Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Enemy, Cripple and Beggar is an intensely moving book that speaks deeply to the psyche."


The following review by Ann Walker, Ph.D., appeared in Psychological Perspectives, volume 53, issue 2, 2010. Ann Walker, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and psychologist in Santa Monica and book review editor of Psychological Perspectives.

Enemy, Cripple and Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path. (2008). By Erel Shalit. Carmel, CA: Fisher King Press. Reviewed by Ann Walker

Enemy, Cripple and Beggar is an intensely moving book that speaks deeply to the psyche. Every time I read Enemy, Cripple and Beggar my psyche responds with wonderful dreams. There are so many important concepts in this book. I would like to discuss a few that I found particularly salient.

Enemy, Cripple and Beggar is devoted to exploring that critical period during individuation in which the individual must heroically confront his or her inner darkness, the shadow. The shadow is the dark part of the psyche that we disown in childhood as the ego develops. Integrating the shadow leads to renewal and rebirth. It is a daunting task undertaken by the heroic ego. As Erel Shalit states: "The hero is an archetypal image of that aspect of the ego that searches for renewal [125]. …The task of the hero is to wrestle himself out of collective consciousness, the ingrained norms and prevailing worldview, our neurotic defenses, those rites of the soul and rituals of the spirit that have fallen into ruins of obsessive litany and compulsive decree. The hero revolts against an ego that has stiffened in the grip of habits and conventions, an ego that has become empty behind the emperor's new clothes, whether within the personal psyche or that of society. The hero must go forth into the dark and venture into the unknown to redeem a barren soul, a forgotten myth or a lost feeling, and then return and bring it back into consciousness. And in his struggle with a corrupt collective consciousness, the hero must be equipped with integrity" (pp. 137-138).

Erel Shalit has written Enemy, Cripple and Beggar in an inspiring prose-like style. Surprisingly, he examines the shadow from both the perspective of the inner process and from the perspective of the outer political process. As an Israeli Jungian psychiatrist, Erel Shalit examines the shadow of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the result is an amazing view of shadow integration both as an inner psychological and as an outer societal process.
Shalit writes: "Destruction of morality and humanity does not turn the rebel of the mind or the militant in the world into a hero. Psychologically, there is no rejuvenating heroism in projecting the shadow onto the Other, as does the fanatic, the fundamentalist and the terrorist" (p. 25). Projecting the shadow onto others is the natural response early in life. But later in life, projecting the shadow is the opposite of heroic. Re-owning projected shadow and integrating its contents is a lifelong task of individuation and a moral necessity.

Shalit points out that the hero needs the shadow: "The shadow is the blood of the hero's soul" (p. 89). To be able to go forth into the dangerous battle with the inner darkness, the hero must develop important attributes. For starters, the hero needs a healthy dose of narcissism to be able to trust the ego's capabilities. The hero needs a connection to the Self, or a developing ego-Self axis; this means that the hero must have an ability to communicate with the inner divine, the inner God-image. Or, as Shalit states, "The hero has one foot in divinity, one in the world of mortals" (p. 33). The hero also needs both solar and lunar attributes-the solar ability to cut through and break free from the devouring mother archetype, and the lunar ability to reflect and consciously turn toward the unconscious.

Throughout Enemy, Cripple and Beggar Shalit illustrates the personal and archetypal dimensions of the shadow with case examples, myths, and biblical stories. He illustrates the archetypal shadow with the biblical story of the Amaleks, who were descendents of Esau, the rejected brother of Jacob. Esau was denied his birthright by Jacob, and the rejection and denial reverberated across family generations to yield the Amaleks. As the Israelites wandered in the desert with Moses, the Amaleks killed and tormented them with deceit, brutal cruelty, and cowardice. Shalit states, "The more severely something is repressed or denied, the harsher it will strike back from behind" (p. 111). The story of the Amaleks illustrates that the denied and repressed reappears with exponentially increased hostility; that which is denied grows and becomes unbearable to suffer. Denial of evil is worse than the experience of evil. Suffering must be witnessed to be transformed, as Shalit points out.

Thus to help our clients heal, Jungian analysts must guide them to an experience of the inner darkness, which can feel wounding-Shalit talks about the need to be a wounding healer. Integrating the shadow yields the treasure that is hard to find: a new connection to the anima/animus, a new connection to the inner soul and spirit.

Shalit discusses the shadow as cripple; complexes that are not integrated often live in the shadow and cripple us. Shalit uses the myth of Hephaestus to illustrate this point. Hephaestus is the son of Hera, and possibly Zeus. When Hera saw that her newborn son, Hephaestus, was lame, she threw him into the sea. Hephaestus was saved and raised by Thetis, who was the nymph of creation. Hephaestus worked as a metal smith and in deep underground fires, he made Pandora's box and Achilles' armor. Shalit points out that Hephaestus is the only Greek god that worked. It is the lame and wounded parts of the soul, symbolized by Hephaestus, that make us work. The process of working deep in the underground fires with the wounded parts of the soul is transformative and creative.

Enemy, Cripple, & Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path, I want to conclude with a lovely quote at the end of Enemy, Cripple and Beggar, a wonderful book to read and reread: "On the way home, toward the essence of our being and the meaning of our path, we need to be equipped with the sword and with bravery, with a mirror and reflection, embrace and compassion, with strength and with weakness and with the light of appearance and a guiding lamp" (p. 224).

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

It was in this book . . .

. . . where I learned some of the great recipes to 'Intimate Communication.' They served me well.

The Art of Love: The Craft of Relationship
A Practical Guide for Creating the Loving Relationships We Want
by Bud and Massimilla Harris
ISBN 978-1-926715-02-5

The Art of Love: The Craft of Relationship presents the profound principles that form a loving relationship in an easily accessible manner. Using a deceptively simple approach, it will help people shift their attitudes and provide them with skills to create a loving, long-lasting partnership. There are so many titles in print on change because it is an ongoing challenge for most of us. So are relationships. With many years of experience working with couples, Bud and Massimilla Harris share vital information, lessons, and insights. Engaging, and easy to read, The Art of Love: The Craft of Relationship is packed with wisdom, skills, and ideas that can open the door to a new era of fulfilling relationships.

This Fisher King Press publication brings complex material and common sense into a format that is carefully constructed to achieve results by being communicative and consistent, enjoyable and hopeful. Unlike the textbook appearance of many self-help books that include psychological jargon, case examples and exercises, The Art of Love: The Craft of Relationship uses stories and dialogue to teach valuable skills for handling problems in a way that builds love and trust.

The Art of Love: The Craft of Relationship is for:

* Singles and couples who seek self-improvement, who want to enrich their relationships, and who desire practical advice for helping love and trust grow.
* Singles who are frustrated with their current relationships or have difficulty staying in long-term relationships, and who want to find and develop a more supportive and interactive partnership.
* Couples who need to learn how to understand each other better in order to have their uniqueness affirmed without threatening their relationship.
* Couples who are experiencing relational difficulties and who need to improve their communication with each other and learn how to handle conflicts in a way that brings them closer together.
* Divorced individuals who need support in understanding why their marriages failed and who need encouragement in seeking to get their needs met again.
* People who are interested in cultivating love and closeness in a way that supports individual growth.
* Therapists and counselors who seek an accessible resource for their clients, and for readers who wish to explore the most recent perspectives on relationship dynamics.
* Groups of people, whether religious or educational, who are concerned about the state of their relationships. People who are seeking to understand them and discover the promises of love and joy that being in life together can bring.


Massimilla and Bud Harris are diplomates of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich and co-authors of Like Gold Through Fire. Bud Harris is also the author of several other publications including Resurrecting the Unicorn, The Father Quest, Sacred Selfishness, and The Fire and the Rose.

Place your order for The Art of Love: The Craft of Relationship at the Fisher King Press online Bookstore.

Phone orders welcomed, Credit Cards accepted. 1-800-228-9316 toll free in the US and Canada, International +1-831-238-7799. www.fisherkingpress.com

Fisher King Press / PO Box 222321 / Carmel, CA 93230 /
Phone: 831-238-7799 / info@fisherkingpress.com / www.fisherkingpress.com

This Fisher King Press publication brings complex material and common sense into a format that is carefully constructed to achieve results by being communicative and consistent, enjoyable and hopeful. Unlike the textbook appearance of many self-help books that include psychological jargon, case examples and exercises, The Art of Love: The Craft of Relationship uses stories and dialogue to teach valuable skills for handling problems in a way that builds love and trust.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Press Release: Becoming

With great pleasure, Fisher King Press is pleased to announce the publication of
Becoming: An Introduction to Jung's Concept of Individuation
By Deldon Anne McNeely
ISBN 9781926715124, 230pp, Index, Biblio, (Oct 2010)
Download a free PDF sampler of Becoming

Becoming: An Introduction to Jung’s Concept of Individuation explores the ideas of Carl Gustav Jung. His idea of a process called individuation has sustained Deldon Anne McNeely’s dedication to a lifelong work of psychoanalysis, which unfortunately has been dismissed by the current trends in psychology and psychiatry.

Psychotherapists know the value of Jung’s approach through clinical results, that is, watching people enlarge their consciousness and change their attitudes and behavior, transforming their suffering into psychological well-being. However, psychology’s fascination with behavioral techniques, made necessary by financial concerns and promoted by insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, has changed the nature of psychotherapy and has attempted to dismiss the wisdom of Jung and other pioneers of the territory of the unconscious mind.

For a combination of unfortunate circumstances, many of the younger generation, including college and medical students, are deprived of fully understanding their own minds. Those with a scientific bent are sometimes turned away from self-reflection by the suggestion that unconscious processes are metaphysical mumbo-jumbo. Superficial assessments of Jung have led to the incorrect conclusion that one must be a spiritual seeker, or religious, in order to follow Jung’s ideas about personality. Becoming is an offering to correct these misperceptions.

Many university professors are not allowed to teach Jungian psychology. Secular humanism and positivism have shaped the academic worldview; therefore, investigation into the unknown or unfamiliar dimensions of human experience is not valued. But this attitude contrasts with the positive reputation Jung enjoys among therapists, artists of all types, and philosophers. Those without resistance to the unconscious because of their creativity, open-mindedness, or personal disposition are more likely to receive Jung’s explorations without prejudice or ideological resistance. There is a lively conversation going on about Jung’s ideas in journals and conferences among diverse groups of thinkers which does not reach mainstream psychology. Becoming is for those whose minds are receptive to the unknown, and to help some of us to think—more with respect than dread—of the possibility that we act unconsciously.


About the Author
Deldon Anne McNeely received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Louisiana State University and is a member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology. A senior analyst of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, she is a training analyst for their New Orleans Jungian Seminar. Publications include Touching: Body Therapy and Depth Psychology; Animus Aeternus: Exploring the Inner Masculine; and Mercury Rising: Women, Evil, and the Trickster Gods.

Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting Edge Fiction, and a growing  list of alternative titles.
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