Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Live the Journey: From Predetermined Fate to Individual Destiny

by Erel Shalit

Jung defines life as the “story of the self-realization of the unconscious. Everything in the unconscious seeks outward manifestation, and the personality too desires to evolve out of its unconscious conditions to experience itself as a whole.” (Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 3.)

The Cycle of Life describes some of the principal archetypal images at play as we navigate our journey through life. In each stage of life, there is an image, or rather a cluster of psychological themes that pertain to that particular period, such as the divine child and the orphan child. Usually, these themes and images do not correspond to actual events or traumata, but reflect internal, archetypal experiences.

The feelings related to being an orphan are universal, and a vital facet of growing out of certain states of childhood; sometimes, however, the archetypal image of the orphan may devastatingly strike a child by the traumatic loss of a parent. Traumatic experiences often cause fixation; the archetypal image becomes frozen in the psyche of the traumatized person, rather than serving as a transitory psychic constellation, eventually integrating into the fullness of the personality.

At times we might find ourselves struck by the disparity between a predominant archetypal image and the prevailing developmental stage, as for instance when we see a senex-child, that is, a child who seems to speak the old person’s tongue, rather than to be dwelling in the world of childhood play. Or, for example, a mother of four teenage children, all of whom thought of her as a ‘child-mother,’ immature and childish. Even when they were small, they felt that she wanted them to be parental children taking care of her.

The archetypal idea of a journey through life is outlined in The Cycle of Life, in which Jung’s theory of the stages of life, as well as other perspectives, are reviewed. A focus on the river of life as an image of the journey helps to illustrate the process of transformation from predetermined fate to individual destiny. Hermes, god of thieves and merchants, souls and roads, will guide us toward the Hermetic aspect of life’s journey, infusing the experience of life with meaning, when graced with those soulful gifts that alter life’s course.

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.
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. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

News Release: Land, Weather, Seasons, Insects

News Release - April 17, 2013 - Just Published:

Land, Weather, Seasons, Insects: An Archetypal View  — The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe Volume IV
by Dennis L. Merritt

Land, Weather, Seasons, Insects explores the environment, with the Midwest as an example, using traditional Jungian and Hillmanian approaches to deepen our connection with the land, the seasons, and insects.

The Dalai Lama said how we relate to insects is very important for what it reveals much about a culture’s relationship with the psyche and nature.

"I had several Big Dreams in my last year of training at the Jung Institute in Zurich, including a single image dream of a typical Wisconsin pasture or meadow scene. This was the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen because it shown with an inner light, what Jung called a numinous or sacred dream. Since returning to Wisconsin I have let the mystery and power of that dream inspire me to learn and experience as much as possible about the land and the seasons of the upper Midwest, a process of turning a landscape into a soulscape."

"The means of doing this are presented in Land, Weather, Seasons, Insects: An Archetypal View, volume IV of The Dairy Farmer’s Guide to the Universe—Jung, Hermes, and Ecopsychology. This involves the use of science, myths, symbols, dreams, Native American spirituality, imaginal psychology and the I Ching. It is an approach that can be used to develop a deep connection with any landscape, meeting one of the goals of ecopsychology. Carl Sagan believed that unless we can re-establish a sense of the sacred about the earth, the forces leading to its destruction will be too powerful to avert."
—Dennis L. Merritt

Front Cover: A Monarch butterfly on Buddleia in Olbrich Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin. This “King of the Butterflies” is probably the best known of the North American butterflies and is the chosen image for the Entomological Society of America. The caterpillar feeds on the lowly milkweed, genius Asclepias, named after the Greek god of healing. The plant and the insect are toxic to most organisms. The insect is known for its uniquely long and complicated migrations. Photo by Chuck Heikkinen.

DENNIS L. MERRITT, Ph.D., is a Jungian psychoanalyst and ecopsychologist in private practice in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A Diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute of Analytical Psychology, Zurich, Switzerland, he 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. in Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has participated in Lakota Sioux ceremonies for over twenty-five years which have strongly influenced his worldview.
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. 

“It's the environment, stu....!”

by Dennis L. Merritt, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst, Ecopsychologist

(This talk was given at the Fordham conference, Jung in the Academy and Beyond: The Fordham Lectures 100 Years Later, held at Fordham University on October 26 and 27, 2012. It will be published in the Proceedings)

As Bill Clinton might say, “It's the environment, stupid!” Our devotion to science, technology and the capitalist system has culminated in a unique moment in the human relationship with the environment. Our species is at or near the peak of a prosperity bubble about to burst. We have exceeded the carrying capacity of the biosphere and we are still breeding. (1) We are overusing antibiotics and deadly bacteria are becoming immune to everything we have. (2) We are mining our precious water resources (3), coral reefs are dying as the oceans become warmer and more acidic (4), and most alarming, we are experiencing this as the very beginnings of the negative consequences of climate change. It will include massive droughts and floods, freak storms, the spread of diseases (5), famine, water wars (6), and the elimination of 30 to 50% of the species. (7) Experts tell us we may have but 10 years max to turn the Titanic around with regard to the most devastating aspects of climate change. (8) The apocalyptic conditions we are inexorably moving towards are truly in the archetypal domain, requiring an archetypal analysis and suggestions for dealing with it. Enter Jungian ecopsychology, a topic I have been writing on for the past 16 years, having just published the 4 volumes of The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe—Jung, Hermes, and Ecopsychology.

I discovered Jung while working on my doctorate in entomology in Berkeley starting in 1967. My area was insect pathology, using insect pathogens instead of chemicals to manage insect pests; Silent Spring had made a deep impression on me. Eventually I came to realize the ecological and political dimensions of Jung's concepts, and was able to bring my two backgrounds together within the developing field of ecopsychology.

The Blind Side of Psychology is its Relationship with Nature

Friday, April 12, 2013

Diagnosing the "Problem"

Because guilt tends to hide behind other disturbances, we need clinical tools to help us bring guilt into the open where the real culprit can be seen and addressed. In our experience in our practices, guilt is never the presenting problem. We have never had a patient say, “I’ve come to get help for dealing with my guilt.” People who could define their main problem as guilt might as likely go to see a priest or rabbi rather than a therapist. The presenting problems of most people we see are anxiety and depression. Eventually, however, guilt often raises its ugly head. It is found hiding behind the anxiety and depression. Also fairly often the presenting problem is difficulty with relationships or concern with repeating patterns. Unrequited love is not an infrequent guest. Guilt also hides behind these painful experiences. In cases of unrequited love, the suffering soul almost always comes to the conclusion that there is something wrong with him/her, that he/she is not lovable. Ultimately, we find guilt behind repeating patterns. They feel guilty for being weak, for not being strong enough to alter the repetitious behavior. They feel inadequate to fix the recurring problem in their lives . . .
(from Chapter 5 of The Guilt Cure)
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. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What Became of Our Fierce Flowering?

April 10, 2013 - Just published by il piccolo editions

The Faust Woman Poems
by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

What became of our fierce flowering?

In the 1960s and '70s the long forgotten and forbidden Great Goddess roused herself from millennia of slumber and took possession of young women’s imaginations. That cast out She offered a Faustian bargain—She would rip you out of your narrow domesticated self image, thrust you into the wilds of sex, power and creativity, initiate you into the mysteries of Earth and Starry Heaven, but you would owe Her your soul. A generation of women followed Her. Some knew her as Feminism, some knew her as the Deep Feminine, many as both.

The Faust Woman Poems trace one woman’s Faustian adventures through that time. Most of a lifetime later the Great Goddess returns to the poet.  As oceans rise and species die She demands Her due.

About the Author:
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky lives at the confluence of the River Psyche and the Deep River of poetry. The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way tells stories of her pushy muse. She is the co-editor, with Patricia Damery, of the new collection Marked by Fire: Stories of the Jungian Way. In addition to the Faust Woman Poems, Naomi is also the author of three books of poetry, including the recently published Adagio & Lamentation. Her poetry has been widely published and she is the winner of the Obama Millennium Award. She is a member of the San Francisco Institute and has for years led a writing circle there, called Deep River.

Cover image Papilla Estelar is a painting by Remedios Varo, used with permission from the Varo Estate, © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VEGAP, Madrid.

Product Details
The Faust Woman Poems
Paperback: 90 pages
Publisher: il piccolo editions; 1st edition (April 10, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1926715971
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.