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Reply To: The New Old Age” with Monica Martinez, Ph.D.”


Monica, thank you so much for your insights in compressing what I was attempting to get at.

You shared from Joseph:
“In the context of a traditional mythology, symbols are presented in socially preserved rites, through which the individual must experience or simulate having experienced certain perceptions, feelings and commitments. In what I call “creative” mythology, on the other hand, this order is inverted: the individual has an experience of his own – of order, horror, beauty, or even mere joy – which he seeks to convey through signs; and if your experience had any depth and meaning, your communication will have the value and force of a living myth – obviously for those who receive it and react to it on their own, with empathy, without impositions. (CAMPBELL, 2010, p. 20).”

To which you summarized:

“Here Campbell meets Jung again, who thought there is no more important work that an individual can do than being whole, so he/she can help others simply by being who he/she truly is. Easy to say, hard to do.”


And indeed, following that “Path that is no path” into your dark forest and finding that thing you are looking for that helps you to realize who you truly are, not that image of identity you get from society, but that sense of character you get from your own experience that tells you: “this is who I am”; not what you get from social or economic systems that we must come to deal with in order to live a full and rich life as much as we are able. The persona mask that must be taken off at the end of the day and put back on in the morning is not who you are but what you do as Joseph mentions and it’s kept in the wardrobe.

That is to say the person who has a career during the day also comes home and takes out the garbage and washes the dishes and helps the children with their homework. We are to know and realize this deeper aspect of ourselves that meets our deepest despairs and rises to its’ challenges the best way we know how, as you so insightfully articulated above.

It’s funny you should mention this, perhaps a bit of synchronicity is involved here, but it’s interesting that I was sharing this particular clip with someone earlier today because it illustrates much of this very same idea about how one’s myth is a mirror that lets you know where you are. (That is to say you have your mythical template; and then you have your own unique path to get there.)

And if we are able to find our bliss and live it then we will become, at least in the larger sense, who we were meant to be as a manifestation of our own unique individual Self. Jung mentions somewhere: “We are in a constant state of becoming.” Perhaps this is at least part of what he meant. (A bit rough around the edges, but hopefully close to what you were saying.)