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Reply To: Cunneware’s Laugh: The Enticement of Delight,” with Leigh Melander, Ph.D.”


    Leigh, so sorry I missed your kind and thoughtful response. Yes, this topic definitely evokes a lot in me for as a musician for over 45 years playing music was my life. But there was another life inside which I had forgotten about that called to me from deep below the surface which Joseph Campbell has helped me to understand; and a whole new journey has revealed itself over these recent years which he and Jung have helped me come to know. One that combines so many of the inner worlds that were not given a voice; and have tested and enriched me beyond what I had previously known. Each of us has inner things that reveal themselves as our life unfolds; and I had no idea how powerful they were. But all had something to show me about my life as they continue to still. As Jung said: “We are in a constant state of becoming”; and I think that’s very true.

    Individuation what? I’d never heard of such a thing. And all those things you may or may not have paid attention to in school suddenly came alive with new meaning. I was trying to remember something I read concerning a David Miller piece called: “The fire is in the Mind” included in a SAGA book set of essays reviewed by Jonathon Young all about Campbell. A lot of heavy weight authors I’m sure you would recognize; but it’s a Parabola piece as I recall; and for some strange reason whenever I try to follow up a quote or something from them, there seems to be some kind of copywrite conflict or something between them and the foundation. (Stephen would know more about this than I would.)  I love what Dennis Patrick Slattery says about this sort of thing; that “Hermes” is usually creating some kind of mischief.) I absolutely love his book on personal writing called: “Riting Myth/ Mythic Writing”.

    (You are so kind with your suggestion and I’ve just book marked your piece for later.) During this pandemic I have developed a small addiction to Ebay and Amazon’s: “Buy now” buttons; and my book selections keep growing every time I see a new one, so I have to watch myself to stay within my monthly budget. Stephen has helped recommend so many great selections I’ll be reading forever; but that’s okay because the more I learn the more I understand “what is going on under the hood” so to speak. His recommendations on dreaming and other Jungian and Campbell topics have been enormously helpful in my understanding of these subjects; and my list keeps growing.

    Right now, I am immersed in several writers: Mario Jacoby, Darryl Sharp, James Hall just on Jung alone; and my main focus lately has been trying to better understand the constellating influences between archetypes and complexes because they dictate so much of what our reactions are via emotional stimulus and content. Jacoby was head of the Jungian institute in Zurich for well over a decade and instructed other analysts about Jungian analysis. He wrote 5 books on this subject before he died in 2011; each connected to the other in theory. One of his major insights was the relationship of shame/anxiety as a complex that stimulates or constellates other complexes. He felt that early childhood development and the child’s early sense of self came out of some of these early complex inter-relationships such as the connection with the mother/father complexes. I am certainly no analyst, and I’ve got a lot more reading to do on this before I feel like I’ve got a good enough handle on his overall understanding of the Jungian cosmology and how it operates within this complex field; but Jung called shame: “the soul eating emotion”. (I love David’s: “Pathways to Bliss”; btw; which is one of my all-time favorites on Campbell); so, the learning never ends.

    But back to “Play”; when I retired from my musical life after 45 years; I knew I had to find something to take its place as a creative outlet or I would go nuts. So, I took up photography and got deeply immersed in that using it as a narrative to compliment my personal story and to go with my private documentation as my personal legacy to give to my family when I pass. Everybody has a story if they want to look for it, and I documented all my personal mementos by digitizing them on to my hard drive where I can retrieve them at will; and now that I’m starting to get all this personal material organized perhaps something may come out of it at some point; but I’m not ready yet; and I’m anxious for this pandemic to ease up so I can finally get out and do some of the things I haven’t been able to once more. In other words, get out and “play” again. Play as therapy; I love that idea. What’s our therapy?