Through a Jungian Lens

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An Unlikely Odysseus – An Unlikely Hero

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An unlikely Odysseus

I have been talking about myths quite a bit in the last few posts, especially the myth of Odysseus and his Odyssey, a myth that I am using as an analogy of what is happening in my life. My Odyssey is actually not all that inspiring as a myth, but in my life, the journey is not an easy one for me. Of course if I am using the Odyssey as a template for my story, then it would hold that I am also using Odysseus as a figure to represent my self on this journey. Now, before going too much further, I want to bring some clarity to this idea.

First, I am not endowed with rippling muscles nor with a visage that inspires a sense of nobility and power. I am a small man standing at 5’7″ if I hold myself erect and force the slight stoop in my back to be somewhat straight. I am an ordinary modern man who is 62 years old. I have poor eye sight and even poorer hearing. I am quite absent-minded and have been rightfully accused of being lost in my own inner spaces. In most aspects I am quite naive as I trust too much in the words and actions of others.

But of course, it isn’t about appearances or having a Hercules type of physique. It is about a different kind of courage and strength. Often we look at ourselves in the mirror and say that “I can’t be a hero!” We dismiss ourselves as insignificant in the big picture. You and I are the real heroes of new myths.

“The makers of myth in our time are you and I – in the dreams we dream, in the patterns we weave, and in those unpredictable momentary apertures into eternity through which we catch a glimpse of the passing forms of gods. Our material world floats on a sea of anxiety, yet it is resolutely sustained by invisible threads.”  (Hollis, Mythologems, p. 146-147)

How do I know this is true? Well, I look into the eyes of my son who is now a father, a hero to this little boy. I look into the eyes of this little boy, my grandson, who sees me as some magical and mythical hero. He calls me “pepere” or some version of it, and wants to do everything possible with me while I am at his home – playing with cars, playing with mini-hockey sticks, and reading books. For him, I am a hero. When he sees me, he invokes his real power of creation, that power of creating meaning and symbols. He somehow sees what older people have long stopped seeing, an invisible world where there are gods and goddesses, heroes and villains of mythic proportions.



3 Responses

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  1. “. . .Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” – Rumi

    “Thus it is that I have now undertaken, in my eighty-third year, to tell my personal myth. I can only make direct statements, only “tell stories.” Whether or not the stories are “true” is not the problem. The only question is whether what I tell is my fable, my truth.” C. G. Jung, MDR, p. 3

    John Ferric

    February 18, 2012 at 6:45 am

    • It’s good to have Jung “echo” what I am saying – – – or is it the other way around? Telling my own myth is all I can do as well, telling my own “truth.”


      February 18, 2012 at 7:56 am

  2. Finding our own personal myth takes a long time.
    It’s a long journey but it is in the end the journey home.


    February 18, 2012 at 7:55 am

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