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

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

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

Author Issues

Do you believe writing fiction is a straightforward endeavor?

A Complex Endeavor

I opened this new series with a post about choosing categories. Writing actually has become an increasingly complex endeavor. I thought I might share some thoughts for my fellow authors. But the rest of you are invited to listen in. You might find it amusing or even interesting.

What Happened?

Many (very many) years ago I had the inspiration to write fiction. I found it engaging and interesting. It was fun to be creative. Looking back I think the impulse to write happened when I reached a life change point.

Anyway, I started writing. Then came a deeply moving job which took all my energy. Then came a divorce, a new marriage, two more children from her first marriage, a new career and on and on. Life takes energy and commitment and each time I started something new, other demands got in the way.

Life Settled Down – Well Not Quite

Later, much later, my life settled down and a new idea for fiction emerged. I thought it interesting to pursue it. My wife had been working on screen plays and gave me Dara Marks Transformational Arc. What a neat way to scope out the progress and development of a book!
So I settled in with the reassurance that I had a structure to guide me.

And then demanding characters began to show up. I had an idea and these demanding people insisted on their inclusion and of course, they brought with them their personality, conflicts and foibles among other things. And then the psychologist had to look out because he began to pick up on their inner conflicts. That doesn’t sound so bad except it leads to conflicts of all sorts that can get in the way of the story and its development.

I’m blogging about some of these people including Avery, Brigid and Luisa among others.

Enhancement and Complications

It may sound nice to have characters showing up because they bring enhancement of the story. Well, not quite. They bring more than enhancement. They complicate the story and so the book became a trilogy – I think. It seems there may be a fourth book stirring.

And through it all I began to see that the story was filled with themes. I could see mythology which had always intrigued me and the prospect of the impact of waves of humanity possibly leading to transformation. But above all, what was striking was the fact of these women’s lives. Back in the 1960s I became intrigued by the process of women’s liberation that has now become the work to end the subjugation of women. Steadily I could see that my commitment to feminism was having an impact on the story and the development of characters.

Never-ending

I’m going to leave this there for now. There are so many other matters that come into the authors life. I’ll be addressing some of them. Have a nice day. I’ve got work to do and it isn’t fiction writing. So much else has cropped up.

Did you believe writing fiction might actually involve crowd sourcing?

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 Creation of Gaia’s Majesty – I

Fiction and Empowerment

Do you find purpose in your reading or writing?

Finding Answers

At some point I began to wonder why I was writing the story of Gaia’s Majesty. The answers did not present themselves, at least in a unitary or ordered fashion. Of course, it really isn’t necessary to question why we write fiction or, for that matter, why we read fiction. It’s fiction and we enjoy it.

But in time the reasons began to become clear. My fascination with the work of Carl Jung led me in a variety of directions. The first of which was to consider the meaning and effect of myth. I love mythology. There are magnificent stories, and with simple reflection, we can see that they are fundamental stories of us. Not just a given person but about the nature and meaning of all of us.

A Central Viewpoint

In turn I had to look at my chosen direction within the project, and I could clearly see that the “what if” was central. And from Jung’s personality typology I knew that intuitive personality types are most prone to ask “what if”. We always search for meaning and what might be because possibilities are the fruit of our lives. I recall my mother returning from a conference with my third grade teacher and telling me that the teacher had said, “Roger has contributions to make when he’s here.”

What the teacher meant was that I was often dreaming out the window. I was clear. When the teacher said something of interest, I took it and stormed out the window to explore it. And so I have gone out to explore our world through Gaia’s Majesty.

Possibilities for Outcome

But why this story. Because women are being empowered and we cannot look away from the significance of it. And so women become the movers and shakers in the story. Another facet is that I am thoroughly convinced that this is an interregnum or denouement for all humankind. And things are moving swiftly. So this story is built on current conflict and seeks to build possibilities for the outcome, at least in symbolic form.

And there is so so much to explore. Our societies are in upheaval, we are seeing a sifting of the possibilities for each group, each nation and, of course, for humankind altogether. It would be easy to be dismissive and simply see it as a time of disorder. There are certainly times of substantial disorder in human history. Of course, it is impossible for me to thoroughly support my belief. The outcome will be revealed in time. But it would seem that in many ways humankind is maturing and old ways are giving way to new ways. That is not to say that prejudice, hatred, fascism, ignorance, greed and the seeking of power have disappeared. But alternatives can be fostered more widely and richly with our communications system. Information technology is changing everything.

Clarifying What’s on the Horizon

I think, in the end, I see Gaia’s Majesty as fundamentally a philosophy and a hope and that those things are supported by elements in the world as it is evolving. It seems probable that the interregnum will be fraught with peril but, as it has so often been in the past, there will be a consolidation, or is transformation not out of the range of possibility? And this may be a time of testing of a new order. What fun!

Which new order would you prefer?

 

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

Regarding the Cusp of Reality

 

What do you explore in your life?

The Blog

Humankind does not simply exist on earth. We may in time cease to exist as a species or we may continue to evolve as we have in the past. Our time on Earth is a voyage of exploration and it seems valid to believe that we may face not just future crises but also substantive remarkable changes.

This blog is a thought document given to guide our exploration of where we individually and humankind may be going. It comes in the form of a “what if” and the name of the blog indicates that truth is often ephemeral, personal and social just like the fact that our currency is backed by nothing other than trust. Thought informs us and so do stories such as in myth or romance. And so we seek direction and substance as we can find it.

One of the vehicles for this exploration is the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. The books compose more than a story but also contain a philosophy and hope including hope for true partnership. The themes chosen grow from my experiences over the decades. Their exploration may help inform our perceptions of future efforts.

The two most important themes relate to the empowerment of women and the probability that we are on the verge of unprecedented change.

The Promise of Humankind

This is a deeply troubling time. Not long ago we were heartened by events in the world. They included the Arab Spring, emerging nations, rapprochement with Russia, the rise of Africa, China opening to the world, among others. But it is as if the edifice we were building has crumbled. Much of the promise internationally has proven to be ephemeral. And domestically we are mired in a seemingly insurmountable political confrontation built on obstruction with no goal holding clear promise.

In the coming posts I will continue to explore components of confrontation and failures along with the elements of future possibilities. There are a number of ways to do it and I chose two paths. One is information which is definitional in part and includes thought documents born of my belief in asking the what if. So, it will be approached from the real world but I also believe in exploration through mythology in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy where there is often illumination and fundamental truth.

Also statements will be included regarding what I call the wave format in human development and history. Human development has hardly been glacial with slow steady movement into our future. Rather, it is fitful and I view it as coming in waves which may be destructive but also can move us forward easily or dramatically. And, just as we see at the seashore, there are moments of peace and consolidation.

Interregnum or Denouement

Thus, we embark on an exploration in the real world and the world of myth. I hope you will find it interesting and it includes the gift of hope and promise. You will now see definition and related thoughts regarding our present circumstances. I believe the next wave is on the horizon and a key part of its promise is that it bears the fruits of the empowerment of women.

It appears valid to call this time an interregnum and in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I term it a denouement. In Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called we begin the exploration. The two pillars are demonstrable as we inspect real world events and inspiration using a mythological cloak where women are central.

Do you believe we are on the verge of substantive change?

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

Honorable Mention Award

Honorable Mention Award

I’m pleased to announce that Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power has been awarded an honorable mention in the Wild Card category at the 2017 Hollywood Book Festival.

The category makes me smile because I’ve been wrestling with category choice. The book has a real world setting but with mermaids. So I often wonder if it’s fantasy or fiction. Then the series will take off into the future and dive deeper into mythology and fantasy elements. But in terms of fantasy it is not outlandish and there is a strong real world setting. Women are central but they have mystical and mythological elements. In the end Wild Card suits me just fine.

The Myth Underlying the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy – Part 4

 

Can we enhance the movement of Primal families in the interest of our world?

Broad Missions

In the myth underlying these books, the Progenitors Gaia had chosen to defend our future often lived much or most of their lives in the sea, they could also live on the land when they had specific duties and tasks. And there was often a mission chosen for them on land by Gaia.

Progenitors Coming to Land

The sightings conveyed in mythology are of the Progenitors as they were in the sea. But with a mission on land they needed a safe way to come from the sea. And so there were designated villages on the seacoast chosen to aid them in a safe and hidden transition to terrestrial life. When they came to the shore they would transform and their fishlike attributes would retreat into their bodies. They then took on what we know as a wholly human form and would don clothes provided by their protectors.

Life on the Land

Over the millenia there were women and some men who were given missions to come from the Tethys to the land to live. They built families that had strong female members firm in marital partnerships with their mates who referred to themselves and their families as Primals. Generally these families became quite wealthy but by truly constructive means. When they were in business their businesses were well run with a vital social contract between workers, shareholders and owners. When their dedication was to public causes, such as support of the independence of women in general and safeguarding control of their own fertility and economic sustenance, their stewardship led to flourishing communities and countries.

Gaia’s Involvement

These families were a vanguard in a sense. In the event of widespread catastrophe and the need to restart humankind they were present and prepared to support new societies. Gaia had decided she would not just stand idly by but would prepare in all regards.

The Opposition

But, of course, humankind had a diverse history and there were those who continued fundamental predation, even against their own kind. Opposed to the dedication of the Tethyans were the people they referred to as the Overlords. In contrast to the families of the Primals, the Overlords were dominated by aggressive males who were not just highly predatory but these men cared only for power and profit. They too had originally come to the land from the seas. Thus, there was some overlap of the lineages but the Overlords were primarily the remnants of the dominant power oriented predator class.

Luisa Penza
And then there was Luisa who came from a wealthy Italian primal family. Like Brigid she had a brush with tragedy and brutality and so came to join Andromeda. Brigid had a pet name for Luisa and called her Kitten. A darling gamine, she used her sexual wiles with great art. It was in the service of her people and she enjoyed the form of power it gave her as well as loving the act itself. Her appearance served her in her work. She seemed so innocent, but the object of her attention and assignment would not suspect that she was hiding her wiles and could strike with brutality if needed.

Can you see people like these in our present lives?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon Home Page

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

The Universality of Mythology

Life Dramas

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In college I was utterly captivated by mythology. Suddenly I could see that it was manifested everywhere. The themes presented themselves in my history of art classes, they crept out to engage me even in my psychology courses. There was Carl Jung who brought back themes from across the world. Never before had I contacted celtic spirituality, mysticism in all its forms or the intentions of prophesy in human drama. The inspirations were boundless.

At first it is easy to see mythology as little more than fantasy. But gradually it is revealed that it is drama and art in all their forms. And then it dawns on us that it is visionary and metaphysical and ultimately it brings us vibrant reality.

Life Instructions

We can tell stories in a straightforward fashion in our fiction or we can choose different vehicles. All forms have their own allure. But we can come to understand that reality may take shape in dreams. And those dreams may be rich and instruct us about our endeavors and our future.

Over time I could not get away from it. Mythology revealed itself when I was engaging in therapy with my clients and in my studies it gave me instructions. When I looked at Freud I saw a man clearly embedded in western thought and the specificity of the field of medicine. Yet, he was drawn away as he spoke to us about the meaning of our dreams and especially the unconscious mind. Some of his colleagues scoffed. But recently, with our ability to scan the brain we have evidence of the unconscious process.

My Personal Favorite

And then there was Carl Jung. He foraged for myth across the world and, like Marco Polo, even brought us things from Asia. The mythology he gathered from his world wide searches brought us illumination of all kinds. His study of the world organized reality in his personality typology. He found, in his comprehensive studies, that who we are spoke of clear diversity of definable personality types. And they could be seen in myths.

In my doctoral dissertation I chose to study if the personality of the artist (painters in that instance) was manifested in his or her paintings. There had been endless speculation about the inner life of the artist in psychiatric literature, but nothing systematic or definitive. I found their personality was manifested in their paintings and also found that the personality type was the definitive component and not the degree of that type.

A Love Affair With Mythology

And it was my fascination with myth that led me to resolve to bring myth into my writings. And as I used myth to develop the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I found more and more myths revealed themselves to me.

The human imagination is so rich and from it we weave all forms of dreams and realities as well. And, of course, as I’ve noted, myths are not just born of our imagination, but also of real world events so revealing of who we are.

In the first book of the trilogy, Gaia’s Majesty: Mission Called – Women in Power, we see a process where myth and the movement to empower women are being woven in our world.

How does myth manifest itself in your life and, if you write, how does it reveal itself?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon Home Page

Waves in Human Existence

A Living Planet
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The image of an ocean beach is always engaging. The movement and the sense of a living planet is essential and stirring. But, as we sense the attitudes of our life we can see that the waves exist everywhere and are compelling.

Sometimes there is talk of the march of history but a march does not describe the essence of the experience of life on our planet. Certainly there is nothing steady and, for that, I am grateful. It is the overlapping waves at so many levels which makes life interesting. Demarkations, twists and turns are essential as well as the swelling to a crescendo. In fact, I wish to publicly thank Eve and the snake for freeing us from the prison that was Paradise. It would have been terribly boring. Challenge is better.

Dynamic Explorations

Life need not be a passive experience or at least I would never wish it to be so. Life is to be an exploration of meaning and possibilities. And within all those things are waves. Our social groups experience waves, our cities, cultures, countries and, now, I believe humankind is confronting a wave of the largest magnitude of our history.

For most of my life I have been something of cynic and not prone to accept the common wisdom. And I have always been suspicious of claims of an impending fulfillment religious or otherwise. Perhaps it is the word fulfillment of which I am suspicious. But presently I am perceiving, rightly or wrongly, that we seem on the verge of a consolidation of our future. As grim as things seem in so many parts of human existence currently, there appears to be a process which holds promise. And such promise is most often born of challenge and conflict.

It is the theme of a wave of change or denouement which was central in driving my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. The first book, Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery: Mission Called – Women in Power sets the scene and develops the characters to travel with us as humankind faces a denouement with profound implications.

Of the Personal and the Species

Looking back I see repeated waves appearing in my life. I see them of various duration and in everything from the personal to the societal and now in the existence in humankind as a whole. Personally I saw it in the wonder of growing up in vibrant New York. Then in the 1970s the city teetered on the edge of bankruptcy and we saw a very different city for a time. In our economies we see it over hundreds of years as we move through feudalism, capitalism and now it seems, toward postcapitalism.

Repeatedly I turned to mythology and the meaning it coveys even as we experience the numinous or spiritual dimension. In our personal lives the mysterium, which is the mystery of woman, ensnares us bringing wonder and fulfillment. It may invoke fear among men but also fulfillment. And in turn it leads to the meaning of the empowerment of women and all facets of its meaning. And it is not a momentary phenomenon but is better characterized as a wave swelling and then breaking – toward what end?

Exploration and Enriched Reality

In the coming posts I’ll share some thoughts about the waves we experience as humans, about what may happen to countries and our country in particular and I will be paying special attention to the human climate. This is an unimaginably fascinating time. I chose the cuspofreality for the name of the blog because I think we need to be exploring not just ourselves but our world so we may move toward an understanding of what is happening. Nothing is fixed and everything open to interpretation—like reality.

Waves enrich us in all aspects of human existence and I could not resist sharing a mythologically cloaked adventure about the wave which I believe may be dominating our lives right now and leading us into our future.

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page