“Behind each and every interpretation of the tale is the tale. The tale provides the invisible backdrop against which all analyses parade their brilliance. Myth lies behind every account we give of it, and it gives no account of itself. Myths fall back on invisibility.” –James Hillman, “The Soul’s Code.”
In “The Soul’s Code,” James Hillman writes that each of us has a calling, a mission or objective we are here to accomplish. This calling cannot be documented or measured by mainstream science. Instead, it calls back on “invisibles” as Hillman calls them–the “something more” behind the empirical facts and hard science the mainstream world knows and loves.
In Lawrence Durrell’s novel “Balthazar,” one of the characters states that we live our lives based on selected fictions.
One might suggest that these fictions–the invisible things we deeply sense and believe about ourselves but cannot necessarily prove in the harsh light of day–when looked at all at once may provide clues about our calling. Behind everything we do, there is not only a series of stories, but a profound, personal myth.
If we are accustomed to reading mythology as pseudo-history, an approximation or fanciful version of historical events, or in any other literal way, we are missing the tale behind the tale. In looking deeper into the each tale, one finds–whether through the commentaries of experts, one’s own study of symbols and cosmology, or our personal intuition–a grander story that imparts a cosmic lesson.
Unless you are a teacher and/or student of mythology, the discovery of the lessons that are important in your life and that impact your calling–the secret and invisible knowledge–will happen in part by pondering the myths that keep drawing you back into the books in which you find them.
That is to say, your calling is always calling you to the things you need. If you need to know what’s important about Pandora or Theseus or the Argonauts, you will be drawn to these myths. When you acknowledge that you are constantly intrigued by one myth or another, you have an opportunity for looking deeper and discovering clues about where your path lead.
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