My Valley of Spirits

 

 

Personal Alternatives

Sometimes our lives open paths and perceptions totally unexpected. In an earlier post I outlined by experience with what we concluded was a ghost in our first home in Maryland. The theme deepened.

Now I’m going to have to admit more about who I am because it relates to what I am writing in this blog and in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. My external persona suggests calm, quiet introversion and probably mostly a fairly focused reality. Such a persona exists, but there is another one.

Quiet Beauty

We lived in the first house in Maryland only a year and early on searched for a home to buy. Since my wife wanted a horse, it had to be in the country. It wasn’t long before we found what we were looking for. It was in a small valley far out in the country. Since we didn’t have an appointment we couldn’t see the house but drove around and looked at its setting. I was instantly engaged and said, “The house is going to have to be terrible for me not to want it.”

It turned out to be a darling two hundred year old stone house set against a hill and looking out to a small river or “creek” as it was called. It needed work, but that just meant we could make it our own. Inside the house I sensed nothing except a calm atmosphere both welcoming and uncomplicated. Outside proved to be another matter entirely.

The Mystery of Evening

Since we were in a valley, the sun set behind the hills and we descended slowly into the fading light of evening. Many evenings I was drawn to stand on the upstairs porch and enjoy the peace. 

Once upon a time the house had been on the road from Baltimore to York, Pennsylvania. On the far hill there was a road hidden by trees leading to the ruined foundations of a covered bridge. The impression of the road could still be perceived in the lawn and then ran up the hill on the other side. At dusk, many evenings, as the mist rose from the river, I had a hazy perception of the occasional traveler in a buggy or on horseback.

One Saturday morning I rose and looked out to the river and had a perception of a union soldier on guard by the bridge. This would have been one of the routes to Gettysburg during the Civil War. I saw him one other time. Again, not clear, but a strong impression.

An Opening to the Depth of Life

What I came to feel was a depth of continuing life from the past leading into the future. The impressions in this landscape were various, unfocused but led me to an inescapable experience making me feel we only perceive a narrow slice of the life and types of life by which we are surrounded. 

After all, our senses on a day to day basis serve us in specific ways and tell us little about what might surround us. I gained a new and deep perception on the property. It offered a richness of experience I found enchanting.

Then Came That Evening

As I said, the house itself was quiet, cozy and, I might even say, loving. But one evening I felt called outside again. Behind the house was a small hill. Rocky on the side toward the house, but even and inviting on top. 

There was one place near the top that I had no reason to visit but it always held my attention. I felt something there. And then one evening I was drawn and climbed up the hill and sat down. I could feel a presence. No words were spoken. Gradually I had memories of when I was a child and my fear of darkness. While those fears declined as an adult, they remained with me. That night they vanished—forever.

The Lesson

My time in that valley was a rich experience. I came away with a greater depth of perception of the life of earth itself, of the fury there can be as in the day when a hurricane led to a rampage by the river. But above all it made me open my perceptions and the understanding that we are far from alone and may yet experience the diversity and depth of the life which surely surrounds us. These perceptions fed the story which evolved into the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.

What life forms have you experienced?

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

What Is a Functional Reality? – Can It Include Spirit Guides?

 

Learning From The Other

In our own minds we engage in fantasy and dreams. We also explore legends and myths. But I have also found that my understanding of reality or lack thereof has been built by my clinical experience which means interacting with other people. I found it essential to adopt varying frameworks when I was talking to people. Each of their worlds may be quite different from my world and that means there is a different reality. Early on in my studies I was told that being involved in psychotherapy meant learning from your clients. How true. Not just in psychotherapy, but learning from others is a lifelong process.

Don’t Talk About It!

It is really odd that in most of our lives we simply do not discuss this much. But at the same time I understand why we don’t. What a time sink! In contrast I would argue that it is a worthwhile time sink if we would only focus it. We need not spend all our time on it, but in a social context, for example, we can clarify our policies in a meaningful way if we will see how and why we differ and how it might be reconciled for the common good. In governance it is useful for conservatives and progressives to talk together to construct a functional way forward. Too often it becomes an unproductive ideological battle. Functionality may begin with an abstract approach as we look toward the future of humankind.

Where Is This Going?

When it occurred to me that I wanted to write a post about functional reality I had a sense of what I was thinking. Let’s face it, if you are going to write something it helps to know where you might be going with it. In preparation I googled it and to my surprise I found I was not alone in thinking about it. See what you find when you google functional reality.

Functional Versus Unfocused

I found it useful to create a view of functional reality in my thinking for my clients and as I said I believe it is useful in social planning. Of course, while dealing with the lives of real people it cannot be anywhere near as abstract as this discussion.

We move to another range of functionality when we think about stewardship whether it is of our fellow humans or our planet. At that point we come to a utilitarian functionality.

Varied Tools and Ways Forward

And there is the matter of tools which leads me to my interest in speculative fiction. In fiction we can create a functional reality of sorts which guides the development of our story and our thinking. That in turn lets us to look to future possibilities in our writing and for our own lives. 

Maybe I’m a little odd in that regard, but I like to know where I’m going and love to look ahead in other regards. In short, I like to speculate. Perhaps you have similar inclinations. Who knows? We might even uncover the meaning or existence of things such as spirit guides. We really do not know what other life forms there might be nearby. And particularly as we forage in creative lands it just might be that we will get unexpected guidance. Or, sometimes, it is a matter of being willing to go out there and just take a look. There is a range of functionality. There is what serves for right now and it extends out to the utility of what might be and where our dreams may lead us.

What is the usual focus of speculation for you? Do you have a spirit guide?

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

Our Nation in Crisis – An American Vision: Part 2

 

The Big Picture

Next are some examples of contributory factors which often supported bad outcomes. Most were given bipartisan support.

We now face a struggle for our future and quite possibly a struggle for the future of our world. While environmental issues are among those at the core, the problems go well beyond. And it is important to realize that failures of vision and perspective are not the province of one idealogical group. In general we have been inattentive even when it may not be a matter of ideology.

Here is a short list which demonstrate bipartisan errors:

The War on Drugs/War on Crime

In the 1980s we declared this war. Stop and frisk escalated and mandatory (long) sentences were imposed even for nonviolent crimes often involving very small quantities of drugs. Rather than going into extensive details, it is sufficient to say it was excessive and our prison population swelled to one of the highest in the world. We went from 1 million to 2.5 million. We seem to have recognized our error and the population has been reduced, but part of the support comes not from a belief in justice, but the perception that it cost us too much money. We have alienated and grievously stressed minority communities and ruined countless lives and families.

The Second Prohibition 

The first prohibition related to alcohol. It was assumed it would benefit society. But what we did was to help build crime syndicates. Their profits were huge and, once established, they branched out into many other criminal enterprises. Finally we recognized our error and resumed legal sale of alcohol with appropriate regulation. But we had already built criminal enterprises which continued.

And then, much later we instituted a prohibition of recreational use of marijuana. We failed to see that it would have a similar effect like that of alcohol prohibition. But this time we helped build international cartels. Of course, there are other drugs involved, but marijuana made a significant contribution to cartel profits. Many in government and law enforcement recognized the error and there is an organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) made up of senior law enforcement officials and even heads of states which supports reform. We are making progress and many states now accept medical marijuana and steadily some are legalizing “recreational” use. In all cases there is regulation as with alcohol.

Globalization of Trade

Of course, in the world as it is, we must engage in global trade. Questions revolve around how it is done. Again, I won’t attempt to delve into a complex issue except to note one specific effect. The agreements we entered into often had the effect of exporting jobs. And the types of jobs affected the people we refer to as the “left behinds”. Our error was to fail to face the inevitable. We needed, from the beginning, to look at the implications and to plan for retraining and education to help move people into alternative employment. There was a rather large void of attention to the need and also how and to what we should attend.

A Changed Economy

The pace of change has increased and that means jobs must change and the employment face of communities must change. In a prior post I dealt with vision in regard to the future of Appalachia. Politicians claimed they could save the jobs related to coal. Reality and the facts were very different. In Appalachia coal was running out, coal companies were finding ways to produce with fewer employees, other kinds of coal in other areas were deemed more desirable and it was clear that wind and solar were to be steady producers of energy. In short, these jobs would inevitably disappear no matter what politicians claimed. We have yet to face the future in terms of what this beautiful area might have for its employment needs which very much speaks to the future of their young people.

I’ll leave the list there. There are many other candidates for a list of errors made by many people across party and ideological lines. The basic issue is vision and commitment.

Next we will go into discussing some lessons learned about issues which affect our viewpoint and outcomes.

What errors of vision would you note?

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

Vision-Searching Truth and the Future

 

Choices

Whether we want it or not we are always confronted with choices. There may be bold steps but there is always the choice to do nothing. The last alternative is not one I relish. 

When it comes to choices it often is a matter of what is presented to us and they may not be ones we want. My preference is to insure that we have options we would like to have. And my personality type inevitably leads me to searching for possibilities. The down side is that we can construct things we don’t need to be choosing and they may not be a good ideas. But in the end I always want to search what might be.

The Obvious and the Not Obvious

Clarity of the present scene of our lives may be a good place to begin to construct vision. The real palate set before us may offer everything we may want but to simply choose from that array leaves us open to the unexpected and what may materialize.

Another alternative for us is to look back and see if there are harbingers or my favorite possibilities which may introduce us to what may be or will be coming. Granted that may lead us to a futile search if we are too insistent or perhaps unwilling to face an insistent reality.

Dreams or Possibilities 

Dreams may be one place we search for the future but in dreams we may construct something which is not attainable or even desirable or may actualize our dreams. Whatever we choose there are a number of ways to use them. As I’ve said, when I began to construct the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I thought it was just one book and learned otherwise. I reached back into mythology and melded it with the movement to empower women. The first was an intriguing story told across the world and the other is an intriguing reality occurring across the world.

Not Accepting the Obvious

When we embark on this kind of investigation we cannot always know what we will conclude or find. But, in many ways that is what life is fundamentally like. But as I moved forward in the writing I found I was not completely in charge. Characters were insistent, I discovered some of what I thought were my themes were something other than what I thought they were.

In the End

But in the end, if it ever is ending, I had to conclude that I was scanning possibilities and some of them seemed to suggest what might truly be our future. The reader of course makes their own contribution and the partnership of reader and writer has its own set of possibilities. In the end this is what life is about. It involves struggle and we can’t assume we know where we will be led. What a gift!

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

Our Nation in Crisis – An American Vision: Part 1

What do you believe is the core we need to address?

The Need for Vision for an America in Crisis

This has been a grueling election process with a conclusion very few expected. Now we have to deal with the consequences. 

Our middle class has seen income stagnate over forty years. Income inequality has been substantial and is increasing. We have created a body of people we are calling “left behinds”. And through it all there has been a stunning lack of vision combined with obstruction of problem solving.

Being Driven By Emotions

Many people in this country have been hurt and they are angry. Anger often leads to a search for someone to blame and awakens prejudice. We are just beginning to see and feel what fruits it will bear. Emotion, especially in the absence of constructive action may lead to feelings of hopelessness. People will strike out. Possibly they will strike first at the ballot box but surely more definitively in time. We wait to see where it will lead.

Seeing the Consequences

While I surveyed the national landscape, one of my daughters sent me this link to a Huffington Post article. I was stunned. The man had outlined the exact set of conclusions I had reached.

History Tells Us What Will Happen Next With Brexit and Trump by Tobias Stone

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tobias-stone/history-tells-us-what-will-brexit-trump_b_11179774.html

From the article:

“Lead people to feel they have lost control of their country and destiny, people look for scapegoats, a charismatic leader captures the popular mood, and singles out that scapegoat. He talks in rhetoric that has no detail, and drums up anger and hatred. Soon the masses start to move as one, without any logic driving their actions, and the whole becomes unstoppable. That was Hitler, but it was also Mussolini, Stalin, Putin, Mugabe and so many more.”

A Partial List of Risks

We now have questions to ask ourselves. We see and feel the anger. Do we now have a national awakening or are we to be led deep into feelings of hopelessness, disenfranchisement, dysfunction and destruction. Since World War II we have been the leaders of what we call The Free World. There have been substantial lapses such as with the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, but in general we have been able to offer support and security in many ways. If we fail now, before us there stands a vulnerable world. Europe took a bold step in establishing the European Union and it is now shuddering as nationalistic and populist movements such as led to Brexit threaten its future. And just to the side stands a sociopath called Putin who took Crimea and may well make additional forays into Eastern Europe. Of course, there is the Middle East with what I am calling their hundred years war just beginning. China has been flexing its muscles and we cannot know where that might lead without carefully crafted diplomatic restraint. Would North Korea see an opportunity to attack South Korea or go deeper into provocative conflict with Japan? What of the continuing tensions between Pakistan and India—both nuclear powers. The list is long and ominous. And in each case carefully crafted American support and diplomacy has proven crucial in fostering stability and progress. What if it declines or is missing?

It is easy to dismiss the prospects and blindly declare it will not come to worldwide conflict. But we need to pay attention to the history of deep wave phenomena. One of the most recent ones began just prior to World War I. No one expected that cataclysm and the duration of it through the creation of the Third Reich. The history of Nazi Germany has echoes suggestive of what we now see on the horizon in many areas of the world. Tobias Stone has warned us and history confirms his thoughts. The consequences for America may be considerable.

Paying Attention to Waves

Wave theory is fascinating and waves come in many forms. Recently I mentioned the book Postcapitalism by Paul Mason which addresses economic waves. Stone in his article addresses political/social waves. Waves are fundamental in human history. And now we seem to be entering another wave and we can either shape it or abandon ourselves to it. Inaction may lead to breathtaking consequences.

And in fiction we have a long history of exploring human conflict and where it may lead us. We are on the cusp of a real world exploration. In the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I chose a fictional exploration where mythology and the women’s movement are woven. It is an exploration filled with hope as strong women lead us into our future.

What do you see ahead as these conflicts build? 

Next we look at some factors which contributed to putting us deeper into risk. 

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

Men, Women and …

 

But There’s More

Men, Women and …

In recent posts there was a discussion asking when men will begin to truly examine themselves as we move into a rapidly changing future, in a time when women are clearly becoming empowered. But it is a time of complex challenges.

Raising An Important Question

In the second book of my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy-Challenge one of the major characters, Beck, has an intriguing interaction. In the undersea world that he and his wife Chantia have entered there are the Tethyan people. These people are predominantly female but there are a few men. Beck knows men are there because the mission of the Tethyans is to guard the future in case of a catastrophic failure among humankind.

Beck is intrigued and asks to speak with some of the men. The first two don’t seem to be able to give him much information. Then comes Lucas who is of the Illuminata, the clarifiers. Lucas points out that there are numerous questions regarding the men and that they are yet to be answered.

We, In Our World, Have Numerous Questions

What Lucas says reflects the developing picture in their rapidly developing world. In our current world we have a similar problem. Earlier posts talked about the changing roles of women and the need for men at last to begin to probe themselves and their future because they have to change as well.

The Third Force

I struggled to come up with an appropriate term for another issue. It is becoming apparent that humankind is not merely made up of men and women clear in their images and identity. (Duh!) We have struggled for a long time to believe in a simple dichotomy which is an untruth. But in recent decades we have truly discovered the LGBTQ community. 

Again I struggle with terminology. The diversity involved does not quite seem like an integrated “community”. But I think you get my drift. At last we are going to have to deal with our real diversity. We are not seamless and do not merely have two partners who come together for reproduction. 

Rich Complexity

When I look at programs about animals it seems they are all about food and reproduction. There are the predators and the prey, males and females. It seems primates have some forms of culture but nothing approaching our language and depth of culture. And while their world may change, rapid development is unlikely. We are quite different.

Challenge

Yes, we are challenged and need to step back, control our prejudices and take a look at our diversity as a precious gift, not something to be feared. Again we come to the theme of transformation. In Gaia’s Majesty I address the challenge and the possibilities for our future. Our rapidly changing human culture presents us with  moments of opportunity to be seized. There is much more to come as the cascade seems to be intensifying.

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

Fiction Writing Process II – An Inherent Process

If you write fiction, what is your process?

An Outpouring

At last the writing of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy began. It led initially to scattered notes which shaped a global outline. As I said previously, I found definitive guidance in the  story arc process described by Dara Marks. It is visually and conceptually helpful and is found in her book INSIDE STORY. 

Intrinsic Structure

When looking at the arc I became immediately aware of how I had been seeing the process in films. Being highly visual myself, it made sense. And then I looked at my notes and could see that much of it fit her arc. In fact each book fit the arc and all three books together composed an arc. Amazing! It turned out that moving a few chapters reinforced the overall arc. It was then that the outpouring took the form of the actual detailed writing following the construction.

One of the things that became clear was that there was an intuitive process in writing, at least for some of us. My notes indicated a fundamental attraction to an arc. I had not been aware of it. What Marks had put together was a highly useful guide. Unbounded creativity is one thing, but it also takes shaping if it is to be sufficiently grounded. 

Interaction with Characters

The whole process was so compelling that I did not stop with book 1, but went straight through a first draft for all three books. That turned out to be crucial because back and forth reinforcements and shaping were occurring. With all three books in view I could see which characters were working or had staying power. I had to kill one of my darling characters and reshaped others. I also began to discover secrets for some of the characters which had to be worked out in the plot. This process added interest and led to firming up of the arcs. 

Detailing often came to shape the story. Once the substance of a given character became clear, that in turn led to refinement of plot and interactions. There was obviously a very dynamic process involved. 

Inherent Process

It was also apparent that layering was occurring. And having all three books was proving crucial. The foundation had been laid, the flow of the arcs established and the characters developed more fully. I could clearly see that my intuitive personality function had been crucial to the concept and my thinking type auxiliary was helping me with the building as well as helping me seek resources.

Personal Lessons

As a psychologist I couldn’t resist looking at the process in general and also the contributions made by each component of the person doing the writing. And, of course, fiction leads us to lessons about our own humanity. We resonate to certain characters more than others and that speaks to who we are as a person. Do we get affirmation of ourselves or does it lead us to self examination and refinement? And what of the villains or the people to whom we do not resonate? Surely we have lessons to be learned from them and revelations.

Clearly reading is not a passive activity. It enhances our lives and ourselves. And then there is the question of what it may do for the author.

What processes in your life lead you to personal development?

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

Subjugation of Women Seems To Be Ending

 

And I’m Trying to Grasp What Is Happening

If that sounds like a bizarre statement, it is and it isn’t. I have to mention my personality type again – intuitive. I don’t accept facts easily and I always find events have depth and nuance. Possibilities always present themselves. And while I think the changes in regard to women are long overdue I have to raise a hand and ask what may truly be happening and where it will lead. I doubt it will be without conflict and across the world it may take on markedly different forms.

A note on the picture at the top. Two very different women. What is your reaction? Who do you think each might be?

And Then There Is The Matter of Transformation

I’m truly not sure if we are looking at the opening of a rich future or whether it will turn toward an outbreak and domination of authoritarianism which will mirror a prior period leading to devastating wars. Of course I have my hopes and, if the more positive view holds, then we may be looking at a blossoming era with a magnificent future.

How’s that for pie in the sky? But I have to insist that we have seen the unexpected take hold before and now surely is possibly no different.

The Focus of My Hope

But let me come back to the changes regarding women. I think I’ve made it clear I embraced the hope of the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s. It seemed to move behind the scenes for a time and now the changes are ramping up.

One explanation is that they have gained control over their fertility although many men are attempting to snatch back control or at least block their use of it. But I never have found that significant movements have one cause. The changes with women are showing up across different cultures which, in itself, is unusual. 

Getting Our Attention

It seems to be coming at us quickly and I am immersed in what I see on television. Where did these smart, assertive and skillful women come from who comment on the world and our lives. Not only that but they do not seem to feel they need to “dress down” or fail to display the forms of their attractiveness. I chuckle when I think about it. “Get a grip guys.” The fact that they are willing to be attractive in all its forms does not mean we still hold them in our grasp.

And it all feels so sudden. 

Not Being Passive

I suppose my first thought is that it is clear important things are happening all at once. Under such circumstances it is not a good idea to engage in passive acceptance or mindless obstruction. Of one thing I think we can be sure, this change is earth shaking in the end and we would do well to be evaluating the meaning and support the changes. We all stand to benefit and it may presage a movement into a new future we would do best to consider and evaluate.

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

Fiction Writing Process I – The Birth and Shaping of Fiction

Various Sources and Resources

The writing process is fascinating. There is conventional wisdom about how to do it, but there is considerable variation among those of us who write fiction. Nothing is universal. Clearly we are using our personal resources, but certainly we all need editors and a proofreader at the end. Of course there is the matter of inspiration. For me, I found some surprises. And those surprises came at many levels. First I noticed that I reached a point in the development of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy when I realized that I had been working on it, in what I call the back of my brain, for decades. 

Sources of Inspiration

And I found the source of inspiration was anything but confined. Over my life I’ve worked in a number of environments from medical establishments, helping people with personal conflicts, assisting in vocational choices and addressing inner city poverty. In the latter, our staff had to do battle with entrenched interests among the higher ups. While they were not despoiling the earth, they were working against the development of a rich new way to deliver services. Such opposition can be seen at all levels of our lives and in our societies.

Many Changes and Sources   

And at the time women were becoming more and more central and influential. My mentor was an extraordinarily bright black women. My feminist orientation was born in those days. Later I moved on to dealing with the crisis management of stepfamilies in formation. And through it all I was getting deep into people’s personal lives in psychotherapy and some of it was simply life management. 

From my educational background I had acquired a fascination with mythology and cultural processes. All of these elements coalesced in causing me to watch the world stage and political intrigue as our social life on this planet developed and we descended into environmental and social crises. 

And more recently women rising to power has become more central as they gained control over their fertility and cultural events defined a need for new roles. I won’t try to detail the process because it is complex and is well covered elsewhere. But we can see their rise worldwide and the benefits attached are truly stunning.

Melding Sources and Themes

When I put all these components together a story was taking shape in my brain. It was attuned to feminism, the reality of growing conflicts and portrayed the need for stewardship of all kinds. And, of course, it had to have a mythological context which enhanced its creative shape.

Shaping the Story

At some point the question becomes how to shape the story. The author can simply start writing, can make notes and can also organize. My wife writes screenplays and in her work I saw something fascinating in the form of Dara Marks’ (see www.DaraMarks.com) Transformational Arc. I recognized it immediately. It is apparent at the movies. Specific elements are built including high points and culminations such as “as bad as it gets” which is the crisis that generally comes about three quarters of the way through a movie. The system does a wonderful job of shaping stories so they thrive rather than plod. I also used Carl Jung’s personality typology to help guide me in developing and joining characters. In fact, I present this tool in my book Creating Characters and Plots which is available as an ebook on Amazon.

But there was also the matter of containment when inspiration was truly sparked. The outpouring began which led to three books. I refer to it as coming from the back of my brain, but we know such things are fortified by the contributions of the right brain. And, with my knowledge of Carl Jung’s personality typology I could see that my personality components were making a contribution. My primary function of Intuition was leading me to speculative fiction and my auxiliary function of thinking was saving me from utter disorganization because it forced me toward organization.

In subsequent posts I’ll give more details on various components of what I call the writing process and what aids its organization and development.

What shapes the story of your life?

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

Men! Who Are We?

 

It Seems I’ve Missed Something

For decades now we’ve heard of Women’s Liberation and the end of the subjugation of women but I hear precious little of exploration by men about what it means for men. By that I mean, who are men and who are they to become? Are they to simply accept the changing place of women but not explore themselves? If it is being discussed, it seems to be in a whisper with a whimper.

That does not mean I’m an advocate of a roaring fight against the liberation of women by men. It quite simply means such monumental change in human history suggests there will have to be monumental changes by men and certainly more than whimper.

Fundamental Reexamination of Self

Without men’s role assessment or self examination it is impossible to make a meaningful adaptation and response to this change. It is hardly a sudden event. It has been coming for many decades even if we just look at the fight for the vote by women. But the movement is growing and I would contend that men should see this as an opportunity for them.

An opportunity to yield power? Probably, but there’s a lot more to it. As a man I must say that I see us having a constricted identity. I won’t even begin to try to delineate who and how we are because it’s not up to me. It is up to us as a whole and must indicate a productive commitment to change. Instead we seem to see resistance of various kinds. Even if there was no challenge, it is time for us to examine ourselves.

Meanwhile Back at Identity

What we are seeing is a long overdue movement to diversify identity which is causing confusion. There is considerable resistance when people present themselves as homosexual, bisexual, multisexual or whatever. The fact of the matter is that we are complex and there is place for all of our various iterations.

But a prominent focus seems to be on limited acceptance of women being liberated and gaining power. Granted some of it may be resistance to yielding power by men but as it is being done we are failing at self examination.

This Is An Opportunity

Dare I use the word liberation when it comes to men? Is it possible that we need to face that there has been some form of subjugation by our own sex even while we concentrate on restraining women? We might actually gain a great deal if we focus on what men might gain rather than what they might need to yield. At base perhaps we all need to take on liberation and an end to subjugation. Who are we as men and what possibilities might we open for ourselves?

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