Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Consciousness of Trees

Jung say in the prologue to Memories, Dreams, Reflections, “Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on a rhizome.”

The rhizome, the rootstock, grows horizontally underground, with roots at its lower end, shoots at its upper. Then Jung continues his comparison of the rhizome with life,

The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes.

Watch and listen to Professor Suzanne Simard, a forester, who shows that all trees in a forest ecosystem are interconnected, with the largest, oldest, "mother trees" serving as hubs. Watch here

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Jerusalem: City of Angels, City of Strife

"Unlike Rome, not all roads lead to Jerusalem, and those that do may all too easily lead the visitor astray in a labyrinth of divinity and madness. In the course of history, when Rome became the center of power, sanctity and glory, Jerusalem sank into spiritual ruin and peripheral oblivion. Thus, even those modern roads that bring you smoothly to the city may force the pilgrim to pass 'through thorny hedges…' of his or her mind."

From a lecture by Erel Shalit, for a preview, or watch full lecture here.

Further reading:

Shalit, E. (2010) Jerusalem – Archetypal Wholeness, Human Division, in Thomas Singer (Ed.), Psyche and the City: A Soul’s Guide to the Modern Metropolis. Louisiana, New Orleans: Spring Journal Books.

Shalit, E. (2012) The Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel (Revised Edition). Carmel, CA: Fisher King Press.

Shalit, E. (2010). Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return. Carmel, CA: Il Piccolo.

Erel Shalit's books can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, or directly from Fisher King Press.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Living with Jung: "Enterviews" with Jungian Analysts

Living with Jung: Vol. 3
"Enterviews" with Jungian Analysts
by Robert and Janis Henderson
ISBN: 978-1-935528-05-0
324 pp.
Published by Spring Journal and Books.

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 Zürich 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.

"Being interviewed by Robert Henderson is like spending an hour in analysis."

Silence is the Center of Feeling, an interview with Erel Shalit, in 
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.

  • Preface
  • 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 Author page at Amazon

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tisha b'Av

A Jerusalem Beggar at the Wall, Tish'a b'Av, around 1920

Tisha b'Av, the ninth in the month of Av, this year August 4-5, commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temple, which both occurred on the ninth of Av, about 655 years apart.

Legend has it that the Messiah was born when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. God commanded Elijah to place the captive Messiah and the souls of the dead on one side of the scales, and fill the other side with tears, torture and the souls of the righteous. God then announced that “the face of the Messiah would be seen when the scales were balanced." (from Enemy, Cripple, Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path)

While Kafka so poignantly says that the Messiah will come when he is no longer needed, the idea of new creation rising from the ruins of destruction, may have particular validity on days like today, when hopefully new initiatives toward peace and reconciliation may arise.

Rainer Maria Rilke: The Song of the Beggar

I am always going from door to door,
whether in rain or heat,
and sometimes I will lay my right ear in
the palm of my right hand.
And as I speak my voice seems strange as if
it were alien to me,

for I’m not certain whose voice is crying:
mine or someone else’s.
I cry for a pittance to sustain me.
The poets cry for more.

In the end I conceal my entire face
and cover both my eyes;
there it lies in my hands with all its weight
and looks as if at rest,
so no one may think I had no place where-
upon to lay my head.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

עכשיו: "הגיבור וצלו" ו"חזרה: סיפור של גלות ושיבה" - ב 40% הנחה

עד סוף אוגוסט ניתן לרכוש "הגיבור וצלו: היבטים פסיכופוליטיים של מיתוס ומציאות בישראל" במחיר של 35 ש"ח (40% הנחה), וגרסת PDF של הספר "חזרה: סיפור של גלות ושיבה" ב 24 ש"ח (גם 40% הנחה), דרך היריד של פסיכולוגיה עברית.

Hamas is not a Terrorist Organization - It is a Government of Terror

In accordance with comments by General (res.) Giora Eiland, it may be important to point out that Hamas constitutes the governing body, albeit a terror government, in Gaza. Israel should fully recognize this fact. That implies what is instrumentally obvious, that Hamas carries full responsability for governing, for administration, and for the welfare of its population.

As a state-entity, the governing body, Hamas, is free to make its choices, including channeling its resources to warfare rather than caring for its population. Hamas cannot have a Prime Minister and at the same time act as a terrorist ‘NGO’. It has constituted a terrorist state, which carries the entire responsibility for this war, and should be tried for its crimes of war.

The indiscriminate firing of rockets at a civilian population, the building of 32-64 elaborate and advanced attack tunnels, exploiting hospitals as command centers, using mosques, private homes, schools and hospitals, including locations provided by the UN, to store weapons, fire rockets, and as shafts for attack tunnels, is under full responsibility of the Gaza government.

No doubt, the civilian Palestinian population in Gaza suffers and pays a horrendous human price, which has to be accounted for. Many have become temporary refugees – a term, strangely, not applied to the 85% in some Israeli population centers near the border who have, as well, been forced to leave their homes.

There is one addressee – the Gaza government that initiated this war, that has fired thousands of rockets at civilians, that prepared for attacks (at the coming Jewish New Year) that might have cost the lives of hundreds of civilians or more.

The potential of killed by the 2,500 rockets or more is enormous. While principally the Gaza government should pay compensation, the world would be better served if the Gaza government is handed over to the Palestinian authority, if Gaza’s demilitarization be ensured by international forces, if the UN, rather than be complacent in crimes of war, will oversee the implementation of a Marshal plan for the reconstruction of Gaza.

Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has condemned Israel for not supplying Hamas with the Iron Dome defense. She should condemn the Hamas for its intent and efforts at implementing the destruction of Israel. If the Gaza government would lay down arms, fire no rockets, there would be no need for an Iron Dome.