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Reply To: The Boundary-Blurring Nature of Myth,” with Bradley Olson, Ph.D.”

#74867
jamesn.
Participant

Bradley, after a night’s sleep it occurred to me that there may be others who are exploring their own inner terrain, (as it were), and since this is your area of expertise you might have thoughts or suggestions that might be of help to those who might want to expand their inner quest further.

For instance, Stephen and many of us have been talking about various tools we try and utilize like personal writing and dream work as just two examples, and of course getting better acquainted with Jungian themes as well as going further into Joseph Campbell material. (You may have particular books or authors you like, or perhaps certain techniques to open these kinds of things out more.)

Dennis Patrick Slattery, whom you probably already know has written extensively about these types of approaches in writing and has just mentioned a particular book on his blog he has been recently reading called: “Opening Up by Writing it down – How expressive Writing Improves Health and Eases Emotional Pain” by James W. Pennebaker and Joshua M. Smith; and then of course there is his own great book about exploring one’s inner personal world called: “Riting Myth/Mythic Writing” – Plotting your Personal Story”. Sam Keen, whom Joseph collaborated with at Esalen for his yearly seminars wrote a great book with Anne Valley Fox called: “Your Mythic Journey”. These are just a few examples to give a better idea of my question to which these works mainly deal with concerning learning about one’s internal road map, you might say, in a way where the individual could frame these kinds of aspects of one’s inner life to get a better sense of their own inner personal dynamics that are at work instead of just regular straight forward Jungian material. Technique oriented kinds of things where a person can connect the dots or learn to read these blurred lines in a way they can call their own. Stephen Larsen’s: “The Mythic Imagination” is another work you may already be familiar with; but what are “your” favorites if you have any that come to mind.

I’ve being reading a lot of Daryl Sharp’s books for a while now and one of the things I really like about his approach is he makes Jung’s ideas much more accessible with humor. Let’s face it, Jung is complex and complicated, and Joseph’s video clips; (like Psyche and Symbol for instance); come as close as anything I’ve seen to making Jung’s concepts understandable in day-to-day vernacular; yet putting these ideas to work in one’s life is definitely not an easy task to say the least.

Going to your local bookstore most often one is steered toward the self-help section with all kinds of new age material; (not that some of that isn’t helpful); but often one is left more confused when they leave than when they first arrived. One has to do the “inner work”, which often can be emotionally draining; and to find something one loves to do to express themselves is of course much more enjoyable but also at the same time can keep one from addressing the more difficult task at hand of looking at one’s unknown face and as Joseph said acknowledging that what you are dealing with is not always an enjoyable or pleasant thing to integrate into one’s life. But as you mentioned if we can accept and embrace that we are broken, perhaps finding those ladders out of those deep holes and mending those painful inner wounds that so desperately need our attention can produce the kind of alchemy we need to better understand how to navigate between all these blurry lines we have to confront in our day to day lives.

I really liked what you were talking about concerning the inner reconstruction one has to do to better understand that there are no illusions one can keep about oneself if they are to move forward. No superman or magic wizard is going to swoop in to save the day; but that doesn’t mean, as you suggested, that we can’t see the wonder in life if we can but figure out how to look for it in the proper way and bring that into our lives.

I won’t go on about this except to say since you deal with people who are struggling all the time you might have some things you like to recommend that you think might be helpful. And again, thank you so very much for such an enriching and rewarding discussion.