Roger B. Burt’s Monthly Newsletter

 

 

 Welcome To My Newsletter – Myth and Transformation 

Roger B Burt: Author of Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: 

Women in Power

(The newsletter posts the second Monday of the month)

Come Join Us In An Adventure 

Our world is an intriguing place and its drama has increased considerably lately. In my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I touch on major themes and possibilities related to our world. Book 2 , Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise is to be published soon. There is adventure in the books on which I will comment but I will also be sharing my perceptions of our real world adventures. Let me begin with a quote from Joseph Campbell – Author and scholar. I read Campbell’s statement decades ago and it has stayed with me as a living, fundamental truth. Its reality has fueled my writing.

Joseph Campbell

“It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation.”

I Should Have Known Better

As a clinical psychologist writing a novel with mythic content sounded interesting. And as an intuitive personality writing offered possibilities—and possibilities are the fundamental passion of my personality type. I learned there were demanding characters lurking in my head. Also there were emerging crises in our world that would align themselves in the plot and do much to drive it.

Life Beyond the Mundane

Myth is inspiring and we can see it unfold in our lives. And now, in our world we see dramatic events dominating our lives. We may be on the edge of another great conflict but we may also be on the verge of a transformation. Let’s begin by exploring. We will see won’t we?

Let me invite you to join us at my blog  cuspofreality.com

Available Now: Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power (Book 1 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy)

Amazon Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Gaias-Majesty-Mission-Called-Women/dp/1935994255/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535136372&sr=1-1&keywords=Gaia%27s+Majesty

Opportunities Not to Be Missed

 

Accelerating Change

The title of this blog is Cusp of Reality. Equally it might have been The Challenge of Vision.

This is a distressing time in that it seems events are moving faster and faster. We are talking about the PostCapitalism society and world conflicts are accelerating after a hopeful period.

Frustration With Research

When I decided upon psychology as my career I was intrigued by the human mind and what I ran into at once was the fact of needing to do research to foster development. Too often though the reality I found was that psychologists looked to an area of study and then would tweak the research to be able to publish a paper. it generally was not groundbreaking.

Sorry if my colleagues find that offensive but my personality type gets in my way all the time. I want to forge into possibilities. And that means taking risks and fostering speculation as a way to open new possibilities. 

The bottom line is that I find much of what is going on out there in this rapidly changing world is narrow-minded. The world is racing forward and, too often, it seems we are being left behind. Let me offer some examples.

The Depth and Meaning of the Women’s Movement

Maybe I’m not looking in the right places but I find the commentary about women too often stifling. There are some outstanding books written by women about the coming days of women. Yes, I said days of women. In this country we are seeing a marked change. I won’t even attempt to catalogue what is happening but the subjugation of women is not just being challenged, but it is clearly coming to an end—and the changes are worldwide. One indication is that we suddenly are seeing markedly smart, perceptive and capable women appearing as commentators on television. Can we have some broad based search of this movement? Why now? Where might it lead? And to my male colleagues—Will men please wake up! Especially older white men.

Jobs and the Future in a Rapidly Changing World

I realize the call for coal jobs to come back was a political ploy but in so many areas the expectation for the future is narrow. Artificial intelligence among other tech areas is racing forward and I hear next to nothing groundbreaking in terms of looking at how people need to be prepared. We need research first of all looking at what might be the jobs needed in the future and then we need to look at how people can be prepared. And there is something even more fundamental. We are seeing whole categories of our citizens who are dismissed as future hires because we have not looked at their abilities in an enlightened fashion. I know from my career and my evaluation of intelligence that there is unexpected potential. And when I bring it up, it is dismissed out of hand. A stunning lack of willingness to even attempt vision crucial for our future. Not to say these studies will be easy. No, they will be extraordinarily 

challenging and the time to begin is now.

Then There’s Transformation

Transformation is another one of my favorites. The situation we have now has great potential and that means we may be looking at transformation in the near future. Of course the other possibility may be devastation which strongly suggests we need to be paying attention and work hard in our own behalf to transform our future in a positive fashion. Currently our country is in the throes of a major political and ideological crisis. We can only hope that we will gain control of it and put ourselves on a more positive track. 

Responding to the World As It Is

We can’t afford to continue as we are now. We talk about a rapidly changing world but chatting about it is not a good way to approach the future. We need comprehensive and groundbreaking research. Often that is considered more than challenging but risky as well because the undertaking requires trying things which may not work. It would require constant revision and refinement. Yes, we have a choice. We can be passive or we can vigorously start challenging the meaning and possibilities of our future. There I go again. Always the initiative type personality.

What possibilities have you run across that requires research and exploration?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health

The Origins and Sources of the Majesty Trilogy – Pt. 5

 

Being Moved Beyond Simple Exposition – From Within

Many of us who write fiction do not anticipate where the effort will lead us or what might begin to stir within ourselves. When I began the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I had a story line and then used Dara Marks’ Transformational Arc to organize it and structure it. One perception is that it may then be a matter of filling in the blanks. No such thing.

The story took on enhancements and a life of its own in ways not anticipated. And then there was the matter of insistent characters who showed up for inclusion. In the end I had to concede that the story and the writing process was stirring things inside of me.

Essential Elements

At the beginning, the intention was to write a story about the salvation of our future. Without a doubt we live in a very dangerous time. Perhaps the least of our dangers is how we may ruin our economic future. And then there is our capacity to use nuclear weapons to bring untold destruction. At the same time we are seeing clear evidence of climate change wrought by our presence. Deniers can deny all they want but we have the capacity to damage so much of this planet in ways never before seen. 

Other Discoveries

Even though we have been around our habitat for millions of years, we know so little about it in many ways. We must accept that life is insistent. We have learned about change and now know how adaptable life forms are. Deep in the ocean around warm vents we discovered life forms we assumed could not exist. We now know that asteroids contain water and amino acids which suggests life seeds itself well beyond this planet. How naive we have been!

Being Discoverers

We like to explore and discover more and more about our world. And now we are looking to go to Mars. That planet has been virtually striped of its atmosphere because it has no magnetic field but we seem interested in terraforming. It is likely that we may discover something we had not thought about.

What will happen if we break out of our planet? Are we ready? Are we mature enough as a species to bear the burden which discovery reveals? And who might we meet out there? In Star Trek they insisted that they not interfere in civilizations in other worlds they discovered. Part of that seems to come out of the perception that we may not be that wise. There are stories of invasion and attacks by extraterrestrial beings and we hope they do not come here. That, in some ways, is a projection of our understanding about our frequent lack of maturity.

What Fiction Brings

As I wrote the story, its characters developed. And now as I look at the trilogy I find that a book 4 seems to be demanding my attention. But it remains in the shadows and I will see if it will manifest itself. But one thing became apparent, that the story was leading me toward the theme of transformation. In human history we have seen sudden delineations and development as with language and culture. And then there are things such as the Enlightenment. Is there a transformation in our future?

If we survive this dangerous period, how might we advance. Suddenly we see stunning revelations about widespread molestation and mistreatment of women. The cascade of revelations is such that we cannot turn back from it now. And the uprising of women to overthrow their subjugation is stunning but just beginning. And in writing these books I found that the empowerment of women was essential. I really have to wonder if the empowerment of women is going to lead us to a significant transformation beyond anything we might suspect. We will see won’t we?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

A Vision for Appalachia

Where should we apply our resources?

In this political season there is vision coming from some quarters and none from other quarters. One of the saddest things I am seeing is the complete lack of vision in regard to the future of the people of Appalachia and the victims of the coal industry.

Beauty at Our Doorstep

Appalachia is one of the most beautiful areas I have ever visited and its people have been treated terribly. We now have politicians claiming they are going to save the coal industry and the reality is that it cannot be saved. The corporations have found ways to decrease the labor needed and the coal is running out even while it is clear that we have to turn to renewable energy sources.

The Meaning of Help

So what of the people of Appalachia? Are we to do nothing for them, for their future. They have a very high opiate addiction rate partly because of the injuries so many have sustained in the coal mines. Addiction is not a simple matter. One thing that must be done for addicts, as we attempt to help them with the addiction, is to move them toward hope and purpose. We are not doing that.

We hear that their future is dim, that other forms of energy must be used but we hear nothing of how they and their communities may have a new and brighter future.

Other Models

Recently I spoke with someone who also attended Duke University and he had made a visit to the Research Triangle (Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham area). He said everywhere he turned he saw thriving startup companies. It made me think of Appalachia.

The mountains and the valleys are lovely, graced with streams and glorious seasons. Each of these little areas can be homes to the right businesses. Of course, there is snow which has a beauty of its own and then there is spring and a brilliant fall. The summers, because of the mountains, are more muted. 

New Possibilities Being Born

We have entered the technological future and are seeing the possibility of something called post capitalism. We no longer are inclined to build huge industrial complexes. Instead we have pocket industries of a wide variety of sorts. Where California is lacking in water, Appalachia has abundant water.

Taking the Challenge 

Because of history, the eastern mountains have many problems and change will not come overnight. But with vision we have an area which has tremendous potential. The beauty of it can help build a future but it will have to be a very different kind. It will take considerable resources, including health resources, patience and offering something to younger generations among many other things. At present I hear nothing of vision for them and their area. 

We have been mired down in obstruction and lack of vision. Maybe I can raise the hope that we can begin to focus on constructive action and many shades of vision. In that we just might be able to develop the potential of Appalachia and to give the people hope and purpose. I can dream can’t I?

What visions are found in your dreams?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

A New Jobs Portrait

We can Study the Future for Jobs

Furutistic Future Plan Urban Structure Concept

It’s really strange to listen to the non discussion about the future of jobs. We seem to be thinking that the jobs we have now are the only jobs there will be. It reminds me of the head of the copyright office who said in the early twentieth century that we might as well close up the department because everything that can be invented had been invented. It is as if we forget that the industrial revolution was indeed a revolution and we are acting as if the Information Technology revolution isn’t happening. Where is the foresight and the researchers.

Lessons We Can Learn

Making a reference to politics is jarring presently but I have to note that pathetic politicians are telling the people of Appalachia that they will bring back coal jobs and its as if they believe what they are told. I don’t even need to go into why they are not coming back. What is preferable is to look at Appalachia. Have you ever been there? It’s beautiful. Granted the towns need work and investment but those valleys are exquisite and while they aren’t suitable for sprawling industrial complexes or large agricultural operations, they are suitable for many kinds of companies, especially small technologically based companies.

There Is a Paucity of Discussion

Maybe I’m not hearing the discussion or they are done in whispers. A lot of technologically based startup companies can be small or linked because of improved communications systems. I don’t think its up to me to build a copious list but there should be a crowd of researchers at work. Perhaps Appalachia can’t spring to life over night and older residents might not benefit from new types of work but a future could be built for the younger generations. What I know from testing people for vocational opportunities is that you can’t know what there can be as resources until you look. It may take training but above all it has to begin with vision and a willingness to employ it.

Looking Around the World

Germany is legendary in the way it created apprenticeship programs. For some reason they thought that not everyone could or might want an advanced education as in universities. So they set up apprenticeships programs for existing industries. We can do such things for the industries and systems which are coming of age just now. Many tech industries are hungering for new workers and we need to research what the needs are and then go looking for the suitable skill patterns.

Opening Our Minds

I’ve noted this before when I mentioned what I saw as I tested the intelligence of people in preparation for retraining. Intelligence tests as they are constructed are not the be all and end all of ways to assess abilities. The ones we’ve used for a long time such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale were divided into Verbal and Performance. The Verbal was thought of as being most closely related to educational needs and the Performance section related to skills used by what we call blue collar people. Well, guess what. I saw that the Performance skills also related to information technology. Many people with lower Verbal skills were thought of as learning disabled. In fact they had higher Performance skills which was their area of talent.

It Comes Down To This

Can we do some research please and open our minds? We need to assess the jobs which will be needed and look at our pool of talent. New training or retraining may be needed but if we look I  believe we can open our future.

What do you see ahead?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Origins and Sources of the Majesty Trilogy – Pt. 4

The Human Potential

Emerging Themes

In writing the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I found, even though I had a chart of its arc, that components of it were emergent. Just as the characters emerged as well. To me it was not a story of whatever form. It had to have a future reflective of us and possibilities. 

In the scope of things it may be that we are merely a life form that emerged on this beautiful and unusual planet. And in time we may well vanish into the history of the universe leaving no trace whatsoever.

But what I saw was that there is the matter of potential that may lead to our transformation or even possibly some forms beyond who we are just now.

Exploring Us and Our history

In mythology we see themes in human existence as well as our development. In gods and goddesses we view ourselves but our future as well. It seems we take the hopes of our youth into thoughts about what might be to come. We are restless and often not willing to accept how it is right now for ourselves personally or collectively. In our recent past we see the acquisition of culture and language and now so many more things.  I say “recent past” because it is apparent that we have been developing for millions of years, but it is in the last thousands of years we see a sudden “maturation” and acquisitions of new skills. And now technology is thrusting us forward in a whole new way.

We regard history, but also regard our future. Parts of who we are seem little changed. But other parts are intriguing.

Carrying Forward and Progressing

When we look at human history we see some things which change little although on the surface there is difference. For much of our history we had ruling families and still do. We had kings and now we have people we are calling oligarchs. They simply direct and rule our lives in different ways. But developmentally there has been a change at the same time as we have struggled to acquire and maintain democracies where the mass of people actually have a say in government. It is a struggle to maintain it nonetheless. 

Without warning come new themes such as the liberation of women. I know I say this over and over but I’m intrigued about what this movement may mean. Suddenly we have women participating in a way which goes beyond what has gone before.

Our lives are woven together. There is chaos and cruel brutality even as there is caring for those amongst us. While some may care not at all about the welfare of others, there are some who set up beneficial foundations.

The Call of a Future

One purpose fiction can serve is to stir us to examine not just ourselves personally but as creatures on this earth. We see some marked changes over time and emergent themes born of dreams and hopes. But what is intriguing is the possibility not just for fundamental change but what may mean transformation. It may come upon us or we may grasp and trigger it. It is up to use individually and collectively. The two themes of Mysterium and Malestrom in this trilogy relate to interplay of fundamental force. We may give them names as we search and explore. It all grows out of asking “What if?” as a means to draw us forward to an intriguing future.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Image of Woman

 

If you were to construct one essential image of a woman, what would you choose?

Broadening Our views

This is such an interesting time in human history. There are so many possibilities. I’ll try to focus. 

Our image of ourselves is changing and diverging. When I was a kid, Leave It To Beaver was on television and a show called Father Knows Best. These were All-American families with a central male character and the woman was the housewife. What else was there? We were to find out.

Gradually our view broadened. We learned we had single parent families and divorce became more and more prominent possibly because women had more options. Steadily diversity was recognized.

Fast Forward

I won’t try to follow all the twists and turns. Now we come to a new century and there was a stunning development. I remember the two “maiden ladies” down the street and the sad specter of the lifelong bachelor. We now have new thoughts about who they might have been. And then suddenly we had the recognition of LGBT and actually (over strenuous opposition) allowed gay marriage.

At the personal level the catalogue of options is steadily expanding. As a kid I loved science and liked to tinker with our television. If I had been a little older at the time I would have been a member of a rocket building club. Wernher von Braun was my hero. If I were a child today I would be one incredible geek. My computer would be my home. Some of these choices are easy and others are more difficult.

Back to Women

Women’s roles are diverging. We are pounding on the glass ceiling and maybe some day soon we will openly deal with income inequality and the right of women to make their own decisions. No doubt you have your own catalogue of complaints about that issue. 

What I am finding fascinating are the efforts to build a pantheon of roles which a woman can maintain at her discretion. Yes, for some reason I want to call it a pantheon because there are glorious elevated choices. When we view a large celebration we see an interesting collection of people. Mostly the men look rather similar in dark suits of various kinds. Women are far more diverse and it hints at a more fundamental diversity.

It seems now a woman can display an allure in one setting and take on an image of power and competence of a different kind in another setting. And, again, I have to wonder if that isn’t part of the problem men are having with the empowerment of women.

Stepping Back

Posts in a blog are supposed to be relatively short and this subject doesn’t lend itself well to a blog post because the more you think about it, the more complex the issues become. Leadership by women can be explicit or implicit which is also true for men but in a different way. How do we define these differences and what do they mean and where will it lead us?

Women can be magnificent beauty objects in one setting and a powerful leader in another. Women are adept at accessing and utilizing vastly different roles. And is that part of the problem? This diversity in image and setting seems troubling to us. We were more comfortable with Father Knows Best. 

What do you think is going on and what are your thoughts?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health? by Roger B. Burt