Through a Jungian Lens

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Myth and Memories

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The hero finds himself searching in the wilderness for food.

The hero finds himself searching in the wilderness for food.

I am getting ready to tell a tale, a tale that as I work through the outline, characters, settings and plot, I find is not all that much removed from any other tale of a hero and his journey. Earlier this morning, following a session of meditation in which for some strange reason, a bit of clarity began to emerge. I was able to see the tale in broad strokes and recognised it as both a unique story as well as a universal story. As most of my readers already know, I am going to attempt to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. The project is in response to the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)challenge that has existed for quite some time. I thrive with challenges as you already know through my participation for a few years in the SoFoBoMo (Solo Photo Book Month) challenges.

I have spend most of the month of October practicing in order to see if I have the discipline to write with this intensity. The efforts through to this point in time indicate that I can do this. It appears that with writing 21 days out of 31 during the month, I will accomplish the same task. I have learned a lot in the process, a learning that was enhanced as I attended a warm-up event in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan last Saturday. That said, I want to turn now to a quote from Joseph Campbell’s book that I found a few moments ago:

Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished; and they have been the living inspiration  of whatever else may have appeared out of the activities of the human body and mind.”

I have thought about using this quote before the tale begins. The tale is a very loosely based on composites of people I have known and of real places that I have found myself. The plot vaguely (or not so vaguely) is based on my story as I know it. Of course, memory is suspect with the passage of time. I will be taking care to follow the broad strokes of my story while taking a lot of liberty to reinvent the story for the novel. If all works according to plan, I will cover a period of time from 1969 to 1970 wandering through a broad Canadian landscape following the journey of the story’s hero, a journey that begins with loss where, as Campbell puts it:

The familiar life horizon has been outgrown; the old concepts, ideals, and emotional patterns no longer fit; the time for the passing of a threshold is at hand.”

This is the call to the journey. Perhaps writing this novel is another of such calls for me. Only time will tell. Thanks for listening.


2 Responses

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  1. I studied a bit of Joseph Campbell several years ago and he’s still one of my favorites when reading about myth and the hero. I like your references and hope to have the opportunity to read something about your own journey as you share it in novel form. I wish you good fortune as you answer this call, Robert.


    October 31, 2013 at 10:03 am

    • If I have my say, it will be ready for you and others by the new year – hopefully someone or more will be willing to buy the tale. 🙂


      October 31, 2013 at 10:31 am

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