Personal Mythology and the Sacred Stories of Our Lives
My work is based on the idea that each of us is meant to be living out an ever-evolving story that is both deep and significant, a story called your “personal mythology.” While our personal mythologies – like our dreams – are uniquely our own, they also draw upon the same themes and symbols as the great stories of the past.
Among the most empowering insights of the great mythologist Joseph Campbell was his recognition that these ancient and traditional stories contained profound insights that could help contemporary people more deeply appreciate the mystery of human existence. Campbell also taught that if we could learn to appreciate this fact, we would find that we, too, are engaged in a kind of heroic journey in the living of our lives. Another of the great teachers of this wisdom, the renowned psychologist Carl Jung, emphasized the importance of exploring the mythic dimension of our lives when he wrote that the single greatest question that any of us can ask ourselves is “What is the myth you are living?”
Campbell and Jung also understood that both great myths and legends and the seemingly ordinary stories of our own lives are equally driven by a common cast of powerful and eternal characters, figures such as the Fool and the Wizard, the Dragon and the Hero, the Mother and the Father, and the Orphan and the Innocent. By seeking to recognize the myths each of us is living and the archetypal characters central to them, we can find a greater sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. And since our myths spring the deepest sources of our own wisdom, exploring them can also reconnect us with a sense of the “sacred within” and help us to find a deeper and more genuine sense of personal spirituality.