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Reply To: Tossing the Golden Ball,” with mythologist Catherine Svehla, Ph.D.”


    Catherine. I wish I could express how deeply meaningful your kind and deeply considered response is appreciated; for it is something I have been struggling to: name, articulate, understand, and express for a long, long time. And you did so with such sensitivity; even though you had to navigate such a large amount of text I had given you out of frustration to describe it; I find it hard to express my appreciation in a way that fully illustrates it.

    When I first came across the idea of one’s: “personal story” as a framework in which to access the process of finding one’s own: “unique personal myth” and living it I first came across it in the older version of CoaHO when moderator Michael Lambert first introduced the concept from his experiences as an English teacher to his students and it was a revelation like no other. (This is why I requested posting your extremely well-articulated composition: “Blisters on the way to Bliss”); as an individual guide one might use to find their own way. And I also think this template keeps reappearing in different forms; (like in the movie: The Freedom Writer’s Diaries”), as just one example. Why do I think this is so critical? Because by the individual using this process of attempting to find and understand their own experiences through realizing how mythic forms are references to what is at work within their own lives, they can begin to understand what is happening within themselves and use this reference as a compass to find their own way.

    Shortly after I posted my entries to you, I went to bed and this morning came across this piece from: “Psychology Today” about some of the problem’s males are now experiencing which I feel provides at least one window into the male psyche and connecting it with the world they must learn to process. (Synchronicity perhaps; I don’t know, but a bell rang that seemed to say that it had some connection.) Although it is an extremely quick read, (maybe 90 seconds or so), in many ways it hits the nail squarely on the head of at least one aspect I was attempting to describe.

    However, I think your description much more fully articulates the much larger and more comprehensive dimensions of why connecting these dots into one framework is so extremely difficult. Joseph Campbell was able to cross these huge divides in such a way that thinking metaphorically could provide clues out of our internal: “house of mirrors” we keep getting trapped in. And by understanding not only what Jung was saying, that we could do it in such a way as to “make it our own” without having to rely on worn-out stereotypes that no longer work in the modern technological wasteland we are forced to navigate. (That treadmill automaton system that says: “you must live a certain way or be ostracized”; and that a life of meaning and purpose on your own terms is not possible.)

    If we can find the connection points; (which your piece so eloquently describes); it is not only possible but may help to provide clues on how to approach it.

    Again, I sincerely thank you for such a warm and sensitive response to a question that has been haunting me for such a long time. Namaste