Sunday, December 28, 2008

Press Release: The 21st Century Man

Resurrecting the Unicorn: Masculinity in the 21st CenturyDecember 29, 2008

Fisher King Press Announced today,

Now available:

Resurrecting the Unicorn: Masculinity in the 21st Century


A few months ago, Bud Harris phoned and we visited about the possibility of bringing one of his publications back into production. "What’s the title?" I asked. “Emasculation of the Unicorn: The loss and rebuilding of Masculinity in America,” Bud answered. My knees shuttered a bit before I crossed my legs. “We did quite well with this book and it has even been translated into Spanish,” Bud explained. “Well, send a copy and we’ll have a look,” I answered, thinking, holy Moses, how the heck are we gonna sell a book entitled the emasculation of anything?

The Unicorn arrived a week or so later. After reading the first 15 to 20 pages I was thoroughly convinced that this book had been written and originally published before its time, in an era when men were reading Robert Bly’s Iron John and desperately gathering in vain at weekend retreats in hopes of reclaiming their lost masculinity, in an era when we were just beginning to understand that something wasn’t quite right—when we were just beginning to realize that things were out of balance. The men's movement of the 90s withered and fell along the wayside, as so many fads do, but the issues at hand did not go away—instead, they faded back into shadowland. But as we know, sooner or later, these discarded images come back to haunt us, and that’s where Resurrecting the Unicorn comes into play.

In the present day, our culture's evolving masculine spirit seems to be sputtering out. Many 21st century men have been raised by women—without a masculine role model—and what they've learned about being a man has been defined by their mothers, wives, and outdated or distorted concepts from the 20th century feminist movement. As is the case for both men and women, without a strong masculine image our souls become fragmented and we lose our way. When we are in such a state of confusion and imbalance, we must begin again to search for the Holy Grail. The Grail is the symbolic container of the psycho-spiritual contents that can nourish, balance, and renew our lives.

All the compensatory posturing, chest-pounding or drum-beating in the world won't revive this great masculine spirit! This can only be accomplished by developing a deeper relationship to soul. The mental landscape of metaphors—dreams, stories, myths, fairy tales—deal with the eternal truths of human nature and are the language of soul. In Resurrecting the Unicorn, Bud Harris guides us deep into the realm of metaphors where we can examine the evolution and development of human consciousness and reclaim discarded, yet much needed, aspects of our humanity.

Bud Harris is a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zürich, Switzerland. He and his wife, Massimilla Harris, are practicing Jungian analysts in Asheville, NC. Dr. Harris is the author of several publications including Sacred Selfishness: A Guide to Living a Life of Substance and The Fire and the Rose: The Wedding of Spirituality and Sexuality.

Fisher King books are available directly from Fisher King Press. Attention Booksellers and Libraries, our titles are available to you directly from Fisher King Press with industry standard discounts.

Resurrecting the Unicorn: Masculinity in the 21st Century
ISBN 978-0-9810344-0-9

Also available as a kindle edition


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Press Release: The Creative Soul

With Great Pleasure, Fisher King Press announced:

Available February 14th, 2009

The Creative Soul: Art and the Quest for Wholeness
by Lawrence H. Staples

Who we most deeply are is mirrored in our artistic work. Our need for mirroring simultaneously attracts us to and repels us from our creative callings and relationships. It is one of life’s great dilemmas.

Artist’s block and lover’s block flow from the same pool. Often, we fear deeply the very thing needed to create original art, to experience intimate relationships and to live authentic lives: we are frightened by the impulse to be fully revealed to ourselves, and to others, as this most often entails exposing the unacceptable shadowy aspects of our humanity and risking rejection.

Mirrors in all their manifold guises permit us to safely see and experience ourselves in reflection and become better acquainted with the rejected, ostracized aspects of our personalities. Creative work is one of the few places where we can truly express and witness lost aspects of our authentic selves.

Within us a treasure beckons. This is what we spend our lives pursuing. What slows and distracts us is not the object we long for, but where we search. To find this precious gem, we must eventually return to our own creative spirits.

Topics explored in THE CREATIVE SOUL include:
  • OPPOSITES AND CREATIVITY
  • THE CREATIVE INSTINCT
  • OUR UNIQUE IDENTITY
  • SOME ELEMENTS OF CREATIVITY
  • SOME PREREQUISITES OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS
  • LA PETITE MORT
  • GIVING VOICE TO THE MANY LIVES WITHIN
  • DREAMS AND ACTIVE IMAGINATION AS TRIGGERS TO CREATIVITY
  • CREATIVITY AS AN INNER PARENT
  • CREATIVITY WITHIN BOUNDS
  • THE CREATIVE GAP
  • THE POWER OF SMALL
  • CREATIVITY AND INDEPENDENCE
  • ART AND THE QUEST FOR WHOLENESS
  • THERAPY AS ART
  • FEAR OF SELF-REVELATION BLOCKS CREATIVITY
  • INTIMACY AND CREATIVITY
  • THE IMPORTANCE OF MIRRORING
  • CREATIVITY, GUILT, AND SELF-DEVELOPMENT
  • CREATIVITY AND LONELINESS
  • LIFE AND THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES
Available from your local bookstore, from a host of online booksellers, and directly from Fisher King Press: The Creative Soul: Art and the Quest for Wholeness by Lawrence H. Staples / ISBN 13: 978-0-9810344-4-7 / Publication Date: Feb-2009 / Order your copy by calling  +1-831-238-7799.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Reliable 21st Century Companion

Menopause Mana review of Menopause Man 
USA Today by Grady Harp


"Mel Mathews is a sensitive observer of the human condition, with an emphasis on the Male Human Condition of our time. He has created a character in Malcolm Clay that is a baby boomer Holden Caulfield, a variation on John Updike's Rabbit Angstrom, and he manages to take us by the hand and lead us through the bumpy terrain of current interpersonal relationships as well as anyone writing today.

"We first met Malcolm Clay in Mathews' first novel 'LeRoi' as a middle aged man trapped in a successful but boring occupation who becomes stranded in a dusty little truck stop where he is forced to slow his pace to adjust to the fertile characters he created there. Well, now Malcolm is living in Carmel, California, having been divorced, forgoing his childhood entrapping religious heritage, traipsing through many brief and physically oriented affairs while deciding to change his life as an alcoholic tractor salesman to that of a reformed AA writer ('..he didn't think anyone should be called an addict, alcoholic, codependent, or any other of the pathologized clinical diagnosis that propelled a person into another lie'). His existence is populated in this gorgeous coastline area of California by all manner of women and men whose connection to life is through tenuous strings tied to fairly shallow buoys. Most of the novel is conversational, with Malcolm discovering the intrinsic personality defects of characters ranging from his landlady Mrs. Shams to men on the make to physical therapist Jenny who manages to keep a physical distance between the lusty but controlled Malcolm and her fragile, purging diet, Zen-like self.

"What Malcolm discovers in this 'quasi-rake's progress' is his inner feminine 'who has been waiting for me to come for her so that she can breathe new life into me, animate me, and give me a new meaning.' Women 'never lied because of the devastating moral injustices it caused. Instead of lying, they just accidentally forgot to tell the important stuff'. All this is a journey so well written that the novel calls for pause to enjoy the sheer ebullience of the verbiage. Mel Mathews is a fine writer, finding his way through life in these times. He is a reliable companion on the trek we all are taking. And now on to the next volume in the series, 'SamSara', addictively!" by Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Powerful Kick at the American Way of Life

The Chronicles of a Wandering Soul: Book One - LeRoi
"LeRoi is ostensibly a novel, and not overtly psychological, but it lays bare the psychic plight of a middle-aged salesman looking for meaning. It is a powerful kick at the American way of life—ambition, success, money and power—but it is redemptive in the narrator's search for internal Eros and an outer relationship he can trust himself to believe in."
—Daryl Sharp, Publisher, Inner City Books

visit www.melmathews.com to learn more about LeRoi and The Chronicles of a Wandering Soul series.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Two new Inner City publications

Inner City Books has added two new titles to their extensive list of publications of Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analyst. 

Jung Uncorked Book Three: Rare Vintages from the Cellar of Analytical Psychology

Decanted with commentaries by DARYL SHARP

ISBN 978189457242. (Book 3) Index 128 pp. 2008. $25.00
C.G. Jung died in 1961 at the age of 86, but his legacy lives on. His writings are like fine, full-bodied wines-they mature with age, as do we all if we pay sufficient attention to ourselves.

This book continues the acclaimed series explicating different essays in Jung's Collected Works (CW) together with the author's experiential commentaries on their psychological significance and contemporary relevance. The selections here are of course just the tip of the wine cellar, so to speak, that is Jung's legacy and, by extension, the backdrop to the attitude toward the psyche that generally informs the modern practice of analytical psychology.

Jung Uncorked now comprises three Books. In order to cover Jung's wide range of interests, the chapters in each book deal with one essay from each volume of the Collected Works, sequentially from CW 1 to CW 18. Book One explicates and comments on essays from CW volumes 1-9i. Book Two does the same with CW volumes 9ii to 18. Book Three begins anew, with these contents:

1) Cryptomnesia, 2) On the Doctrine of Complexes, 3) On Psychological Understanding, 4) Freud and Jung: Contrasts, 5) The Battle for Deliverance from the Mother, 6) Psychological Types, 7) The Synthetic or Constructive Method, 8) The Stages of Life, 9i) Concerning Rebirth
Daryl Sharp is a Zurich-trained analyst, publisher of Inner City Books, and author of many other titles in this general Series. He lives and practices in Toronto, Canada.

Title 123 in the Series: STUDIES IN JUNGIAN PSYCHOLOGY BY JUNGIAN ANALYSTS


Body and Soul: The Other Side of Illness - 2nd Edition

by Albert Kreinheder
ISBN 9781894574259. Index. 128 pp. 2008. $25.00
Informed by the author's personal experience of cancer, arthritis and tuberculosis over many years, Body and Soul is unique, unlike anything Inner City has ever published. Unusual in both style and tone, it is essentially a feeling-intuitive approach to physical illness, dramatically illustrating the symbolic attitude, individuation and active imagination with the body.

Body and Soul reflects a life well and truly lived in relation to the Self. It is deceptively simple and straight from the heart: no nonsense, no footnotes.

From the Foreword by William O. Walcott:

"Amazingly, in this day of psychobabble passing for science, Kreinheder has written a supremely readable book (many chapters read like prose poetry) about the body and the psyche without it being 'psychological.' He understood that the essence of human experience is not psychological and rational; it is something ineffable and immediate, passionate and painful, spiritual and profane, that must be both endured and celebrated.

"This book is a last testament of a dying man, a man with profound insight-but it is about life and living."

Albert Kreinheder, Ph.D., was a Jungian analyst in Los Angeles for more than 25 years. He studied English literature at Syracuse University (B.A. and M.A.) and received a doctorate in clinical psychology from the Claremont Graduate School. Over the years he served the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles as Director of Training, Chairman of the Certifying Board and President. He died of cancer in 1990, at the age of 76.

Title No. 124 in the Series: STUDIES IN JUNGIAN PSYCHOLOGY BY JUNGIAN ANALYSTS

Order by calling Toll Free Canada & the US 1-800-228-9316, International calls: +1-831-238-7799.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Donkeys & Elephants Unplugged: The Psychology of

What better way of celebrating the end of an era than by paying tribute to the Elephant!

Jungian Psychology Unplugged: My Life as an Elephant by Daryl Sharp is a warm, humorous, entertaining and beautifully written book that gives an overview of Jungian Psychology . . . That's right, warm, humorous, entertaining, beautifully written, and a psychology book.

My Life as an Elephant is comprised of six chapters. Chapter one addresses Jung's Basic model of Psychological Types. Chapter two deals with 'Getting to know Yourself' and explains the basics of archetypes and complexes, persona, shadow . . . Chapter three, 'The Unknown Other' is about projection and identification, including the challenges involved with intimacy and relationships. Chapter four deals with the 'Anatomy of a Midlife Crisis' which is most often fueled by the need to develop a relationship with one's self, or with the unexpressed aspects of our personalities that have not been honored and given a voice earlier in life. In chapter five Daryl Sharp writes about the analytical experience, including his own, which I found most refreshing. All to often, one will pick up a psychology or self-help book in hopes of finding a recipe to improve one's life. That's not what happens in Jungian Psychology Unplugged: My life as an Elephant. Instead, in vulnerable fashion, Daryl Sharp shares some of his more personal moments during the period when he was seeking council. The author well knows that another person's recipe is worthless when it comes to finding one's self and living an authentic life, and he doesn't pretend to be an authority and try to prove otherwise. Chapter six is about Psychological Development, the process of becoming more conscious by developing a relationship to one's soul. Sharp addresses the need to be true to our vocations, our true callings in life, and venerates those who have the courage to do just this--listening and being true to one's inner voice.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Intimacy, Fear and Creativity

by Lawrence H. Staples
author of Guilt with a Twist

The resistance a patient experiences in painting on this canvas that lies between him and the analyst, or in attempting otherwise to paint or write while in analysis, is similar to what artists experience when they encounter a block. They have touched and activated some thought or feeling that scared them. They will remain blocked until the unconscious thought or feeling is made conscious and dealt with. What scared them often turns out to be a fear that is appropriate to and belongs to childhood, but that continues unconsciously. What scares artists and causes them to block is often the fear of revealing in their art a secret about themselves. It is a fear of self-revelation, a fear of revealing something that was dangerously unacceptable to their parents. They are not conscious of what is frightening them because the fearful thing might seem silly or frivolous. Dealing with this issue is the job of analysis. Analysis tries to depotentiate these fears, allowing the individual to see them for what they are, often just a spook.

The Creative Soul: Art and the Quest for WholenessI have worked with a number of creative people who entered analysis because they were blocked. Something had frightened them or hurt them or made them feel so vulnerable that they could no longer risk going outside the fence, where the opposites they needed for their creative work were. Their need for safety was keeping them in the safe zone. Thus, they were separated from the stones they needed to finish the work they had started. Usually, with sufficient encouragement and mirroring, their comfort level with the opposites returned and they were able to go back outside, where lay the stones needed to complete their job.

A letter from a former patient, a multi-talented artist who had finished his work with me, helped make me more conscious of and understand more fully the etiology of the resistance to and the blocking of our creative work, whether in analysis or in other art forms. This former patient shared with me the profound insight that what blocks us in our art is essentially what blocks us in our relationships.

He was struggling with his painting when he wrote to me: “Our talks about the fear of intimacy in relationships come to mind when I find myself frustrated in my creative work and begin to think to myself, ‘Yeah, it is just getting difficult and you want to bail out on something that you actually have feelings for and are afraid of going deeper.’” He had perceived a connection between creative work and relationships that is far from obvious. Reflecting on his comments, I realized how rich his insight was.

Reflecting on his comments, I realized how rich his insight was. He was right; it is fear of intimacy that blocks our commitment to and deep engagement to both art and relationships. Intimacy means fully revealing and expressing our selves to others. It is intimacy, deep self-revelation that renders both art and relationships authentic. We resist intimacy and the authenticity it produces because we fear fully revealing our selves to others. We are afraid we will be unacceptable, criticized, and rejected. And we fear revealing ourselves to our self.

Because our art is a reflected image of our selves, the potential rejection of our art is as terrifying as the potential rejection of our selves in a relationship. Rejection is a threat of annihilation in both. No wonder we are tempted to hide our selves or to run away or, as my patient remarked, “bail out” of both. No wonder we are tempted to keep our paintings, our writing, or other artistic output safely ensconced out of sight in a drawer or cupboard. No wonder it keeps us from submitting our art for exhibition or our writing to a publisher. Even worse, it is often what separates us from our paintbrushes, word processors, or other tools of the trade.

Instead of doing creative work and exposing it to the world we go drinking, fishing, or screwing. Such diversions, if they replace our creative artistic work, eventually result in thoughts of suicide. There is only one way to relieve or expunge those thoughts—creative production. If we are lucky, we eventually will be able to engage in both authentic art and authentic relationships before we die.

Guilt with a Twist: The Promethean WayThe idea of revealing our selves to others is like parading naked before others, and both are scary. It makes no difference whether this revealing of ourselves is represented in a physical, mental, spiritual, or symbolic form. We fear the guilt and shame that will ensue if any representation is judged to be bad. It is a feared attack on our self-worth, on the very foundations of our being. It is the ultimate block to our creativity or activity, or at least, that is how it seems. This fear is one reason why it is often easier to be successful in conventional terms—in business, law, or medicine—than to be successful in art or relationships. Being successful in conventional areas often depends upon concealing large parts of one’s self, while success in art most often involves revealing large parts of one’s self. Thus, the very thing that makes bad art and bad relationships may make good business.

My patient’s note crystallized for me the important connection between art and relationships. The more I thought about what he said the more I could see that they have much in common. Both good art and good relationships depend on and result from a creative activity that flows from our deepest realm. They are, in fact, identical from the standpoint of the underlying creative principles and processes that give them life. They are similarly conceived, formed, and developed. It follows, then, that good art and good relationships depend on the same things, and they both require creative effort of the highest order, effort that may be intense and may need a prolonged gestation period. And they both require profound intimacy, both with one’s self and others, if they are to be really good.

We create great relationships only when we fully reveal our selves; we create great art only when we truly reveal our selves. Art and relationships require the same nutrients to grow. If we want our art and our relationships to be strong and beautiful, we must feed them intimacy, which is what makes both of them thrive. Thus, the quality of our art and the quality of our relationships depend on the degree to which we accomplish this feat of intimate self-revelation. The more that they reflect our selves the better they are.

This is why we simultaneously both fear and fall in love with our relationships and our art. We see our selves in both of them. Christ’s command that we love our neighbors as our selves would be a meaningless and empty phrase if we could not first love our selves. We cannot love our selves if we cannot know our selves. Both relationships and art help us know our selves by mirroring and reflecting back to us who we are.

As we have noted, however, life presents us with a great paradox. We fear deeply the very thing that we need if we are to create good art and good relationships. Artist’s block and lover’s block flow from the same pool and result from the same dynamics. For reasons described throughout my book we are frightened by the impulse to reveal our selves fully, because it always means revealing the unacceptable parts of our selves. To find and reveal our selves fully, we must breach the fence with which convention surrounds us, and incur guilt. Doing this requires great courage and a high tolerance for pain.

It is painful because to do so is to expose parts of our selves that got us into trouble with or caused us to be rejected. There was trouble when we expressed unacceptable feelings, like: “I am afraid” or “I need you” or “I miss you” or “Please leave the lights on” or “Please don’t leave me alone” or “I hate you” or “Go to hell.” There is a huge range of negative feelings that were disallowed and we are afraid to expose them because we do not want to be rejected by touching the same hot stove that burned us when we were kids. We want people to love our art and us, but we fear that they will reject both if we truly reveal who we are and what we feel. How could we feel otherwise? That was a burn that still hurts.

Parents were our first image of God, and we harbor well into adulthood, mostly unconsciously, the thought that they are God. For this reason, we viscerally experience the acknowledgment, acceptance, or expression of the forbidden feelings and values as a transgression of God’s will. It is easy to understand why it is so difficult to undo the early damage that parents inflicted and that interfere with our deep need for intimacy. Even the parents themselves were unaware of what was going on.

Relevant is a dream of an analysand several years ago. In the dream, he went into the bathroom at night, in the dark, and stepped on glass that his mother had broken, but not swept up. He cut his feet badly. It cut him and wounded him in an important place: his standpoint. Insecure and domineering parents often cannot tolerate their children subscribing to or expressing a standpoint different from theirs; they demand orthodoxy of feelings, values, and viewpoints. They thus cut the child off from large areas of himself. The cut, as seen in the dream, must heal if the child is to find and know himself fully, develop his own individual standpoint, and express himself intimately in both art and relationships. Whether a cut or a burn, the sensitive wound does not want to be reopened and the fear of pain keeps us at a distance from important parts of our selves.

Thus, to avoid the frightful intimacy that involves fully revealing our selves, we kid our selves into thinking that our art and our relationships depend on finding the “right” person or the “right” art form. We believe that both the problem and its solution lie “out there” instead of “in here,” in our selves. Our capacity for intimacy depends on our capacity to find and accept within our selves the forbidden feelings that we rejected. We simply cannot intimately reveal to others feelings that we our selves do not accept. Finding and accepting those forbidden feelings involves a long process of introspection that is not for the faint of heart.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Oedipus Denied . . . not so fast!

by Mel Mathews

Whether we know it, or not, whether we care to or are able to admit it, every human being is influenced by psychological ‘complexes’. In The Complex: Path of Transformation from Archetype to Ego, Erel Shalit explains the difference between an ‘autonomous complex’ and an integrated complex. Shalit explains, “The fundamental task of the complex is to serve as a vehicle and vessel of transformation…” In other words, psychological complexes are not to be gotten rid of. Quite the contrary, complexes are necessary aspects of our being and when we are able to recognize and develop a dialogue or an ongoing conscious relationship with these complexes, these aspects of our humanity can be expressed and honored in a healthy and often creative manner.

A complex becomes troublesome when it is denied and splits off from our greater whole, as is the case with the Oedipus myth. In studying and deciphering the symbolic meaning of the Oedipus myth, Erel Shalit explains how a complex that has the potential to bring us into living a fuller, more conscious existence, is often denied and splits off into an ‘autonomous’ complex. Denying a complex, an aspect of who we are, does not cause this entity to go away. Instead, the denied castaway becomes ‘autonomous’ energy and unconsciously continues to live a life of its own, often wreaking havoc that is acted out in a host of neurotic symptoms.

In recognizing and welcoming home these prodigal complexes, vital pieces of our beings, we are able to reclaim lost aspects of our souls, and in turn unblock the stymied flow of psychological and creative energy that often gets dammed up and diverted into neurotic symptoms and suffering.

This publication addresses far more than just the Oedipal Complex. Dr. Shalit also delves into the Father Complex and the Mother Complex in both negative and positive forms. Client’s dreams and case studies are also discussed to bring theory into more concrete and practical terms.

For those interested in psychology, myth, religion, and philosophy, but even more so to those who might be suffering from a host of neurotic symptoms, including addictions or obsessive compulsive tendencies, I highly recommend The Complex: Path of Transformation from Archetype to Ego (ISBN 978-0919123991) as well as Erel Shalit’s most recently published book Enemy, Cripple, Beggar: Shadows in the Hero’s Path (ISBN 978-0977607679).

Mel Mathews' book reviews have been published in USA Today and many other notable publications. He is the author of The Chronicles of a Wandering Soul series. His books are available directly from his website at: www.melmathews.com 

© 2008 Mel Mathews - permission to reprint this article is granted

Thursday, July 31, 2008

"What is your original face before you were born?"

Re-Imagining MaryAugust 1st, 2008

Fisher King Press is honored to present another forthcoming Jungian Title:

Re-Imagining Mary: A Journey through Art to the Feminine Self
by Mariann Burke

Artists plumb the depths of soul which Jung calls the collective unconscious, the inheritance of our ancestors’ psychic responses to life’s drama. In this sense the artist is priest, mediating between us and God. The artist introduces us to ourselves by inviting us into the world of image. We may enter this world to contemplate briefly or at length. Some paintings invite us back over and over again and we return, never tiring of them. It is especially these that lead us to the Great Mystery, beyond image. Re-Imagining Mary: A Journey through Art to the Feminine Self is about meeting the Cosmic Mary in image and imagination, the many facets of the Mary image that mirror both outer reality and inner feminine soul. Jungian analyst Mariann Burke offers personal reflections and suggests symbolic meanings in works by several artists including: Fra Angelico, Albrecht Dürer, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Nicolas Poussin, Parmigianino, Duccio di Buoninsegna, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Frederick Franck.

In western Christianity this Mary bears the titles and the qualities worshipped for thousands of years in the Female images of God and Goddess. These titles include Mary as Sorrowful One and as Primordial Mother. Recovering Mary both as light and dark Madonna plays a crucial role in humanity’s search for a divinity who reflects soul. Also discussed is Mary as the sheltering Great Mother that Piero della Francesca suggest in the Madonna del Parto and Mater Misericodia. Frederick Franck's The Original Face and the Medieval Vierge Ouvrante also suggest this motif of Mary as Protector of the mystery of our common Origin. Franck’s inspiration for his sculpture of Mary was the Buddhist koan—"What is your original face before you were born?"

From the Author: “My first meeting with Mary began with an experience of Fra Angelico’s Annunciation (Cortona). I cannot account for my unusual response to the image except to say that, at the time, over twenty years ago, I was studying Jungian psychology in Zürich, Switzerland and was then probably more disposed to respond to the imaginal world. One day as I sat in my basement apartment reflecting on a picture of his Annunciation, energy seemed to surge through me and lift me above myself. Tears brought me to deep center. It was as if I was restored to my truest self. This was an awakening for me—not an ecstasy. Far from leaving my body-self, I seemed to recover it.”

What is spirituality? What does it mean to grow spiritually and psychologically closer to the Feminine Self? How can we begin to see the "outer" image as a manifestation, a projection of the psyche? Can we be challenged by being “betwixt and between” a male dominated Church without a recognized female divinity where God is generally imagined external to the soul and a more feminine depth psychological approach to the Marian mystery and to the Feminine Self? Will we answer the call of the mystic within us? If so, how will we be changed?

Mariann Burke is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Newton, MA. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, Andover-Newton Theological School, and the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. She has done graduate work in Scripture at Union Theological Seminary and La Salle University. Her interests include the body-psyche connection, feminine spirituality, and the psychic roots of Christian symbolism. She is a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ).

Re-Imagining Mary:A Journey through Art to the Feminine Self
ISBN 13: 978-0-9810344-1-6
Psychology / Movements / Jungian
First Edition Trade Paperback
Publication Date: Spring-2009
180 Pages
Author: Mariann Burke
Publisher: Fisher King Press

Fisher King books are available from your local bookstore, a host of online booksellers, or directly from Fisher King Press.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Resurrecting the Unicorn

http://amzn.to/18BK8MUResurrecting the Unicorn—that's what Bud Harris and Fisher King Press have up their sleeves!

A few months ago, Bud Harris phoned and we visited about the possibility of bringing one of his out-of-print titles back into production. "What’s the title?" I asked. “Emasculation of the Unicorn: The loss and rebuilding of Masculinity in America,” Bud answered. My knees shuttered a bit before I crossed my legs. “We did quite well with this book and it has even been translated into Spanish,” Bud explained. “Well, why don’t you send a copy and we’ll have a look,” I answered, thinking, holy Moses, how the heck are we gonna sell a book titled Emasculation of anything?

The Emasculation of the Unicorn arrived a week or so later. After reading the first 15 to 20 pages I was thoroughly convinced that this book had been written and originally published before its time, in an era when men were reading Robert Bly’s Iron John and desperately gathering in vain on weekend retreats in hopes of reclaiming their lost masculinity, in an era when we were just beginning to understand that something wasn’t quite right—when we were just beginning to realize that things were out of balance. The men’s movement of the 90s withered and fell along the wayside, as so many fads do, but the issues at hand did not go away—instead, they faded back into shadowland. But as we know, sooner or later, these discarded images come back to haunt us, and that’s where Bud Harris, Fisher King Press, and a revised edition of the Unicorn, Resurrecting the Unicorn comes into play to pick up the scattered pieces that were left behind in the 20th century.

Unicorns, being strong and wild, are usually associated with the lion, the eagle, and the dragon. Ancient stories of the unicorn exist in almost every culture: in the world of the Old Testament, in Persia, India, China, as well as in the West. In one legend the unicorn was so strong and independent it refused to enter the ark and swam throughout the flood. It was also believed that the horn of the unicorn signified health, strength and happiness, and to drink from it cured or provided immunity to incurable diseases.

During the Middle Ages the unicorn symbolized the creative masculine spirit, so fierce and powerful that only a virgin could tame him and only then through deception. When we speak of the unicorn and the virgin, we are speaking of two great sets of psychological opposites, the masculine and feminine principles seeking balance and reconciliation. The unicorn represents male vitality, the rampant and penetrating force of the masculine spirit. The virgin represents his receptive feminine aspect.

Myth tells us that through the virgin's deception, the unicorn was delivered into the hands of human hunters who killed and allowed its red blood to flow. From this betrayal the uni-corn was transformed and resurrected; he became the powerful energy contained in the virgin's holy garden next to the Tree of Life. So, reviving a healthy masculine spirit does not entail denying our feminine natures—quite the contrary. Honoring both of these inter-dependent aspects of our psyches is vital to living a balanced life.

In the present day, our culture's evolving masculine spirit seems to be sputtering out. We began with that powerful, creative spirit, and somewhere along our path, phallus has been rendered impotent. The unicorn, that wondrous masculine symbol, has been reduced to a limp-horned stuffed animal found in novelty stores—or worse yet, discarded to a dusty old shelf of a second-hand thrift shop.

Resurrecting the Unicorn addresses the impoverished state of masculinity in the 21st century. Without a strong masculine image, our souls become fragmented and we lose our way. In fact, this is how many men feel today—and women, too—as we all have these inner components. When we are in such a state of psychological confusion and imbalance, we must begin again to search for the "Holy Grail." The Grail is the symbolic container of the psycho-spiritual contents that can nourish, balance, and renew our lives.

All the compensatory posturing, chest-pounding or drum-beating in the world won't revive this great masculine spirit! This can only be accomplished by developing a deeper relationship to soul. The mental landscape of metaphors—dreams, stories, myths, fairy tales—deal with the eternal truths of human nature and are the language of soul. In Resurrecting the Unicorn, Bud Harris guides us deep into the realm of metaphors so we can examine the evolution and development of human consciousness and reclaim discarded, yet much needed, aspects of our humanity.

Bud Harris is a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zürich, Switzerland. He and his wife, Massimilla Harris, are practicing Jungian analyst in Asheville, NC. Dr. Harris is the author of several publications including Sacred Selfishness: A Guide to Living a Life of Substance and The Fire and the Rose: The Wedding of Spirituality and Sexuality.


Resurrecting the Unicorn: Masculinity in the 21st Century
ISBN 13: 978-0-9810344-0-9
Psychology / Movements / Jungian
Trade Paperback
Publication Date: Nov-2008
Price: $25.00
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
300 Pages
Author: Bud Harris, Ph.D.
Publisher: Fisher King Press

Fisher King books are available directly from Fisher King Press. Attention Booksellers and Libraries, our titles are available to you directly from Fisher King Press with industry standard discounts.
Resurrecting the Unicorn: Masculinity in the 21st Century
by Bud Harris —ISBN 978-0-9810344-0-9

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hang on to your Belief Systems

Hang on to your Belief Systems. They are about to be Challenged! —By Grady Harp

Now and then along comes a book that opens our eyes to viewing the world from a completely new perspective, and after reading such a book, the way we react to events in our lives is altered—for the better. Such is the experience that happens to the reader fortunate enough to encounter GUILT WITH A TWIST: THE PROMETHEAN WAY by Dr. Lawrence H. Staples, a Jungian psychoanalyst who just happens to write very well indeed!

In Dr. Staples’ words: "We have to sin and incur guilt if we are to grow and reach our full potential." He goes on to explain that the message of this book "is inspired and informed by the myth of Prometheus. Myth tells us Prometheus stole fire from the gods and made it available for use by humans. He suffered for his sin. Zeus had him chained to a rock where an eagle pecked and tore daily at his liver. But human society would have suffered if he had not committed it. Thus, the life of Prometheus portrays a mythological model for guilt that is different from the conventional view. The Promethean model of guilt suggests the importance of sinning and incurring guilt in order to obtain needed—but forbidden things."

Staples explains how our conventional view of guilt keeps us 'good', providing a safe fence behind which we can function without the fear of doing bad things. But he quickly dismantles that belief by citing examples from not only mythical but also historical figures whose 'sins' resulted in changes that benefited society as a whole. His theory is that if we cannot sin and suffer guilt, we cannot fully develop our potential as human beings. Often, by taking the risk of sinning against conventional norms and incurring guilt we can become unique givers to the whole of society and potentially be the catalyst of great change, as in the case of Prometheus.

Though Dr. Staples' thoughts and ideas at first appear to be challenging, acceptance of thinking outside the box results in recognizing the potential that is in each of us: sin > guilt > change. As Staples summarizes it: "Life inevitably confronts us with the Promethean dilemma: Do we live our lives without fire and the heat and light it provides or do we sin, and subsequently incur guilt, in order to obtain for ourselves and for society those important changes and developments that we need?" While the content of this book demands the reader's full attention, the possibilities for changing not only ourselves, but also society, seem endless. —Grady Harp, April 08

In addition to the USA Today, WNBC, and BloggingAuthors.com, Grady Harp's reviews appear on Barnes & Noble, Soapadoo, Powells Books, and he is an Amazon.com Top Ten reviewer!!

Guilt with a Twist by Lawrence H. Staples —ISBN 097760764X

Learn more about Lawrence Staples and his recently published book Guilt with a Twist at GoodGuilt.com. Order directly from Fisher King Press. Attention Booksellers and Libraries, our titles are available to you directly from Fisher King Press with industry standard discounts.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Press Release: Enemy, Cripple & Beggar by Erel Shalit

Press Release  

Fisher King Press announced:


Available July 15th, 2008


Enemy, Cripple, Beggar: Shadows in the Hero’s Path
By Erel Shalit


In Enemy, Cripple, Beggar, Erel Shalit provides new thoughts and views on the concepts of Hero and Shadow. From a Jungian perspective, this Fisher King Press publication elaborates on mythological and psychological images. Myths and fairy tales explored include Perseus and Andersen’s ‘The Cripple.’ You’ll also enjoy the psychological deciphering of Biblical stories such as Amalek—The Wicked Warrior, Samson—The Impoverished Sun, and Jacob & the Divine Adversary. With the recent discovery of The Gospel of Judas, Dr. Shalit also delves into the symbolic relationship between Jesus and Judas Iscariot to illustrate the hero-function’s inevitable need of a shadow. Clinical material concerning a case of a powerful erotic counter-transference is also an integral part of this deeply insightful body of work.

The Hero is that aspect of our psyche, or in society, who dares to venture into the unknown, into the shadow of the unconscious, bringing us in touch with the darker aspects in our soul and in the world. In fact, it is the hero whom we send each night into the land of dreams to bring home the treasures of the unconscious. He, or no less she, will have to struggle with the Enemy that so often is mis-projected onto the detested Other, learn to care and attend to the Cripple who carries our crippling complexes and weaknesses, and develop respect for the shabby Beggar to whom we so often turn our backs—for it is the ‘beggar in need’ who holds the key to our inner Self.

In Enemy, Cripple & Beggar: Shadows in the Hero’s Path, as with Erel Shalit’s previous book, The Complex: Path of Transformation from Archetype to Ego, alternative comprehensive views of the Shadow and the Hero images are provided and theory further explored. In addition to analysts and Jungian oriented psychotherapists and clinicians, Enemy, Cripple & Beggar can be comfortably read by an informed lay public interested in Analytical Psychology and by those interested in the interface between psychology and mythology, and psychology and religion.

Erel Shalit is a Jungian psychoanalyst in Ra’anana, Israel. He is a training and supervising analyst, and past president of the Israel Society of Analytical Psychology. He is the author of several publications, including The Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel and The Complex: Path of Transformation from Archetype to Ego. Articles of his have appeared in journals such as Quadrant, The Jung Journal, Spring Journal, Political Psychology, Clinical Supervisor, Round Table Review, Jung Page, Midstream and he has entries in The Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. Dr. Shalit lectures at professional institutes, universities and cultural forums in Israel, Europe and the United States.

Enemy, Cripple & Beggar —isbn 978-0-9776076-7-9
Order directly from Fisher King Press

To learn more about Erel Shalit and his many publications visit www.eshalit.com

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Highly Recommended by Midwest Book Review: 'Guilt with a Twist'

Guilt can be a bad thing at times, as it stands to prevent people from doing what needs to be done , June 15, 2008 —By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) - Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars

“Is guilt nature's way of making mankind not wrong one another, even more so than the laws and customs of civilized society? That's what "Guilt With a Twist", the many years' work of a clinical psychoanalyst and Ph.D holder Lawrence H. Staples, claims. Staples argues that guilt can be a bad thing at times, when it prevents people from doing what needs to be done - such as cutting off an abusive family member, or encouraging people to help themselves. A comprehensive look at guilt, "Guilt with a Twist" is highly recommended for community library psychology collections and for anyone who wants a better understanding of humanity's natural moral alarm.”—Midwest Book Review

Guilt with a Twist by Lawrence H. Staples —ISBN 097760764X

Lawrence Staples is a 76 year-old psychoanalyst, still actively practicing in Washington, DC. After receiving AB and MBA degrees from Harvard, Lawrence spent the next 22 years with a Fortune 500 company, where he became an officer and a corporate vice president. When he was 50, he made a midlife career change and entered the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich, Switzerland, where he spent nine years in training to become a psychoanalyst. Lawrence has a Ph.D. in psychology and a Diploma in Analytical Psychology from the Zurich Institute. Learn more about Lawrence Staples and his recently published book Guilt with a Twist.

Order directly from Fisher King Press.

Attention Booksellers and Libraries, FKP titles are available to you with industry standard discounts.