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

#74879

Bradley, synchronicity has it that this morning, before I read your essay, I was thinking about bounderies and separation. It occurred to me that a distinction can be made between the two. A boundery can be crossed; whereas a separation, cannot. Or to put it in another way, a separation that can be crossed becomes a boundery. A boundery does not imply separation. A separation implies a rupture, a breaking off. It has a permanent quality to it. Anyone who has gone through a divorce understands this. This distinction seems to me to have profound existential relevance. Our myths of creation, whether religious or scientific, speak of a beginning that starts with a separation. Between chaos and order, darkness and light, a big bang or a primordial cell separating from its watery environment by means of a fatty membrane. I wonder how different would the narrative be if instead of speaking of separation we spoke simply of bounderies? Would it help alleviate some of our existential angst? Would it make a difference if we accepted bounderies as existential and organic reality and separation as a conceptual and psychological phenomenon? In other words, nature sets boundaries but does not separate us. It is we humans that insist in separating.