We need a sense of myth for our individual and collective equilibrium. Sanity itself may be tied to having some kind of lively imagination so that one can feel the strange fantasies that continue to insist themselves into consciousness in both waking and dreaming states....
– from the Foreword by Robert Sardello
The essential paradox is this: Myth points to a baseline that can never be fully drawn; there exists no lowest layer for myth.
– from the Introduction by Glen Slater and Dennis Patrick Slattery
... rituals in fact do not require complementary myths to ’explain’ them, nor is ritual a ’re-enactment’ of myth, but that rituals speak eloquently in their own right.
– from Chapter 3, “Rambu Solo’: the Toraja Cult of the Dead and Embodied Imagination,” by Laura Grillo
A myth occurs when the objective reality confuses itself with a subjective reality. The myth is, so to speak, a montage, and montages can lie – but they can inspire as well. A myth can support either revolution or the status quo; it can provoke enthusiasm or repression.
– from Chapter 7, “How is Psychology a Mythology?” by Ginette Paris (Pacifica Institute)
Foreword by Robert Sardello
Introduction by Glen Slater and Dennis Patrick Slattery
1. The Myth of Biblical Monotheism by Christine Downing
2. The Heart of Hindu Mythos: Yogic Perspectives on Self-Realization by Patrick Mahaffey
Ritual and Symbol
3. Rambu Solo’: the Toraja Cult of the Dead and Embodied Imagination by Laura S. Grillo
4. Mandala of the Naropa Dakini: Archetypal and Psychological Commentary by V. Walter Odajnyk
Literature and Film
5. Oedipus at Colonus: Pilgrimage from Blight to Blessedness by Dennis Patrick Slattery
6. Aliens and Insects by Glen Slater
Psychology and Philosophy
7. How is Psychology a Mythology? by Ginette Paris
8. Légende-Image: The Word/Image Problem by David L. Miller
As Pacifica continues to develop and more people are drawn to our programs, our learning community faces the challenge of keeping a place for soul in the midst of success and growth. In the daily activities on campus, we are coming to appreciate the custodial nature of this work. A thing of beauty calls for a measure of protection. We are stewards of a vision, an ideal which has selected us. Our purpose is to bring the creative depths of the human psyche into relationship with the citizens, the institutions, and the forces of nature that make up the world. In so doing, we consciously acknowledge the social landscape of which we are a part. We are committed to contributing back into this world an awareness of the unfolding richness of the human psyche. As institutional, academic, and political challenges converge, it is vital to the Pacifica vision that we reflect on and embody a larger sense of the needs of the planet.
An added feature of the book are writing meditation responses from participants who have been part of the author's writing retreats in both the United States and Europe. Their power and authenticity attests to the strong desire and need of each of us to explore what myth guides us, what terms it does so within and what one can learn to become more conscious of those deep forces in the psyche that seek expression in all we do and are.