Thursday, July 31, 2008

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

August 1st, 2008

Fisher King Press is honored to present another 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).

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 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.

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, Grady Harp's reviews appear on Barnes & Noble, Soapadoo, Powells Books, and he is an Top Ten reviewer!!

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