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 Z├╝rich, 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

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