Monday, June 26, 2017

Stephen Hawking looks for excitement and purpose

Black & White photo of Hawking at NASA.

I do not doubt that renowned physicist Stephen Hawking is extremely intelligent. 
I am not intelligent enough to judge. 
I certainly trust that he knows a lot about the universe – again, my limited understanding of physics and much else does not put me in a position of doubt, and I have no reason to.

However, does that mean that he is right, or that he is wise, or that he necessarily understands humanity better than other social philosophers, critical thinkers, or even physicists – or the laymen among us?

In November 2016 he gave humanity another thousand years left on planet Earth. Half-a-year later he revised and reduced his prediction, and gave humanity only a hundred years.

I have not seen that this revision is based on any empirical or other kind of research, but merely Hawking’s speculations, which with such a quick and drastic change seem more related to his emotions and personal projections - which is fine, unless it hides behind the mantle of science.

“If humanity is to continue for another million years, our future lies in boldly going where no one else has gone before.”

"We are running out of space and the only places to go to are other worlds. It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth," the Cambridge University theoretical physicist explained. “We need to rekindle the excitement of the early days of space travel in the sixties.”

Oops – is he looking for excitement??

Image result for mars spaceship
[Leading nations] should aim to build a lunar base in 30 years’ time and send people to Mars by 2025, he said, and added that the goal would re-ignite the space program, forge new alliances and give humanity a sense of purpose.

“Give humanity a sense of purpose”!!!!!

Well, it is certainly important to look both for excitement and a sense of purpose.
Caring for the well-being of Mother Earth, the Other in this world – nature, wildlife, the other tribe/nation and human being – may be no less exciting and purposeful.

Ecology comes from the Greek oikos, meaning house, dwelling place, habitation. Perhaps we need to make this Earth more of a Home, rather than escaping to other worlds. If we merely repeat our collective behavior rather than learning new approaches, we may be the cause of as much disaster to planet Mars as what we are inflicting upon Mother Earth.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Human Soul in Transition – an Interview with Bonnie Bright

Now On YouTube

The post-modern condition is characterized by a multitude of perspectives and narratives, challenging the view and the value of central, universal truths.
The changes generated by this existential condition affect the individual as well as society, the experience of interiority as well as the perception of external reality. In cyberspace, the internal and the external sometimes converge, persona and shadow may merge, and the ego’s sense of identity may become detached from its roots in the Self. 
The interview centers around aspects of these changes, and the implications for the human psyche, and was a part of the online "Earth, Dreams, Climate" symposium, at the Depth Psychology Alliance.

Erel Shalit's book The Human Soul (lost?) in Transition, at the Dawn of a New Era is forthcoming.

The Soul of Art by Christian Gaillard

The beginnings of art are lost in the dim reaches of prehistory, eons before humans began recording and codifying their experiences in writing. And yet philosophers, artists, and historians have for centuries noted the intimate and perhaps inseparable relationship between human consciousness and the artistic impulse.

As analyst and professor Christian Gaillard notes, we can see some of the earliest expressions of this intimacy in the cave paintings at Lascaux, and the relationship continues to the present day in the works of modern creators such as Jackson Pollock and Anselm Kiefer. What fascinates Gaillard—and, indeed, what fascinated Carl Jung—is, among other things, the notion that art enables us to explore our inner landscapes in ways that are impossible by any other means.

In The Soul of Art: Analysis and Creation, Gaillard takes readers on a tour of his own “gallery of the mind,” examining works of art from throughout history—and prehistory—that have moved, challenged, and changed him. He also explores instances where particular works of art have proven deeply significant in his or his colleagues’ understanding of their analyses and their ability to serve as capable guides on the journey toward self-awareness.

From its origins in Paleolithic caves to Abstract Expressionism and beyond, the essence or soul of art is revealed in this charming book.  The psychology at play within a broad range of artistic imagery is explicated in magisterial fashion by Jungian analyst and professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Christian Gaillard.   The reader is led stepwise into experiences of complexity and depth through layers of explications of artworks aided by amplification and art-historical erudition.  This volume is destined to become one of the special jewels in the Fay Lecture Series.—Joseph Cambray, Ph D, provost, Pacifica Graduate Institute; past-president of the IAAP

"This book, Gaillard says, "is not the result of a plan." A lucky circumstance, which renders its flow similar to the artistic creation. There is a parallelism between it and analysis: both are healing processes in which the Ego leaves the stage to the Unconscious. Psychoanalysis strives to heal an individual, while the artist wants to render more complete— “to heal” is etymologically connected with “whole”— an image or another collective expression. Both might be imperfect, yet are pillars of an existence looking for meaning. From the caves of Lascaux to Anselm Kiefer, Gaillard traces a splendid bridge between the two."—Luigi Zoja, past president of International Association for Analytical Psychology

“…a brilliant account…a book that sums up a lifetime of encounters with art and imagination.”—Murray Stein, author of Soul – Treatment and Recovery - Murray Stein, author of Soul – Treatment and Recovery

About the Author
CHRISTIAN GAILLARD is a doctor of psychology, training analyst, supervisor, and former president of the French Society of Analytical Psychology. Previously serving as a professor at the École Nationale Supériure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he was also the founding director of the Cahiers Jungiens de Psychanalyse.

Christian Gaillard has also contributed an extremely interesting chapter on Jung, Neumann and Art to Turbulent Times, Creative Minds (pp. 261-297, with plenty of illustrations):

     The theme, or question, we are about to discuss, is not at all simple: Jung, Neumann and Art. The question is not at all simple, because, as I hope to show, it challenges us to examine certain essentials characteristics of the psychology and work of both Jung and Neumann. 
     We shall proceed in three or four steps - as visually as possible. 
     First of all, I must speak of a wicked misunderstanding. A misunderstanding or misinterpretation we hear repeatedly in our Institutes, our publications, or even in our congresses. It concerns Jung’s relationship to the modern and contemporary arts.
     Hence, we will be looking at some of the works that moved Jung and Neumann, along with their approaches to them. Of course, we will also consider some pages from the Red Book and certain drawings by Neumann.

     Finally, I would like for us to consider a current, and very unexpected, event, which therefore was unknown to Jung and Neumann: the recent public showing of Jung’s Red Book at the last Biennale of Contemporary Art in Venice.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Understanding the Israeli psyche

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

The Six Day War between Israel and Egypt, Syria and Jordan broke out on June 5, 1967, after Egypt had mobilized along the Israeli border, closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships, and Israel was threatened by invasion of Arab forces. After a sweeping victory, Israel came to occupy large neighboring areas, but has since withdrawn from Sinai, Gaza and 40% of the West Bank. However, as victorious as Israel was, relieving the deadly threat, led by then Chief-of Staff Yitzhak Rabin, the prolonged occupation of territory in Judea and Samaria/the West Bank, is detrimental not only to the Palestinians, but to Israeli society as well.

The release of tension resulted in years of denial and inflation, as for instance expressed in the infamous words of General Shmuel Gonen (Gorodish), “We looked Death straight in the eye, and Death lowered its gaze,” (The Hero and His Shadow, p. 20), which crashed into the Yom Kippur War six years later.


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

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.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Dream and its Amplification on YouTube

The Dream and Its Amplification unveils the language of the psyche that speaks to us in our dreams.

We all dream at least 4-6 times each night yet remember very few. Those that rise to the surface of our conscious awareness beckon to be understood, like a letter addressed to us that arrives by post. Why would we not open it? The difficulty is in understanding what the dream symbols and images mean. Through amplification, C. G. Jung formulated a method of unveiling the deeper meaning of symbolic images. This becomes particularly important when the image does not carry a personal meaning or significance and is not part of a person’s everyday life.

cover image A Giant Dream from an original painting by Howard Fox

The Dream and Its Amplification 

I.                      The Amplified World of Dreams: Erel Shalit & Nancy Swift Furlotti

II.                    Pane e’ Vino: Learning to discern the objective, archetypal nature of dreams:  Michael Conforti

III.                   Amplification:  A Personal Narrative:  Tom Singer

IV.                   Redeeming the Feminine: Eros and the World Soul: Nancy Qualls-Corbet

V.                    Wild Cats and Crowned Snakes: Archetypal Agents of Feminine Initiation: Nancy Swift Furlotti

VI.                   A Dream in Arcadia:  Christian Gaillard

VII.                  Muse of the Moon: Poetry from the Dreamtime: Naomy Lowinsky

VIII.                Dreaming the ‘Face of the Earth’: Ken Kimmel

IX.                   Coal or Gold?: The Symbolic Understanding of a few Alpine Legends: Gotthilf Isler

X.                    Sophia’s Dreaming Body: The Alchemical Mirror of the Night Sky:    Monika Wikman

XI.                   “The Dream Always Follows the Mouth”: Jewish Approaches to Dreaming: Henry Abramovitch

XII.                  Bi-Polarity, Compensation, and The Transcendent Function in Dreams and Visionary Experience: A Jungian Examination of Boehme’s Mandala - Kathryn Madden

XIII.                 The Dream As Gnostic Myth: Ronald Schenk

XIV.                Four Hands in the Crossroads: Dreams in Times of Upheaval -  Erel Shalit

XV.                  Dreams and Sudden Death: Gilda Frantz

"The Dreams and Its Amplification is a wonderful book for anyone interested in their inner life, their dream life and how the unconscious gives us a map to our lives. 14 different authors, all Jungians, give us a peek into the everyday workings of an analytic practice and dream amplification. Each voice is unique, no two analyst work in exactly the same way, but a common thread runs through the chapters. They all tell us that dreams are important, we need to pay attention, we need to honor this gift from our psyches. If we pay attention and honor our dreams we will be rewarded with a deeper and more meaningful understanding of who we really are beyond our egos.

This book is for both professionals in the field of psychology and the general public. It is accessible, moving and informative. We are given new ways to think about our dreams. If you wake up and ask yourself, "What the heck was that dream about?" this is a book for you. If you have wondered what goes on in those 50 minutes behind closed doors, this a book for you. If you have a curious mind and an open heart, this is a book for you."

Quadrant: The Journal of the C.G. Jung Foundation

Quadrant offers essays grounded in personal and professional experience, which focus on issues of matter and body, psyche and spirit. Major themes of Jung’s work are explored through mythological, archetypal and alchemical motifs and images, as well as through historical, scientific, clinical, and cultural observation.

Current Issue: Fall 16

Volume XLVI:2
— Kathryn Madden
— Carole Lindberg
— Robert Mitchell
— Monica Luci
— Donald R.Ferrell

— Clifford Mayes
— Beth Darlington, Review Editor
Reviews by Laurie Schapira, Maryann Barone-Chapman, and Wendy Neville Jones

For further information about Quadrant, and an index of issues, articles and authors, here.

In 2006, Quadrant published a paper I wrote together with James Hall, 'The Complex and the Object: Common Ground, Different Paths,' based on my book The Complex:  Path of Transformation from Archetype to Ego
The next issue will feature another essay of mine, 'The Human Soul (Lost?) in Transition, at the Dawn of a New Era,' which will be part of a forthcoming book of that name.

The Complex and the Object: Common Ground, Different Paths — 
Erel Shalit and James Hall

While complex and object are part of everyday psychoanalytic discourse, the meaning of the terms varies with different approaches, and the relationship between the concepts is far from apparent. Specifically, in this paper the Jungian complex and the Kleinian internal object are compared. It is the view of these authors that the internal object is primarily related to the archetypal image, and the internalized object to Jung's concept of imago. The complex is the central concept that in a well-defined model of the psyche dynamically unites the phenomena described by these concepts. Furthermore, while in neurotic conflict the struggle between the ego and autonomous complexes takes place on the battlefield of the subjective psyche, in the personality disorders the complex is projected “wholesale” onto the external object, turning the other into a “complex-object.”
The Complex is available on Amazon.

Friday, June 2, 2017

עשרים אלף משגיחי כשרות – 18 פקחי בנייה

יש לדרוש מספר פקחי בנייה כמספר משגיחי כשרות.

כתבה של לי ירון בהארץ, 8.5.2016:

שיעור פועלי הבניין שנהרגים בישראל כפול מהממוצע במערב.
דו"ח ממשלתי קובע שב-2015 בלבד נפצעו כ-50 אלף עובדים ונהרגו 54 בתאונות עבודה בארץ. המדינה מוציאה מיליארדים בשנה לפיצוי הנפגעים, אך במניעת התאונות מושקעים מיליונים בודדים.
שיעור תאונות העבודה הקטלניות בענף הבניין בישראל הוא כפול ויותר מהממוצע באיחוד האירופי. כך עולה מדו"ח של משרד הכלכלה והמוסד לביטוח לאומי, שמתפרסם היום (ראשון). בדו"ח נבדקו מספר מקרי המוות בענף הבניין בשנת 2013, בארה"ב וב–17 ממדינות האיחוד האירופי. נמצא כי רק בפורטוגל ובקפריסין המצב גרוע יותר מאשר בישראל. כך, בעוד מספר ההרוגים השנתי הממוצע באיחוד האירופי הוא כשישה פועלי בניין מתוך מאה אלף, בישראל השיעור הוא כ–13 מתוך מאה אלף. ב–15 השנים האחרונות נהרגו בישראל 480 פועלי בניין.
המסמך, שסוקר את תאונות העבודה בכל המשק, קובע שב–2015 בלבד נפצעו כ–50 אלף עובדים בתאונות עבודה בישראל. 54 עובדים נהרגו באותה שנה — 63% מהם בענף הבנייה. בשנים 2011–2014 נפצעו בתאונות עבודה בארץ יותר מ–95 אלף עובדים.

Image result for ‫משגיח כשרות‬‎

בדו"ח נחשף גם הנזק הכלכלי הכבד שנגרם למדינה בגין פיצוי נפגעי תאונות העבודה: ב–2015 בלבד שולמו יותר מ–4.5 מיליארדי שקלים לנפגעים. מבדיקת "הארץ" עולה כי בשש השנים האחרונות שולמו יותר מ–24 מיליארד שקלים לנפגעי תאונות עבודה. כ–60% מהתאונות הללו קורות בענף הבנייה.

גובה התשלומים עולה בכל שנה, והסכום אינו כולל הוצאות עקיפות נוספות מנזקים הנגרמים למקומות העבודה בעקבות התאונות. "אובדן ימי העבודה כתוצאה מהתאונות הללו נאמד במעל לשני מיליון ימים בשנה, ואובדן הפריון למשק נאמד במיליארדים רבים נוספים", נכתב בדו"ח.

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בהשוואה בין הסכום שמוציאה המדינה על תאונות העבודה לסכום שהיא משקיעה במניעתן מצטיירת תמונה עגומה עוד יותר. ועדת אדם, שהוקמה על ידי שר התמ"ת לשעבר שלום שמחון, קבעה בדו"ח שפרסמה ב–2014 כי המדינה משקיעה במניעת תאונות עבודה פחות מ–1% מהסכום שהיא מוציאה על התאונות הללו. כך, למשל, ההשקעה במניעת תאונות הסתכמה ב–2011 ב–85 מיליון שקלים, בעוד ההוצאות על התאונות היו 3.5 מיליארדי שקלים. לפי דו"ח הוועדה, שבחנה את תחומי הבטיחות בעבודה והבריאות התעסוקתית בישראל, הוצאות המדינה על תאונות עבודה, כולל הוצאות עקיפות, מגיעות לכעשרה מיליארדי שקלים בשנה. מנתונים עדכניים יותר שהעביר משרד הכלכלה עולה שהמשרד משקיע כ–90 מיליון שקלים בשנה בתחומי הבטיחות בעבודה, בין אחוז לשניים מההוצאות בגין תאונות עבודה.

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על המסמך שמתפרסם היום חתומות ראש מינהל הבטיחות במשרד הכלכלה, ורדה אדוארדס, ומנהלת אגף נכויות במינהל המחקר והתכנון במוסד לביטוח לאומי, רבקה פריאור. כותבי הדו"ח מתגאים בכך שבין 2011 ל–2015 ירד ממוצע הפצועים וההרוגים בתאונות עבודה במשק בכ–7% ובכ–25% בהתאמה. עם זאת, במסמך מחושב גם ממוצע חמש־שנתי של ההרוגים — שמצייר תמונת מצב שונה ואופטימית פחות. הממוצע נמצא במגמת עלייה מתמדת, וכותבי הדו"ח מציינים במפורש כי הנתון הזה אמין יותר: בין השנים 2006 ל–2010 נהרגו 53 עובדים בשנה בממוצע, ובין 2011 ל–2015 עלה הממוצע לכ–60 בשנה. "במרבית הפרמטרים קשה לזהות התנהגות עקבית בהשוואת הנתונים בין שנה לשנה, ולפיכך נכון לבחון את המגמות בראייה רב־שנתית", נכתב במסמך.

Image result for ‫בת ים מנוף‬‎

בקואליציה למאבק בתאונות בניין טוענים כי הצגת הנתונים בדו"ח מטעה, בפרט בנוגע להרוגים בתאונות עבודה. "העלייה בממוצע של מספר ההרוגים משקפת את ההזנחה ודלות המשאבים שמשקיעה המדינה במלחמה בתאונות העבודה בכלל ובענף הבנייה בפרט", מסרו ל"הארץ" מהקואליציה. לדבריהם, "אין דבר הממחיש זאת טוב יותר מהעובדה שהשקעות המדינה — ובכלל זה התקציב המוקצה למניעת תאונות עבודה — מסתכמות בפחות מאחוז (לפי דו"ח ועדת אדם, ל"י) מההוצאות על תאונות עבודה במשק, המפורטות בהרחבה בדו"ח".