constellations of stars at night; many of which have Greek names; and then along comes Copernicus and tells us that our world is “not” the center of the universe. Well the Catholic Church doesn’t like this at all because it challenges the whole Christian concept of a God/earth centered arrangement as they knew it. Darwin comes along and tells us we evolved from Apes and creates an uproar over Genesis and again we have to change our thinking  We go to the Moon and on the way back one astronaut is asked who is driving the spaceship and he replies Newton. Yet we still are left with this same emotional interior we must navigate our lives with to find meaning where there is none. So I agree with your statement up to a point.

    Yes; Jung is rattling around in this mix I think because I don’t see how you can leave him out concerning unpacking this idea of relationships and getting along. The thing that first threw me was the title: Lions and Tigers and bears/(Athena); oh my! (and the idea of play); which connected me to Dorothy’s inner dream journey to OZ and back. But that was not the direction the thread was headed and I should have recognized that. But to my point indeed so many of these childhood figures; (like Pooh and so many others); come to represent childhood thresholds which later come back for occasional visits in our adult dreams that symbolize things that have meaning for us. At any rate I won’t go back to archetypes and complexes because obviously that was my mistake in where you wanted to go with this topic so please accept my apologies if I took it off course. Before I close I will offer a visit link to Jung’s “Telesphorus” with Maude Oates giving a wonderful description of her conversation with him.

    Thank you for your kind and thoughtful reply.