Brian George’s debut collection of personal essays invites the reader on a journey beyond the normal categories of space, time, and narrative structure, toward a further shore of multidimensional and more-than- human experience. These are “essays” in the sense
of attempts or explorations of a subject which is too vast, and too profound, yet also, paradoxically, too familiar (to some deepest part of us) to be exhausted by any one expression or approach.
As George puts it, “The book is not quite a collection of essays, or the fragments of an autobiography, or a record of inter-dimensional journeys, or a work of metaphysics, or a sociopolitical critique, or an attempt to formulate a contemporary mythology—although it has elements of all of these.” One way to read Masks of Origin that juxtaposes—in one panoramic sweep, all of these elements—is to view it as a meditation upon destiny, or more simply, as a probing of the pattern that gives form to one life. I would argue that we each possess a ‘preexistent story,’ whose end we intuit, but whose details we must discover step by step. The magnetic field of our destiny comes first, and it functions as a kind of DNA, around which the body of our experience must grow.”
Have you ever shied away from asking the question that must be asked? Or from inquiring into a wound stifling the path toward transformation? Have you considered the quest you are called to, with its many twists, turns, and tangents? And what could be the essence of the boon that awaits you on this journey? A spiritual vessel, an alchemical stone, a life-sustaining elixir? Or something else entirely?
We will discuss these questions and more as we lightly trod along with Perceval, or Parzifal, on his adventures and missteps in his legendary quest for the Grail, as framed by the research of C.G. Jung’s wife, Emma Jung; their colleague, Marie-Louis von Franz; Dr. Martin Shaw, mythologist; and others.