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Reply To: The Blooming of Truth: Campbell on the Mythic Past, with Norland Tellez, Ph.D.


Hi Norland, –some reactions to your # 5173:

I like how you wrote, “We tend to think of myth and history as being in conflict with each other, but the authors of the inscriptions at Palenque and the alphabetic text of the Popol Vuh treated the mythic and historical parts of their narratives as belonging to a single, balanced whole. (58-59)” because I like to think that myths, like art, reflect the times ( zeitgeist) in which they are made to exist.

In your Mythblast, I am in agreement with you write, “My argument against ‘personal mythology’ is as you say an argument against positivistic ideology but it is also more than that. It touches on the very definition of mythology as a vehicle of truth.” I like that a lot, because sometimes people do not like to see their truth to their own Shadow or the Shadow of the society and leave the unconscious unconscious rather than making the unconscious conscious–and without this willingness, there is not much sometimes one can solve, as if this is an alchemical solvent/solution for change to the gold we seek. Again I could use that quote so often quoted of Campbell’s here : “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.” So thus we turn that lead into gold if we can process it–the steps, the mythic truth(s).

For me, my personal myth comes out of the images and symbols that have created patterns throughout my life, thinking/remembering all the way back to early childhood, from my own personal experiences to those I read of that I loved in books that imprinted their images so strongly in my psyche that I would carry them with me all my life, to the people in my life who are like mythic/archetypal figures or characters, from the “real” people in my life to even those fictional characters who had a big impact on my psyche, or a place I saw everyday or a lot like a favorite spot in the woods and the stories I could tell about those places. It also comes from the cultural myths of my family culture; and from the children’s books on mythology I read as a child and figured out which cultures and myths I felt particularly drawn to (also this happened sometimes at certain different times of my life). Certain parts of landscapes (larger than just a favorite spot) also was my personal myth, for instance, the lake I grew up by. Certain stories I tell my granddaughter about our family from before she was even born are legendary and also part of that myth–because history or historical parts can be included in a myth, just as a legendary character is part legend (heresay based on the folklore–“History became legend, legend became myth…”— Galadriel, Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien) which is part fact. Stephen asked a question it seemed ( I would have to scroll back up to search for it which I hope to do later after I post this) which seemed to me to question truth or when is personal myth not truth or true. I seem to remember Jung either writing somewhere or making a statement about how we can rewrite our history and make it more “nice and shiny” or sugar coat it if we want to or if we are are perhaps not looking at the totality to include the shadow stuff cast; in re-writing our own myths/legends/histories we sometimes avoid the truth and make it prettier and easier to tell to others. This is related to the idea of “Death of the Author”:

Jung as a Writer: Jung and Death of the Author

Most of do the best we can to relay our personal myth when we write our memoirs (to tell the truth of our personal myth and I think Jung’s family wanted to leave things out of Jung’s memoirs so then we often have that sort of thing happening with one’s personal myth too–untruth by omission by family members/editors). The link below is Re: Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

Jung’s challenges in writing his personal myth or memoirs

I hope to come back to this to respond to more later on other subtopics of Norland’s essay–very much enjoyed it, thank you, Norland and Stephen!

~ Marianne