Great stories articulate the movement of the individual and collective psyche and withstand the tests of time, location, cultural and gender distinctions. Through the study of myth, we recognize our shared humanity and the particularities that inform a life. As a depth psychotherapist, I come to archetypal stories with expectancy, hoping to re-cognize myself and my clients within the action of the other. The Biblical story of Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25-35) offers the scholar boundless opportunity for theological, ethical and historical analysis. However, this story of familial relationships requires of me a different kind of telling. This essay is intended not as a scholarly examination of a myth, but rather as a mythic exploration of self. Using Jacob as my guide, I will explore how the archetypal movements of longing, envy and love; deception, separation and reconciliation inform and reveal underlying themes within my life story, and in particular, how my relationship with my father determined much of the course of my life.



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