July 7, 2021 at 12:42 pm #74294
Thank you Shaheda, for the responses to James’ posting and indirectly to mine. Very rich. In JC’s Prologue to Primitive Mythology her makes this observation: “Man, apparently, cannot maintain himself in the universe without a belief in some arrangements of the general inheritance of myth. In fact, the fullness of his life would even seem to stand in a direct ratio to the depth and range not of his rational thought but of his local mythology” (4).
Belief as myth; belief as ordering principle. This is my area of exploration these past months: “The Mythology of Belief” and I will be offering some retreats on it. We are in a terrain today where fundamental local and national mythologies are breaking down; what rushes to fill that void is fantasies, alternative facts and fictions to bolster ideologies. When ideologies trump myths, and I use the verb in full consciousness!–then a paralysis sets in. The infrastructure of the national and local souls run the risk of the disease of apathy. So, a unifying myth may not be possible until a further collapse of the condo of our national identity becomes more acute. Myths are infrastructures; they support the soul’s purposes and presentiments, her promises and her challenges. We are in the in-between state right now, as Ishmael says of Queequeg; he is neither caterpillar nor butterfly; he is in between, as we are now. Such a fluid terrain makes us skittish, but also encourages our courage to dream a revised mythos from among the rubble of the multiple stories of the condo of our nation. Becoming transparent to transcendence–JC’s language– is one way towards that end, fortified as it must be, with compassion as the new cement to hold it in place against hurricanes, seas and other challenges to its skyward push.
The Human Stain is on my and Sandy’s viewing in the next two days. Thank you for enticing us further with your excellent plot summary, Shaheda.July 8, 2021 at 1:38 am #74293
So many thanks to you for your generous response as you prepare for your talks on “Myth and Healing”, and on “Mythology of Belief”.
You wrote, “Belief as myth; belief as ordering principle. This is my area of exploration these past months: “The Mythology of Belief” and I will be offering some retreats on it.” Dennis, I love the topic, and one day, I hope to attend your retreats. Where is this one being held? I searched your website for recent events and found “Myth and Healing” (keynote speaker) July 30-August 1, 2021. Is this an online event? I could not locate “Mythology of Belief”.
“We are in a terrain today where fundamental local and national mythologies are breaking down; what rushes to fill that void is fantasies, alternative facts and fictions to bolster ideologies”
In a nation with such a diverse population, people from all over the world, with their own beliefs, rituals and rites, and then there are so many economic classes, the working class, the middle and the upper and then the billionaire class – a unifying myth seems many mythic years away, and as you so well expressed, “So, a unifying myth may not be possible until a further collapse of the condo of our national identity becomes more acute…….. We are in the in-between state right now, as Ishmael says of Queequeg; he is neither caterpillar nor butterfly; he is in between, as we are now.”
Joe said, “And when you think of this! The number of men who are in fact responsible for the condition of the world right now could all be contained in this room, and they are acting as though there were no way of common understanding. The world is in chaos simply as a function of their inability to assume the middle position in a conversation.” We could begin a dialogue of a unifying myth.
“Becoming transparent to transcendence–JC’s language– is one way towards that end, fortified as it must be, with compassion as the new cement to hold it in place against hurricanes, seas and other challenges to its skyward push.” And the transcendence may shine through all of us too, through the spiritual things we talk about.
I am so happy to hear that you and Sandy plan on watching the “Human Stain”. Please if you have time, let me know what you and Sandy thought and your analysis of Coleman’s personal myth, the conflict and the chaos vis a vis the inner laws of the myth.
Shaheda (in gratitude)July 8, 2021 at 2:10 pm #74292
thank you for your response above.
I will be offering a lecture on Friday evening 16 July and a three hour writing retreat on Saturday, from noon to three CST with the Jung Education Center of Houston, all on zoom.
Please contact Michael Craig email@example.com
He can direct you and they are signing up now. Would love to have you. I think the talk is at 6:30 pm CST.
We have Friday afternoon set aside to watch The Human Stain. We looked it up yesterday on Amazon.com. I think $4.00 to rent it. I will of course check in with you on our responses to it and we are grateful to you for guiding us to it.
You point out a dramatic statistic; those responsible for the world’s woes, and some for the world’s progress, can be gathered in one room. A very frightening stat on one level. On the other level, it points to how one person is capable of doing such good for the world if given the opportunity, and yes, the power to make decisions and have them acted on.
Much warmth, Shaheda.July 9, 2021 at 12:07 am #74291
Thank you very much Dennis. I signed up for the “Mythology of Belief” class which is offered on July 16, 2021. I looked at your July 17th schedule while surfing the Jung Center’s website, and the website shows the identical course for Saturday July 17, that is the “Mythology of Belief. ” Just wanted to check with you whether your writing workshop has been moved to another date. Looking forward to the Friday offering. I’ll write to firstname.lastname@example.org as well.
ShahedaJuly 10, 2021 at 2:14 pm #74290
Thank you so much Shaheda. So the lecture is on Friday 16 July from 5-7 pm CST. And the writing workshop is on Saturday from 12-3. They may have called both of these events by the same name. Yes, drop Michael a note for clarity and I will love having you at both of them if you can attend.
Now, to The Human Stain. Sandy and I watched it yesterday afternoon and were mesmerized from the initial car crashing into the frozen lake to the last scene. We agreed it was one of the most profound film experiences we have ever had. Magnificent. To be honest, it will take another viewing to grasp it further. The truth of the plot unfolds so beautifully and brings past and present realities of Coleman Silk into a coherent whole. Hopkins and Kidman together were over powering for us.
So, what is that human stain that is an archetypal stain, one that we all have. Is it original sin in a new format, a mark that we are all flawed, or a secret that we each live out in our own way, or a shame that we must suffer, i.e. bear up under? Is it also a place of strength as well as where we are most vulnerable, where we need the love of another to survive it? And then do we need a witness, like Nathan, to see the story and have the imaginative courage to give it shape and purpose?
How loving Kidman’s character–Faunia, I found it from your posting above–gives him a new life, the one he lost when his girlfriend he takes home with him and who sees Coleman’s mother as black and she collapses under the weight of this realization of difference, in 1944. Sandy and I were both so affected by this primal plot of identity, cultural taboos, prejudices, hurts, absence of courage, as when no one comes to his defense over his using the word “spook” to mean invisibles in class and who lament, as the one black professor did at Coleman’s funeral. And is this where we are today with the fictions perpetrated in our country and will years from now people step forward and say they should have spoken up?
Both Sandy and I thank you for the recommendation. We will watch it again, for its nuances are profound. Much gratitude Shaheda. Let me know what you would like to add to the conversation. We see in this film how myths can harden into intolerant world views that allow nothing to disrupt it in. All because of a fiction perpetrated against an entire peoples–Jewish and African American, and then the ex-husband, Ed Harris, who is a loose shard traumatized by war that has lost touch with the real and is still in Vietnam. The layers are so numerous, as you know.
And your point above when Coleman as a young man checks the box of acceptance–white–and becomes a slave at that moment. His mother says something to that effect–you think or act like a slave. She is brilliant in her perceptions.
OK, have to stop. As you see, your recommendation turned us upside down!July 17, 2021 at 2:50 am #74289
So many thanks for your kind and appreciative words for this suggestion, Dennis. “Sandy and I were both so affected by this primal plot of identity, cultural taboos, prejudices, hurts, absence of courage, as when no one comes to his defense over his using the word “spook” to mean invisibles in class and who lament, as the one black professor did at Coleman’s funeral. And is this where we are today with the fictions perpetrated in our country and will years from now people step forward and say they should have spoken up?”
What a thought provoking question, “will people step forward and say they should have spoken up? ” Difficult to say, because both on the societal level and the personal level, our views are shaped by a multitude of factors. It’s more and more about how to be in fields where much is earned rather than in fields that let us explore cultural and societal issues, and that let us focus on our need to work in the formation of a better gentler society.
On a more important note: I loved your conference-interactive-presentation on “The Mythology of Belief”. So much to say on the topic but in the interest of brevity, I’ll ask just two, later.
Shaheda (very grateful for today’s presentation)July 21, 2021 at 11:33 am #74288
Thank you so much, Shaheda. There was a glitch in the jcf site that did not allow me to enter and respond. They fixed it and here I am. I am so grateful that you were present for all or part of the Mythology of Belief. I hope someday we meet.
Your comments above about fields and entering them to create a more just and gentle world is so heart-felt and true. The personal inner work must be done for it to spread into the societal psyche. Each of us must take personal responsibility rather than passing it off to others so we don’t have to do the hard work of becoming conscious.
I look forward to any responses to the Belief conference. And thank you, as always, for your support.July 21, 2021 at 5:17 pm #74287
Dear Dr. Slattery,
Thank you so very much for your response. I posted my comments/questions in a private message to you. Reason being that I was not sure whether or not I could share parts of the presentation in a public forum.
Also, I mentioned in another thread the discussion on the personal myth we had in the Q&A session. The question asked in your presentation was how do we know that a myth is dying and a new one is birthing. A jcf member, SidianMSJones asked for a link to your presentation. I am not able to answer that question.
Also, I listened to Joe’s lecture on personal mythology where he talks about the REACTIVIATION of our childhood symbols. How very important that is to one’s myth. Dennis thank you so much for your time, and so if you have a minute and you spot my questions in your private messenger, and if you feel it’s ok to elaborate upon the questions right here, I’ll be grateful.
Shaheda (in gratitude)July 25, 2021 at 2:44 pm #74286
Hi Shaheda. Were you able to see my responses to your message questions that I posted?
I hope you did or can. Let me know if you were able to. Many thanks for your support and your continued interest, Shaheda.
You are a pleasure to converse with.July 25, 2021 at 11:24 pm #74285
Hello Dr. Slattery,
So very grateful for your responses. Yes indeed I received your response on the personal messenger. My only reason for not responding right away was my fear of taking up your time. Meanwhile, I have been visiting your website and your blog, reading your analysis of various books. All are immensely rich in thought and ideas, but the one that has drawn my attention the most, is Susan Griffin’s “Pornography and Silence”.
Dennis, you wrote, “The pornographic imagination seems to seek a number of common goals: turn the other into something less-than-human; dominate that other, be it an individual, a race, an ethnic group, or those who disagree with you.”
This is such an enormous topic and very little attention has been assigned to it, or maybe it has been, I happened not to notice it. You expressed it so eloquently, “What is just below the skin of pornography is lust: a lust for power, for control and for accumulating wealth at the expense of others’ well-being.”
It’s been the less-than-human side that has been winning thus far, because the side that’s been experimented upon must want nothing but a place to hide away?
Thank you Dennis for opening such an immense topic. I’ll definitely be getting Susan Griffin’s “Pornography and Silence”.
I have often wondered if Maya Angelou was drawing our attention to just that, in her poem, “Still I Rise”, that is “Pornography” and the plight of the African American Woman.
“You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.”
Shaheda (with immense gratitude)July 29, 2021 at 1:57 pm #74284
Oh, how I LOVE Maya’s poem, and here in Texas the metaphor of pumping oil wells is a gem.
Yes, and may I suggest, off of your insights that we are seeing, as I understand it, making the 6 January commission pornographic. Senators boasting that they did not watch it; too busy. Those wanting to disrupt it with claims of fantastic realities that are figments of the pornographic imagination. The assault on the Capital was itself a violent, pornographic assault on the
beliefs that democracy cultivates and tries to extend, however imperfectly. You capture this assault in what you say about “the less than human side.” Yes, pornography is what every tyrant seeks to impose on its citizens; the more who buy into it, the stronger it becomes. But we can resist it by the “purity” of facts that counter the pornographic slide into anarchy in order to put into power one of the greatest pornographic figures of this century. I hope my political/psychological response is ok with you, Shaheda. I feel I can be candid with you. Much gratitude.
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