Friday, January 27, 2012

News Release - Just Published: Jung and Ecopsychology

Just Published!

Jung & Ecopsychology 
The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe Volume 1
Paperback & eBook editions

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

Carl Jung believed there had to be a major paradigm shift in Western culture if we were to avert many of the apocalyptic conditions described in the Book of Revelation. He coined the terms ‘New Age’ and ‘Age of Aquarius’ to describe a change in consciousness that would honor the feminine, our bodies, sexuality, the earth, animals, and indigenous cultures. Jung deplored the fast pace of modern life with its empty consumerism and the lack of a spiritual dimension.

Volume 1 of The Dairy Farmer’s Guide to the Universe develops the framework and principles of Jungian ecopsychology and describes how they can be applied to our educational system and in the practice of psychotherapy. It offers a response to Jung’s challenge to unite our cultured side with the ‘two million-year-old man within’ thereby opening a bridge to the remaining indigenous cultures. Dreamwork, individuation, synchronicity, and the experience of the numinous are important elements in this conceptual system. The Dairy Farmer’s Guide provides a Jungian contribution to the developing field of ecopsychology, exploring values, attitudes and perceptions that impact our view of the natural world—nature within, nature without.

About the Author
Dennis Merritt, Ph.D., is a Jungian psychoanalyst and ecopsychologist in private practice in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Merritt is a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich and also holds the following degrees: M.A. Humanistic Psychology-Clinical, Sonoma State University, California, Ph.D. Insect Pathology, University of California-Berkeley, M.S. and B.S. Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over twenty-five years of participation in Lakota Sioux ceremonies has strongly influenced his worldview.
"Scientific study, cognitive behavioral techniques, self-help books, and political action will not do the trick. We will not achieve the fundamental level of change and understanding that is called for unless the archetypal, transcendent, sacred and mythical dimension of the psyche is engaged. The sense of the sacred Carl Sagan saw as necessary to save the environment will not be developed. Our educational systems will not be able to teach from a deep, holistic, integrated perspective unless they embrace an ecopsychological framework. Without a mythic perspective, hubris and inflation with “our” powers and the religion of science will make John’s revelatory visions a reality." —Dairy Farmers Guide to the Universe Vol. 1
Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including 
Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting-Edge Fiction, Poetry, 
and a growing list of alternative titles. 

Re-Visioning our Relationship with Nature

The Forum on Religion and Ecology is a leader in developing the dialogue on spirituality and the environment Joseph Campbell thought that if a new myth of any value were to emerge, it would be of a “society of the planet” living in relationship with the Earth. (Campbell 1988, p. 32) Ecotheology, creation spirituality and ecospirtuality have been developing over the past two decades with the writings of Matthew Fox and Thomas Berry being notable examples.

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

A radical revision of our worldview is in order and several encouraging voices have arisen. Carl Sagan, who as co-chair of A Joint Appeal by Science and Religion for the Environment, presented a petition in 1992 stating:
The environmental problem has religious as well as scientific dimensions…As scientists, many of us have had a profound experience of awe and reverence before the universe. We understand that what is regarded as sacred is more likely to be treated with care and respect. Our planetary home should be so regarded. Efforts to safeguard and cherish the environment need to be infused with a vision of the sacred. At the same time, a much wider and deeper understanding of science and technology is needed. If we do not understand the problem it is unlikely we will be able to fix it. Thus there is a vital role for both science and religion. (Sagan 1992, p. 10, 12) 
A growing number of philosophers, dubbed environmental philosophers or ecophilosophers, have been re-examining “the philosophical bases of our attitudes toward the natural world” with a “heightened interest in basic questions of values, of worldview, and of (environmental) ethics.” (Metzner 1991, p. 147) “Deep ecologists” challenge the dominant philosophical positions by making three main points. First, they assert the need to overthrow our human-centered focus by placing an emphasis on an ecological, or Earth-centered, approach. We must acknowledge “the complex web of human interdependence with all life-forms” and develop what Aldo Leopold called a “land ethic” and an “ecological conscience.” (Leopold 1948 referred to in Metzner 1993, p. 4)

Deep ecology’s core insight is that humankind is not radically distinct from other entities in nature to which we are internally related; “particular entities are but temporary knots in an interconnected cosmic web.” (Zimmerman 1991, p. 123) The nonhuman world should be considered valuable in and of itself and not simply for its human-use value. (Fox 1991a, p. 107) Michael Zimmerman stated the premise: “All things should be permitted, whenever possible, to pursue their own evolutionary destinies” and “people [are] to respect individual beings and the ecosystem in which they arise.” (Zimmerman 1991, p. 123) The second premise is that we should ask deeper questions about our ecological relationships, looking for root causes rather than simply focusing on symptoms. (Fox 1991a, p. 107) We must examine the human institutions and values that create environmental problems rather than focusing on narrow technological solutions. The goal is to gradually “adopt practices consistent with long-term enhancement of all life on the planet,” Zimmerman states. Humans will still intervene and take non-human lives, but this is to be done “with discrimination and not for trivial reasons.” We should satisfy only our vital material needs as we forego mindless consumerism. (Zimmerman 1991, p. 123, 124) The third idea as stated by ecophilosopher Warwick Fox is that “we are all capable of identifying far more widely and deeply with the world around us than is commonly recognized.” Such identification “leads us spontaneously to appreciate and defend the integrity of the world” (Fox 1991a, p. 107) with environmentally appropriate behaviors arising naturally out of a sense of love rather than an emphasis on self-sacrifice or self-denial.

There has been a similar evolution in the social sciences, including the works of William Catton in sociology, Herman Daly and Joshua Farley in economics (Daly and Farley 2003), and Christopher Stone in law (Stone 1972). Ecofeminists like Carolyn Merchant (1980, The Death of Nature) offer a fundamental critique of our Western worldview linking the attitudes and treatment of the feminine with our use and abuse of the earth. Neglected aspects of history and prehistory are being re-examined with renewed interest, particularly the pre-patriarchal Earth Goddess cultures. (n 14)

As late as 1991 Metzner proclaimed it was “glaring, scandalous” that psychology “has hitherto remained virtually untouched by any concern for the environment or the human-to-nature relationship in psychology.” (Metzner 1991, p. 147) Jungian analyst James Hillman and author Michael Ventura encapsulated this dilemma in the title of their book, We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World is Getting Worse. The problem is that we have appropriated the powers of gods without having their wisdom to wield the powers wisely. A significant share of our environmental problems, many say the most important factors, are rooted in perceptions, attitudes, thoughts, feelings and behaviors directly and indirectly related to the environment—the domain of psychology.

Each school of psychology has its own focus and orientation. Deborah Du Nann Winter’s excellent book, Ecological Psychology—Healing the Split Between Planet and Self, describes the different schools of psychology and what each can contribute towards understanding and addressing the psychological dimensions of the environmental crisis. (see Appendix A: Psychology and Ecology) She sees Gestalt and Transpersonal Psychology, under which she includes Jung, as providing “insights [that] are significant for building an ecologically based psychology,” a psychology “that offers a new integration of both scientific and spiritual understanding for the building of a sustainable culture.” (Winter 1996, p. 281) Winter’s definition of ecological psychology is the practice of seeing “humans as fundamentally dependent on a larger ecosystem.” (p. 230) Gestalt and Transpersonal Psychology emphasize the experience of relationship, wholeness, and embeddedness in the larger world, countering the Western worldview of ourselves as segmented and autonomous beings. (p. 229)

The Gestalt psychologist Wolfgang Kohler was one of the first psychologists to argue that the usual scientific experimental approach of simplifying and controlling variables in a laboratory didn’t reveal very much and it missed the complex dimensions of life. (Winter 1996, p. 241) Gestalt psychologist Ulrich Neisser observed that “we perceive…ourselves as embedded in the environment, and acting with respect to it” with perception and action being inseparably fused: “we perceive as we act and that we act.”(Neisser 1988, p. 36, 40 quoted in Winter 1996, p. 241) (n 15)

Winter and the transpersonal psychologists broaden Neisser’s meaning of an ecological self to include what Jung called the archetypes of the collective unconscious:
Transpersonal psychology focuses on the spiritual and mystical dimensions of human experience. Transpersonal psychology is the study of transcendent experiences, those that illuminate the parts of our being that lie beyond our individual, unique, or separate sense of self. (Winter 1996, p. 242)
Transpersonalists assume that our normal waking consciousness gives us only limited information about who we are. Our modern Western culture is unique among the world’s cultures in disregarding information from altered states of consciousness (ASCs) such as dreams, hypnosis, trance, prayer, meditation, or drug-induced states. (p. 244, 245)
Deep ecologists speak of a sense of self not unlike that described by transpersonal psychologists. (n 16) Our sense of self can be expanded by recognizing a commonality with another entity, such as the similar emotional reactions we share with dogs. (n 17) Winter describes her experience of identification during an intense meditation weekend:
Someone walked by on the lawn and I was filled with tenderness as I felt the blades of grass being crushed. It wasn’t that I felt those boots crushing me, but I could feel them crushing the grass. I felt the vulnerability and the fragility of the natural world…[It was] as if I could feel it happening to someone whom I deeply loved. (Winter 1996, p. 248)
The ecological self retains the sense of a separate physical self as it integrates the larger self that identifies with the ecosphere. (Winter 1996, p. 248) From an ecological, evolutionary perspective, entities have some degree of independent existence and are part of a web of interrelationships that intimately link them to others. (Fox 1991a, p. 116) For example, a hawk could not exist without prey it evolved to feed upon, and the habits and characteristics of the prey require certain types of behaviors, structures and physiologies in its predator. Evolution tells us that all life forms are linked over vast periods of time. In ecology and evolutionary theory there is “an emphasis on (degrees of) connectedness, likeness, similarity” and to “interaction stuff” that is “usually conceived of as energy” or viewed as “process philosophy or a systems view.” (p. 117) (see Appendix C: Self and Organism) (n 18)

Winter emphasizes that a deeper exploration of any subject, be it an individual, political, or psychological system, “demonstrates our interdependence and embeddedness within a larger social and ecological system.” Our sense of self changes “when we experience [embeddedness] in an emotionally meaningful way.” Winter notes, “Our environmental problems are not so much a crisis of technology as they are a crisis of insight.” If we have a sense of our ecological self, “our choices are naturally less intrusive, more sensitive, less toxic because we appreciate the larger context for our behavior.” (Winter 1996, p. 249)

Ecopsychology is an important development within the field of psychology that studies the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors that create our dysfunctional relationship with the environment and how these may be changed to create a sustainable lifestyle. Ecopsychology explores ways of helping people connect more deeply with the environment and how psychotherapy can facilitate the process.

Ecopsychologists recognize the importance of non-cognitive, direct experiencing of nature to establish a deeper spiritual understanding and connection to it. Theodore Roszak, who coined the term ecopsychology in The Voice of the Earth (1992), called for a type of therapy that recovers the child’s “enchanted sense of the world” and brings to consciousness our “ecological unconscious.” (p. 320) Winter refers to “naturalist Terry Tempest Williams [who] claims that wilderness experience is required for us to make appropriate environmental decisions because such experience opens us to our feelings, to a deeper sense of caring, to matters of the heart.” (Winter 1996, p. 264, 265) Some of the difficulty “stems from our limited experiences of the complexity, beauty, magic, and awesome power of the natural world.” It takes more than driving through a national park in an air-conditioned car with our radios on to have an emotional experience and generate an aesthetic appreciation of the natural world. (p. 265) We need direct experiences in order to become cognizant of our larger ecological selves, and rituals can be designed to increase awareness. A Council for All Beings workshop, for example, creates a deep connection to an ecosystem by having participants role play different creatures and “expressing for the creature its unspoken reaction to human impact on their habitat.” (p. 267) Other activities include full moon, equinox and solstice celebrations and symbolic appreciation and expression of the “natural bases” of the American holidays. (see volume 4, chapter 2). We can expand activities like gardening, going for walks, and taking time to appreciate clouds, smells, rainstorms, sunrises, etc. (p. 267, 268) Artists and writers can help evoke “a sense of reverence and respect for the natural world…through evoking a feeling of our connection with [it].” (p. 266) Practicing silence is helpful in this regard because it blocks the “chatter” in our heads, sharpening our senses and perceptions so “we become aware of the subtleties and richness of the natural world.” (p. 267)

Ecopsychologists encourage people to be active in solving environmental problems. As our ecological self grows, we will commit ourselves to activism and environmentally appropriate actions out of a sense of love and devotion instead of a position of guilt or a moral ideology. (Winter 1996, p. 268) One of the basic causes of environmental degradation is over-consumption. Winter’s suggestions for overcoming this addiction are to achieve the fulfillment that comes with simplicity, quiet awareness, “practicing the principle and value of sufficiency,” and “rejoic[ing] in the incredible beauty of the ecosystem and our role in it.” This counters the spiritual void of “our driven, materialist society [that] runs on a core experience of emptiness…[using] consumer products to try to satiate that inner vacuum.” Winter believes a spiritual awakening with a more expansive worldview will sensitize us to “the social injustice and environmental deterioration that afflicts our planet.” It will bond us with our social milieu including “that which appears to us as ‘the enemy’—the unconscious guzzling consumer, the advertising executive, the ‘wise use’ advocate.” (p. 268, 269)
In Ecological Psychology Winter defines the field “as the study of human experience and behavior, in its physical, political, and spiritual context, in order to build a sustainable world.” (Winter 1996, p. 283) In 1866 Haeckel coined the term ecology to mean “that branch of science which attempts to define and explain the relationship between living organisms and their environment.” (Holdgate 1994, p. 201, 202 quoted in Winter 1996, p. 283) Winter advocates an even broader goal for ecological psychology, saying we must take
a serious and difficult look at the planet’s distribution of wealth, power, and environmentally damaging patterns, and [make] a personal commitment to changing these dangerous patterns, no matter how difficult such a goal may seem. It also means that in order to heal the split between planet and self, we will need to work on personal and policy dimensions simultaneously. (p. 286)
Psychology generally ignores political and spiritual systems that help construct our knowledge and vitally affect our relationship to the environment. In the political world, for example, Winter notices how psychology is good at “conserving the social order and reinforcing features of capitalist economic organization.” (Winter 1996, p. 291) She reminds us, “psychology has a difficult time addressing such questions because of its solid footing in the modernist tradition.” This is seen in “its focus on the individual; its devotion to the scientific method; and its application for the ‘improvement’ of human welfare.” (p. 272) (see end of Appendix A)

Winter sees our goal in a postmodern culture as seeking “’a new unity of scientific, ethical, aesthetic, and religious intuitions,’” (Griffin 1988, p. x, xi quoted in Winter 1996, p. 295) recognizing science as a powerful tool but only one way of knowing. (p. 295) It is difficult to conceptualize a constructive postmodern position because “modern institutional structures mitigate against realizing integrative knowledge.” (p. 296) Universities are fragmented into different departments fighting turf battles over their domains.

To reverse this trend, ecopsychologists will need a strong background in the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, working at several different levels in an interdisciplinary and integrative manner. In Winter’s words:
[Ecological psychology] should be pluralistic in its methodology and creative in its conduct. Sophisticated about the limits of objective knowledge, ecological psychologists will need to be rigorously attuned to the distorting effects of their own political, emotional, and intellectual blinders. As we become more conscious of our limitations, so will we become more empowered to transcend them. (p. 298)
The size and complexity of environmental problems can easily be overwhelming. “We know that our environmental deterioration is driven by poverty, by sexism, by overpopulation, and by consumerism,” Winter remarks. (Winter 1996, p. 299) She suggests we start by imagining a sustainable world. The Worldwatch Institute defines a sustainable society as one that “’satisfies its needs without jeopardizing the prospects of future generations.’” (L. R. Brown et al 1990, p. 173 quoted in Winter 1996, p. 299) We have to build such a culture within the next 20 years, some say the next 10, before the environment is pushed past tipping points that lead to irreversible and disastrous consequences. It is estimated that the world could support 8 billion people living comfortably, not at the life style of current-day Americans, but about that of Western Europeans:
Modest but comfortable homes, refrigeration for food, and ready access to public transit, augmented by limited auto use. [Goldemberg et al 1987] For most of us, what this would require is purposive down-scaling, conscious choices to consume less, reuse more, and recycle everything possible. It would also mean working less, spending less, enjoying more time, more creative community activities, and more personal and interpersonal meaning. (p. 300, 301)
Sustainability should be our goal, not just for humans but for all life forms. Our technology needs to be re-directed toward the repair of damaged ecosystems and Lester Brown (2008) in Plan B 3.0 offers many models for developing and using an ecologically sensitive technology.

Notes and Bibliography

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

Jung, Hermes, and Ecopsychology
The Dairy Farmer’s Guide to the Universe in Four Volumes
We keep forgetting that we are primates and that we have to make allowances for these primitive layers in our psyche. The farmer is still closer to these layers. In tilling the earth he moves around within a very narrow radius, but he moves on his own land. —C.G. Jung
Volume I:  Jung and Ecopsychology presents the main premises of Jungian ecopsychology,offers some of Jung’s best ecopsychological quotes, and provides a brief overview of the evolution of our dysfunctional Western relationship with the environment.
—ISBN 9781926715421 

Dennis Merritt, Ph.D., LCSW, is a Jungian psychoanalyst and ecopsychologist in private practice in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Merritt is a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich and also holds the following degrees: M.A. Humanistic Psychology-Clinical, Sonoma State University, California, Ph.D. Insect Pathology, University of California-Berkeley, M.S. Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.S. Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over twenty years of participation in Lakota Sioux ceremonies have strongly influenced his worldview.
Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting-Edge Fiction, and a growing list of alternative titles.
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    The Red Book and a Word from the Sister

    Marked By Fire
    Stories of the Jungian Way
    "This life is the way, the long sought after way to the unfathomable which we call divine"
    —C.G. Jung, The Red Book
    Marked by Fire: Stories of the Jungian Way is a soulful collection of essays that illuminate the inner life.

    When Soul appeared to C.G. Jung and demanded he change his life, he opened himself to the powerful forces of the unconscious. He recorded his inner journey, his conversations with figures that appeared to him in vision and in dream in The Red Book. Although it would be years before The Red Book was published, much of what we now know as Jungian psychology began in those pages, when Jung allowed the irrational to assault him. That was a century ago.

    How do those of us who dedicate ourselves to Jung’s psychology as analysts, teachers, writers respond to Soul’s demands in our own lives? If we believe, with Jung, in “the reality of the psyche,” how does that shape us? The articles in Marked By Fire portray direct experiences of the unconscious; they tell life stories about the fiery process of becoming ourselves.

    A Word from the Sister
    The publication of “Marked by Fire” is exciting. I want to share a portion of Naomi's essay in the collection, especially the part where I show up and play a pivotal role. I hope you’ll want to read more....
    Drunk with Fire
    How The Red Book Transformed My Jung
    Support me for I stagger, drunk with fire. . . . I climbed down through the centuries and plunged into the sun far at the bottom. And I rose up drunk from the sun . . . The Red Book
    There has been a breach between C. G. Jung and me. How could that happen? I had no idea who I was until I met Jung, nor had I had a decent conversation with my soul. Jungian analysis showed me my way into the world, and into my inner life—it opened the door to the poet I'd left behind in my childhood. But when I encountered Jung's suspicious attitude toward artists—so like a Swiss burgher—the poet in me was offended.

    Enter The Red Book. When I sat down with that enormous tome on my lap and leafed through its gloriously illuminated pages, its visionary poetry, its astounding paintings and mandalas, my heart opened to my illustrious ancestor—all was forgiven. I felt vindicated. Jung, as I'd always suspected, was a closeted poet.

    What is this Red Book? During a difficult time in his life, after his break with Freud, Jung was deluged with powerful images and visions. He wrote them down and painted them. He created a strange and beautiful book—bound in red leather—to hold them. It looks like a medieval illuminated manuscript. The Red Book was not published, even after his death, because of concerns that its wild, prophetic tone would cause people to dismiss Jung as a mystic or a madman. When it finally came out in 2009, it surprised the Jungian world by creating a media sensation and selling out its first printing

    With the publication of The Red Book my Jung has been transformed. He is "outed" as a poet and a painter. He writes directly out of his vulnerability, working out his relationship with his soul in the depths of the mythopoetic imagination, just as I do. In The Red Book Jung reclaims his soul—or rather she reclaims him. She appears to him and becomes his guide. She is an inner figure with a mind of her own. This honoring of the voice from within, which Jung would later call active imagination, is one of his greatest gifts to me. Instead of ignoring or dismissing voices that speak to me from within, Jung taught me to listen and to engage in dialogue with them. When "The Sister from Below" began speaking to me, telling me she was my muse, my soul, my writing life took off....

    When Jung implores, "Support me for I stagger drunk with fire," I feel a tug and am deeply moved. Why is this? They are wildly poetic words—in the Dionysian mode. They take me down to that primal level of religious feeling—worship of the sun, our source. I know the states he describes. To be drunk with fire tells it all—the creative ecstasy—at once wildly enlivening and demonic—fire as Dionysus, fire as Shiva, fire as Pele. Certainly being a poet can mean being drunk with the sun from the bottom of time. One finds oneself climbing "down through the centuries" pursuing a word, an image, a phrase of goat song.

    It has been essential for me to write directly out of the experience of being in other realities, rather than describing such states from a safe distance. In The Red Book Jung contains his intense and overwhelming experiences by writing them down, by painting them. I recognize that urge. I have shelves and shelves of journals in which I've worked to contain my own fire, to follow inner figures, to work with poems and with dreams, to dive below the surface of the times to what is moving in the depths. And I always feel better, more grounded, more real to myself after I do.

    Enter, the Sister from Below. She's got an idea:

    Why don't you take your own advice? Do an active imagination with Jung, now that you feel this warm glow of kinships libido for him? Imagine you two are sitting by the primordial fire, as he puts it in The Red Book:
    An old secret fire burns between us. . . . The words uttered at the fire are ambiguous and deep and show life the right way. . . .
    [We] will respect the holy fire again, as well as the shades sitting at the hearth, and the words that encircle the flames.
    This makes me nervous. Jung is the master of active imagination. Is it hubris to invoke him? But I have learned to listen to the Sister. So I sit down, with my notebook. Jung, I discover, is reluctant. He is not at all sure he wants to engage in this exercise...

    Marked By Fire: Stories of the Jungian Way
    Volume 1 - Inaugural Edition, Edited by Patricia Damery and Naomi Ruth Lowinsky. Available Spring 2012

    Contributors to Marked by Fire: Jerome Bernstein, Claire Douglas, Gilda Frantz, Jacqueline Gerson, Jean Kirsch, Chie Lee, Karlyn Ward, Henry Abramovitch, Sharon Heath, Dennis Patrick Slattery, Robert Romanyshyn, Patricia Damery, and Naomi Ruth Lowinsky.

    Paperback & eBook editions - Advance Orders Welcomed

    Product Details
    Paperback & eBook editions: 150 pages (estimate)
    Large Page Size Format 9.25" x 7.5"
    Publisher: Fisher King Press; 1st edition (April 2012)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 1-926715-68-3
    ISBN-13: 978-1-926715-68-1

    Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including 
    Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting-Edge Fiction, Poetry, 
    and a growing list of alternative titles. 

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Animus, O Animus!

    by Deldon Anne McNeely

    Animus, O Animus, wherefore art thou, Animus? Please step forward out of the shadows, out from behind the dark foliage which camouflages you, into the moonlight, and show yourself to be a true, substantial bridegroom.

    Or must I play this scene alone, foolish in my belief that this soliloquy finds an audience? Alas, who speaks? Is it I or you? Aren’t you the Word? The one who insists on clarity? So why am l out here alone on this balcony and you invisible? True, I’m the one who wants togetherness; perhaps by withholding yourself you flush me out so you can see me clearly. How do I get what I need from you? How do I even know what I need from you? You’re supposed to be the assertive one. Am I at your mercy, waiting to be overtaken? And if you come, who in me stands up to you? Can you bear to look me in the eye, or must I feign indifference? Do you respond to honesty, or only to coyness, or, worse yet, must I treat you sadistically to reassure you that you’re dispensable, in order to keep your attention?

    Are you loyal? Will you lead me to the true center, or mislead me into folly? Will you fructify me or leave me alone and barren? How can I know your voice? Will I find you in the world, or only through renouncing the world? What, of me, are you? Where, in me, are you? Do you exist outside of the imaginative schemas of nineteenthcentury men?

    My confusion about you stems partly from the fact that your functions, as supposed by analytical psychology, sound mightily like “ego,” as we have generally come to define it in heroic terms. Come to think of it, you sound quite a bit like “God,” when It is Whom the patriarchal worlds describe as He. If you are Logos, whose voice speaks you? The voice of reason? The voice of conscience? The voice of the Holy Spirit? The voice of We, the People? The voice of one crying in the desert, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord”? All of the above? Does the heroine exist who is not under your spell? How can you connect me to my Deity, the One who is both male and female, creator and destroyer, now and forever, indivisible?

    In trying to understand where the animus lives in the psyche of a woman, it may be helpful first of all to place it in relationship to ego. In Jung’s schema, the ego consists of all we are conscious of being. That which we exclude is defined as shadow. Anima and animus are subsumed under the shadow in early life, and are gradually brought into conscious focus through experience and introspection. At first we cannot differentiate these structures of the psyche, nor can we tell which is functioning through our outward behavior.
    A generation ago this sexist little rhyme didn’t raise an eyebrow:
    What are little girls made of? What are little girls made of? 
    Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls aremade of. 
    What are little boys made of? What are little boys made of? 
    Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of.
    Many children today would consider it strange. As one thoughtful child said to me, “It sounds very stereotypical.” It is an extreme form of stereotyping, but subtle variations of this sort of thing continue to subliminally teach that “boys will be boys” and girls will not. By such conditioning girls and boys gradually form egos that accept certain characteristics as their own and eliminate others. At first what is deemed unacceptable is not only different, but bad. Only with experience do the qualities of the opposite sex which we find within become tolerable as something potentially valuable.

    Animus is the archetypal masculine principle as it exists in a woman. When Jung conceived the term, the stereotyping of females and males into consistent gender roles and characteristics made the masculine principle as it exists in a woman easier to define than it is today. Jung assumed that the consciousness of a woman is identified by her biological sexual being; having the external genitalia of a female automatically meant having the ego of a female. Anima was who you were, and animus was who you eliminated from your self-definition. In that case, the experience of the unconscious would be perceived by the female in terms of otherness, and this otherness would be masculine.

    The animus, an archetype unknowable in itself, manifests in three ways: through cultural expression, through biological influence, and through recurrent events in the history of the individual. While the biological influences on maleness and femaleness have not changed to any obvious degree since Jung’s time, enormous cultural changes are occurring in the perception of the sexes.

    Think about how our culture has presented the concept of what is “masculine” over the past hundred years. Many of our notions of masculine values remain unchanged. We admire strength of character and physical prowess in men. Yet many men today are not afraid of appearing vulnerable, of cultivating emotional intimacy in relationships with both men and women, of being present to birth and nurture children, of questioning traditional macho social forms, of grooming and dressing themselves in ways once reserved for women. Occupations formerly considered masculine-senior management, the judiciary, clergy and military, to name but a few-are no longer the prerogative of men.

    Think about the great differences in the personal history of many women today, compared to women of a hundred years ago: exposure to many more men, and to different types of men; greater intimacy and communications with men; greater access to education and jobs; many more opportunities fostering independence; more support for self-assertion and creative expression.

    Cultural changes in the past century have led to further differentiation of the issues surrounding sexual identity. It is now popularly held that biological sexual identity consists of factors beyond those that produce the external genitalia, that hormonal influences of both sexes exist in all humans, and that the external genitalia do not in every instance mirror the dominance of the sexual hormones. It is possible to be male or female genitally while having a range of contrasexual physiological characteristics (breast size, facial hair, voice timbre, muscular apportionment, etc.).

    Complicating this is the fact that cultural conditioning has a strong influence on how biological males and females experience their masculinity and femininity. A hundred years ago the cultural factors were so strong that biological preferences were overridden by gender expectations. Choices that we have come to take for granted in the expression of gender roles were not possible. Jane Wheelwright, taught and analyzed by Jung, commented on this cultural change:
    Women of the educated younger generations on the whole are independent, energetic, up-front, experimental. They handle their legitimate anger, assert their honest opinions and make necessary objections. In my day, a woman behaving in this way would have been condemned as an animus hound and indeed would have been acting and speaking out of society’s collective animus. When caught by that collective pressure, ie., when she expressed female potential that society had arbitrarily dumped into the animus category, woman would be forced to function from out of the animus complex, doing its bidding, instead of doing the bidding of her own biological ego. Her good qualities, when commandeered and distorted by the animus complex would have made her unrelated instead of independent; compulsive instead of energetic. She would have been devious, not upfront, fearful instead of experimental, hostile but not legitimately angry, opinionated rather than presenting her viewpoint. To put it bluntly she would have been objectionable instead of objecting. The primary business of the animus is to be a creative tool. Its secondary role is to give the necessary stamina to all endeavors. When the animus is overloaded with what does not belong to it, it takes on a negative stance, spilling over and destroying relationships. For this reason I feel knowledge of the animus is important today for women of all ages. (For Women Growing Older, pp. 52-53.)
    Previously men strived to live up to society’s expectation that they become husbands, fathers, aggressors, even though they might have no inclination or ability to do so. Women with no desire for motherhood were forced to live out their lives feeling like failures or withdrawing, usually in some noncreative way. There were courageous or accidental exceptions, but few people of either sex could find realistic models for nonconventional identities. There are always people with a seemingly innate talent for individuation who are able to go their own staunch way without obvious models or support, although on close examination there usually exists in their history a very strong, supportive parent who imbues a healthy spirit of conviction and high self-esteem. Such individuals live by their dreams and instincts without collective encouragement, and they forge new routes for all of us.

    There were, therefore, women who not only survived but excelled in masculine fields of interest during Jung’s day, even though they probably met with disapproval or animosity; and there were men who lived productive lives out of the anima. But on the whole, most men and women at least put forth the appearance of living up to the expectations set upon them by society, or they withdrew. This meant that Jung was accurate in observing that the unconscious personality of a woman was represented by the masculine principle, which combined all those qualities we associate with yang and Logos.

    Today, many of those qualities—assertiveness, clarity of ideation, logical intellect, articulateness of mental processes, drive, etc.—are modeled for women by individuals of either sex. These psychological capacities include mental and emotional factors that were once ascribed to males exclusively, and when these ego-strengths became obvious in women, women often denied or hid them. Men, meanwhile, denied or hid their capacities for fantasy, receptivity, contemplation and other qualities which in some circles were considered sissified, but which today we see as particular strengths of the yin ego, whether in man or woman.

    These cultural changes complicate the task of understanding what the female biological ego really is, and what the animus, as “other,” is. Theoretically, the animus is a psychological function mediating between a woman’s ego and the unconscious. In Jung’s model of the psyche, the persona mediates between the ego and the outer world, while the contrasexual archetypes, anima and animus, are essentially guides to the inner world. On the journey of individuation, one must come to terms with the shadow before being able to relate in a conscious way to the anima and animus.

    As archetypal feminine and masculine principles, anima and animus have a timeless place in every human psyche. The dominant archetype does not always match a person’s biological sex. Anima values usually dominate the conscious psyche of a woman, but not in every woman, and not in every life situation. To illustrate the complexity of this, here is a description of three women, all in their twenties, who do not fit the usual picture.

    Becky, a young woman from a large family, has had problems relating to her alcoholic mother all her life. Her father is a likable but ineffectual man. When Becky entered therapy she was depressed and anxious. She worked as a teacher and had just been through her first relationship with a man, which had ended in her being rejected.

    Becky repeatedly dreamed of herself as a male, usually in the role of rescuing a female. The recurrence of the masculine dream ego suggested that Becky identified with men, and indeed, she had been a tomboy, had not dated at all until recently and had never had a satisfying sexual relationship. The recurrent theme of rescue suggested a repressed feminine side that called out for recognition.

    She had not been in therapy for long when she met and fell in love with a young man. They were immediately compatible sexually and in every other way, and after a year of courtship they married and moved away. I do not have information about her dreams since then. I do know that after several years she was still happily married. Her identification on some level with men did not prevent Becky from making a conventional adjustment as a woman. She had not been in therapy long enough to assume that this was due to therapy. One can only surmise that when the conditions were favorable and she felt supported and safe, her feminine ego was accessible for a mature relationship.

    Dana, in contrast, always a tomboy also, remembered having excited feelings about girls from the time she began school. She adamantly refused to wear dresses from an early age, and after a few years of high school dating which she found distasteful, declared herself a lesbian.

    Dana’s dreams in the early stage of therapy often presented her as a person harassed and persecuted by unsavory women. It seemed as if her conscious ego was male, so that even though her dream ego pictured her in a female body, she saw the “other” as women aggressors. The opposite sex, still fused with a persecutory shadow, was female. Dana’s relationship with her mother appeared to be positive; however, her early life was fraught with chaotic changes through divorces, marriages, moves, and animosity between her several sets of parents.

    Marie, like Becky, was one of many children of a domineering mother. She earned attention from her powerful and often absent father by excelling in sports. Although she was very attracted to men and boys as a young girl, she fell in love with a female celebrity and entered into a long-term relationship with her. Defining herself as lesbian, she was later surprised to find herself attracted to strong men and frequently propositioned by authority figures. She entered therapy, confused and anxious, after several relationships with men had come close to being consummated. She repeatedly dreamed about figures entering her bedroom, which frightened her and woke her before they could be identified. She found herself attracted to both men and women; she was afraid of being intimate with men, though in fantasy this excited her.

    These examples, typical of issues raised by patients today, reflect changing roles and values, and changing images of the structure of the psyche. Psychology does not dictate normality, it studies the data presented by life. Today’s women are vibrant though confused, open and questioning, unwilling to have answers foisted upon them.

    It has been the special talent of women historically to follow and discriminate between the nuances and important details of relatedness. Forced into positions of waiting, of observing cyclical patterns of nature in their own physiological and emotional movements, and of remaining centered in the face of demands of children and men, women have had opportunities to observe these nuances for ages. Now they have more opportunities to express those observations.

    Rachel Eliza Mann, for instance, a bright and creative graduate student in her twenties, struggles for integrity and awareness in her relationships with family, friends and romantic partners. The following poem explores aspects of dream figures and herself, including her masculine side. The kind of differentiation in fantasy represented here pays off in encounters in the outer world by preparing the ego for the tasks of sorting, unraveling, spinning and weaving that take place in the psyche during the course of a relationship.
    The lynx paces within its cage,
    The lunatic waits outside the door.
    Who is kept outside, who kept in?
    The second man makes love to one woman.
    Hands and lips wander like a meandering ant,
    an answering, a needing, a waiting. 
    The first man’s right hand opens up the door.
    So invited, the lunatic comes in.
    The lynx leaps, quivering and ready.
    She is opened up, the second man enters in.
    She dives alone into the Blue Hole,
    only her left hand keeping hold. 
    The lynx dissolves into leaves.
    The lunatic crosses the river into the hall.
    The first man serves him porcupine stew.
    The second man plunges to her roots.
    The ant finds its queen.
    She takes hold and enters him. 
    “Two Loves, an Ant, a Lynx, and a Lunatic” (unpublished).
    Confusion about what is animus and what is ego occurs because ego-functions as defined by psychologists are subject to the bias of male dominance. I have come to use the terms “yin-ego” and “yang-ego” to emphasize the fact that because the ego has struggled to differentiate itself from the unconscious does not mean that all ego functions must be heroic. In fact, such an ego would be maladaptive and self-destructive over time.

    Energy itself cannot be identified as masculine. The uroboros may seem feminine to the male, but as the Great Spirit/Matter, it is androgynous, the organizing Self that drives the ego, as Dylan Thomas’s “force that through the green fuse drives the flower.” To view the ego’s creation from the unconscious as an image of birth from a mother, one would have to note that the creative phallus of the father was an essential aspect of the unconscious fruition, and that the fetus not only initiates but also passively receives the process. Ego is not, then, necessarily yang; it has feminine characteristics from the beginning. Though the yin-ego is by definition passive, passivity is not without energy. Yin qualities enable the ego to reflect, image, contain, generalize and empathize, and to embrace one’s frailty.

    So entwined have the characteristics of animus and ego become that many psychologists define ego strength entirely in terms of masculine adjectives. What women perceive as strength has at times been considered weakness when judged by male values. Indeed, people of both sexes have been hospitalized as severely disturbed for behavior that could be judged as heroic from the standpoint of the yin-ego. A contemplative lifestyle, for instance, unless practiced under the aegis of a religious institution, would be considered abnormal by some psychologists’ standards. A religious attitude in itself has been criticized as a form of weakness, a delusional system to avoid the pain of mortality, according to those who define “normality” as extroverted and rational. Yin ego-consciousness seems to be imaginal and synthesizing, and yang ego-consciousness factual and analytical.

    Good parenting requires much yin energy. Young children need waiting for, not hurrying; to have all their feelings held, not judged; to be contained, not driven. Yang-consciousness, oriented toward the future and efficiency, has difficulty here. I have found it easiest to catch my negative animus when I have been hurrying--then I have been most unkind and unconnected to my children. Our schools often reward only the yang ego, and the child who reflects yin experience is misplaced. A bright, introverted child of ten told me she found school going too quickly for her. “When the teacher says something that reminds me of something else, my mind wants to think of it; but if I do, then I find the rest of the class goes on to something else and I am lost.” That is how the creative thought process becomes discouraged. Parents often judge themselves harshly for lacking patience. It is understandable, for yin-consciousness has been poorly modeled and unsupported, except in rare subcultures.

    A brilliant woman told me she was considered retarded by her early teachers, not an unusual situation. Neglected, unkempt, the child of alcoholic parents, she was noticed, tested (IQ, 70), tolernted, but never touched until her second-grade teacher bothered to sit close to her and teach her to read with their fingers touching the book. This was all it took for the awakening to happen. Because that teacher shared a moment of grace with her, enabling her to feel received and not judged, her intellect was able to flourish.
    I have learned to fail. And I have had my say.
    Yet shall I sing until my voice crack (this being my leisure, this my holiday)
    That man was a special thing and no commodity, a thing improper to be sold.
    Edna St. Vincent Millay, from “Lines Written in Recapitulation,” Collected Poems, p. 384.
    The confusion caused by the defining of ego in predominantly masculine terms has led some psychologists to wonder whether the term “ego” is useful at all, and whether the psyche can be conceived of as egoless, without a “monotheism of consciousness.” (See James Hillman, Anima: An Anatomy of a Personified Notion, pp. 177-181.)
    My own practice is to think of ego as representing yin/yang features, because phenomenologically we are so accustomed to the experience of a central, organized aspect of the personality which can contain awareness of many parts, that it is difficult to imagine an egoless personality structure maneuvering its way between polarities.

    Every woman contains within her psyche the masculine principle, though it may be very repressed. The better the relationship to the masculine principle, the more the woman is able to use animus qualities in appropriate ways throughout her life, and the less conflict she has about doing so. This means that in most women the masculine principle will be experienced as “other,” but the relationship to that “other” may be quite positive.

    When the principle of the opposite sex is dominant and unconscious, it obliterates the functioning of the ego and results in problems, especially in close relationships. But the more experience the ego has in dialogue with the contrasexual principle, the more egosyntonic the relationship with the contrasexual partner becomes and the more choices one has in one’s repertoire of conscious behavior. This is why male-female relationships in the outer world promote the blending of yin-yang qualities in the personalities of both men and women. Without the opportunity for positive outer experiences, one has to work harder to come to good terms with the inner partner.

    It is still possible, however, to have a good relationship with the contrasexual archetype without much contact with outer-world partners, if one is aware of the capacity to use information from the unconscious to understand this powerful inner partner.

    It has been said of Emily Dickinson that she, with Walt Whitman, “all but invented American poetry.” (Ellman and O’Clair, Norton Anthology, p. 33.) She was, in her “strange, explosive ponderings,” prolific, but during her lifetime of reticence and obscurity, only eight of her 1800 poems were published. She said of her awesome father—a lawyer, congressman, treasurer of Amherst College—”His heart was pure and terrible, and I think no other like it exists.” She could not bear to attend his funeral; she listened to it alone in an upstairs bedroom. Her mother, kind, patient, pious and sickly, evoked condescension and even contempt from Emily, who hated the social duties of housekeeping and sewing imposed on women.

    Dickinson left home at seventeen to attend Mt. Holyoke, a few miles away, but returned home, never to leave, before the year was up.

    We know of two men with whom Emily Dickenson corresponded, but, like her sister, she never married. Some cataclysm occurred in her inner life around 1861, an event only indirectly referred to in her poetry but probably having to do with an experience of unrequited love. From that time on, her poetry changed. She seemed to have been transformed from girl to woman. In spite of a seemingly uneventful life on the surface, she left a treasure of inner riches. . .

    You have just read an excerpt from Animus Aeternus by Deldon Anne McNeely

    Using some of the more enigmatic poems of the 20th century as guideposts, Deldon Anne McNeely explores the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Teresa of Avila, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Anna Akhmatova, and others whose works have had an indelible impact on the evolving world soul. This is literary criticism taken to another level--the level of psyche. Once again, with her hard-won wisdom deeply rooted in soul, Jungian analyst Deldon Anne McNeely delivers -- embedded within the stories of this finely crafted book, one finds redemption and liberation. Some will mirror your own story--other tales will be about those you love. Animus Aeternus is a worthy companion for any modern-day woman.

    Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including 
    Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting-Edge Fiction, Poetry, 
    and a growing list of alternative titles. 

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Pacifica Graduate Institute Bookstore

    The Pacifica Graduate Institute stocks Fisher King Press psychology titles. 
    Located in the renovated wine cellar of the former Fleischmann estate, the bookstore at Pacifica is an important and popular feature of campus life. Starting out on a borrowed shelf in the library, the bookstore has become an essential resource for students, faculty, staff, and conference participants.

    We carry a selection of faculty publications, suggested course readings,  a unique general reading and gift section, and we are particularly proud of our selection in the fields of counseling, clinical and depth psychology, and mythological studies.

    Our collection includes many different literary works and publications with the primary emphasis on the following:

    •   Depth, Jungian, and Archetypal Psychology
    •   Religion, Mythology, Philosophy
    •   Joseph Campbell
    •   Marija Gimbutas
    •   James Hillman
    •   Pacifica Faculty and Alumni Publications
    Please e-mail inquiries or requests to or phone 805.969.3626 extension 327. Special orders and shipping are available to students, faculty, staff, and conference participants. Your purchases support Pacifica programs!  
             Pacifica Bookstore
             249 Lambert Road
             Carpinteria, CA 93013
             Phone:805.969.3626 Ext. 327
             Fax: 805.879.8270         

    Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including 
    Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting-Edge Fiction, Poetry, 
    and a growing list of alternative titles. 

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    If You’ve Got “The Blues,” Play 'em

    Review of Mark Winborn's Deep Blues
    by Laura Sentineri Harness

    Mythopoetry Scholar Annual eZine vol. 3. Stephanie Pope, Editor. Fountain Hills:, January 2, 2012 (© 2012)

    Deep Blues, Mark WinbornDeep Blues: Human Soundscapes for the Archetypal Journey
    Publisher: Fisher King Press
    September 1, 2011 1st edition
    140 pages, Illustrations, Index, Bibliography
    ISBN-10: 1926715527
    ISBN-13: 978-1926715520

    In the midnight hours, long ‘fore the break of day
                  When the blues creep on you and carry your mind away
                                    -Leroy Carr, Midnight Blues1

    What Is It About “The Blues” That So Deeply Stirs The Soul?

    In Deep Blues: Human Soundscapes for the Archetypal Journey, Jungian psychoanalyst, Mark Winborn brings the astute lens of depth psychology to this question, exploring “Blues” music as a psychological, archetypal and cultural phenomenon. The strength of this book is its ability to cross between two vastly different worlds juxtaposing the gritty emotions and simple earthy lyrics of the Blues with the expansive intellectual framework of Jungian Psychology.

    Winborn’s brilliant analytical skills and personal passion for the subject is evident and this book often reads like a love story to the muse of the Blues. Although the genre of Blues music is his focus, there is a breadth to his writing that distills many valuable insights into human nature. Winborn applies a variety of Jungian analytic theories as well as elaborates upon the interface of creativity and alchemy, the shamanic role of a “Blues” performer and Neumann’s theory of Unitary Reality.2 Deep Blues is a poignant testimony to the power of Blues music to heal and redeem the “midnight hour” sufferings of the soul.

    Tracing the origins of the Blues to slavery and the African-American experience of devastating loss, tragedy, trauma and personal pain, Winborn calls the Blues “survival music.” He then gives a brilliant in-depth analysis of the healing, medicinal qualities inherent in Blues music which contribute to emotional resilience, redemption and restoration of wholeness.

    Music has long been used to help people deal with their emotions. In the 17th century the scholar, Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy3 argued that music was critical in treating mental illness especially melancholia. He noted that music has an "excellent power expel many other diseases" and he called it "a sovereign remedy against despair and melancholy."4 Back before Prozac and Zoloft music was prescriptive, often used as a homeopathic remedy as “like cures like.”

    Simply Stated, If You’ve Got “The Blues,” Play Them

    I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some Blues.
    -Duke Ellington5, US jazz bandleader, musician, & songwriter (1899 - 1974)

    Listening to, singing, writing and playing the Blues facilitates a release and deepening into the murky emotional aspects of life and helps us to integrate the dark, split off, unconscious aspects of the archetypal shadow in both the personal and collective psyche. As Winborn illustrates, Blues music is an excellent depictation of the alchemical process of psychological transmutation. Through the telling of one’s personal story, the narrative of life’s tragic aspects and the cathartic action of putting strong feelings into song “the prima materia of everyday life becomes the gold of unitary reality.”6 The experience of unitary reality is “a reciprocal coordination between world and psyche”7 and Winborn illustrates how music and the Arts have the power to invoke this expanded consciousness of oneness which transcends polarities, divisions and limitations of time and space. As we listen to the Blues we have the opportunity to emotionally empathize and resonate with archetypal themes of longing, grief, hope, and abandonment, connecting us to what’s universal and meaningful in our common struggles.

    Because Blues music often deals with shadow themes it can help us to develop non-polarized attitudes towards human suffering, bringing acceptance and transcendence. In Winborn’s words, “Ultimately, the blues has an innate healing potential: it is a form of therapy which incorporates elements of humor, alchemical imagination, personification and the narrative impulse.”8 As a music therapist I’ve witnessed firsthand how music, specifically the Blues, can provide healing support to people who are vulnerable, disempowered or socially marginalized.

    In psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes, pediatric cancer wards, or programs for the developmentally disabled this music has a powerful way of meeting people in the trenches of the deepest, darkest experiences that life brings. Blues music is direct, emotional, and above all, accessible. To write a Blues song we can simply start with the question “What’s bothering you today?” Raw, heartfelt lyrics flow easily into the reassuring form of the 12 bar blues where even the most challenging and overwhelming emotions are contained, accepted, validated and transformed.

    In the final chapter “Imaging the Blues,” Winborn encourages us to listen with an active imagination approach, allowing the music to evoke feelings, images, and memories which emerge from the unconscious. At this point it would have been helpful to clarify the role of Music Therapy in the prescribed use of music as a therapeutic catalyst vs. music as therapy, the awareness that music is intrinsically therapeutic. There is great potential for interface with the field of Music Therapy since Blues music is widely used in clinical settings with great therapeutic success. Winborn’s depth psychological perspective lends itself to further inquiry into practical applications in the field of Music Therapy as well as the interface between Depth Psychology and the Creative Arts Therapies.

    An Antidote For Rationalism?

    Is Blues music an antidote to Western society’s tendency to intellectualize, compartmentalize and defend against emotions? Winborn makes a good argument for this and illustrates how the Blues can deepen and expand our emotional vocabulary via universal acoustic images that speak to the heart. The musical elements of rhythm, timbre, and vocal tone create a physiological response which overrides the mental and ego defenses and gets underneath our skin. The instinctual, visceral, emotional energy of the Blues is the shadow of Western classical music idioms and provides a means for reckoning with both our collective and personal shadow.9

    Paradoxically the Blues helps us to both accept and transcend painful emotions since Blues lyrics are often laced with humor, wisdom, signification and elements of the trickster archetype. Winborn provides an excellent analysis of how the Blues-man performer can play a shamanic role as a catalyst for transformation in the listener, encouraging us to accept the reality of human misery and hear the Blues as a “joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.”10

    Deep Blues is well crafted with research in the areas of music history, aesthetics, philosophy, and depth psychology. Got the blues? Deep Blues infuses the midnight hour with meaning and provides the reader with a homeopathic remedy for what ails the soul.
    1 American “blues” singer, songwriter, pianist, see
    2 Neumann states, “The archetype always refers to a unitary reality embracing world and psyche.” See The Journal of Analytic Psychology, Vol. 4, Issue 2, 1959, p.126.
    3 Burton, Robert and Gass, William H., New York: NYBR, 2001.
    4 Ibid. p.117.
    5 For more on Duke Ellington see and Duke Ellington
    6 p. 66.
    7 Neumann states, “The archetype always refers to a unitary reality embracing world and psyche.” See The Journal of Analytic Psychology, Vol. 4, Issue 2, 1959, p.126.
    8 p.7
    9 p. 11. Shadow- “Hidden or unconscious aspects of oneself, both good and bad, which the ego has repressed or never recognized.” (Sharp, Jung Lexicon)
    10 p.21.

    Reviewer Bio

    Laura HarnessLaura Sentineri Harness, MA, MT-BC has a Masters degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy from Arizona State University. She has worked as a Board Certified Music Therapist for over 25 years, using music and expressive arts therapies in a variety of clinical settings. She is currently a Jungian oriented therapist in private practice and is the director of Sedona Music Therapy Services, a state funded agency which provides Music Therapy services to the developmentally disabled throughout northern Arizona. Laura plays the guitar, piano, harp and harmonium and writes songs and poems, many of them inspired by her dreams and inner work. She lives in Sedona, Arizona where she and her husband are co-directors of Temenos Healing Arts Center and they lead personalized, mythic retreats in the majestic beauty of Sedona’s red rock cathedrals.

    Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including 
    Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting-Edge Fiction, Poetry, 
    and a growing list of alternative titles. 

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    Scientific Study, Self-help Books, and Political Action will not do the Trick!

    Publication Date Jan 27, 2012

    Jung and Ecopsychology

    "Scientific study, cognitive behavioral techniques, self-help books, and political action will not do the trick. We will not achieve the fundamental level of change and understanding that is called for unless the archetypal, transcendent, sacred and mythical dimension of the psyche is engaged. The sense of the sacred Carl Sagan saw as necessary to save the environment will not be developed. Our educational systems will not be able to teach from a deep, holistic, integrated perspective unless they embrace an ecopsychological framework. Without a mythic perspective, hubris and inflation with “our” powers and the religion of science will make John’s revelatory visions a reality."

    Jung & Ecopsychology: The Dairy Farmers Guide to the Universe Vol. 1
    Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including 
    Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting-Edge Fiction, Poetry, 
    and a growing list of alternative titles.