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  • Ricardo Barretto

Mythology and Depth psychology

Updated: Jul 14, 2018


The Pacifica Graduate Institute is a dream 20-year-in-the-making. I started reading Carl Jung when I was 14 in my parent's library, which was the largest room in our house. I discovered the work of Joseph Campbell later when I started creative work and engaged in the artistic path, and then the brilliant, profound intellect of James Hillman soon followed. Where in the world would one find the work of those minds in one place? Pacifica, of course.


It is oftentimes shocking how many brilliant minds in science have such a simplistic view of mythology and its fundamental role in human society, personal development and wholeness. It has not always been like this. The alienation and fundamental error attributed to mythological motifs is unprecedented and a fairly new development in human history. It all started gradually with the Western transformation since the 1500s and has continued to this day. This disdain is an important variable and source of confusion, erosion of societies and moral values, destruction of the environment, and meaningless and illegitimate lives, to which T.S. Elliot would call 'the wasteland.'


This great distancing, one could call tragedy, brought about by the scientific revolution, is a great challenge for the future of humanity. It involves education, humanities, economics, it is what the Dalai Lama referred to as a society that is placing great value on material stuff and acquiring material wealth, with little or no emphasis on personal development. The question ahead is how do we re-enter the place of depth where every action is a sacrament, every ordinary action a ceremony, where nothing is profane,and everything has a counterpart in the world of the gods? The answer may be the only path to the realization of the transcendent beyond our cognitive limitations and the experience true wonder and metaphysical realization.

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