Saturday, September 16, 2017

On Kafka's short story The Next Village

“The art of life is the most distinguished and rarest of all the arts.” 
C.G. Jung

Kafka's short story The Next Village illustrates two aspects of the cycle, or the stages, of life - the experience and the memory.

I am grateful to Adam Kościuk and Karol Domański who have prepared and edited this video, as always in the most wonderful way. (The video can also be watched with Polish subtitles here).

Topics explored in the book The Cycle of Life include:

 I. The Journey
Stages and Seasons
 Jung’s Stages of Life
 All the World’s a Stage, and a Stage of Life
 Being on the Way—A Way of Being
Hermes and the Journey: Being on the Way
The Crossroads

II. The Child
The Child in the Mirror
 Psychotherapy and Childhood
 The Divine Child
 From Divine to Human
 Eros, Psyche and Pleasure

III. The Puer and the Puella
 Between Shame and Fear
 Wine, Spirit and Fire
 Prometheus—the Thoughtful Thief

IV. The Adult
 King on Earth
 Boundaries of Reality
 Celestial Jerusalem—Terrestrial Jerusalem
 The King who Refuses to Die
 The Dried-up Earth
 The Limping Ego
 The Empty Shell

V. i. The Senex
V. ii. Homage to Sophocles
V. iii. The Last Chapter: Self and Meaning
 Ancestral Roots
 An Oak and an Acorn
 We Are All Beggars, Are We Not?

The Cycle of Life is available on Amazon, Fisher King Press, and other book sellers.

Shana Tova - A Year of Health, Peace and Creativity

אני מאחל לכולם שנת בריאות, שלום ויצירה

An excerpt from Enemy, Cripple, Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path:
In Egypt the ram was a sign of Amon-Ra, the sun-god. In Jewish symbolism we find it in the Shofar, the ram’s horn, and its call for repentance and freedom, and in the bonding of Isaac, where the ram is sacrificed in exchange of Isaac, in Abraham’s act of submission to the male God.
The Shofar, in fact, is a symbol that unites the opposites. It represents freedom as well as repentance, triumph and suffering, the soul’s (and the nation’s) redemption, as well as exile. It has been likened to the contrite heart bent in repentance, as well as the trachea, the windpipe, the spiritual part of the body, as opposed to, but alongside, the esophagus, the gullet, through which the food or the earthly part passes.
The ram’s horn refers to two important Biblical events, the binding of Isaac and Moses receiving the Tablets at Mount Sinai.
Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac, but Isaac, which means ‘he laughed,’ was not actually sacrificed. The Hebrew speaks of the binding of Isaac, indicating the dramatic cultural transition from actual deed to internalized faith, from the worship of stonehard gods to ideational images. In place of Isaac, the ram was sacrificed to God, and Isaac, son of Abraham, was spared and given to life. The sacrifice need not be complete: to make sacred is no longer engraved in stone; that is, it is not literal. Yet, to make sacred, to inspire the soul and ensoul the spirit, we need to sacrifice, renounce, give up the ego’s hubris, the belief that the conscious ego is all and be all. The centrality of this remarkable transitional event is reflected in tradition, which tells us the sacrifice of the horned ram instead of Isaac took place on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year – which is when the ram’s horn is blown. 

Available on Amazon, and right now at a 40% discount on Fisher King Press

Thursday, September 14, 2017

War and The Enemy in the 21st Century - by Mel Mathews

One of the greatest rewards of being a publisher is in reflecting and rejoicing in the many meaningful and timely Fisher King Press publications. It truly is a privilege to be the midwife of these newborns—many of whom arrive far ahead of their time—and to witness their maturing and assimilation into the collective consciousness.

With the wars being fought on many fronts, and with the posturing and possibility of yet more, I reached for Erel Shalit’s Enemy, Cripple, Beggar: Shadows in the Hero’s Path (which we published in 2008) and have been reading from Shalit’s chapter on The Enemy, which in the beginning of the chapter, states:
On [the journey], the hero initially meets the Enemy, because the previously unrealized and unconscious dark side, the shadow, is often first encountered in projection, as carried by the enemy. 
In reference to the First World War, Jung wrote in 1916: "As events in wartime have clearly shown, our mentality is distinguished by the shameless naïveté with which we judge our enemy, and in the judgment we pronounce upon him we unwittingly reveal our own defects: we simply accuse our enemy of our own unadmitted faults." (C.G. Jung, Collected Works 8, 2nd ed., par. 516.)
The realization of the enemy shadow—whether persecuted by it, or when trying to flee or to fight it—provides a possibility of energizing the ego. In the inward process of finding one’s pain and resources, and in order to eventually find one’s way to the inner wounds that unsettle us if we do not attend to them, to find the wounded child in our soul, it is necessary to go through the projections of the shadow . . .
This is just the first few paragraphs of the chapter that explores many facets of the enemy archetype. If you have a copy of Enemy, Cripple, Beggar, I encourage you to revisit this timely publication. If you do not have a copy . . . well, here’s a link to purchase a copy of this rich and worthy book: Enemy, Cripple, Beggar - right now at a 40% discount!

As the publisher of Fisher King Press, I would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the many readers of our publications, and to our authors who have done the hard work of research, mining the depths of their inner worlds, and for bring back to us these timeless gems.
Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including Jungian Psychological Perspectives and a growing list of Cutting-Edge alternative titles.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

"סעיד" של רן כהן


רן כהן
מיהו סעיד הקטן, שהוברח לבדו אחרי הפרעות ביהודי בגדד אל מעבר לנהר  שאט־אל־ערב לאיראן? מיהו הילד העירקי שהגיע לבדו לישראל הצעירה והוא רק בן עשר? איך הצליח ילד דובר ערבית, להיטמע ולהתערות באופן מלא כל־כך בלב ליבו של הנוער הישראלי של שנות החמישים? איך צמח עד שהיה מִבן מיעוט נרדף בגולת־בבל למנהיג של ציבור בישראל?

הסיפור המרתק הזה מחיה את דרכו של סעיד כהן הקטן עד שהיה לרן כהןהמוכּר כחבר כנסת ואף כשר בממשלת ישראל. לא סוד הוא שחייו הציבוריים של רן הובילו אותו הרבה יותר גבוה מבחירתו לתפקיד מזכיר הקיבוץ שאליו הגיע כפליט קטן, אבל בעיניו התפקיד הזה הוא בלי ספק פסגת התערותו בחברה הישראלית.

רן כהן משקף את מיטב המורשת שהביאה עמה יהדות עיראק לישראל.סעיד הוא יצירה מלהיבה המהווה נדבך נוסף ביצירותיהם של אינטלקטואלים ילידי עיראק, אשר עלה בידם לנתץ חומות של התבדלות ולהרבות גוונים בחברה הישראלית, ובכך מפליאים בתרומתם ליצירת תרבות עשירה, רבת־פנים וחיונית.
סמי מיכאל

סיפור ישראלי מרתק שמוסיף נדבך מרנין של בריחה, עלייה וקליטה נפלאה בארץ. רן זכה במה שאנחנו, ילדי חברות נוער בקיבוצים, לא זכינו, הוא היה למזכיר הקיבוץ ומנהיגו, חבר כנסת ושר שלאורך כל הדרך ניהל מאבקים חברתיים ומדיניים מרשימים שהביאו לו ולנו גאווה רבה. סיפור עוצר נשימה של מאבק והצלחה.
אלי עמיר

סעיד הוא סיפור מרתק, קולח ומרגש, שבד בבד עם היותו אישי מאוד, אינטימי מאוד, שופע חום אנושי ואהבה, הוא גם סיפור של תקופה סוערת, קשה, רוויית מלחמות ומאבקים פוליטיים, וזה גם סיפור של עם שנוצר מיוצאי קהילות אנושיות ותרבויות חיים שונות, שמתמזגות והולכות בתשוקה גדולה ובסבל לישות הישראלית המורכבת כל כך .
יהושוע סובול

ספר מרגש ומרתק של רן הכן, מנהיג, ח"כ ושר לשעבר. חובה לקרוא, וללמוד ממנו מהי ציונות אמיתית. שונה מהקיצוניות של ממשל ביבי

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Herzl vs. Bibi

The English will follow the Hebrew

.קונגרס הציוני הראשון התקיים בין 29 ל31 באוגוסט, 1897, כלומר, לפני 120 שנה
:לאחר הקונגרס, הרצל כתב בעיתונו, ב10 לספטמבר

מסתבר שלרעיון הלאומי היהודי הכח המאחד אנשים בעלי הבדלי שפה, הבדלים חברתיים,  פוליטיים ודתיים לשלם אחד
בהסתתו, שממשיכה יותר מעשרים שנה, הן כמנהיג האופוזיציה בתקופת רבין בתחילת שנות התשעים, הן כראש הממשלה בהווה, נתניהו עושה כל מאמץ (מוצלח מבחינתו) להפריד בין חלקי העם ולהסית נגד כל מי שחושב אחרת ממנו
ללא רמז של יושרה או רסן, הוא עושה הכל כדי לפרק את המרקם העדין של החברה הישראלית, באמצעות שחיתות והסתה

לצערינו, חברי הממשלה, הן ממפלגתו של נתניהו, הן מהמפלגות הקואליציה, שותקים. כפי שאלי ויזל אמר, הצופה מן הצד, ושותק, רע יותר לקורבן מן התוקפן עצמו

למזלנו, ישנם אנשים, ארגונים ומוסדות שפועלים בארצינו הקרועה ואהובה כדי לשמור ולהגן על הדמוקרטיה והשפיות

כמה הערות ביחס להפגנות פתח תקוה:
היועץ המשפטי לממשלה מנדלבליט אינו חלק מהרשות השופטת, אלא מהרשות המבצעת, מינוי אישי של ראש הממשלה נתניהו. לכן הפגנה מול ביתו או במרחק מאות מטרים מביתו אינה דומה להפגנה מול בית של שופט.
בנובמבר 2016 מנדלבליט הכריז שאין חשד לפלילים בפרשת הצוללות. איך ידע?
הפגנות פתח תקווה החלו בנובמבר 2016 כדרישה ממנדלבליט לא לגרור רגליים ולהתחיל בחקירות או להתפטר. 
היום יש חקירה ועד מדינה, לא רק בפרשה זו, אלא בפרשות נוספות שסיומן מתעכב.
עד כה, מי ומה השפיע יותר על היועץ המשפטי לממשלת נתניהו - נתניהו או העם שדורש חקירות יעילות של השחיתות?

בין 1984 ל 1987 דתיים לאומיים וחרדים הפגינו במוצ״ש נגד פתיחת קולנוע בשבת בפתח תקוה. גם כאשר בג״צ אסר על ההפגנות, המשיכו אלפים להפגין. היכן הם היום בהגנה על הזכות הדמוקרטית לחופש הביטוי?
Herzl on the balcony in Basel

The first Zionist Congress was held in Basel, August 29-31, 1897, that is, 120 years ago.

Following the Congress, Herzl wrote a piece in Die Welt, September 10:
"[I]t turned out that the Jewish national idea possesses the unifying power to wield together people with linguistic, social, political, and religious differences into one united whole. . . . "
Netanyahu on the balcony at Zion Square
With his incitement, which has continued over twenty years, both as leader of the opposition during the premiership of Yitzhak Rabin in the early 1990s, and presently as Prime Minister, Netanyahu makes every possible (and from his point of view successful) effort to divide, instigating against those who think differently from him, rather than to bring "together people with linguistic, social, political, and religious differences into one united whole."
Without any sense of integrity or inhibition, he is doing whatever he can to destroy the fabric of Israeli society, by corruption and incitement.
Tragically, the members of the government, from his own party and his coalition partners, remain silent. They have turned into bystanders, who, as Elie Wiesel said, are worse to the victims than the aggressor.

Fortunately, there are people, organisations and institutions in this torn country who stand up to defend and protect democracy and the sanity of this beloved country.

The Hero and His Shadow
Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel


Preface       The Beggar in the Hero’s Shadow      
Chapter 1    Return to the Source               
Chapter 2    From My Notebook             
Chapter 3    From Dream to Reality             
Chapter 4    Origins and Myths             
Chapter 5    From Redemption to Shadow         
Chapter 6    Wholeness Apart               
Chapter 7    Myth, Shadow and Projection      
Chapter 8    A Crack in the Mask          
Chapter 9    The Death of the Mythical and the Voice of the Soul

available on Kindle ($9.99) and in paperback ($29.00)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

When Bibi's bubble bursts

PM. Netanyahu, leader of the most extreme and anti-democratic government that has ever ruled in Israel, has declared that he is no longer Prime Minister of the entire population, inciting against the left, the media, Arabs, and whoever does not directly swear allegiance to him.
The police was ordered on August 19 to prevent the demonstrations against his corruption, carried out hundreds of meters from the home of the Attorney General, and the arrest of leaders of the manifestation. 
One of the reasons given by the police was "undue pressure" on the AG. 
The AG is a political appointee, by Netanyahu, and not a civil servant in the Department of Justice. He has severely delayed the corruption investigations against Netanyahu, a great many of whose government ministers and advisers have been tried and judged or are under investigation for a variety of crimes, many of them on charges of corruption.
It is not the task of the police to determine if demonstrators exert due or undue pressure.

The photo above is from a demonstration against the policies of Yitzhak Rabin, in 1995, where Netanyahu marches in front of a 'coffin' that bears Rabin's name.
The inflamed atmosphere, of which Netanyahu as then leader of the opposition was partly responsible, led up to Rabin's assassination.
Netanyahu should be tried for this, as well as his present incitement and the crimes presently under investigation. The fact that 22 years have passed should at least not make us forget.

When Bibi's bubble bursts, and it will, sooner rather than later, the extreme right in Israel will have a harsh awakening. The more moderate right, which has collaborated by silence and participation, will have a shameful awakening that fascism can take grip of any society, if the watchdogs are not constantly on the alert.

The Hero and His Shadow 
Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel


Preface       The Beggar in the Hero’s Shadow      
Chapter 1    Return to the Source               
Chapter 2    From My Notebook             
Chapter 3    From Dream to Reality             
Chapter 4    Origins and Myths             
Chapter 5    From Redemption to Shadow         
Chapter 6    Wholeness Apart               
Chapter 7    Myth, Shadow and Projection      
Chapter 8    A Crack in the Mask          
Chapter 9    The Death of the Mythical and the Voice of the Soul

available on Kindle ($9.99) and in paperback ($29.00)

Dedication of The Hero and His Shadow

I dedicate this book to those, all too many, whose voices were silenced by man’s evil.
   I dedicate it to those, all too few, who raise their voice against fascism, who speak up in the struggle for peace and reconciliation, especially between Palestinians and Israelis, incessantly on the verge of yet another cycle of violence and hostilities.
   I dedicate it to those who try to hold the vulnerable balance in that ultimate conflict of Abraham between Father and Son, divine and human, idea and implementation, past and future, ego and self.
   I dedicate this book to the daughters and the sons whose future is endangered.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Human Soul (Lost?) in Transition, at the Dawn of a New Era - Quadrant

This essay, in the Spring 2017 issue of Quadrant, examines the liminal phase of society and interiority in which we find ourselves today and poses several questions to the irrepressibly optimistic inventors of a techno-utopian future: Can we really be and feel happy if we need to be informed about it by a cellphone app? Do 93 million selfies a day replace a single moment of true reflection? How can we remain relatively integrated individuals in the transiency of the present?

The essay will be part of a forthcoming book.

From the introduction:
Jung says, “Whoever speaks in primordial images speaks with a thousand voices…,” and “In each of these images there is a little piece of human psychology and human fate, a remnant of the joys and sorrows that have been repeated countless times in our ancestral history…” (CW15, par. 129, 127).
The image, the images of interiority, cannot exist without the soul. In soullessness, in fundamentalism and totalitarianism there are no images.The existence of the soul, that elusive, purely poetical idea of anima, whether in man or woman, cannot be bound by earthly empires, neither by imperial rules nor by imperatives, but can only be poetically imagined, for instance, as that image of a mirror that mirrors the image.
But the soul also relies on the capacity of imagelessness, in the sense of an absence of externally generated images. In their discussion centered around Neumann’s manuscript on Jacob and Esau, Jung writes that “the ‘imagelessness’ [that is, of the God-image] is exceedingly important for the free exercise of intuition that would be prejudiced by a fixed image, and thereby rendered unusable.” (Jung and Neumann, 2015, p. 56).
While images take shape within our individual psyches, the image is not only within us, but we are also within the image, as Henry Corbin says (Cheetham, 2003, p. 71). We reside within an image of the world, within the world soul, and we relate to the world according to the images, ideas and perspectives that we have developed, and to a large extent, according to the views and the spirit of our times.
When listening to the brilliant young men and women at the forefront of progress, those that hold the trigger to the chips and the apps of the future, one cannot refrain from being amazed at the firm belief and complete conviction that technology is the remedy of all ills and the foundation of all future viruses – sorry! virtues, not viruses.
This essay is an attempt to cause a slight crack in the confidence of the young, and perhaps it is merely an old man’s pathetic envy of tomorrow’s triumphant heroes, to whisper in their ears, “you are also mortals.” .....

Quadrant, Spring 17 - Volume XLVII:1

— Kathryn Madden
— Shaun McNiff
— Erel Shalit
— Brandon J. O'Neil
— Elizabeth Colistra
— Roger Peasley
Beth Darlington, review editor. Reviews by Deborah Stewart, Mark Dean, and Chris Beach

The Story of Requiem on YouTube

Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return

The razor-sharp edge of religious beliefs and national conflict, of shadowy projections and existential anxiety, that characterize Israel and its neighbors, gives rise to a particular blend of archetypal fate and personal destiny, of doubt and conviction, despair and commitment, of collective identity and personal choice.
However, I do believe that the essence of my wonderings reach beyond the shores of the eastern Mediterranean or Jewish tradition. I believe the tension between a sense of exile and return, belongingness and estrangement, are universal aspects, certainly in our post-modern world. While Israeli reality provides the external context, the story serves, as well, as a metaphor for the exile and return of the soul, which necessarily is a journey through shadowy valleys.

Requiem returns us to an eternal theme, a dialogue with Soul, and we know quite well what happens when one dialogues with Soul—we change, consciousness is enlarged, the impossible becomes possible and we no longer are compelled to blindly follow in the deathly path of our forefathers.

Requiem is a fictitious account of a scenario played out in the mind of many Israelis, pertaining to existential reflections and apocalyptic fears, but then, as well, the hope and commitment that arise from the abyss of trepidation. While set in Israel sometime in the present, it is a story that reaches into the timelessness of history, weaving discussions with Heine and Kafka into a tale of universal implications.

Related image

A review by Marcela 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)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cykl życia. Archetypowa droga człowieka - The Cycle of Life: Themes and Tales of the Journey - now in Polish

The Polish edition of The Cycle of Life: Themes and Tales of the Journey
Translation by Karol Domanski and Adam Kosciuk.
Introduction by Aleksandra Szczepaniak
Design: Marta Rydz

 From the introduction by Aleksandra Szczepaniak:
               This is a journey leading us along the paths of human life. It is also an introduction to the art of amplification that being a method of broadening of the meaning through myths, legends, tales and stories from the cultural treasury of the world. It illustrates the river-like course of human life. It is only the image that can fully reflect the process and the interweaving of plots and motives of psychic life. This book is like a current of a river - sometimes it flows slowly and clearly, sometimes it speeds up falling into meanders of meanings and nuances. Its tone rises and falls - short phrases change into descriptions filled with silence. In a way, through its changing dynamics,it reflects the process of Jungian analysis –here, likewise, various stories mingle in the analytical vessel.The authour sometimes speaks with the voice of Puer, joyous and vivacious, sometimes he sounds like Senex and at other times he falls into a discourse so characteristic for Jewish culture of which he is a representative.

I would like to thank Aleksandra, Karol, Adam, Marta, and all those who have worked to enable the publishing of the book in Polish. They have all been incredibly devoted and done a wonderful job - THANK YOU!

Już w piątek ukaże się polskie wydanie książki "Cykl życia. Archetypowa droga człowieka" autorstwa Erela Shalita w tłumaczeniu Karola Domańskiego i Adama Kościuka.

Według teorii Junga życie człowieka składa się z kilku etapów. Faza pierwsza, obejmująca dzieciństwo i młodość, jest adaptacją do świata zewnętrznego; faza druga, dojrzałość, to adaptacja do świata wewnętrznego; faza trzecia, starość, jest adaptacją do śmierci. Erel Shalit podkreśla, że rozwój człowieka trwa przez całe życie i ma charakter nie linearny, a cyrkularny. W istocie jest cyrkumambulacją – okrążaniem znaczenia.

(...) Ta książka nie jest łatwa – autor prowadzi Czytelnika przez meandry życia i rozwoju, wprowadzając w świat znaczeń, których nie dostrzegamy w pędzie współczesnego świata. Wiedzie nas przez przestrzeń wewnętrzną, której portalami są marzenia senne, zapomniane opowieści, mity i dzieła literackie. Opisuje proces, którego nie da się w pełni przekazać, można go jedynie zobaczyć czy poczuć za pośrednictwem zmieniających się obrazów.

Z Przedmowy do wydania polskiego

Aleksandra Szczepaniak
analityk jungowski
Polskie Towarzystwo Psychologii Analitycznej

Książkę można nabyć tutaj

Watch Cycle of Life on YouTube, with Polish subtitles, part 1part 2.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Renewed website

Renewed website

You are invited to visit my renewed website, here. You will find links to YouTube presentations, material on Jung and Neumann, my books, and useful resources.
Thank you for your interest – any and every comment or correction will be appreciated!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Erich Neumann: The Roots of Jewish Consciousness

With the publication in 2015 of the important correspondence between C.G. Jung and Erich Neumann (edited by Martin Liebscher), there has been something of a Neumann renaissance. A major international conference was held in 2015 at Kibbutz Shefayim, with participants from more than 25 countries, and in 2016 a conference was held at the Pacifica Institute in California. Neumann’s slim but brilliant book, Jacob and Esau: On the collective symbolism of the brother motif, was recently published by Chiron in collaboration with Recollections. The Shefayim lectures, with additional contributions, has also been published by Chiron/Recollections in a volume edited by Erel Shalit and Murray Stein, Turbulent Times, Creative Minds: The relationship between Erich Neumann and C.G. Jung.

Ann Conrad Lammers
Soon, in late 2018 or early 2019, Routledge will publish Neumann’s major treatise on The Roots of Jewish Consciousness in an impressive two-volume set (Volume 1 on the psychological significance of revelation, Volume 2 on Hasidism), edited by Ann Lammers, and translated by Mark Kyburz with Ann Lammers. This work, written between 1934 and 1945 but never published, is a treasure trove, a wealth of pearls. Although Neumann mined its themes in several of his Eranos lectures, the work as a whole holds a unique place in his opus.

Further announcements will be posted as the work of translation and editing progresses, but here is a taste of Neumann’s writing:
... for Hasidism the world consists of a great, diffusely distributed creative nothingness, whose points of concentration, in varying degrees of power, reshape and form this unformed energy and cause it to shine. These points of concentration are the world's individuals, created in the tzimtzum, having a smaller and greater circumference and varying energy charge. They can also diminish or increase the extent and intensity of their radiance, depending on the level they attain, that is, their ability to enter into contact with divine nothingness.

Silhouette by Meir Gur Arieh
Etching by Jacob Steinhardt

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Amplification: A Personal Narrative, by Tom Singer

The following is an excerpt from Tom Singer's chapter in The Dream and its Amplification.

Amplification as an idea or a technique is relatively easy to understand. As a living reality, it is far more elusive to evoke than to explain. The lived reality of weaving an amplification can take on a richness and texture that is as elegant as any of the finest fabrics in the world. And amplification, when lived, is a fabric that is woven by time, memory, image, feeling, sensation, idea and perhaps even a glimpse, at times, of divinity.
The goal of amplification is to catalyze a transformative process in the relationship between the personal, cultural and archetypal levels of the psyche. The study and use of amplification should begin with the specificity and uniqueness of an individual's life that expands into the life of specific cultures, and ultimately finds its roots in the archetypal or universal dimensions of human experience. The quest to find meaning in symbolic imagery by tapping into archetypal sources can transform an individual's life trajectory and release unexpected creative energies.  

Personal Story and Original Dream Image
This chapter offers a personal narrative of my experience of amplification. The initial context and setting for this story occurred more than forty years ago and remains alive inside me to this day because the wondrous thing about an amplification living in the psyche is that it continues to weave its magic and meaning over time, as long as one pays attention to it.   In the fall of 1965, I enrolled as a first year student at Yale Medical School, having just returned from a year of teaching in Greece following graduation from college.  The year in Greece had been one of glorious discovery and the awakening of a thirst for life. I imagined myself following in the footsteps of Nikos Kazantzakis and his Zorba the Greek. I explored modern Greece, its magnificent landscapes and people, always accompanied by the haunting memories of earlier eras that murmur to one in the stones, the trees, the sky, the sea. 
You might imagine how I felt when I returned to the United States and moved into the medical school dorm. New Haven was quite a long way from Greece and quite a brutal way to sober up from the intoxication of Greek adventures. My newly acquired taste for life vanished almost instantaneously .  I felt a dread settle over me.  Most of my classmates came charging into medical school, armed with anatomy, physiology, microbiology and the other basic medical sciences already under their belt from undergraduate studies. I had taken my basic premedical course early in college and hadn’t taken a science course in three years.. Yale was enormously forgiving and, unlike any other medical school in the country, had almost no exams for the first two years which afforded me some time to get my feet on the ground.  Yale had the strange idea that the students they admitted would find their way and didn’t need to be sadistically tortured into becoming good doctors. So, I found myself desperately struggling to catch up in the first two years but not flunking out because we had no tests or grades.

Fig. 4. Cecrops, King of Athens, upper half as civilized statesman, lower half as coiled snake’s tail
 (Harrison 1912, 263) 

Thomas Singer, M.D. is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in the San Francisco Bay Area who writes about culture, psyche, and complex from a Jungian perspective. He is currently at work on a series of books that explore cultural complexes in different parts of the world.  The first two volumes, Placing Psyche: Exploring Cultural Complexes in Australia and Listening to Latin America, have been published in the Spring Journal Books series of Analytical Psychology and Contemporary Culture of which he is the series editor. Other recent Spring books that he has edited include Psyche and the City: A Soul's Guide to the Modern World and Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche: Archetypes in the Making. Dr. Singer also has a long-term interest in the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS) and serves on its National Board.

The Dream and its Amplification is available on 
Book DepositoryBooks-a-Million, and other book sellers.