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Reply To: THERE and BACK AGAIN,” with MythBlast author Stephen Gerringer”



You write:

Here, we see the critical importance of a dynamic balance between focus on the details of local culture and the broader view of global interdependence. Both are important!”

I appreciate the tension you go on to highlight between these, which plays out on national and international stages in everything from politics and economics to health (modern medical practices / traditional healing practices),  concerns over cultural appropriation in the arts, and more – conflicts inevitable as cultures collide.

Achieving a balance between the two, the local and the global, is the challenge before us – one that I’m not expecting to be resolved in my lifetime. Fortunately, political analyses are beyond the scope of these forums (as noted in the forum posting guidelines, which can be found in a dropdown menu by clicking on Guidelines and FAQ at the top of this conversation, for new arrivals who might not be aware of that). Even discussing the mythic resonances can be dicey – it’s one thing to probe and ponder mythic influences in the Roman or Aztec empires, but doing the same with contemporary issues, where we’re all carrying our own political baggage, all too often triggers unconscious complexes and can pull a conversation way off topic.

So we follow Joseph Campbell’s example of not mixing myth and politics. Though he definitely had strong views (some of which I agree with, and some I don’t), when asked about specific issues in interviews and Q & A sessions after lectures, his response was often “I don’t believe what I think would be particularly helpful right now.”

But, on the personal level, I  do appreciate his guidance:

I think that in one’s political action and influences, if one can think of oneself as part of a world community without betraying the legitimate interests of one’s local neighborhood, one would be helping the world forward.” (Joseph Campbell, audio interview with E. Bouratinos for The Man and Myth Project, 1985)

Your discussion of UFOs as anticipating “a new global myth,” and what Jung sees on the horizon, so to speak, is also thought-provoking. For anyone who is intrigued, I’ll also mention your contribution to a thread on UFOs back in September (post #6286 “Jung, UFOs, and the Mundus Imaginalis”), which is worth a read.

I find such speculations about the-myth-to-come fascinating and informative, albeit speculation nonetheless, keeping in mind Campbell’s caution:

One cannot predict the next mythology any more than one can predict tonight’s dream; for a mythology is not an ideology. It is not something projected from the brain, but something experienced from the heart.”

Joseph Campbell, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space (Copyright © 1986, 2002 Joseph Campbell Foundation), p. xix

At the same time, I appreciate the perspective Jung shares with Zeller, which allows optimism in the long term, an aspiration humankind is moving towards, while dispelling utopian illusions about what many seem to hope is right around the corner.