I Have a Dream
Many people are familiar with Marn Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream”
speech. Though my roots are planted rmly in Australian soil, King’s speech
resonates with me across me and space. I too have a dream. Mine is a dream
of universal connecon: of science and story employed in tandem through the
shared mythic narrave (Gordillo SITT 4). In pursuing this dream, I nd that Swiss
psychiatrist and founder of analycal psychology Carl Jung (1875-1961), American
mythologist and Jungian advocate Joseph Campbell (1904-1987), and Brish
scienst and novelist C.P. Snow (1905-1980) lead the way. My ulmate dream is
for a healthier humanity (Gordillo “Bridge” 2; Eustress 1).
Just as King dreamed of a beer world for future generaons through the
collecve power of polical freedom and social jusce, I dream of a more connected
world for our youth. I dream that past, present and future generaons will one day
connect through the storytelling medium; and that science will help to explain,
validate and support this storytelling process (Aldama 80; Evans 710; Larner 35;
Nassar 159; Todd 701; Trusty; Wildrich). I dream that science will embrace the
humanies—not as a competor or subordinate in the quest for knowledge, but as
an academic equal. As Dahlstrom contends, “storytelling oen has a bad reputaon
within science” (13614), which he considers unfortunate, since most individuals have
an inherent appreciaon of story. C.P. Snow expanded upon this view y years ago
in The Two Cultures and The Scienc Revoluon. In the rst part of his inuenal Rede
Lecture, Snow claimed that the academic life of western society was split into two
cultures—the sciences and the humanies—and that this division represents a major
limitaon in solving the world’s problems. As he states:
There seems then to be no place where the cultures meet. I am not
going to waste me saying this is a pity, it is much worse than that.
. . At the heart of thought and creaon we are leng some of our
best chances go by default. The clashing point of two subjects, two
disciplines, two cultures—of two galaxies, so far as that goes—ought
to produce creave chances. In the history of mental acvity that
has been where some of the breakthroughs came. The chances are
there now. But they are there, as it were, in a vacuum, because those
in the two cultures can’t talk to each other. (17)
Fiy years later it seems the two cultures are sll not talking to each other
as much as they might. It is my dream that one day they will—and that civilizaon
will be all the beer for it. My vision is that myths and legends, fables and folktales
will one day be valued in their own right: not just as a source of entertainment
for the youth, but for their ability to guide and transform young lives by forming
a connecve bridge between the past, present and future; between science and
story. In accordance with Carl Jung’s depth psychology principles and Joseph
Campbell’s monomythic insights (Vogler 4, 23; Campbell 5), I imagine today’s young
men and women in every culture will learn to have condence in their ancestors’
knowledge: to believe in their ancestral capacity to demonstrate the healthiest
way forward—through symbolic imagery and storytelling (Vogler xxix; Campbell
1) balanced with the science and technology today’s youth so readily embrace
(Gordillo Eustress 9).
Image on page 96: Martin Luther King, Jr. giving the famous “I Have a Dream” speech
at the Lincoln Memorial. August 28, 1963. Courtesy of the National Archive and
96 Immanence Journal Vol. 1 No. 2 Spring 2017
CONT. FROM PAGE 97
A myth is a story, not true in the literal sense, but as a symbolic narrave
that describes the natural order or cosmic forces through supernatural or super-
human beings (Cuddon 526). As a legimate mode of knowledge, mythos is a
unique paern of beliefs that guravely express the characteriscs and prevalent
atudes of a parcular group or culture. Jung and Campbell aempted to restore
mythos as the primary mode of explaining natural phenomena—through highly
imaginave and symbolic stories.
According to Jungian philosophy, reason and logic (logos) to the exclusion of
myth and fantasy (mythos) makes us mentally and physically unwell. This scienc-
materialist thinking distances us from primordial healing sources (Jung CW 5: 4-46).
As such, Jung proposed that physical and mental sickness is not just experienced in
isolaon, but instead derives from an ailing Western civilizaon that itself focuses
on science to the exclusion of myth and fantasy (Tacey 17). For the young people
I counsel in my capacity as a Clinical Psychologist and Jungian Psychotherapist,
I simply call it “being out of balance,” and I regularly use the Yin/Yang symbol to
explain that two sides are oen necessary (in many areas) to complete the whole.
Insofar as the behavioural sciences denote customary modern psychology,
I dream that analycal depth psychology will provide an “Archimedean vantage
point” (Jones 408) from which to restore the balance between mythos and logos,
between science and the humanies. It is a utopian vision to strive for enduring
physical and mental health through a connecon with the cosmic forces of the
Universe whilst engaging in modern scienc endeavours and pursuits. But
dreamers have always been romanc idealists, and as Jung espoused: “we have to
dream the myth onward” (Jung CW 9, 1: 76).
Healing cradles, Jung and Campbell argue, are expressed through the
symbolic language of mythology and creave imaginaons that accord with natural
laws. Therapeuc mythologies, therefore, are perpetuated through the scienc
(and subjecve) worlds of mental health: “Freud, Jung and their followers have
demonstrated irrefutably the logic, the heroes and the deeds of myth survive into
modern mes. In the absence of an eecve general mythology, each of us has
his private, unrecognized, rudimentary yet secretly potent pantheon of dream”
I consider that my individual imaginings, my utopian vision of science and
story employed synergiscally, are my own unique art-forms—my secret, potent
pantheon of dreams. And I suggest it is important, parcularly for youth who
regularly connect with science and technology, to also connect frequently with
the elemental mode of mythos if they wish to remain physically and mentally
healthy. Youth need to regularly aune themselves to the “secret learning of the
ancients” (Bacon 1) by connecng to the natural world around them, as well as the
shared mythic narrave and their personal creavity, to nd any balance in this
As modern society becomes increasingly disconnected from its cultural roots
and mythic stories, I dream that through the advances of modern science combined
with ancient narrave we will learn to reconnect with our past and one another.
Just as universal energies such as masculine and feminine archetypes need to be
balanced in our lives in order to remain healthy (Wilcock 82), I believe we also need
to reengage with our individual and collecve imaginaons, as “creave fantasy
also draws upon the forgoen and long buried primive mind with its host of
images . . . found in the mythologies of all ages and all peoples” (Jung CW 5: xxix).
Figure 1 is a graphic representaon of my utopian vision. Comprising both
scienc and narrave principles, The Connuum of Caring is used in therapy
Figure 1 – The Continuum of Caring
98 Immanence Journal Vol. 1 No. 2 Spring 2017
CONT. FROM PAGE 99
(together with other psychotherapeuc techniques) to help youth nd a healthy
and sustainable level of caring in order to remain physically and mentally strong.
The image contains elements of an ancient fable entled “The Scorpion and The
Frog.” The story is used as part of a new and emerging methodology, grounded
in analyc (archetypal) myth and narrave principles and philosophies, entled
Story Image Therapy® (Gordillo SITT 4). During psychotherapy, the image
and ancient story are used in tandem to help young people understand that
behavior may be based on a person’s level of caring about themselves and others
(notwithstanding other factors and extraneous variables). The young person
begins to understand during treatment that somemes they may have unhealthy
levels of caring—that is, they demonstrate extreme levels of over-caring or
extreme levels of under-caring—and that this could be making them unwell. The
young person also learns that extreme levels of caring are “out of balance” and
could be contribung to some or most of their mental or behavioural health
dicules (see Figure 1).1
The Connuum of Caring (or Caring Connuum) is a self-report diagram
in which the young person determines their level of caring in most areas (or
in specic areas) of their lives. The youth describe their level of caring as a
symbolic percentage ranging between 0% to 100%. Lile or no caring (extreme
under-caring) is symbolised by 0% and too much caring (extreme over-caring) is
symbolised by 100%. The graph highlights the importance of nding the balance—
generally considered to be an “ideal” of 80%—with 20% retained “in reserve” by
the young person. “The Balance of 80” concept is based on Pareto’s principle
(Newman 323), otherwise known as: the 80/20 rule; the law of the vital few; or,
the principle of factor sparsity. This mathemacal law states that in most cases
80% of the eects come from only 20% of the causes. The “power law distribuon”
(also known as the Personal Power Law in Story Image Therapy) explains that
many natural phenomena have been revealed, empirically, to demonstrate this
distribuon (Newman 325). When considering how to maintain “The Balance of
80” the youth are encouraged to keep 20% in reserve for themselves—which may
include strategies such as using their connecons—as described in Figure 2.
1 It needs to be noted that The Connuum of Caring and accompanying story are generally
used to assist with mood disorders, anxiety and more minor behavioural problems in
paediatric populaons, rather than the more severe and disturbing mental and behavioural
health disorders. SIT therapy is most oen used in conjuncon with other sciencally
validated therapies and somemes used in conjuncon with psychopharmacological
Figure 2 – Use Your Connections
Sciencally validated intervenons such as mindfulness (learning to be
fully immersed in the present) are reframed in Figure 2 to help youth achieve
personal insight and self-understanding (Hill and Castonguay 1; Siegel xiv). For
example, together with a trained psychotherapist, mindfulness may be explained
and modeled by way of three types of connecons—“Connect to Self,” “Connect to
Spirit,” and “Connect to Nature.” As a hobby, or a regular home or school acvity,
the young person can connect to themselves through the mindfulness acvity (not
to be confused with the Self archetype that signies the coherent whole in which
the conscious and unconscious minds are unied). The young person also connects
with their inner spirit or the spirit of others as an outcome of the process of being
mindful, and they are also encouraged to connect to the natural world of air as they
deep-breathe and connect to nature.
Insight (the conscious process of making novel connecons) can be
interpreted as a benecial outcome of the mindfulness pracce depicted in Figure
2. The “Wisdom of Trees” is symbolised by a tree and leaf image, and described as
ancient knowledge that can help young people to develop more healthy levels of
100 Immanence Journal Vol. 1 No. 2 Spring 2017
CONT. FROM PAGE 101
caring through the mindfulness acvity. According to Siegel, “studies have shown
that specic applicaons of mindful awareness improve the capacity to regulate
emoon, to combat emoonal dysfuncon, to improve paerns of thinking and to
reduce negave mindsets” (6).
In keeping with the prospect of scienc inquiry regarding the ancient
narrave, Graça da Silva and Tehrani’s latest research introduces new methods
of applying comparave phylogenec methods and autologisc modelling to
analyse the relaonships between folktales, populaon histories and geographical
distances in Indo-European-speaking sociees. Their research suggests that
similaries among folktale bodies are correlated with populaon histories
and geographical proximity, adding credibility to longstanding oral storytelling
tradions as an eecve means of transming informaon in non-literate
sociees (Nunn and Reid 13). Yet myths are in danger of being lost to humanity as
wholly oral sociees are rapidly replaced by literate, non-oral or technologically
sophiscated ones (Nunn “Sharks” 18). Such losses would be an immense tragedy,
as recognised by sciensts such as Professor Patrick Nunn, who asserts myth’s
inherent value as a fantascal archive of geological history: “Myths may be
inherently dicult to [sciencally] interrogate, but, in the Pacic Islands [and
elsewhere], where most wrien history began only a couple of hundred years ago,
they represent a massive archive of historical material that anyone interested in the
region’s long-term geological history would be foolish to dismiss” (Islands 4).
I dream that the knowledge gained by my ancestors will not be forgoen. That
their lives were not lived in vain, and their fantascal stories grounded in myth and
legend will be remembered for what they provide—a codied record of ancestral
pasts as well as a human roadmap toward integrity, knowledge and self-identy.
We share the associaon of history and our collecve humanity. Time and again we
see recurring paerns, historical decoraons of behaviour that science in isolaon
somemes fails to acknowledge, or that the humanies in isolaon may regard as
too subjecve. Stories pave the way toward present comprehension of our collecve
natures and preservaon of our shared history. Science tells us that our brains are
wired for story—that we are indeed “a storytelling animal” (Goshall xvii).
Jung and Campbell remind us that mythology serves as a method by which
informaon has been readily transmied, stored and retrieved for millennia
through oral tradions. And in keeping with Jungian philosophy regarding the dual
nature of humanity, Kelly maintains that oral cultures also exhibit a dichotomy in
speech paerns between everyday speech and formal narrave (xvii). This inherent
power of ancient storytelling is something our ancestors seemed to understand: “A
dissoluble link that binds us to the men of anquity” (Jung CW 5: 4). Our ancestors’
stories can help us with our own, just as Marn Luther King’s story has helped me
I imagine the wisdom and understanding gained through countless past lives
can be transferred through a metaphorical “collecve wisdom baton.” That is, the
older generaons need to keep re-presenng the baton of accumulated knowledge
to future generaons in the race against me to ensure our ancestors’ insights are
not forgoen, or that our descendants do not become rootless—even acultural. I
have faith that by passing on our ancient knowledge through stories “we will be able
to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be
able to transform the jangling discords of our [world] into a beauful symphony. . . ”
(King)—the symphony of the past, present and future; and of science and story.
Technology plays a central role in many of our youths’ lives today. Balanced
by the natural world and ancient stories, perhaps the fantascal mode of mythos
can explain for them what science, by itself, cannot (Jung Self 7). To understand
the acausal connecng principle of synchronicity, for example, the meaningful
102 Immanence Journal Vol. 1 No. 2 Spring 2017
connectedness of seemingly unrelated events, as not just a philosophical ight
of fancy, but as a serious level of coincidence that scienc raonalism cannot
explain away (Jung Synchronicity 35). My vision is for our youth to further develop
an understanding of the workings of nature—in its unhindered wholeness—a link
that connects humanity to the source of our individuated Self, to our individual
and collecve idenes. To demonstrate this natural law, permit me to tell you
a story. It is the story of Odin and the runes. For those who may not be aware,
runes are ideographic, pictorial symbols oen carved into stone, wood, bone or
metal (MacLeod and Mees 4), and represent the magical alphabet of the ancient
In Norse mythology the runes’ innate home is in the Well of Urd (meaning
“the well of desny”) with the Norns (three maidens whose carvings consist of
the runes). The runes do not reveal themselves to anyone unless they prove
themselves praiseworthy of fearful insights and abilies, so Odin—the supreme
Norse God—voluntarily chooses to hang himself from a branch of the World-
Tree to prove his worth. He removes his own eye in the pursuit of wisdom and
knowledge, and pierces himself with his spear. Verging on the point of death, he
peers down toward the shadowy waters below, forbidding any of the other gods
to assist him as he calls out to the runes for nine days and nights. At the end of
the ninth night Odin at last perceives the shape of the runes in the depths. His
sacrice accepted, the runes reveal themselves to him—not only their form but
also their secrets. . . the mysteries of health and happiness, of wisdom and insight.
Secure with this knowledge, Odin ends his ordeal with a scream of exultaon as he
connects with the wisdom of the world (McCoy).
In this narrave, the Norse God Odin’s “Reward” is the knowledge of all
things and the ability to read the sacred runes (Vogler 178). In purchasing the
treasure through his personal sacrice, in eect Odin was buying the “elixir,” the
medicine for the world’s ills. Odin’s elixir, according to my interpretaons, would
be to understand the power of connecon and the importance of balance. Within
the spiritual world of healing, I would argue, it is the power of connecon between
the past, present and future; between the natural and unnatural worlds; between
people and their stories/symbols that aords us the all-important balance. In
summaon, I contend that it is our connecon to our dreams, ancestral memories
and creave reecons buoyed and embraced by science that is the elixir.
Jung claimed we have insucient connecon to ancient wisdom in the
Western world. And we suer for it. We create a purely logical, grinding, banal
existence that we desperately try to escape by invenng new fads and fashions:
technologies, appliances and gadgets—any form of sensaon—as we become
capvated by common forms of newness and impression (CW 10: 488F). Jung
believed that such capvaon is to our peril if we are unable to transcend it.
Therefore, according to Jung, neurosis and mental illness are negave forms of
transcendence. That is, when we are unable to transcend the logos in our daily lives
using posive, creave and deliberate avenues for otherworldliness through creave
means, the psyche is expressed in negave and destrucve ways (Tacey 110).
Posive ways to transcend the psyche therefore need to be explored and
valued through the power of the shared mythic narrave. I propose that one way
could be through the power of Young Adult fantasy con grounded in myth and
legend to reframe mental health messages and to deliver posive psychology
intervenons that are grounded in science (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi 5).
Myths, legends, fables and folktales from around the world are the literary
ideology that have stood the test of me. They reveal something that has already
been expressed, and that is at the same me creave and archetypal. According
to Tacey, Jung’s ideologies and mythic insights will become clearer in the future
because his work is relevant for a future charge—to rediscover the totality of life
rather than to simply be content with exploring fragments of it in specic (and at
mes opposing) disciplines (6).
Now is the me for science and narrave to discover the totality of life. To
encourage the dreamlike and fantasc, as well as the physical and tangible. Today
I nd myself proposing that Young Adult fantasy con readers can use mythology
based stories to travel on a physical journey as well as a psychological one. I would
like to think that Jung, Campbell and Snow would be pleased.
*I wish to oer special thanks to Professor Patrick D. Nunn, Professor of
Geography and Associate Director, Sustainability Research Centre, University of
Sunshine Coast who was kind enough to share his knowledge and experse of oral
storytelling tradions combined with modern scienc invesgaons. My hearelt
thanks are also extended for his generosity in reading earlier dras in preparaon
of this arcle for publicaon.
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Toula Gordillo is a practicing clinical psychologist and Jungian psychotherapist
specializing in children and youth. In 2014 and 2015 Toula conducted PhD research
regarding ways in which students aged 15-25 use technology to cope with stress.
One of the key themes to emerge from her qualitative analysis was that young
adults relate to stories and images, online and oine, as a way of coping with their
problems that lead to mental health concerns. Toula is now pursuing doctoral
research in the ﬁeld of Creative Arts/Creative Writing at the University of the
Sunshine Coast to investigate ways of delivering mental health messages through
Young Adult (YA) fantasy ﬁction, grounded in myth and legend. Toula is further
involved with the Australian Institute of Story Image Therapy (AISIT) and Talk to
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