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Reply To: Incarcerated, But Not Imprisoned,” with Mythologist Dennis Slattery, Ph.D.”

Dennis Slattery

    You have given us a fine film to watch, Shaheda. I will look for it later today. I will watch any film Hopkins is in.

    I also like what you cite here about hidden inner connections between worlds–chaos and cosmos–as well as others.

    I think seeking these inner connections between worlds both visible and invisible, is what prompts one Ishmael to leave the land and sign on board the Pequod in Melville’s Moby-Dick, which I am rereading now in preparation for a retreat where I will present it. The whale is a rich mythic symbol that captures the visible/invisible worlds of the created order and the rich place of nature in the fusing of these realms. Ishmael has an everlasting itch to go to sea, which is a prompting to go to see. MD is about the visionary coming into their own mythic imagination, their own beliefs and their unique way of seeing/seaing.

    Lacking self-affirmation, one’s end is obscure, and the courage to affirm would have written a totally different ending, a different myth?  I love this insight in the form of a question here, Shaheda. Yes, one being witnessed, feeling self-affirming and courageous to act on that is the heart of the hero’s journey.

    But for that to happen, one indeed needs a guide–an islander like Queequeg, a book, like the Bible or others, in order to have a compass bearing to gauge one’s journey by. But most of all, one needs the courage to step out of one’s own world and come to a compassionate toleration of others in their belief nests.

    Thanks as always, for your rich insights you share on these posts. Such fertile ground to allow ideas to grow in.