Friday, December 30, 2011

The Definitive Journey

From Enemy, Cripple, Beggar

The hero who searches for new paths in his heart and soul often lets hints and hunches guide him forward. Yet, he also needs to be equipped with courage to search beyond the boundaries of common ground and with humbleness towards the unknown that lies ahead of him. He must also carry a bagful of questions and concerns, curiosity and conflict, doubt and fear; “Every man hath the right to doubt his task, and to forsake it from time to time; but what he must not do is forget it.” Paulo Coelho, The Fifth Mountain, p. 53.

Erel Shalit titles are on Sale now at the Fisher King Press online bookstore.
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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    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Myth and Reality in Israel

    Just Published by Fisher King Press

    The Hero and His Shadow:  
    Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel
    Revised Edition - ISBN 9781926715698
    By Erel Shalit

    In an era in which all seemed to dwell in the self-imposed solitary confinement of virtual reality, life in vitro behind the screen, the young take to the streets and gather in the squares. Attempting to break the bonds of oppressive regimes and cold-hearted mammonism, they have raised their voice across the globe, demanding freedom, solidarity, and justice. Will these voices persevere to withstand the strong, silencing forces of darkness, of ruthlessness and oppression? Will the Voice of Wisdom be listened to, so that we may “dwell safely, without fear of evil.” (Prov. 1:33)

    The Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel introduces a psychological perspective on the history, development, and myths of modern Israel.

    The realization of Zionism relied on the pioneer, who revolted against the Way of the Father and sought spiritual redemption through the revival of Mother Earth in the ancient land. Myth and history, psyche and matter are constantly intertwined in the birth and development of Israel, for example when in the Declaration of Independence we are told that pioneers make deserts bloom, the text actually says they make spirits blossom.

    Pioneer, guardsman and then warrior were admired hero-ideals. However, in the shadow of the hero and the guiding myths of revolt, redemption, strength and identity-change, are feelings of despair, doubt, weakness and fear.  Within renewal, lurks the threat of annihilation.

    Suppressed aspects of past and present myths, which linger in the shadow, are exposed. Psychological consequences of Israel’s wars, from independence to the present war of terror, are explored on a personal note and from a psychoanalytic perspective. Shadow aspects of the conflicting guiding myths Peace and Greater Israel are examined, as well as mythical connections, such as between Jerusalem and the respective archetypal images of Wholeness and Satan.

    Erel Shalit is a Jungian psychoanalyst in Ra’anana, Israel. He is the author of several publications, including Enemy, Cripple, Beggar: Shadows in the Hero’s Path, The Cycle of Life: Themes and Tales of the Journey, The Complex: Path of Transformation from Archetype to Ego, and Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return. Dr. Shalit lectures at professional institutes, universities, and cultural forums in Israel, Europe, and the United States.

    Product Details
    Paperback: 208 pages
    Publisher: Fisher King Press; Revised edition (January 1, 2012)
    Language: English
    ISBN: 978-1926715698
    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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    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Lecture Series / Book Tour - Eros and the Shattering Gaze

    Planning is underway for a 2012 book tour for Jungian Analyst, Ken Kimmel, author of Eros and the Shattering Gaze: Transcending Narcissism.

    Eros and the Shattering Gaze: Transcending NarcissismThis timely book reveals the pervasiveness of a culturally and historically embedded narcissism underlying contemporary men's erotic and romantic fantasies, that distorts their understanding of what it really means to love. The book is filled with tales of love and loss, from ancient myth, medieval legend, Western classical literature, and contemporary film. Its template derives from "The Tale of Psyche and Amor", and poignant clinical vignettes and dreams from Ken's thirty years of practice bring to life the major themes of narcissism and its transcendence.

    Ken has developed a number of lectures and seminars based on chapters in Eros and the Shattering Gaze, focusing on such topics as:
    • "The Burn-Wound of Eros - Transcending Narcissism"   
    • "Predator Beneath the Lover" 
    • "The Grail Wound"
    • "Men's 'Split-Feminine' - Mother, Lover, Virgin, Whore"
    • "Saturn's Wounded Eros"
    • "The Capacity To Love: Transcending the 'Heat-Death' of Eros 

    Here are what distinguished Jungian authors are saying about Eros and the Shattering Gaze:
    ". . . Attempting the rescue of authentic eros from its fear-driven shadow of predation is a work that will engage most of us at some point in our relational lives. We should be grateful for the insights with which this book is studded, for they can enlighten the labors of learning to love."
    —John Beebe, author of Integrity in Depth
    "A skillful and articulate interweave of the best of traditional views on 'relationality' and more contemporary critique. The vivid clinical vignettes bring the arguments alive and the result is a stimulating  and fresh take on this ever-timely topic. . . ."
    —Andrew Samuels, author of The Plural Psyche
    ". . . The contemplative and self-reflective reader who seeks to grasp the full measure of this rich manuscript can expect to gain substantially in both knowledge and inner maturation."
    —Mario Jacoby, author of Individuation and Narcissism: 
    The Psychology of Self in Jung and Kohut 

    If your society or institute is interested in planning a program over the next two years, contact Ken at for a formal proposal and resume.
    Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting-Edge Fiction, and a growing list of alternative titles.
    • International Shipping.
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    Healing Today

    by Steven A. Galipeau

    Modern medicine comes down to us from Galen and Hippocrates, Greek physicians who were part of the ancient cult of Asklepios, the god of healing. According to myth, Asklepios, the son of Apollo, learned the healing arts from the centaur Chiron. He learned easily and became more skilled than his mentor, even succeeding in raising the dead. But this stirred the wrath of Hades, who complained to Zeus about the encroachment on his domain. Zeus responded by killing Asklepios. But after death Asklepios was given a place among the gods, from which, it was said, he affected even greater cures than before.

    From Greece, the worship of Asklepios spread throughout the ancient world. More than four hundred temples were built from Egypt to Rome, with the most famous at Epidauros. The temples existed for one thousand years. Their disappearance coincided with the development of the healing shrines of the various saints—the most recent example being that at Lourdes.

    Clearly, then, modern medical science has religious roots. Today’s surgery and pharmacology dominate a healing discipline that evolved from direct experience—usually through dreams—of the god of healing. Along with other aspects of ancient religions, the sacred practices of Asklepios were incorporated into Christianity. People began making pilgrimages to the gravesites of saints and martyrs associated with healing. As with Asklepios, the reports of healing became significantly more dramatic after the saints’ death—when, presumably, they became channels of God’s healing power.

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    Annunciation and Mythos

    by Mariann Burke
    In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, “Rejoice, so highly favored! The Lord is with you.” She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, “Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favor. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.” (Luke:1:26-38)
    I had read this passage many times but it was soon to take on richer meaning.

    Since we know nothing of Jesus’ conception and birth, legend and myth “fill in.” The word ‘myth’ comes from the ancient Greek word ‘mythos’ meaning ‘word.’ Both ‘logos’ and ‘mythos’ mean ‘word.’ While ‘logos’ refers to rational thinking, ‘mythos’ describes poetic or intuitive thinking. “Biblical accounts of Jesus’ birth and resurrection are ‘mythos.’ Biblical historical facts of his life are ‘logos.’ Both are true.”(1) Myths or mythos express truth closer to life’s meaning than facts. Myths resonate in the soul. For example, stories about the quest for the Grail resonate with all “searchers.” We long to experience the Holy, the numinous. The Annunciation, the birth in the stable, the shepherds’ adoration, and the journey to Egypt, all of these give valuable insights into our personal spiritual journey. And the artists who have painted these scenes have provided us with “windows” into depths unknown perhaps even to them.

    Some of these “windows” would eventually open for me into other images of Mary, as Virgin Mother, Black Madonna, and Wisdom Sophia. But, at that moment down in my basement study, I was captivated only by the Annunciation. I longed to see other artists’ versions of the scene. In Milan, Arezzo or Florence, I sat in churches just looking at sculptures and frescoes. In museums, I marveled at the number of artists who had painted the scene with such depth, delicacy and power. Now these images of Mary, masterpieces from another age, stirred something vital within me. Writing these pages helped awaken me to their personal and symbolic meaning.

    Over many years of paying attention to images from my unconscious in dreams and in artistic works, I was beginning to “see” a connection between the image and myself. I had known that through the history of Christianity there have been two ways of interpreting images or symbols: the historical and the poetic or imaginative. I had been exposed to the historical or literal. Now I began to realize that the two are not mutually exclusive. Early Christians honored both approaches but the historical and literal gradually took precedence. In this view the Annunciation is something that happened in the past. In the poetic or mythic approach, we are not so much viewing an image as experiencing it. My personal experience and my study of Jung would open me to see the Annunciation not as history, but as something happening now.(2) Taken in this way, the image reflects something within me. Like a dream, the image is happening within.

    Certainly this is not new, for mystics of every religious tradition are “seers.” And the early Christian Gnostics valued the inner knowledge of God, but they were regarded as heretics. The thirteenth century Dominican Meister Eckhart suffered a similar fate for expressing his beliefs that God and the soul are somehow united. One of Eckhart’s favorite sayings found in his sermons is that the Divine Birth is always happening. If it does not happen within our soul, of what value is it? This insight we find echoed in the writings of Angelus Silesius, a seventeenth century mystic, speaking of the Annunciation:
    If by God’s Holy Ghost thou art beguiled,
    There will be born in thee the Eternal Child.
    If it’s like Mary, virginal and pure
    Then God will impregnate your soul for sure.
    God make me pregnant, and his Spirit shadow me,
    That God may rise up in my soul and shatter me.
    What good does Gabriel’s ‘Ave, Mary’ do
    Unless he give me that same greeting too?(3)

    1. Seminar notes by Dr. Richard Naegle, Guild for Psychological Studies, San Francisco, 1995. In St. John’s Gospel “Logos” refers to the eternal existence of the Word. See also Karen Armstrong, A Short History of Myth, p. 31.
    2. Joseph Campbell, The Mythic Image, p. 58.
    3. C.G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis, CW, Vol. 14, p. 319.

    You've just read an excerpt from Mariann Burke's:
    Re-Imagining Mary: A Journey Through 
    Art to the Feminine Self
    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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    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Re-Visioning our Relationship with Nature

    Western man has no need of more superiority over nature, whether outside or inside. He has both in almost devilish perfection. What he lacks is conscious recognition of his inferiority to nature around him and within him. He must learn that he may not do exactly as he wills. If he does not learn this, his own nature will destroy him. He does not know that his own soul is rebelling against him in a suicidal way.  —C.G. Jung, (CW 11, ¶ 870)
    article by Dennis Merritt

    A radical revision of our worldview is in order and several encouraging voices have arisen. Carl Sagan, who as co-chair of A Joint Appeal by Science and Religion for the Environment, presented a petition in 1992 stating:
    The environmental problem has religious as well as scientific dimensions…As scientists, many of us have had a profound experience of awe and reverence before the universe. We understand that what is regarded as sacred is more likely to be treated with care and respect. Our planetary home should be so regarded. Efforts to safeguard and cherish the environment need to be infused with a vision of the sacred. At the same time, a much wider and deeper understanding of science and technology is needed. If we do not understand the problem it is unlikely we will be able to fix it. Thus there is a vital role for both science and religion. (Sagan 1992, p. 10, 12)The Forum on Religion and
    Ecology is a leader in developing the dialogue on spirituality and the environment Joseph Campbell thought that if a new myth of any value were to emerge, it would be of a “society of the planet” living in relationship with the Earth. (Campbell 1988, p. 32) Ecotheology, creation spirituality and ecospirtuality have been developing over the past two decades with the writings of Matthew Fox and Thomas Berry being notable examples.

    A growing number of philosophers, dubbed environmental philosophers or ecophilosophers, have been re-examining “the philosophical bases of our attitudes toward the natural world” with a “heightened interest in basic questions of values, of worldview, and of (environmental) ethics.” (Metzner 1991, p. 147) “Deep ecologists” challenge the dominant philosophical positions by making three main points. First, they assert the need to overthrow our human-centered focus by placing an emphasis on an ecological, or Earth-centered, approach. We must acknowledge “the complex web of human interdependence with all life-forms” and develop what Aldo Leopold called a “land ethic” and an “ecological conscience.” (Leopold 1948 referred to in Metzner 1993, p. 4) Deep ecology’s core insight is that humankind is not radically distinct from other entities in nature to which we are internally related; “particular entities are but temporary knots in an interconnected cosmic web.” (Zimmerman 1991, p. 123) The nonhuman world should be considered valuable in and of itself and not simply for its human-use value. (Fox 1991a, p. 107) Michael Zimmerman stated the premise: “All things should be permitted, whenever possible, to pursue their own evolutionary destinies” and “people [are] to respect individual beings and the ecosystem in which they arise.” (Zimmerman 1991, p. 123) The second premise is that we should ask deeper questions about our ecological relationships, looking for root causes rather than simply focusing on symptoms. (Fox 1991a, p. 107) We must examine the human institutions and values that create environmental problems rather than focusing on narrow technological solutions. The goal is to gradually “adopt practices consistent with long-term enhancement of all life on the planet,” Zimmerman states. Humans will still intervene and take non-human lives, but this is to be done “with discrimination and not for trivial reasons.” We should satisfy only our vital material needs as we forego mindless consumerism. (Zimmerman 1991, p. 123, 124) The third idea as stated by ecophilosopher Warwick Fox is that “we are all capable of identifying far more widely and deeply with the world around us than is commonly recognized.” Such identification “leads us spontaneously to appreciate and defend the integrity of the world” (Fox 1991a, p. 107) with environmentally appropriate behaviors arising naturally out of a sense of love rather than an emphasis on self-sacrifice or self-denial.
    There has been a similar evolution in the social sciences, including the works of William Catton in sociology, Herman Daly and Joshua Farley in economics (Daly and Farley 2003), and Christopher Stone in law (Stone 1972). Ecofeminists like Carolyn Merchant (1980, The Death of Nature) offer a fundamental critique of our Western worldview linking the attitudes and treatment of the feminine with our use and abuse of the earth. Neglected aspects of history and prehistory are being re-examined with renewed interest, particularly the pre-patriarchal Earth Goddess cultures. (n 14)
    As late as 1991 Metzner proclaimed it was “glaring, scandalous” that psychology “has hitherto remained virtually untouched by any concern for the environment or the human-to-nature relationship in psychology.” (Metzner 1991, p. 147) Jungian analyst James Hillman and author Michael Ventura encapsulated this dilemma in the title of their book, We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World is Getting Worse. The problem is that we have appropriated the powers of gods without having their wisdom to wield the powers wisely. A significant share of our environmental problems, many say the most important factors, are rooted in perceptions, attitudes, thoughts, feelings and behaviors directly and indirectly related to the environment—the domain of psychology.
    Each school of psychology has its own focus and orientation. Deborah Du Nann Winter’s excellent book, Ecological Psychology—Healing the Split Between Planet and Self, describes the different schools of psychology and what each can contribute towards understanding and addressing the psychological dimensions of the environmental crisis. (see Appendix A: Psychology and Ecology) She sees Gestalt and Transpersonal Psychology, under which she includes Jung, as providing “insights [that] are significant for building an ecologically based psychology,” a psychology “that offers a new integration of both scientific and spiritual understanding for the building of a sustainable culture.” (Winter 1996, p. 281) Winter’s definition of ecological psychology is the practice of seeing “humans as fundamentally dependent on a larger ecosystem.” (p. 230) Gestalt and Transpersonal Psychology emphasize the experience of relationship, wholeness, and embeddedness in the larger world, countering the Western worldview of ourselves as segmented and autonomous beings. (p. 229)
    The Gestalt psychologist Wolfgang Kohler was one of the first psychologists to argue that the usual scientific experimental approach of simplifying and controlling variables in a laboratory didn’t reveal very much and it missed the complex dimensions of life. (Winter 1996, p. 241) Gestalt psychologist Ulrich Neisser observed that “we perceive…ourselves as embedded in the environment, and acting with respect to it” with perception and action being inseparably fused: “we perceive as we act and that we act.”(Neisser 1988, p. 36, 40 quoted in Winter 1996, p. 241) (n 15)
    Winter and the transpersonal psychologists broaden Neisser’s meaning of an ecological self to include what Jung called the archetypes of the collective unconscious:
    Transpersonal psychology focuses on the spiritual and mystical dimensions of human experience. Transpersonal psychology is the study of transcendent experiences, those that illuminate the parts of our being that lie beyond our individual, unique, or separate sense of self. (Winter 1996, p. 242)
    Transpersonalists assume that our normal waking consciousness gives us only limited information about who we are. Our modern Western culture is unique among the world’s cultures in disregarding information from altered states of consciousness (ASCs) such as dreams, hypnosis, trance, prayer, meditation, or drug-induced states. (p. 244, 245)
    Deep ecologists speak of a sense of self not unlike that described by transpersonal psychologists. (n 16) Our sense of self can be expanded by recognizing a commonality with another entity, such as the similar emotional reactions we share with dogs. (n 17) Winter describes her experience of identification during an intense meditation weekend:
    Someone walked by on the lawn and I was filled with tenderness as I felt the blades of grass being crushed. It wasn’t that I felt those boots crushing me, but I could feel them crushing the grass. I felt the vulnerability and the fragility of the natural world…[It was] as if I could feel it happening to someone whom I deeply loved. (Winter 1996, p. 248)
    The ecological self retains the sense of a separate physical self as it integrates the larger self that identifies with the ecosphere. (Winter 1996, p. 248) From an ecological, evolutionary perspective, entities have some degree of independent existence and are part of a web of interrelationships that intimately link them to others. (Fox 1991a, p. 116) For example, a hawk could not exist without prey it evolved to feed upon, and the habits and characteristics of the prey require certain types of behaviors, structures and physiologies in its predator. Evolution tells us that all life forms are linked over vast periods of time. In ecology and evolutionary theory there is “an emphasis on (degrees of) connectedness, likeness, similarity” and to “interaction stuff” that is “usually conceived of as energy” or viewed as “process philosophy or a systems view.” (p. 117) (see Appendix C: Self and Organism) (n 18)
    Winter emphasizes that a deeper exploration of any subject, be it an individual, political, or psychological system, “demonstrates our interdependence and embeddedness within a larger social and ecological system.” Our sense of self changes “when we experience [embeddedness] in an emotionally meaningful way.” Winter notes, “Our environmental problems are not so much a crisis of technology as they are a crisis of insight.” If we have a sense of our ecological self, “our choices are naturally less intrusive, more sensitive, less toxic because we appreciate the larger context for our behavior.” (Winter 1996, p. 249)
    Ecopsychology is an important development within the field of psychology that studies the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors that create our dysfunctional relationship with the environment and how these may be changed to create a sustainable lifestyle. Ecopsychology explores ways of helping people connect more deeply with the environment and how psychotherapy can facilitate the process.
    Ecopsychologists recognize the importance of non-cognitive, direct experiencing of nature to establish a deeper spiritual understanding and connection to it. Theodore Roszak, who coined the term ecopsychology in The Voice of the Earth (1992), called for a type of therapy that recovers the child’s “enchanted sense of the world” and brings to consciousness our “ecological unconscious.” (p. 320) Winter refers to “naturalist Terry Tempest Williams [who] claims that wilderness experience is required for us to make appropriate environmental decisions because such experience opens us to our feelings, to a deeper sense of caring, to matters of the heart.” (Winter 1996, p. 264, 265) Some of the difficulty “stems from our limited experiences of the complexity, beauty, magic, and awesome power of the natural world.” It takes more than driving through a national park in an air-conditioned car with our radios on to have an emotional experience and generate an aesthetic appreciation of the natural world. (p. 265) We need direct experiences in order to become cognizant of our larger ecological selves, and rituals can be designed to increase awareness. A Council for All Beings workshop, for example, creates a deep connection to an ecosystem by having participants role play different creatures and “expressing for the creature its unspoken reaction to human impact on their habitat.” (p. 267) Other activities include full moon, equinox and solstice celebrations and symbolic appreciation and expression of the “natural bases” of the American holidays. (see volume 4, chapter 2). We can expand activities like gardening, going for walks, and taking time to appreciate clouds, smells, rainstorms, sunrises, etc. (p. 267, 268) Artists and writers can help evoke “a sense of reverence and respect for the natural world…through evoking a feeling of our connection with [it].” (p. 266) Practicing silence is helpful in this regard because it blocks the “chatter” in our heads, sharpening our senses and perceptions so “we become aware of the subtleties and richness of the natural world.” (p. 267)
    Ecopsychologists encourage people to be active in solving environmental problems. As our ecological self grows, we will commit ourselves to activism and environmentally appropriate actions out of a sense of love and devotion instead of a position of guilt or a moral ideology. (Winter 1996, p. 268) One of the basic causes of environmental degradation is over-consumption. Winter’s suggestions for overcoming this addiction are to achieve the fulfillment that comes with simplicity, quiet awareness, “practicing the principle and value of sufficiency,” and “rejoic[ing] in the incredible beauty of the ecosystem and our role in it.” This counters the spiritual void of “our driven, materialist society [that] runs on a core experience of emptiness…[using] consumer products to try to satiate that inner vacuum.” Winter believes a spiritual awakening with a more expansive worldview will sensitize us to “the social injustice and environmental deterioration that afflicts our planet.” It will bond us with our social milieu including “that which appears to us as ‘the enemy’—the unconscious guzzling consumer, the advertising executive, the ‘wise use’ advocate.” (p. 268, 269)
    In Ecological Psychology Winter defines the field “as the study of human experience and behavior, in its physical, political, and spiritual context, in order to build a sustainable world.” (Winter 1996, p. 283) In 1866 Haeckel coined the term ecology to mean “that branch of science which attempts to define and explain the relationship between living organisms and their environment.” (Holdgate 1994, p. 201, 202 quoted in Winter 1996, p. 283) Winter advocates an even broader goal for ecological psychology, saying we must take
    a serious and difficult look at the planet’s distribution of wealth, power, and environmentally damaging patterns, and [make] a personal commitment to changing these dangerous patterns, no matter how difficult such a goal may seem. It also means that in order to heal the split between planet and self, we will need to work on personal and policy dimensions simultaneously. (p. 286)
    Psychology generally ignores political and spiritual systems that help construct our knowledge and vitally affect our relationship to the environment. In the political world, for example, Winter notices how psychology is good at “conserving the social order and reinforcing features of capitalist economic organization.” (Winter 1996, p. 291) She reminds us, “psychology has a difficult time addressing such questions because of its solid footing in the modernist tradition.” This is seen in “its focus on the individual; its devotion to the scientific method; and its application for the ‘improvement’ of human welfare.” (p. 272) (see end of Appendix A)
    Winter sees our goal in a postmodern culture as seeking “’a new unity of scientific, ethical, aesthetic, and religious intuitions,’” (Griffin 1988, p. x, xi quoted in Winter 1996, p. 295) recognizing science as a powerful tool but only one way of knowing. (p. 295) It is difficult to conceptualize a constructive postmodern position because “modern institutional structures mitigate against realizing integrative knowledge.” (p. 296) Universities are fragmented into different departments fighting turf battles over their domains.
    To reverse this trend, ecopsychologists will need a strong background in the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, working at several different levels in an interdisciplinary and integrative manner. In Winter’s words:
    [Ecological psychology] should be pluralistic in its methodology and creative in its conduct. Sophisticated about the limits of objective knowledge, ecological psychologists will need to be rigorously attuned to the distorting effects of their own political, emotional, and intellectual blinders. As we become more conscious of our limitations, so will we become more empowered to transcend them. (p. 298)
    The size and complexity of environmental problems can easily be overwhelming. “We know that our environmental deterioration is driven by poverty, by sexism, by overpopulation, and by consumerism,” Winter remarks. (Winter 1996, p. 299) She suggests we start by imagining a sustainable world. The Worldwatch Institute defines a sustainable society as one that “’satisfies its needs without jeopardizing the prospects of future generations.’” (L. R. Brown et al 1990, p. 173 quoted in Winter 1996, p. 299) We have to build such a culture within the next 20 years, some say the next 10, before the environment is pushed past tipping points that lead to irreversible and disastrous consequences. It is estimated that the world could support 8 billion people living comfortably, not at the life style of current-day Americans, but about that of Western Europeans:
    Modest but comfortable homes, refrigeration for food, and ready access to public transit, augmented by limited auto use. [Goldemberg et al 1987] For most of us, what this would require is purposive down-scaling, conscious choices to consume less, reuse more, and recycle everything possible. It would also mean working less, spending less, enjoying more time, more creative community activities, and more personal and interpersonal meaning. (p. 300, 301)
    Sustainability should be our goal, not just for humans but for all life forms. Our technology needs to be re-directed toward the repair of damaged ecosystems and Lester Brown (2008) in Plan B 3.0 offers many models for developing and using an ecologically sensitive technology.

    Notes and Bibliography

    The article you just read is an excerpt from Dennis Merritt's:

    The Dairy Farmer’s Guide to the Universe
    Jung, Hermes and Ecopsychology
     in Four Volumes
    We keep forgetting that we are primates and that we have to make allowances for these primitive layers in our psyche. The farmer is still closer to these layers. In tilling the earth he moves around within a very narrow radius, but he moves on his own land. —C.G. Jung
    Volume I:  Jung and Ecopsychology presents the main premises of Jungian ecopsychology,offers some of Jung’s best ecopsychological quotes, and provides a brief overview of the evolution of our dysfunctional Western relationship with the environment.
    —ISBN 9781926715421 Available December 2011
    Volume II:  The Cry of Merlin—Jung, the Prototypical Ecopsychologist makes the basic premises of Jungian ecopsychology more convincing and understandable by illustrating how they evolved out of Jung’s lived experience.
    —ISBN 9781926715438 Available April 2012
    Volume III:  Hermes and the Cows—Hermes, Ecopsychology and Complexity is an exegesis of the myth of Hermes stealing Apollo’s cattle to be used as a mythic foundation for Jungian ecopsychology with Hermes' wand as its symbol.
    —ISBN 9781926715445 Available Sept 2012
    Volume IV: An Archetypal View of the Land, the Seasons, and the Planet of the Insect explores the environment, with the Midwest as an example, using traditional Jungian and Hillmanian approaches to deepen our connection with the land, the seasons, and insects. The Dalai Lama said how we relate to insects is very important for it reveals much about a culture’s relationship with the psyche and nature.
    —ISBN 9781926715452 Available December 2012
    Dennis Merritt, Ph.D., LCSW, is a Jungian psychoanalyst and ecopsychologist in private practice in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Merritt is a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich and also holds the following degrees: M.A. Humanistic Psychology-Clinical, Sonoma State University, California, Ph.D. Insect Pathology, University of California-Berkeley, M.S. Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.S. Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over twenty years of participation in Lakota Sioux ceremonies have strongly influenced his worldview.
    Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting-Edge Fiction, and a growing list of alternative titles.
    • International Shipping.
    • Credit Cards Accepted.
    • Phone Orders Welcomed. Toll free in the US & Canada: 1-800-228-9316 International +1-831-238-7799 skype: fisher_king_press

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Thomas Moore on Gathering the Light

    Gathering the Light  A Jungian View of Meditation
    by V. Walter Odajnyk

    The following is Thomas Moore's Foreword to Gathering the Light:

    In its basic forms meditation is simply something that human beings do. We stop before a beautiful sunset and take it in as a deep aesthetic experience. We hear bad news and stop and think through all its implications and feel its impact on our emotions. We walk in a forest and can’t help but get quiet to be part of the natural world around us. We think through our problems and wonder about our future and consider the past.

    Spiritual traditions offer ways to make these simple, primal ways of meditating more formal and more effective. More sophisticated ways of meditating take us deep and have an even greater impact on our emotions, worldview and sense of self. They calm us not just by quieting the body and the mind, but by cleansing the impurities of our psychological and spiritual condition, a point made by that well-known champion of meditation and the dark night of the soul, John of the Cross.

    If you have read C. G. Jung’s memoir Memories, Dreams, Reflections, you will have eavesdropped on a remarkable man who, perhaps more than any other 20th century person, used many methods, internal and external, to explore his soul. Many readers are surprised to find what they thought was an autobiography to be slight on facts and heavy with internal images and experiences. Jung explored and mapped and named the inhabitants of the inner world with a ferocity of imagination rarely seen. All the while, he connected his discoveries and inventions to the discipline of psychology and to the religious, occult and spiritual traditions of the world.

    So it makes sense to relate our efforts to meditate with Jung’s writings, especially with his notions of Self, his alchemical studies and his special method of active imagination. Having not worked this idea through for myself, after studying Jung intensely for many years, I was surprised and happy to see it done so enthusiastically and intelligently in this remarkable book by Walter Odajnyk.

    When contemporary psychology confronts meditation, it often moves in a reductive direction, like telling us that certain parts of the brain are lighting up when a person enters deep focus. But Jung was not your typical psychologist. He had a vast and detailed interest in religious and spiritual issues and for the most part didn’t reduce the spiritual to the psychological. Or, if he did come close to it on occasion, generally he tried to elevate psychology through an enthusiastic appreciation of religion and opened up the meaning of religious rites and imagery with his own rich brand of psychologizing. As a former member of a Catholic religious order, I found his writings on the Mass and on the Virgin Mary enlightening and enriching.

    This book also makes interesting comparisons between psychotherapy and transcendent forms of meditation. There is much to learn here about the two processes, one sorting out the psyche and the other reaching into transpersonal realms. In my own favored language, I would say that there is a spiritual form of meditating that takes us beyond ourselves and a soul meditating that remains close to life and personality, using art, images, ritual and nature as aids to contemplation.

    Jung tells a fascinating story of his discovery of alchemy and its usefulness to his own life and to his work. In the first relevant dream he found himself in a wing of his house he didn’t know existed. It contained a library of esoteric books. Then he found himself locked up in the 17th century, the time when European alchemy flourished. I find it an exciting and fruitful idea to use alchemy as the basis for a special kind of meditation, and you have the fundamentals in this book.

    Alchemy provides us with particular images for the materials, processes, and phases of soul work. Jung began with the Secret of the Golden Flower, and so it’s appropriate that it is the focus of this book. Today especially, a time of thorough materialism in science and psychology, we have to extract the soul from the many literal and purely physical ideas we have about human life. You might say that a primary purpose of meditation is to recover our souls from being lost and stuck and covered over with ideas that are too thick for the subtleties of soul work.

    Most people who know a little about Jung are familiar with the notion of the psychological complex and the archetype. These are essential elements in a Jungian therapy that helps a person get freed from the dominance of a particular complex or archetype. Professor Odajnyk makes the important point that meditation is an effective way to contact the complexes and to reach the archetypal level of experience. I can imagine it having a useful role in the therapeutic analysis of the psyche. I might even go so far as to say that at times therapy itself is a kind of meditation. Dream work, for instance, takes you deep into reflection on images that are full of interest and relevance because they shed so much light on the underworld of our daily experience.

    I welcome the re-appearance of this book because generally people focus on the technical aspects of meditating and not so much on the processes and fantasies of the psyche that are involved. I wouldn’t recommend a purely Jungian style of meditating, but Jungian ideas can enrich the experience and importantly bring the deep psyche into the picture. Sometimes people become so focused on their spiritual progress that they neglect the deep soul.
    As you read this subtle, carefully thought-out book, you might draw simple lessons for yourself that you can apply to your meditations. You might expand your very notion of what meditation is and how to go about it. In a more general sense, you might begin to reconcile soul and spirit in your life, achieving one of the primary goals of alchemy. Imagine this book lying open in a warm, shadowy and mysterious laboratory of the soul. It offers you guidance and a few recipes for becoming a deeper and more soulful person.

    You have just read Thomas Moore's Foreword to V. Walter Odajnyk's
    Gathering the Light: A Jungian View of Meditation.

    About the Author
    V. Walter Odajnyk, Ph.D. is a Jungian analyst, and serves as a Core Faculty member and is the Research Coordinator for Pacifica Graduate Institute's Mythological Studies Program.
    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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    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    Drawing a Line in the Sand

    Drawing a Line in the Sand and 
    Cultivating the Unlived Promise 
    of Your Creativity . . .

    Listen to Bonnie Bright Interview Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

    Bonnie Bright is the founder of Depth Psychology Alliance, a central gathering place, a global village for academic discussion, research, and development of Depth Psychology ideas and views as well as a place to connect with like-minded colleagues, old and new. As the first online community of its kind, it is quickly building a powerful collection of content and methods, enabling Depth Psychology to emerge more fully into the everyday world.

    Naomi Ruth Lowinsky is a Jungian analyst and the author of several books, including The Sister From Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way, and her latest poetry collection Adagio & Lamentation. Visit Naomi's blog at and read about the many forms of the muse.
    Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting-Edge Fiction, and a growing list of alternative titles.
    • International Shipping.
    • Credit Cards Accepted.
    • Phone Orders Welcomed. Toll free in the US & Canada: 1-800-228-9316 International +1-831-238-7799 skype: fisher_king_press