Monday, July 28, 2014

Imagine

… Imagine the Prime Minister of Israel declaring, “We are tired of war. We shall withdraw from occupied territory – as was declared by Barak at Camp David and Taba in 2000 and by Olmert in 2006 – but we shall take it a step further - we shall show our sincerity and our trust, so we have decided to release all officers from duty, no more call up of reservists. Compulsory conscription shall be replaced by community service. Investments will, finally, be diverted to education and care for the needy. We shall lay down our arms,” as for instance Norwegian philosopher Jostein Gaarder has told us to do.

Just imagine… and then a messianic era shall perhaps prevail, because the Muslim nations shall follow suit… Syria and Iran and Hezbollah and Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran and ISIS will lay down their weapons and the flowers that were gone shall reappear…


… or will jubilant Hezbollah and Hamas and Islamic Jihad pour into Israel to carry out their plans of ethnic cleansing, killing and sociocide…?
Nasrallah: Israel is a “cancerous body … [which] must be uprooted,” ... “Jews invented the legend of the Nazi atrocities.”

The Jews of yesterday are the evil fathers of the Jews of today, who are evil offspring ... the scum of the human race ‘whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs...’ These are the Jews, an ongoing continuum of deceit, obstinacy, licentiousness, evil, and corruption… (The Imam of the Al-Haraam mosque in Mecca; the same words of incitement are repeated daily in Gaza, Ramallah and innumerable mosques elsewhere.)

 From Articles 15-16 of the PLO charter:
The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine.  
The liberation of Palestine, from a spiritual point of view, will provide the Holy Land with an atmosphere of safety and tranquility, which in turn will safeguard the country's religious sanctuaries and guarantee freedom of worship and of visit to all, without discrimination of race, color, language, or religion.  
For the sake of clarity: A tranquil Paradise will prevail when the country has been cleansed of the Jews.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Disproportionate Force

An excerpt from the novella Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return

In September 1938 Chamberlain signed the pact with Hitler. To bolster the conviction that Europe would be saved by the appeasement agreement, French PM Daladier hailed Goering as “a man one can do politics with.” Why not a nice dinner, as well, and perhaps un cigar, monsieur? October 1, 1938, The Times praised the “Declaration of Peace in Munich,” concluding that the Munich conference “has not only banished the danger of war over the future of Czechoslovakia,” but it “has speeded up a new and a better era in European relationships.” Thank God for The Grace of Times! Upon his return, proud and popular Chamberlain waved the paper he signed with Hitler and declared he had brought “peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time.”

And Professor Shimeoni, for one, would have made his way to Heston Airport and applauded him upon his return, because he is a man of hope and peace.

Thus, he told himself, “I cannot blame the passively collaborating German, and can only admire and feel a deep love for those who dared to see and those that dared to act.” Particularly he thought of Wickard von Bredow, as the example of exceptional heroism: As County Officer (Landrat), he received the order, November 9, 1938, to burn down the synagogue in the East Prussian town of Shirwindt, just like all the synagogues in Germany that were to be destroyed during the next few hours. Von Bredow put on his German Army uniform, said goodbye to his wife, and, as Martin Gilbert reports, declared: “I am going to the synagogue to prevent one of the greatest crimes in my district.” He knew he risked his life and that he could be sent to a concentration camp, but added, “I have to do this.”

When the SA, SS and Party members arrived to set the synagogue on fire, he stood in front of the synagogue, loaded his revolver in front of the group, showing them that they could only get into the building over the dead body of the Landrat. The synagogue in Shirwindt was the only one in the district not destroyed.

Eli Shimeoni wondered, “Would I have dared to trespass the prohibitions, would I have dared to buy from a Jewish store? I hope so, but the honesty that fears evoke, makes me wonder. If I would have been a 1938 German, may I not have looked the other way, avoiding the shame and the guilt gazing back at me in the store owner’s eyes of shattered glass.”

More than 22,000 German civilians were killed in the allied bombings of Dresden in February 1945.

Could their lives have been spared (as well as millions of others), if Europe would have applied 'disproportionate' force in 1938, rather than futile appeasement of evil?


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rockets threaten Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport

At 12:15 EST on July 22, 2014, the FAA issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) informing U.S. airlines that they are prohibited from flying to or from Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport for a period of up to 24 hours. The notice was issued in response to a rocket strike which landed approximately one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport on the morning of July 22, 2014. The NOTAM applies only to U.S. operators, and has no authority over foreign airlines operating to or from the airport.

The FAA immediately notified U.S. carriers when the agency learned of the rocket strike and informed them that the agency was finalizing a NOTAM.

The FAA will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation. Updated instructions will be provided to U.S. airlines as soon as conditions permit, but no later than 24 hours from the time the NOTAM went into force.



Gaza and the West Bank need to be demilitarized

The following are excerpted from the novella Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return. The plot of the book takes place at several levels. While the surface plot paints the picture of concern that is present in the mind of most Israelis, the conclusion reflects the protagonist's confidence and conviction:
Professor Shimeoni tried to organize the order of events, and he jotted down:
For a long time Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had threatened to resign, but yielded to American pressure to remain in office. His continuously weakened position, however, was exposed by the humiliating coup carried out by a coalition of Islamic Jihad, Hamas and groups from within his own Fatah movement. Without any resistance, they entered his Muqata compound, pointed their guns and threatened to execute him. After merely an hour or so, a document was signed, and President Abbas was allowed to leave the headquarters of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the West Bank of Jordan for a safer haven. He appeared to be quite relieved from a burden far heavier than what a decent man’s shoulders can bear.  
Just like their take-over a few years earlier in Gaza, the Hamas, now as head of “The United Arab Coalition of Islamic Forces in Palestine,” had swiftly taken control of the previously Israel-occupied part of the West Bank, which had been handed over to the PNA. A day after expelling the President, all Government Ministries and most military bases were in the hands of the Hamas. The little resistance that arose had easily been crushed, as many of the president’s loyal forces left with him for Jordan. Having gained experience in Gaza, the Hamas enforced a strong military rule, harsh censorship, and the anti-Israeli messages in mosques and media intensified. During the years of Arafat’s and Abbas’s leadership, Israel’s destruction had been called for on a daily basis in the media and even in the schools. But now the threatening tongues sharpened into swords of heinous hatred; the oft-repeated verses about “the Jews as the scum of evil, the descendents of the apes and the pigs,” were broadcast several times a day, as were the calls for volunteers. Hundreds, if not thousands, signed up for suicide martyr missions and for training camps in Iran. Israeli roadblocks on the West Bank, which according to the Israelis had for such a long time been instrumental in curbing terrorist attacks, while they bore the insignia of humiliation and oppression for the Palestinians, were stormed by tens of thousands of civilians. While some carried weapons, there was no need to fire a single shot. The soldiers were just trampled down, and in most instances the blockades were removed within minutes.  
Israel responded by sending troops into the Palestinian territories adjacent to Ben-Gurion International Airport, fearing it would come under missile attack. The European Union sent a message to Israel that its response was “out of proportion.” The French Foreign Minister condemned Israel of committing “a disproportional act of war with negative consequences.”
....... 

Suddenly he interrupted his stream of thoughts, and wondered how his words would reverberate in him, were he to listen to his own lecture. Imagining himself in the audience, the remarkable picture of the Sabbath evening service in Bergen Belsen, a few days after liberation, crystallized before his eyes. While the dead and the dying still lie on the ground, the barely living survivors let their voices rise from the ashes into divine Hope, singing Hatikva.

The picture of the survivors from the hell of extinction struck him like lightning and etched itself firmly in his mind. Their voices, singing in unison, streamed through his pulsating veins, his heart beat faster and more strongly. He realized that the course of history changes in a single moment, and with a sense of urgency, he knew he had to raise his voice against denial and demonization, the axis that uncannily linked the One Truth of fundamentalism with the intolerable tolerance of evil. He knew he needed to turn what seemed like predetermined fate into the destiny of vocation. He had to respond to the call of commitment. Consciousness, in contrast to denial, he thought, creates commitment. While the manifestations of consciousness are many, the expression of one’s vocation remains individual.

Requiem is available in English and in Hebrew at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and at Fisher King Press.

Reviews of Requiem 

Review by Grady Harp

The title of this meditative book, Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return, seems inappropriate when the reader begins Erel Shalit's story: if these are the thought patterns that are seething through the mind of our narrator Professor Eliezer Shimeoni as he prepares a lecture on the fate of Israel and the fate of the Jews, why then open with a 'Christian' mass for the dead? But then we are reminded that this is yet another work by the author of Enemy, Cripple, & Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path, and his life's work is not only a Jungian Pyschoanalyst in Ra'anana, Israel but he is also a man consumed with the great literature and the important writers of the world.

He begins this story simply enough as Professor Shimeoni reflects on the history of the Jews post WW II, the formation of the independent home state of Israel and then the gradual failure of that land to maintain. 'That very moment he understood why the passionate longing for home had anchored in the Jewish soul, and why the sense of the soul's exile wandered like a shadow behind every Jew.' He quotes the words of Chaim Potok 'To be a Jew in this century is to understand fully the possibility of the end of mankind, while at the same time believing with certain faith that we will survive.' Shimeoni has faith that the Jews will survive, given the history of the suffering of the Pogrom. 'His belief was that the Jews thrived at the edge of pathology - their individual pathology, but also their collective pathology as a people.'

Given his theme for investigation Shimeoni examines an imagined end of Israel and then pastes together his responses to that concept with post-modern thinking. 'He recalled the words of Ben-Gurion, that in Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles. "Was Israel not the miraculous realization and the triumph of the spirit of life, forever hovering over the primordial abyss?" he said in a loud and clear voice, adjusting the microphone. As the lights were turned on, he emerged from the shadow of catatonia, and began his lecture'. This is from the last paragraph of this novel.

But what Erel Shalit has accomplished in this very brief but intoxicating book is to provide a path for each of us to follow, wisely using the plight of the Jews during the last century as a matrix from which to judge our own individual exile and return. He is an accomplished thinker and he is also a very brilliant writer.

Review by Marcella London

Erel Shalit's Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return touched me deeply, deep into the waters of my soul. From that ocean, I will choose to mention a few of the many emerging waves.

The book traces historical events, in which the longing for home can be felt: a real home, a collective home, and the personal and internal home that the author aims at, by means of the narrator of the book, Eliezer Shimeoni.

This is his private odyssey, but in distinction from Ulysses, he chooses not to relate to the siren’s song as merely a danger, but rather as a call to make the journey towards the soul’s home.

Erel Shalit’s narrative has a unique, fascinating and powerful style, which touches you strongly. Particularly, he has a way of leading the reader to grasp complicated historical processes with unusual ease.

Interwoven in a narrative of fiction and seeming non-fiction, we meet familiar figures from philosophy and literature, such as Kafka, who asked his friend Max Brod to burn his books after his death, a wish which, to the great fortune of humankind, the latter did not fulfill. In Requiem the author brings us both to Heine and the burning of books, and back to the fate of Hananiah ben Terdion in the second century.

The story of the second-hand bookshop reminded me of Borges’s famous library; Shimeoni also found refuge in the many old books: “The old bookshop granted an escape into a world of history books and timeworn atlases in which he could sail across the sea of time and continents, where fear and excitement and heroism were free and asked no price. It was a world of books that he could browse but never buy, an odyssey that could only be traveled, but never owned.”

I was carried away by the ruminations of the protagonist who wonders if he was “a mere actor in the play? What he believed to be his own, free and individual will, his personal determination, his choice and his decisions, his own peculiar thoughts, were they nothing but the manifestation of his allocated role, the text he had been given, none of his own creation?” And, “Without soul, there is no water and no liquid, no stream, no steam, and perhaps also no dream, he told himself, almost speaking out loudly. Soul does not have material substance,” says Shimeoni in the book, in his Zen-like reflections. And he is reminded of the film Smoke, based on a script by Paul Auster. The film tells the story of Sir Walter Raleigh who asked Queen Elizabeth in the 16th century, “How do you weigh smoke?” Clever as she was, she supposedly answered him, “How can you weigh smoke? It’s like weighing air or someone’s soul,” we are told. But the narrator contemplates and eventually provides us with the surprising answer.

In Requiem we are presented with two distinct styles of writing, so that we are almost led to believe that two different authors wrote the book. We find not only the narrator of a story, but also the spiritual and lyrical face of the author.

I highly recommend this fascinating and important book, which presents the reader with the simultaneously intellectual and emotional landscapes of Erel Shalit.

Marcela London, poet, author of The Beginning Was Longing (Hebrew, 2013)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Gershom Scholem: Obituary for Erich Neumann


Registration for The Jung-Neumann Letters Conference, April 24-26, 2015, will begin during the month of July, 2014. Further details will be forthcoming by mid-July.

Gershom Scholem 
Erich Neumann died November 5th, 1960, not yet fifty-six years old. Two weeks later, Gershom Sholem published an obituary in Mitteilungsblatt. Wochenzeitung des Irgun Olej Merkas Europa 28, 47 (18.11.1960), p. 4. I am grateful to Dr. Martin Liebscher, editor of the forthcoming Jung-Neumann letters, for having made me aware of Scholem's obituary.

Gershom Scholem: ‘Erich Neumann (Obituary)’

Scholem writes:
Erich Neumann's untimely death has plucked from our midst an outstanding human being, of penetrating spiritual force, great integrity of character and an astonishingly wide range of interests. Not yet thirty, in the early days of the Nazi period, Neumann came to Tel Aviv, and worked there, ever since, as a psychoanalyst, and during the last fifteen years of his life, was engaged more and more in writing.

Neumann came from the Jungian school of analytic psychology and was one of its most renowned and gifted proponents worldwide. As a thinker, he was his own person, rethinking Jung's theories in his own way, and seeking to develop them further. I have often heard him described as the Jungian school's logician. He enjoyed a wide reputation and was well respected abroad, and at the end of the Second World War, was offered the position of head of the Jungian Institute then founded in Zurich. Neumann, whose Jewish identity was profound and unequivocal, knew his place and avoided murky situations. He often told me how pleasant it was for him, to spend time in Europe as a guest from Israel, who could be master of his decisions, and teach wherever and whenever he pleased, one who knew where he belonged.

It was this tremendous human freedom and dignity that made his participation in the Eranos conferences in Ascona so extremely valuable. Since 1948 Neumann lectured there every year, and for ten years was the conference's key speaker, who took it upon himself to develop his own fresh, comprehensive view of the yearly topic, based on his psychological thought. Along with his major work, Ursprunggeschichte des menschlichen Bewustseins, and Die Grosse Mutter, his wide-ranging contributions to the Eranos yearly publications are his most important spiritual legacy. His lectures became veritable events and were one of the highlights of these conferences (who's moving force was Mrs. Olga Froebe, with whom he had a wonderful rapport). In these lectures, in which he invested intense and time-consuming labour each year, it was always surprising to see the connection between the logical passion with which he structured his psychological ideas – each lecture reflecting his overall vision from a unique, new perspective – and his profound fascination with the world of human creativity, especially in the domains of art and religion. Usually, the second hour of his lecture was dedicated to an attempt at a new interpretation of a work of art or literature, along with an examination of its applicability to his psychological theory. After our many years together at these conferences, I do not recall a single instance in which Neumann, proud Jew that he was, failed to make reference to the Jewish heritage, to which he felt connected and committed.

Not surprisingly, given the seriousness and freshness of his approach to his subjects, there was something authoritative about his lectures. He spoke with profound conviction. Nevertheless, he was always open to discussion, and it was a pleasure to witness his interchanges with the circle of colleagues who raised questions and critique. His affinity with the arts, his sense of humor about the necessarily fragmentary human endeavor, indeed I would say, the moral compass which unerringly guided him in many difficult situations, all contributed to turn the doctor, scholar and logician into a significant human figure. In his prime, with all his plans and works in progress, an insidious disease took him from us.
—Gerschom Scholem
Translated from the German by Liron Nirgad
Permission to translate and publish translation of Scholem's obituary has been received from Suhrkamp Verlag.

 

Memorial Plaque at Pariser Strasse in Berlin

In a letter to Julia Neumann, in January 1961, C.G. Jung mourns the loss of Erich Neumann. Their creative relationship, as it comes across in the correspondence between Jung and Neumann, will be celebrated at the forthcoming conference.

Jewish Terrorists Murdered Palestinian Teen

PM Netanyahu has condemned the terrible murder of a Palestinian teen by Jewish terrorists.

He is right, but must take further steps.

Every society has its criminals, it's extremists, and it's potential terrorists, that need to be reigned in. The tragedy is that extremists and extremism, destructive to Israel no less than to the Palestinians, have not been reigned in, in spite of more than enough warnings and terrorist acts, such as the assassination of PM Rabin. No, they have been allowed to lead the way, leading government policies astray.

Negotiations with the Palestinians failed, no less because of the Palestinians than the Israelis. They will hopefully be resumed, but even prior to this, PM Netanyahu has to do the following (or similarly):
  1. Declare the small area along the 1948 ceasefire line in which 80% of settlers live (and which in any peace agreement will be part of a land swap) to be part of Israel, 
  2. Declare a complete settlement freeze beyond this area, where the majority of settlements, in which however a minority of settlers live; offer settlers who are willing to evacuate the possibility of compensation; the earlier they evacuate, the greater the compensation; at the end of the process, the settlements will be relocated into the remaining settlement blocs (state funds thus saved should be channeled to affordable housing for the young inside Israel), 
  3. Declare willingness to swap land for the areas held on to, at a future negotiated peace agreement, but not until then, 
  4. Unlike the full withdrawal from Gaza, military occupation (for instance to ensure that rockets are not fired from the West Bank into Israel’s Ben Gurion International airport) will remain until security arrangements and partial or full peace agreements are reached – only the civilian aspects of occupation, that is the settlements, will be evacuated until such times, 
  5. Declare recognition of an Arab Palestinian State, whether independently in the West Bank and Gaza, or in (con-)federation with Jordan, and the willingness to establish joint financial and other projects to make such a state viable, in whatever shape the Palestinians themselves decide. 
The above as an intermediary prior to the resumption of negotiations, and in order to reign in Jewish extremism, that threatens the fabric of Israeli society more than an external enemy can ever do.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Bi-Polarity, Compensation, and the Transcendent Function in Dreams and Visionary Experience



Kathryn Madden, Ph.D., has contributed an important chapter, "Bi-Polarity, Compensation, and the Transcendent Function in Dreams and Visionary Experience," to The Dream and its Amplification.

The following is an abstract of her chapter:
Working with the amplification of dreams from a depth psychological process remains a central element of individuation, renewal of values, and restoration of a spirituality gone dormant, yet one that is intrinsically meaningful to understanding the contemporary diversity of our cultural traditions and our psychological inheritance.

Dreams offer an unparalleled revelation of the unconscious processes that govern our worldview, attitudes and behavior. In my chapter contribution to The Dream and Its Amplification, “Bi-Polarity, Compensation, and the Transcendent Function in Dreams and Visionary Experience,” I offer primarily symbolic and archetypal approaches to dream work by exploring a specific image recorded in Jung’s Collected Works that was created by the 17th century visionary, Jacob Boehme, which intrigued Jung, although he felt Boehme’s image to be an unresolved “bi-polarity.”  
I examine Boehme’s mandala, his image of the godhead, through the lens of compensatory amplification and the transcendent function. I find that Boehme’s “numinous” experience offers a prospective unfolding of the archetype of the Self, along with his unconventional view that good and evil exist simultaneously in this image. 
Boehme's "Philosophick Globe" 
The following are excerpts from “Bi-Polarity, Compensation, and the Transcendent Function in Dreams and Visionary Experience;”
In Boehme’s worldview,…dark and light are seen to be bi-polar co-inhabitants of the same ground. Light does not so much defeat the darkness—nor, for that matter, does the darkness defeat the light—but, rather, both are held in a coincidence of opposites to form a whole, in the world of nature as well as in the spirit. This is represented in the mandala by the opposing, co-equal, semi-circles, joined by the heart image. Significantly present, also, is the great circle encompassing both the opposing light and dark elements, giving the entire illustration an archetypal form as that of the Self which contains all opposites, or as a radically new God image, at least for Western Christianity. 
….Jung is critical of Boehme’s attempt to “organize the Christian cosmos, as a total reality, into a mandala,” saying he failed because he “was unable to unite the two halves in a circle.”[1] Jung goes on to say that the two halves  
…represent un-united opposites, which presumably should be bound together by the heart standing between them. This drawing is most unusual but aptly expresses the insoluble moral conflict underlying the Christian view of the world.[2] 
On the other hand, Boehme did contain the opposing elements, not by completing a circle with the two half-circles, but rather joining them with the symbols of heart and cross, and with the entire display—dark/light, vertical/horizontal, with the heart at the very center—contained by the great circle. The archetype of the self is that which holds all opposites. Boehme’s revelation was that so too does the Godhead, and his mandala—a new God-image—demonstrates that illumination.

Perhaps this image was also generated and utilized in unconscious compensation for what had been forcibly and violently suppressed by the Protestant Reformation that was already in full swing by the time Boehme was born in Eastern Germany in 1575. In other words, it was compensatory in this environment just because it was an image.

The symbology within Boehme’s mandala image is powerful and seems to emanate from a vision in which he received knowledge that was otherwise inaccessible through conscious, rational thought alone. So, we might say that, at the very least, this mandala acted to compensate for the collective psyche’s rejection of images during that particular time in the history of Western civilization—an attitude that was, itself, a compensation against what the Reformers took to be the idolatrous worship of statues, icons, paintings and relics of the Catholic Church.

One cannot overestimate the extent to which the iconoclastic, puritan Protestant movement had taken over Europe. Images were highly suspect. Images, after all, arose from extra-rational, non-linear thinking. Dreams communicate in images. Prophets have visions and revelations and speak of them in imagistic terms. The radical Protestant theologians during the height of the Reformation condemned not only images, but also the visions and revelations that preceded them, saying that revelation happened once and only once, and that it was blasphemous to suggest otherwise. Many European cathedrals that survive today are a testament to this recklessness. Many lost the beautiful stained glass windows and statuary that communicated visually the stories of the Old and New Testament because the Reformers wanted the illiterate laity to receive the Word of God (the interpretation of which could be controlled through “orthodox” Protestant preaching) rather than images that were open to individual interpretation through direct experience. Boehme paid a price for his heterodox ideas, however, by being excoriated from the pulpit of the Lutheran church he dutifully attended despite his dogmatic and doctrinal differences with it, and, essentially, was run out of town as a heretic.

Some 300 years after Boehme, Jung became convinced that messages from dreams, or the unconscious in general, are worth listening to and attending to on their own terms….

____________________________
[1] C.G. Jung, The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, CW 9i (New York: Pantheon, 1959, ¶ 603
[2] C.G. Jung, The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, CW 9i (New York: Pantheon, 1959, ¶ 704


Kathryn Madden, Ph.D., is a licensed psychoanalyst of Jungian/psychodynamic focus in private practice in New York City. She teaches at the Pacifica Graduate Institute and is a Lecturer at Union Theological Seminary of Columbia University. Kathryn is the Editor-in-Chief of Quadrant, author of Dark Light of the Soul (Lindisfarne) and co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion (Springer). As President and CEO of the Blanton-Peale Graduate Institute, she offered a decade of executive leadership and administrative oversight to a psychotherapeutic training institute and state-licensed clinic. At BP, Kathryn was awarded the New York Association of Executives Distinguished Social Responsibility Award for the program "Project Care" that she developed for returning U.S. Veterans from Iraq. Her 15-year tenure with the Journal of Religion & Health: Psychology, Spirituality & Medicine was honored with The Distinguished Research & Writing Award presented by AAPC.



Kathryn’s current projects and research interests:
"My primary writing and research interests reside in dream work and experiential workshops where persons are guided to engage personally with the collective and cultural dream. I have been doing guest speaking engagements for Jungian societies and groups interested in depth psychology throughout America, Canada, and overseas. I also am very interested in the individual, group and collective phenomenology within the space of liminality in ritual, which includes dream work and active imagination. I am seeking to observe if and how new rituals are formed, and/or whether we are still repeating ancient symbolic resonances that reside in universal and archetypal images. Are ancient symbols still efficacious, or are we spiraling ever inward (and outward) in making the unconscious conscious toward the evolution of alive and new symbols? How does this vary in different cultures? How capable are we as complex-ridden individuals, many of whom are caught in a labyrinth of projection, in giving birth to new rituals? Is secularism, including the perspectives of postmodernism, a help or a hindrance in this context?" 
"Perhaps my most pressing interest right now is upcoming field work and study of the San Bushmen, the peoples in Namibia who have inhabited the earth for over 100,000 years. The San are considered to be the first of tribal consciousness in the collective. Their peoples are being displaced and relocated and their habitual hunting and gathering practices intentionally changed “for their own good” by governments in southern Africa. Beyond this socio-cultural crisis, I am delving into their archetypal and symbolic heritage through dream amplification and exploring this wealth of inheritance from a depth psychological perspective." 
___________________________________________________________
"The Dream and Its Amplification is a wonderful book for anyone interested in their inner life, their dream life and how the unconscious gives us a map to our lives. 14 different authors give us a peek into the everyday workings of an analytic practice and dream amplification. Each voice is unique, no two analysts work in exactly the same way, but a common thread runs through the chapters. They all tell us that dreams are important, we need to pay attention, we need to honor this gift from our psyches. If we pay attention and honor our dreams we will be rewarded with a deeper and more meaningful understanding of who we really are.

This book is for both professionals in the field of psychology and the general public. It is accessible, moving and informative. We are given new ways to think about our dreams. If you wake up and ask yourself, "What the heck was that dream about?" this is a book for you. If you have wondered what goes on in those 50 minutes behind closed doors, this a book for you. If you have a curious mind and an open heart, this is a book for you."
—Susan Bostrom-Wong 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Red Cross visits Theresienstadt, 70 years ago

Pastoral Theresienstadt

The infamous Red Cross visit to Theresienstadt took place 
June 23, 1944, that is, 70 years ago

In the Coffee House - Joe Spier 

Theresienstadt was established as a 'model ghetto', "in order to save face in regards to the outside world" (Eichmann). The first deportation to the Terezin (Theresienstadt) ghetto too place Nov. 24, 1941.

While the Jews in Theresienstadt gave manifestation to the height of spiritual survival in the shadow of evil, it was, and was meant to be a hoax from the beginning.

The perversity of deception in the service of evil compounded into the dust of the extermination camps, but on the way, “to the East,” as the Nazis deceptively called the transports to the death camps, Theresienstadt served as a model of deception.

The Red Cross visited the 'town' on June 23, 1944, prior to which the Nazis intensified deportations, and the ghetto was "beautified." Some inmates were dressed up and told to stand at strategic places along the carefully designated route. Shop windows along the route were filled with goods for the day, and the day's abundance in the candy shop window made life in Terezin seem sweet.


The day of the visit, the orchestra stage at the town square
During the Red Cross visit on children were pictured playing as if in a 'normal' place of residence. Little did the Red Cross know that they were being misled by the Nazis.
Children playing - also the day of the visit 
Not the day of the visit 

The Red Cross reported dryly that while war time conditions made all life difficult, life at Terezin was acceptable given all of the pressures. The Red Cross concluded that the Jews were being
treated
all right.

Inmates in Theresienstadt - also not the day of the visit 
Approximately 158,000 Jews were brought to Theresienstadt. Approximately 90,000 were transported onwards to the extermination camps, of whom about 4,800 survived. About 35,500 died of hunger and illness in the ghetto (among them my great-grandmother).

Of the 12,121 children (born 1928 and later) brought to Theresienstadt, 9,001 were sent to the death camps. 325 survived.

When Helen Deutsch, the psychoanalyst who had left Vienna for the United States in 1935, wrote her important 1942 paper “Some forms of emotional disturbance and their relationship to schizophrenia,” introducing the concept of the as-if personality, the poet Leo Strauss wrote, in Theresienstadt, what in its subtle simplicity to me is one of the most spectacular poems, ‘Als-Ob,’ As-If. The English translation from the German is mine, from Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return:

I know a little tiny town
A city just so neat
I call it not by name
but call the town As-if

Not everyone may enter

Into this special place
You have to be selected
From among the As-if race

And there they live their life
As-if a life to live
Enjoying every rumor
As-if the truth it were

You lie down on the floor
As-if it was a bed
And think about your loved one
As if she weren’t yet dead

One bears the heavy fate
As-if without a sorrow
And talks about the future

As if there was – tomorrow