Higher Living Reflections

Masks We Wear

The Fool, Trickster, and Shapeshifter archetypes run through many if not all mythologies. Loki in the Norse tradition could change his sex and shape. In Greece, Hermes was a master of guile. In Native American lore, the coyote served the trickster role long before Wiley. In the Christian-Islamic good v. evil dichotomy, Satan fills that role. Hence, “The devil made me do it.”

Beginning on October 31, Celtic Pagans will dress in costume and celebrate Samhain (pronounced “SOW-in”) as a high holyday. In similar fashion, non-pagan children as well as adults around the world will masquerade and trick-or-treat in a spirit of frivolity. Many will dress as witches, goblins, and ghouls that pagan deities morphed into during the Middle Ages when Christians co-opted Samhain, renaming it Hallowe’en, All Hallow (Saints) Eve.

My one guru in life is Joseph Campbell, whom I call the Great Mythologist. Of the numerous individuals that have served as personal guides—real-life and fictive—in my life, Joe is the one that most profoundly altered my life’s trajectory. His teachings on myth and mythology helped me clarify what this all about, which, simply put, is…We Don’t Know. It’s the reason we create myths. They help us make sense of a humanly unknowable Universe. In the end, our cosmologies are a matter of conjecture or faith. So, we might as well trust and revel in the mystery and uncertainty.

Many moon ago, I began this Blog. At the time, I had good but frustratingly vague intentions. I was all over the board about its focus and how it would dovetail into the myriad of other initiatives I had begun: publishing and marketing Sisyphus Wins; writing a sequel; refashioning my radio show to be more of a literary and mythos focus; increasing my involvement in the Colorado writing community. That was before lunch. In time, I realized those were more than courses on my life’s plate; they were messages from the Universe that the moment wasn’t right to launch a blog.

A life transition was underway from teaching to this brave new world. I was shattering my mold, breaking from the ingrained perspective, built over a lifetime of blue-collar ethos, that I MUST have a job with a fixed schedule. Those required fundamental shifts in consciousness to understand my life of formal teaching had met its end and that, no, I don’t need a job to give myself validity, purpose, and a sense of self-worth.

Reading Campbell, I realized I was ripping away masks worn over a lifetime and donning new ones. Although the teaching archetype remains dominant, I no longer define myself in the past: “a retired teacher”; instead, staying in the present, I say I am an author, essayist, talk-show host, columnist, and now blogger who finds adventure exploring the rabbit holes of wide-ranging topics. My new day job: Sharing reflections and insights with the purpose of encouraging readers and listeners with a sense of curiosity—which means you if you’ve read this far—to find deeper meaning and purpose in and of their lives. My night job comes just as easily: Dancing with muses that tantalize a mind run amok.

To that end, I am formally launching the Higher Living Reflections and Earthwise blogs. HLR will be devoted to myth, spirituality, and personal—psychological—topics. EW postings, which generally appear in the Clear Creek Courant, will be primarily culturally and socially focused. You can get a blog blast from either, but I won’t burden you with missives overtly political or of local interest.

The link in the email will take you directly to the post. Once at the site, I encourage you to frolic and explore its ever-accumulating treasures in both written and audio form. For example, the Writers Talk/Bighorn Book Club page, accessed through the Radio Host dropdown, is a trove of works by Colorado authors from fiction to self-help that grows bi-weekly. I will send brief updates and reminders of upcoming guests.

Blogging ought not be passive, a one-way process in which one takes in the writer’s message but leaves it at that. I love interactive communication, so PLEASE challenge, comment, and share your thoughts and insights. It’s called conversation, 21st-century style.

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  • Jean
    October 26, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Jerry, It’s wonderful to witness your transformation from “retired school teacher” to the new you. Looking forward to your insight and wisdom on the Higher Living Reflections and Earthwise blogs! Look forward to sharing these with Stardust’s Spiritual Alchemy Community.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      October 29, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Thank you, Jean. The Great Unfolding, I call it. As it is with you with the Stardust Startup Factory and its Spiritual Alchemy Community. I sense our former colleague and personal muse Denise Oaks Moffett is overseeing this. Here’s to that fateful day and time we taught, worked, and conspired together at Summit High.

  • Robert Fabyanic
    October 26, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    I am looking forward to the conversation.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      October 29, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Excellent, nephew. Evidence of an open and curious mind. Please contribute thoughtful insights.

  • Bonnie McCune,author
    October 31, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Masks have always fascinated me. I believe we all wear masks of various sorts throughout our lives. The physical ones are simply a manifestation of the numerous ones we sort through and assume as we’re in different situations with different people.

  • Angela
    November 3, 2017 at 2:20 am

    This is so interesting! Looking forward to learning more about all of this

  • David
    February 2, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Fascinating. I remember reading your articles in the high school newspaper and always looked forward to talking (arguing) with you about them. Fast forward 50 years and you’re still writing and I find myself still wanting to read what you’re writing. Best wishes, my friend!

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      February 14, 2018 at 5:48 pm

      It is fascinating, old friend. Fifty years now. Uffda! Goes to show the more things change, they often don’t in so many other ways. It’s been quite a journey from writing for the STHS Crucible, to writing a blog, novel, and a weekly column for the Clear Creek Courant. I very much value knowing you’re still reading my pieces. Guess I still have something to say. My hope is that it’s of value. Peace