Episode 148 – MYTH AS MEDICINE: An Interview with Kwame Scruggs, Ph.D.

Jan 28, 2021

Kwame Scruggs

Kwame Scruggs inspires men through mythology, drumming and connection to community and culture. As a young man Kwame discovered his inner fire through African-based initiatory rites. He asked himself “What is it I really want to do? Not what could I do. What did I want to do?”

His passion for myth and drumming led him to graduate studies and creating programs in which story is the catalyst for inspired manhood and realization of potential. Story, fellowship and rhythm create an alchemical mixture that facilitates connection with self and others and the deep archetypal wellsprings of mature masculinity. As one participant exclaimed, “It works—it really works!” Alchemy, Scruggs’ award-winning program for young men, is the backdrop of a documentary film, Finding the Gold Within. On February 6 Kwame Scruggs brings his wisdom to a four-week online program, Men and Mythology (link below).

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“I am in an enormous, old building with a male friend. We are on a trip in a Middle Eastern, South Asian or North African country, and this building houses a huge market full of people, goods and activity. We, however, are in a big dusty storage/junk room, and there is no one else there. The ceilings are extremely high and light fills the room from windows near the top. The room is a pleasant warm color, and I feel contented. We aren’t doing anything in particular and have no agenda. I have no problems, questions or desires. My friend goes into an adjoining room that is also very large and stores old, forgotten stuff, but it’s completely dark. I can only make out the body of a dead man on a table and can only see his feet, which have a mummified appearance. My friend approaches the body, which surprises and somewhat alarms me. He reaches out and removes the tag from its toe. He flings it toward me while bent over with laughter. I turn away and the tag lands on the back of my left shoulder. I’m aware that we don’t know the cause of death and think there could be smallpox on the tag for all we know. I’m not scared, though, just a bit disgusted and very annoyed.”

References:

Michael Meade. Men & the Water of Life: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062507265/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_PGNCPAD2MNEC0JH836AP

Resources:

https://salomeinstitute.com/seminars/men-mythology-kwame-scruggs-february

Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:  https://thisjungianlife.com/enroll/

5 Comments

  1. J Allen

    Loved the exchange, but here a comment on the dream only.

    Maybe look into the history of small pox (also in colonisation) and if the dreamer got a vaccine in her childhood? Because small pox doesn’t exist anymore. A wish to eradicate Corona with the new vaccine ? Or a childhood memory – trauma against which the dreamer is not fully inoculated? I got my shot and scar on the upper left arm – re the tag hitting her upper left shoulder. If the corpse loses its tag, it can’t be identified. Maybe that mummified memory that won’t die wants to be identified and let go….

    Reply
    • M Sanger

      Thanks for bringing this forward. I also wondered about this contextual aspect of the dream being directly addressed by the dreamer’s stated fear.

      Reply
      • Simcha

        Thank you for your feedback – I’m just not getting those countries: Middle Eastern, South Asian and North African (Maghreb). They make a solid yet southern path from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean. Obviously need more info from the dreamer… any ideas?

        But check out this factoid from Wiki: “The earliest credible evidence of smallpox is found in the Egyptian MUMMIES of people who died some 3,000 years ago.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_smallpox

        Jung and his 2000-year-old would have loved that…

        Reply
  2. LAB

    Great interview! I am curious to know what specifically about Akan drumming practices attracted Mr. Scruggs? I know that there are quite a few other initiation ceremonies that include drumming in many rural areas of west Africa, including southern Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Akan drumming comes from what’s now southern Ghana. Would love to hear his thoughts.

    Reply
  3. Jim

    I wondered if the tag landing on the left shoulder suggested something sinister about her relationship with this man. Perhaps she needs to look more carefully into the relationship and to see that the safe pod friendship is actually placing her at-risk, in danger.

    Reply

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