Sunday, September 25, 2011

News Release: The Cycle of Life

With Great Pleasure, Fisher King Press presents another fine Jungian publication by Erel Shalit.

The Cycle of Life: Themes and Tales of the Journey


“The art of life is the most distinguished and rarest of all the arts.”  
—C.G. Jung, CW 8, par. 789.

The Cycle of Life explores the patterns that unfold over the course of our lives, as we set out to find our place in the world, in our efforts to live authentically, and in our search for home—that place within ourselves that can so easily be neglected or disregarded in this fast-paced modern world.

In the first half of life, the task of the young traveler is to depart from home, to adventure out into the world to find his or her own individual path. However, in the second half, we find ourselves on what often amounts to a very long journey in search of Home. In many a tale, the hero, for instance Gilgamesh, sets off on his road to find life’s elixir, while other stories, such as the Odyssey, revolve around the hero’s long and arduous journey home. Many are also familiar with the journey of Dante, who at the very beginning of his Divine Comedy finds himself “Midway along the journey of our life.”

The archetypal journey of life is constantly reenacted in the never-ending process of individuation. We find ourselves returning to this venture repeatedly, every night, as we set out on our voyage into the landscape of our unconscious. Many dreams begin by being on the way, for instance: I am on my way to … I am driving on a road that leads into the desert … I am walking through one room after the other in a long corridor-like building … I am walking towards my office, but it looks different than in reality … I walk on the pavement and on the opposite side of the street someone seems to be following me … I go down into an underground parking … I am in my car, but someone I don’t know is driving,” or, I have to go to the place from where I came …

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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 Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel, 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: 200 pages
Publisher: Fisher King Press; First edition (Sept 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1926715500
ISBN-13: 978-1926715506
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

    "The Grail Wound: Healing the Split between Father and Son, Eros and the Beloved"



    Ken Kimmel, Jungian Analyst talk at CG Jung Society Seattle, Sep. 16, 2011 entitled, "The Grail Wound: Healing the Split between Father and Son, Eros and the Beloved" at his new book launch for Eros and the Shattering Gaze.

    The thirteenth century Grail Legend of Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach tells of a young knight's quest to reunite with the Fisher King and heal his wound. It stands as a powerful Western metaphor for men's transcendence of narcissism, entrapment in the mother complex, and depression. Parzival's trial mirrors contemporary man's encounter with the shadow that wounds his grandiosity. Deeper truths are revealed that expose the shame he must endure to heal his heart, learn to love, and become a man both humble and resilient. These rich themes are drawn from Ken's book, Eros and the Shattering Gaze: Transcending Narcissism, that address the struggles of these men and the women who have loved and been wounded by them. The author describes, through the lens of the story the transcendent image of compassion emerging in men severed from their feelings and relationships, that resolves the split between their erotic needs for self-satisfaction, and desire for the Beloved—that trace of the Divine in the other.
    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

      Monday, September 19, 2011

      "Deep Blues - Relational Healing" by Mark Winborn


      The blues have been close to my heart since I was about 13 or 14 years old. I didn’t know why I was attracted to the blues but I knew it resonated with something in me as soon as I heard it. The gritty, visceral, deep feel of the blues expressed something for me that I couldn't express for myself.  Some have even referred to the blues as the "education of the heart."

      This blues is about hearing and resonating with the pain, suffering, joy, or sadness in the voice of the singer.  The understanding of the blues comes through the direct experience of the music rather than through the intellect.  In this respect, understanding the blues is similar to a perspective about images offered by Carl Jung - "Image and meaning are identical . . . the pattern needs no interpretation: it portrays its own meaning."

      It is this universally felt and understood meaning that gives power to the blues for both the performer and the audience.  The music of the blues is the only genre specifically created for the evocation of an emotional response.  In fact, the phrase “the blues” refers to both the music and a feeling.  While all forms of music create a connection on an emotional level – it is only with the blues that this becomes the primary focus.  The word “blues” is derived from the term “blue devils” which referred to contrary spirits that hung around and caused sadness.

      The early influences of the blues originate in West Africa, transported to America by African slaves. The first generation of African slaves sang African songs and chants. By the second generation those songs were replaced by work songs with the conditions of their American environment as the focus.  It is impossible to identify when the unique pattern of musical form, now labeled the blues, first emerged. However, most evidence suggests that it originated in the Delta cotton country of northwest Mississippi during the late 1800's from the work songs of former slaves, sharecroppers, and chain gang prisoners.  The music is typically sung from an individual perspective but about issues and emotional experience common to all – for example - lost love, joy, sexuality, rage, sadness, grief, oppression, relief, addiction, migration, or transcendence. 

      When a blues musician refers to himself as a "bluesman" he is not only referring to the type of music he plays but also the type of life he has led and the attitude he has about life. It is in this last sense that the blues begins to comment upon or amplify the anima mundi, or world soul. An awareness of the world soul can be detected in many blues songs,  such as Elmore James’ - The Sky is Crying where the tears of the singer and the tears of the world run together: 

      The sky is crying, look at the tears roll down the street
      I'm waiting in tears for my baby, and I wonder where can she be?
      I saw my baby one morning, and she was walking down the street
      Make me feel so good until my poor heart would skip a beat
      I got a bad feeling, my baby, my baby don't love me no more
      Now the sky been crying, the tears rolling down my door  

                  The blues philosophy, expressed through the music, includes the idea that the blues is something to be accepted; not something to be gotten rid of or fixed.  The blues is experienced, lived through, and survived; not conquered or overcome. One hopes to eventually feel better but the intent is to acknowledge and cope with the deeply visceral experience of the blues as in Going Down Slow by Mance Lipscomb:  

      Don't send no doctor, he can't do me no good.
      It's all my fault, mama, I didn't do the things I should.

      But I think it is in the power to transcend boundaries of individual and group experience that the blues speaks and acts most powerfully.  A Jungian psychoanalyst, Erich Neumann, uses the phrase “unitary reality” to describe experiences in which the boundaries and distinction between individuals becomes blurred and there is an experience of a shared reality.  At times this blurring occurs between the individual and their environment and such experiences are common in the blues.  Blues musician Little Whitt Wells says, "You know, the blues is a trance music. If it can't take you there, it ain't worth the effort, and if folks can't get there, well I guess it’s not meant for them . . . The blues is where it’s at with me. I am the blues, it’s my life."  This blurring can occur between the musician and the music, between performer and instrument, and between audience and performer.  Mythologist Joseph Campbell draws our attention to similar patterns between the mystic and the artist:

      For the reality in which the artist and the mystic are exposed is, in fact, the same. It is of their own inmost truth brought to consciousness: by the mystic, direct confrontation, and by the artist, through reflection in the masterworks of his art. The fact that the nature of the artist (as a microcosm) and the nature of the universe (as the macrocosm) are two aspects of the same reality. 

      In our increasingly isolated and technologically engrossed culture there are fewer and fewer opportunities to move into these shared experiences of unitary reality in which the bubble of our individualism is pierced and we are able to move into felt, relational connection to our environment and those around us.  The blues allows us to move into a deeper communion with our own emotional life, especially the more difficult emotions that are often shunned in our relentless pursuit of happiness, material acquisition, and activities designed to occupy time rather than expand soul.  Often it is only by moving into and through sadness that we can be released into an experience of joy.  The blues facilitates this process.  In this regard the bluesman, by communicating feelings in song that resonate within the listener, serves as a modern day shaman who heals through the ritual of music.  The blues originated in experiences of trauma, oppression, and enslavement but now serves to liberate our emotional lives and facilitate a deeper union with our environment and those around us.  Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, and Howlin Wolf  all have something significant to contribute to the care of our soul.

      *This article includes some excerpts from the book Deep Blues: HumanSoundscapes for the Archetypal Journey.
                 Click to Listen to Son House - Death Letter Blues


       



      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

        Saturday, September 17, 2011

        Early Wounds, Guilt and Repeating Patterns

        From Pennington and Staples' The Guilt Cure:

        Early Wounds, Guilt and Repeating Patterns

        All of us carry psychic wounds that were inflicted in childhood. In order to be safe and to be loved, we cut off and repressed thoughts, feelings and behaviors that were unacceptable to our parents. It is this “cut” that wounds us. None of us escapes these wounds because there are no parents to whom all thoughts, feelings and behaviors are acceptable. No parent gets it right. We are prone to think that the parent who neglects us is more wounding than the one who is over-solicitous and attentive. Both wound us. The wounds are different but they both hurt.These wounds become our developmental deficiencies. Our life long challenge is to recover the rejected qualities in order to become whole and live fuller lives.

        Guilt lies behind these wounds. We avoid the unacceptable qualities in order to escape the painful guilt we are wired to experience when we violate parental values and wishes. And the behaviors we adopt early in life to avoid guilt, punishment and loss of love, continue throughout our lives as repeating patterns of behavior. If guilt is a necessity in life, then psychic wounds are also necessities. These necessary wounds determine the developmental path we must follow if we are to recover those cut off qualities and heal our wounds. We have to bear painful guilt if we are to become whole, just as we have to bear painful hunger if we are to lose weight.

        It is the urge to develop and become whole that lies behind our repeating patterns. One pattern that most people experience is the tendency to keep choosing a partner that has the same difficult qualities as the previous one. Usually we are attracted to someone opposite, someone who carries qualities that we ourselves can’t express. The persons we are attracted to may superficially seem different, but psychologically be much the same. For example, we may always be attracted to someone who is relatively unavailable. We then repeat the childhood experience we had with one or both of our parents.

        The way of dealing with the unavailability may differ from child to child. One sibling may react by clinging, by expressing its neediness, by clamoring for attention or complaining when it is insufficient. Another sibling may react just the opposite. He/she may resolve to become self-sufficient and demand little from the parent. This sibling may take care of the parent and learn that safety lies in being the good boy or girl who never creates a burden for the parent. The other demands to be taken care of and is a real burden to the parent.

        Later in life, these two are attracted to each other. One needs to be taken care of. The other needs to take care of someone. As it turns out, they are both needy. But both are unconscious of it and deny it. It’s the basis for the widespread phenomenon of co-dependency. It’s a secret collusion. On the surface, one feels angry and rejected if his every need isn’t being anticipated and met. But deep inside, he feels guilty because he feels unworthy of care and attention. Meanwhile, the other feels just the opposite. Consciously, she feels guilty if she isn’t anticipating and taking care of every need of the loved one. And underneath she may be filled with anger and resentment when her caretaking is not deemed satisfactory or is not appreciated. Her sense of self worth depends on proper acknowledgement of her efforts.

        The displeasure and dissatisfaction that arise actually give us a hint about how to break this pattern. After many painful experiences, we eventually discover that healing takes place when we can treat the partner as we have been treated. The healing element is almost always homeopathic. Rather than trying to get the partner to behave differently, we have to take on some of the very traits we thought we wanted them to change. We have to develop traits that we have spent a lifetime trying to avoid or deny. The always available person becomes less available. The always unavailable person become more attentive.

        In order to behave homeopathically, we have to do inner work in the shadow where our opposite qualities have been stored. We have to become very conscious of our own feelings. For example, a caretaker cannot become unavailable without experiencing guilt and anxiety. If we become conscious of our guilt and anxiety as it arrives, we can name it and bear it. If we resolve to bear those feelings, they will not last long. The same thing happens in dieting. If we are not watching our feelingscarefully, the hunger comes and we grab a cookie without reflection. If we feel and name the hunger just as it comes and resolve to bear it, the hunger will not last long.

        SamSara (The Chronicles of a Wandering Soul: Book Three) In Mel Mathews’ novel SamSara, we see that the hero, Malcolm Clay, is caught in a repeating pattern. He is always strongly attracted to women who are unavailable. He meets this beautiful woman named Kelli. Kelli is focused on her own work projects and is not readily available to others. Malcolm falls for her. Her behavior is random and intermittent. He never can reliably count on her showing up for a date or returning a call. Sometimes she will; sometimes she won’t. Her behavior drives Malcolm crazy as he chases her around the world. Eventually, he ends up in Ireland where she lives and he is repeatedly let down by this incredibly attractive woman.

        After much hurt and pain, Malcolm is finally able to let go. He does it with a homeopathic treatment. He gives her a dose of her own medicine. She invites him to meet for a drink at one of the local hangouts. When he sees her coming this time, he slips out the back door, gets on a train and heads for the airport. She arrives at the cafĂ© and soon begins to call Malcolm trying to find out where he is. His phone rings just as the train approaches the air terminal, and he notices a young boy crying in his mother’s arms. “Hey kid, you’ve got a call,” he says, handing the whining boy the phone before stepping off the train.

        It is likely that Malcolm had to bear much anxiety and guilt in order to stand Kelli up. Malcolm values reliability, dependability and keeping his word. It makes him angry when others don’t behave the same way. But, in this moment, he had to save himself by finding in his unconscious a quality that had been put there long ago in order to safely traverse childhood. He had to become unavailable. Malcolm also had to suffer through much painful yearning, just as an alcoholic does when he gives up something that once made him feel good but later made him feel bad. And like an alcoholic who gives up alcohol, he has to spot the yearning the moment it begins, acknowledge it, name it and suffer it momentarily, perhaps several times until the yearning passes.

        About the Authors of The Guilt Cure
        Nancy Carter Pennington received her MSW from The University of Maryland. For more than 30 years, Nancy has had the privilege of working with clients on a range of issues: phobias, OCD, grief, depression, obsessive thinking, guilt, and relationships.
        Lawrence H. Staples is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Washington, DC. Dr. Staples has an MBA from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in psychology; his special areas of interest are the problems of midlife, guilt, and creativity. He is the author of Guilt with a Twist: The Promethean Way and The Creative Soul: Art and the Quest for Wholeness.

        Product Details
        Hardcover, Paperback & eBook editions: 150 pages
        Publisher: Fisher King Press; 1st edition (Sept 21, 2011)
        Language: English
        ISBN-10: 1926715535
        ISBN-13: 978-1926715537
        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

          Friday, September 16, 2011

          Mercury Rising: News Release

          Another Fisher King Press Jungian Psychology book has just been published:

          Mercury Rising: Women, Evil, and the Trickster Gods
          by Deldon Anne McNeely

          Revised edition, now includes Index.

          What can a silly, chaotic figure like a Trickster offer the world? Jungian psychoanalyst Deldon McNeely argues that Trickster’s value lies in amplifying and healing splits in the individual and collective psyche and in inviting us to differentiate our comprehension of evil. Tricksters, long held as aspects of the divine in many cultures, are an archetype of transition, guides in the journey of individuation and psychotherapy, and mediators between the conscious and unconscious world, that which is either unseen or banished from consciousness. Mercury Rising examines Tricksters in light of contemporary cultural trends, including:

          • society’s current disdain for heroes and the hero archetype; 
          • Trickster’s need for mirroring and its implications regarding the narcissistic nature of contemporary culture; 
          • the Trickster’s role in psychotherapy in terms of truth, reliability, and grounding; 
          • the relationship between Trickster and the feminine, and the concomitant emergence of feminine values and voices of wisdom; and 
          • feminine influences on the philosophy of ethics as well as current attitudes toward evil, violence, and sex. 

          Inasmuch as Tricksters force us to question our sense of order and morality, as well as our sanity, Mercury Rising explores the hope that “the Anima-ted, life-affirming Trickster will flourish and prevail over the death-dealing excesses that threaten to annihilate many species, including our own.”

          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 Becoming: An Introduction to Jung’s Concept of Individuation; Animus Aeternus: Exploring the Inner Masculine; and Touching: Body Therapy and Depth Psychology.

          Product Details
          * Paperback & eBook editions: 220 pages
          * Publisher: Fisher King Press; Revised edition, now with Index (Sept 15, 2011)
          * Language: English
          * ISBN-10: 1926715543
          * ISBN-13: 978-1926715544


          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

            Saturday, September 3, 2011

            News Release: Overcoming Guilt

            The Guilt Cure

            by Nancy Carter Pennington
            and Lawrence H. Staples

            The Guilt Cure addresses spiritual and psychological means to discover, treat, and expiate guilt and it’s neurotic counterparts. One of the great paradoxes of guilt is that despite its useful contributions to our lives, it can also be potentially dangerous. It is a major cause of anxiety and depression, and if untreated or expiated in some way, guilt has the potential to cause premature death by bringing on an onslaught of physical ailments--and suicide.

            The Guilt Cure reaches deep into humanity’s collective experience of guilt and finds persuasive psychological reasons for guilt’s role and purpose that go far beyond conventionally held religious explanations. The conventional view is that guilt’s primary function is the protection and maintenance of morals. While guilt admittedly contributes to the protection and maintenance of morals, this is by no means its only role. Nor is it even its most important role.

            Guilt is far more morally neutral than many would suspect. While guilt is conventionally thought to be a result of sin, most guilt, in fact, stems from thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that violate no religious or divine ordinances. The psychological experience of guilt is much broader than the religious definition of sin would account for. The Guilt Cure examines the many faces of guilt, including its more important function in the creation and maintenance of consciousness, its place in the self-regulatory system of the psyche, its effects on our psychological development, and its impact on our mental health and wellbeing.

            About the Authors

            Nancy Carter Pennington received her MSW from The University of Maryland. For more than 30 years, Nancy has had the privilege of working with clients on a range of issues: phobias, OCD, grief, depression, obsessive thinking, guilt, and relationships.

            Lawrence H. Staples is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Washington, DC. Dr. Staples has an MBA from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in psychology; his special areas of interest are the problems of midlife, guilt, and creativity. He is the author of Guilt with a Twist: The Promethean Way and The Creative Soul: Art and the Quest for Wholeness.

            Product Details
            Hardcover, Paperback & eBook editions: 150 pages
            Publisher: Fisher King Press; 1st edition (Sept 21, 2011)
            Language: English
            ISBN-10: 1926715535
            ISBN-13: 978-1926715537
            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