Have You Ever Read A Book
Felt Like Something More Had To Be Said?
Maybe it was the characters. Or maybe something seemed weird about the setting. Maybe the plot seemed unnatural or forced. Maybe the ending left you on the edge of your seat, or the resolution didn't live up to the story.
This can happen with non-fiction books too.
I read Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces and absolutely loved it. My brother made fun of me for putting so many bookmarks between the pages. I wanted to go back to Campbell's ideas again and again and again.
The same thing happened to me with Jordan Peterson's Maps of Meaning. It happened again while reading Erich Neumann, Northrop Frye, Marshall McLuhan, Camille Paglia, Bernard Lonergan, and so many more.
An idea popped into my head while thinking about all the ideas in these books. It was an insight that turned into a question. It affected what I thought I knew about religion and mythology, about psychology and art.
Three key archetypes seem to be repeated again and again in our stories - the known world, the unknown world, and the individual hero who has to find a balance between the two. An archetype is an abstraction of ideas, or a projection from our ideas onto the world.
But that individual, that main character, never seems to be alone in the story. One quote teased at me. It got me thinking about the role of a fourth constituent element:
Alas, where is the guide, that fond virgin, Ariadne, to supply
the simple clue that will give us courage to face the Minotaur,
and the means then to find our way to freedom when the
monster has been met and slain?
~ Joseph Campbell
Ariadne was the princess of king of Minos. Without Ariadne, the hero Theseus would not have found the tools to find his way out of the labyrinth or make it home.
Where is our guide today? What are our tools out of the hyper-connected labyrinth of our contemporary world?
This left me with a challenge. What if the individual, the main character, was not just the only person in the story? What if the story of today resembled a family - the unknown, the known, the observer and the observed?
What would an archetype representing our relationship with the observed look like? For 500 years we have been living out an experiment, telling a new story about how the scientific methods of inquiry have changed our relationships to the known and unknown.
Could our relationship with observation itself be part of the greater spiritual quest that has been going on for thousands of years?
When was the last time a book made you feel like singing?
In the process of writing this book, I fell in love with my home country of Canada once again. So much so, that I wanted to write a song to her.
The Canadian School of Communication has lessons to teach the world. Communication, not politics or ideology, is at the heart of the relationships between the observer and the observed.
Here is the table of contents for my book. Let me know what catches your attention.
Table of Contents
Songs, Spirits and the Symbolic
Agamemnon and Jephthah
From Actions to Observations
Beginning, and Beginning Again
Icons and Idols, Signals and Symbols
Novelty and Nausea
Voices in Song
Apollo and Dionysus
Starting New Songs, Taking Her Hand
Shrines and the Supernatural
Mother – Freud, Jung and von Neumann
Father – Pavlov, Watson, and Skinner
Son – Piaget and Peterson
Daughter – Rogers and Rifkin
A Divine Debut
Allatonce in the Family
Jyoti - The Aporia (Puzzle) of Apostles and Advocates
Children of the Sun
Concerns, Cultures, Monuments, and Meditations
The Pyramid – Derrida and Competition
The Panopticon – Foucault and Anticipation
The Theatre – Levinas and Responsibility, Lonergan and Inquiry
The Agora – Nietzsche and Trade
Malala - I'm Fine with My Crooked Smile
Narcissus and the Self-Correcting Process of Inquiry
A Kiss that was Just a Kiss
Drawing a Line – Peterson - Is, Should, Action, Novelty
Guided Tour – Plato – Cave, Handholding, Light, Re-shackled
Adventure – Campbell - Home, Separation, Abyss, Return
Making Waves – Frye – Order, Break, Bondage, Restoration
Circles and Lines, Emergence and Responsibility
Thresholds, Decision, Observations, Actions
Birth, Death, and a Doctor's Love of Inquiry
Ayaan - When Your Daughter Becomes Her Own Woman
The Critical and the Kerygmatic
Standing on New Shores
Pushing, Proving, and Improving
One-Eyed Giants and Generational Debts
Standing on One Foot
Looking Into the Maelstrom
Rituals, Celebrations, and Dances
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
What caught your attention? What would you like to ask? I want to hear your thoughts, whether you have already picked up the book or if you are still deciding if you want to read it.
I'm curious to see where the conversation takes us.