Thursday, February 25, 2010

Excerpt from "Silence is the center of feeling," an 'enterview' with Erel Shalit

Living with Jung: "Enterviews" with Jungian Analysts, Vol. 3 by Robert and Janis Henderson, pp. 221-236.

In the interview, we discuss topics such as Encountering Jung, Shoah, Madoff, Psyche and Politics. The following is an excerpt from pp. 222-223:

RH: What are some of the doors Memories, Dreams, and Reflections open inside you?

ES: For the introverted young person that I was, more a visitor than fully at home in life, it reopened the door to myself: As a child I mostly avoided other children, playing and finding solace in solitude, withdrawing into my own world of dreams, fantasies, telling myself the stories I wasn’t told by parents who were struggling to find their way in life and cope with a post-WWII reality of loss and disorientation.

However, in my mid-teens I “understood” that extraversion is the game, and I joined the “truths” of the mid-sixties, the ideologies and the movements and the rebellions and the bandwagons. MDR, quite simply and softly, helped me return to myself, for which I am grateful.

However, you ask what doors inside me MDR open, present tense, inside me, and I want to mention two doors, still as valid to me today as forty years and more ago: one is the simplicity of the language. It reads like a novel. Rather than a convoluted pseudo-scientific language, here the soul simply speaks through its natural precinct of tales and images, memories, dreams and reflections.

The simplicity of the garment reveals the depth of the wisdom.

Secondly, it inspired the way I relate to my own dreams. I am a bit lazy, and I don’t collect the dreams of every night. I do feel a bit guilty, well aware that the Scribe of Dreams sits down at his (or her) desk as soon as I go to sleep, and starts to collect every possible material – residues from the day, complexes of old, events in the world – weaving it into images and stories.

And I also know that I send someone to represent me in those stories – what we usually call the dream-ego – who returns to knock on my door to share with me the adventures, the pleasures and the pains that he has experienced, and to most I don’t even open the door. I justify this by believing that most of our dreams serve as a sewage system to get rid of overload and garbage, letting it flow into the ocean of the unconscious.

Yet, I am of course aware that a one-sided use of the system will clog it, and that some dreams work in the opposite direction – picking up hints and reflections and ideas and innovations and comments that need to be brought from the great ocean, shipping it into the ‘ego-state’ of consciousness. So I do remember a couple of dreams every month, and during some periods more. I then like to have the dream hang around with me, or me hanging around in and out of the dream.

In a very non-interpretative way I do a kind of active imagination over several weeks, talking to a dream figure, listening to what he or she seems to say, or walking around in the setting of the dream, for instance a dream-house or along a dream-path. Whatever I may understand of it seems to emerge by itself, and to develop by continued interaction.

This was inspired by reading MDR, and has stayed with me since. To paraphrase Camus, who said, “Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators” – I believe, as did Jung, that the soul writes clearly, but we tend to become quite obscure when we comment and try to interpret it.

Living with Jung: "Enterviews" with Jungian Analysts, Vol. 3 by Robert and Janis Henderson

In this volume of Living with Jung: "Enterviews" with Jungian Analysts, Robert and Janis Henderson present interviews with eighteen Jungian analysts, many of whom, in addition to their private practice, are involved in the development of Jungian training programs around the world. The interviews span not only the broad sweep of the history of Jungian psychology, from Z├╝rich to points beyond, but also the shifts in emphasis that have taken place in the practice of Jungian analysis over the years. As these Jungian analysts reflect on their personal stories for the outside world, they "de-mythologize" not just themselves and their profession, but Jung himself.The interviews take the form of free-ranging conversations that cover a wide variety of topics, from spirituality, aging, and death, to sexuality, marriage, family, women's issues, politics, religion, healing, and the spread of Jungian training and practice worldwide.For Jungians and interested non-Jungians alike, this is a rich repository of information about the Jungian world, never before brought together in one place.

Astrid Berg, ChristianGailliard, VivianeThibaudier, John Hill
Odysseys and Standing Stones: A Life between Worlds John Hill Zurich
Something Told Me Not to Give Up Linda Leonard Boulder
Giving Expression to the Psyche Thomas Singer San Francisco
Openness, Ethics, and Creativity Christian Gaillard Paris
Deepening Connections Renos Papadopoulos London
Enough Time to Ripen Jan Bauer Montreal
Borderland Connections Jerome Bernstein Santa Fe
Life Goes On Paul Brutsche Zurich
Spoke to a Depth of Soul Joe Cambray Providence
Hearing a Similar Voice Christa Robinson Zurich
A Deeply Connecting Force Astrid Berg Cape Town
Bridges Viviane Thibaudier Paris
Where Were the Leaves before They Came Out? Michael Conforti Brattleboro
My Body Represents My Compass in Life Jackie Gerson Mexico City
Silence Is the Center of Feeling Erel Shalit Ra'anana
New Ground under My Feet Irene Bischof Berne
From the Cave J. Marvin Spiegelman Los Angeles
Love the Questions Themselves Wolfgang Giegerich Berlin

Erel Shalit's books can be purchased at or by phoning Fisher King Press directly at 1-831-238-7799

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Slender, Succinct, Superb - Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return

Review of Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return, by Erel Shalit

5.0 out of 5 stars Slender, Succinct, Superb, February 3, 2010
By Edith Sobel (Fort Lee, New Jersey)

This slim but incisive novella is a philosophical but completely comprehensible take on contemporary Israel. From a "litany of lamentations" drawn from the current generation which appears to be the antithesis of their idealistic founding fathers, the thoughtful narrator Eli Shimeoni (about to give a lecture in New York) recounts his overriding despair - but eventually concludes with hope. Elegantly and thoughtfully mourning today's saga of Israeli disillusion without hope, bitter alienation, and collapse of Zionist ideals, Shimeoni indicts the present movement out of the country for profit and the concomitant surrender of "soul." But relying on the consistency of past Jewish history and the "triumphalism of hope" the reader reluctantly puts the book down - and smiles!

Download a free pdf sampler of Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return

Erel Shalit's Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return, and his previously published books can be purchased at or by phoning Fisher King Press directly at +1-831-238-7799

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thriving in Turbulent Times: How Relevant is Psychoanalysis Today?

Thriving in Turbulent Times:

How Relevant is Psychoanalysis Today?

National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis Conference October 24, 2009

Excerpt from the Gradiva Awards Banquet, by Erel Shalit, delivered by Dr. Jeffrey Werden

Times are, indeed, turbulent; there is crisis and uncertainty, as well as global processes of social, psychological and ecological change. We do not know where they will lead, but an analytical approach to the psyche may shed light on those dark corners in which shadowy, otherwise unaccounted for aspects of progress that elude our conscious vision, thrive in hiding. In our post-modern condition, the real is being replaced by the virtual, and the virtual is taking on its own autonomous reality. In this present condition of increasing non-locality and transiency, an erosion of the real, as the French philosopher Baudrillard has said, is taking place. By association we centrifugally 'flee the center' – thus, Freud suggested free association as a technique to flee the bonds of ego consciousness. The freer our associations, the more able we are to break away from the rigidities and the imperatives of collective consciousness. Yet, as we associatively follow the clues into the endlessness of cyberspace, deconstructing the structures of convention, we may get lost, like the Flying Dutchman, as we crisscross the World Wide Waters, at a speed that often leaves no time for digestion – which is so essential, if we are to turn the food of living experience into soul-matter. Our condition is becoming increasingly transient, as we can discern in the traits of the Transient Personality - the non-locality and temporality of airports, as Temples of Transiency, assuage his restlessness and suit him better than being-in-therapy and holding on to the analytical relationship. In his imperative book Technopoly, Neal Postman sadly concludes that “the average psychotherapist … barely has even superficial knowledge of literature, philosophy, social history, art, religion, and biology, and is not expected to have such knowledge.” In a world in which practically everything can be copied and indiscreetly forwarded, it may seem as if psychoanalysis is obsolete, but, in fact, this may precisely be the time where it, psychoanalysis, can possibly serve as a liaison between the world of poets – who, as Freud said, are apt to know a whole host of things between heaven and earth of which our philosophy has not yet let us dream – between the world of poets and the poetry of one's individual soul, a meeting taking place, discretely and authentically, in the analytical relationship. I thank you for having honored me by nominating my book for the Gradiva Award.

Erel Shalit's Enemy, Cripple, Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path and his previously published book The Complex: Path of Transformation from Archetype to Ego can be purchased at or by phoning Fisher King Press directly at +1-831-238-7799