Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bulgarian Translation of Enemy, Cripple, Beggar

Enemy, Cripple & Beggar: Shadows in the Hero’s Path has been released in a Bulgarian translation by Professor Marina Boydanova. It has been published by Lege Artis Publishing House.

Previously, The Complex: Path of Transformation from Archetype to Ego, has also appeared in a Bulgarian translation.

Erel Shalit has served as the liaison person of the International Association of Analytical Psychology to Bulgaria for the last six years, helping the Bulgarian Jung Society to develop a professional program for Jungian psychotherapists. At the recent First European Conference of Analytical Psychology, “Dialogue at the Threshold between East and West: Past, Present and Future of Cultural Identity,” held in Vilnius, Lithuania, Dr. Shalit emphasized the need “to account for social, cultural, political and historical factors; cultural complexes and social complexities, as well as the wisdom and the psyche of the particular geo-psychological location,” in the development of psychotherapy as a profession. He outlined five factors to be accounted for:
I. The first factor pertains to the change in collective consciousness.
Liberation from a totalitarian regime, from an oppressive Father as dominant of the social collective consciousness, as well as its internalization in the mind of the individual, is not only a political process.

The psychological process to free oneself from both fear as well as reliance on external authority takes longer than the actual change of the regime.
The way the principle of Father dominates consciousness, is reflected in the transference on to visiting analysts, as regards for instance reliance, expectation, apprehension and idealization, ambivalence, dependency vs. independence, etc.

II. The second issue is related to the first: While the unconscious is, axiomatically, the antithesis of consciousness, when the ideology of a prevailing, oppressive social collective consciousness claims that “matter is the beginning and the end of reality,” the courage it takes to turn to the soul and the unconscious is particularly noteworthy.

This personal courage and individual path is something that deserves profound respect. Initially I did not realize the extent of their courage, in spite of my sense of affinity to my Bulgarian friends and colleagues, because it was hidden behind their humbleness, and perhaps their respect and reliance on foreign authority. No doubt, though, that the senior members of the Jung society have truly been pioneers – the brave founders of the enterprise of introducing Analytical Psychology, with some outsiders like myself and others as devoted assistants.

III. Third factor: with freedom and renewal come loss and abandonment – as Jung has stated, abandonment is a necessary condition, not just a concomitant symptom, of development toward independence. Bulgaria suffers from emigration, many young are leaving, many of whom are extremely talented. This means that you experience not only loss, but also have to ask yourself, how come you stay. What is it that binds you, prevent you from leaving – is it fear and failure that hold you back, or does some sense of motivation and meaning beyond your personal welfare induce you with commitment and devotion?

I believe one is confronted with questions pertaining to the relationship between the individual and society, in a way that is qualitatively different from many Western societies.

IV. The fourth issue has to do with the proximity to dreaming and the unconscious. There may be less layers of asphalt, of seemingly sophisticated defenses, that cover and smooth the surface of Mother Earth. She lies barer than in so-called developed countries. Therefore, the access to deeper layers of the soul is often more direct, more immediate. Consequently, we need to consider diagnosis in its cultural context.
Many years ago, as director of a community mental health clinic, I realized the difference between someone who shares suicidal thoughts with the social worker or the family doctor, vs. someone who expresses suicidal inclinations at the psychiatric hospital’s emergency room – it should of course all be taken seriously, but it may mean and indicate very different things.

Likewise, what in one society may be a psychotic manifestation of an ego overwhelmed by archetypal material, this may in another cultural setting reflect an openness to the collective unconscious and the archetypal realm.

V. My last point is that providing education of a profession that previously did not exist in a particular society creates, among other things, narcissistic fear, inflatedness and confusion – for instance, how many pioneering therapists or analysts do not believe that they are impostors, with only the persona of a therapist?

Out of the massa confusa, a wide array of therapeutic approaches emerge, and there is a lack of clarity of concepts – e.g. as regards analyst vs. therapist.

In such a fluid state of affairs, it is important to enable the development of a firm basis of skillful therapists, with an identity rooted both in their own culture as well as in analytical psychology.

Erel Shalit is a Jungian psychoanalyst in Ra’anana, Israel. He is a training and supervising analyst, and past president of the Israel Society of Analytical Psychology (ISAP). He is the author of several publications, including The Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel and The Complex: Path of Transformation from Archetype to Ego. Articles of his have have appeared in Quadrant, The Jung Journal, Spring Journal, Political Psychology, Clinical Supervisor, Round Table Review, Jung Page, Midstream, and he has entries in The Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. Dr. Shalit lectures at professional institutes, universities and cultural forums in Israel, Europe and the United States.

Dr. Shalit's publications can be ordered directly from Fisher King Press
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