Thursday, December 29, 2011

January 1, 2012: The Hero and His Shadow, Revised Edition

Nicholas Poussin, A Dance to the Music of Time, 1639

As we enter Janus’s gate of transition from the departing year to the year that opens up in front of us, we may take the time to reflect on the dramatic events that have taken place during this past year, and wonder what lies ahead.

Hope and possibilities alternate with anguish and despair, as a year of protesters’ spring and danger of nuclear winter comes to an end. Sophia, the Wisdom born out of the secrets of the Night and the reflection in Depth, seemed to have abandoned the streets and the places of concourse (Prov. 1:20-32). Then, in an era in which all seemed to dwell in the self-imposed solitary confinement of virtual reality, life in vitro behind the screen, the young take to the streets and gather in the squares. Attempting to break the bonds of oppressive regimes and cold-hearted mammonism, they have raised their voice across the globe, demanding freedom, solidarity and justice. Will these voices persevere to withstand the strong, silencing forces of darkness, of ruthlessness and oppression? Will the Voice of Wisdom be listened to, so that we may “dwell safely, without fear of evil” (Prov. 1:33)?
From The Hero and His Shadow, p. 32.
January 1, 2012: The Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel Revised Edition (available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Fisher King Press), paperback and eBook (kindle, nook, iPad, etc).

The Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel introduces a psychological perspective on the history, development, and myths of modern Israel.

The realization of Zionism relied on the pioneer, who revolted against the Way of the Father and sought spiritual redemption through the revival of Mother Earth in the ancient land. Myth and history, psyche and matter are constantly intertwined in the birth and development of Israel, for example when in the Declaration of Independence we are told that pioneers make deserts bloom, the text actually says they make spirits blossom.

Pioneer, guardsman and then warrior were admired hero-ideals. However, in the shadow of the hero and the guiding myths of revolt, redemption, strength and identity-change, are feelings of despair, doubt, weakness and fear. Within renewal, lurks the threat of annihilation.

Suppressed aspects of past and present myths, which linger in the shadow, are exposed. Psychological consequences of Israel’s wars, from independence to the present war of terror, are explored on a personal note and from a psychoanalytic perspective. Shadow aspects of the conflicting guiding myths Peace and Greater Israel are examined, as well as mythical connections, such as between Jerusalem and the respective archetypal images of Wholeness and Satan.

Erel Shalit, author and Jungian psychoanalyst, is the Academic Director of the Jungian Analytical Psychotherapy Program at Bar Ilan University. He is a member of the Council for Peace and Security. He has been Director of the Community Mental Health Clinic, Shalvata Psychiatric Center, and served as officer in the Medical Corps of the Israel Defense Forces.

In addition to The Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel, Dr. Shalit is the author of several books, including: The Cycle of Life: Themes and Tales of the Journey, Enemy, Cripple, Beggar: Shadows in the Hero’s Path, The Complex: Path of Transformation from Archetype to Ego, and Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return.

Product Details
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Fisher King Press; Revised edition (January 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1926715698

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Definitive Journey

From Enemy, Cripple, Beggar

The hero who searches for new paths in his heart and soul often lets hints and hunches guide him forward. Yet, he also needs to be equipped with courage to search beyond the boundaries of common ground and with humbleness towards the unknown that lies ahead of him. He must also carry a bagful of questions and concerns, curiosity and conflict, doubt and fear; “Every man hath the right to doubt his task, and to forsake it from time to time; but what he must not do is forget it.” Paulo Coelho, The Fifth Mountain, p. 53.

Erel Shalit titles are on Sale now at Fisher King Press.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Required Reading for all Travelers on Life's Journey

Review by Dr. Arieh Friedler of

The Cycle of Life: Themes and Tales of the Journey

(Amazon, Dec. 12, 2011)

Required Reading for all Traveler's on Life's Journey

From the Bible to Shakespeare, to Carl Jung and to Erik Erikson, Erel Shalit's book, THE CYCLE OF LIFE poetically and informatively presents "the themes and tales of the journey". Shalit cites Jung who assured us that the journey entails BOTH the road we take and HOW we take that road, our conscious attitude. Likewise, as one sets out on the book's journey, s/he is aware of Shalit's profound understanding of the cycle of life. His expertise in Jungian psychology coupled with his vast personal experience in treating clients is apparent on nearly every page. It is HOW he presents the journey that makes this book both very enjoyable and very readable. Just as one feels that perhaps s/he is getting a bit lost in the psychological description of one of the stages in the life cycle, Shalit presents the reader with a poignant example from literature, Greek mythology, Eastern Philosophy, or from Jewish philosophy which illustrates and clarifies the issue for the layman.
As one of these laymen who is on the threshold of the last stage in the journey, I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who wants to understand his or her own life as an individual or as part of the universe. The book should be required reading for all those starting out on "the journey", for those who deal with people who are somewhere on the path, and for those of us who are at the last station but who still have the strength and the curiosity to understand how s/he has arrived at this point. All in all THE CYCLE OF LIFE is an outstanding publication by a brilliant writer.

Dr. Arieh Friedler
Israel Adult Education Association

In old age, we often search our way back, recalling childhood memories, reconnecting with family background, a religion or a country left behind. We tend to return to where we came from. While the tasks of youth and young adulthood require breaking away from one’s roots, and to establish a separate and individual identity, now comes the time of return - though sometimes the road Home, "to whence I come, was a much longer and more painful road than the departure…" An interest in one’s family genealogy is a common expression of this. We return to our ancestors in order to heal our neurosis. As Jung says, if “man was still linked by myth with the world of the ancestors, and thus with nature truly experienced and not merely seen from the outside, [the neurotics] would have been spared this division with themselves.” Our deceased parents have become part of a lost world, which we explore in order to find our ancestral roots and the often lost voices of wisdom from the past. (From The Cycle of Life, p. 174)