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


    Catherine. Thank you so much for such a wonderful overview that reveals much of what I asked. I should clarify one thing that you thoughtfully pointed out I need to clear up which is “crafting or designing one’s personal myth”. Yes, I probably should have used the word: “discover or reveal” what lies hidden instead. As Joseph on many occasions stated in a number of different ways there is something that drives us and in following the “path that is no path” when looking back over our life we begin to see or understand; (at least to some degree), what this thing is. You can call it a pattern or see it through a Jungian lens as The Self, or the Campbell lens as your personal myth; that thing that is unique in you that becomes your: “task of tasks” to pursue; but yes, as you pointed out it is not something you can craft or design in that sense; it’s already there but many of us don’t know what drives us; (as in the Jungian crisis); and our insides initiate a “Call” that something is missing and we need to go on an adventure or journey/quest to bring it to realization. You could say it’s in our psyche’s DNA but I don’t think that quite defines it because something may happen along the way of your discovery path that causes you to change direction. A Trickster God can do this because that’s his or her job to keep pushing you into your own dark tunnel or cave to reclaim or assimilate or in some way help you by shaking everything up you thought you knew and you are reborn in some way.

    In chapters: 4, 5, & 6 of “Pathways to Bliss” Joseph addresses this aspect and it’s many dimensions in a number of ways; but he also reveals this thing that is in you is unique to you alone. Now we can talk about journals and events that happen in our lives that can give us clues; but in the end that is our task as he keeps reminding us; which is to find out what it is; to know it and live it; (in the larger sense); and this is the lefthand path he is talking about to my way of thinking. In other words it’s not something from out there but in you. And whether it comes by crisis or inspiration or any number of things you have two choices if you are paying attention; you can stay in the village compound of the right hand path; (nothing wrong with that); or you can listen to what your insides are telling you and figure out what to do from there. This seems to be what Joseph is saying from what I can tell. I’m certainly no authority on Joseph’s work; but these are the particular themes that keep informing me over the course of my life. But my path is not anyone else’s; and I think this is very important because everyone’s path is different.

    I loved the way you have articulated these things, (and I especially appreciate the link to your pdf); because I think those who check it out will find a wealth of helpful information. And I’m really looking forward to the second part of your response because I think “men” in particular are really struggling right now. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful reply.