Who Cares About Reality? – Just Live Your Life

 

Do you find yourself ever considering the meaning of reality?

Inspiration and Personal Growth

It sounds so simple to forge ahead in life and find inspiration and personal growth as it materializes. But we do not proceed that way and there is this thing called planning and preparing for the future.

Inevitably we have dreams and one of the ways we pursue our dreams is to read. My personal choice has always been speculative fiction, fantasy and science fiction. I want to be intrigued and want to explore. Certainly stories of romance can be enchanting but I usually want to explore more deeply. If a romantic story or movie involves the theme of women rising I am strongly engaged. Something amazing is happening for women and for our partnerships and I want to explore it.

Colliding with Reality

Speculation often leads us into a collision with reality and may hint at what is to come. Let me give two examples. George Orwell’s novel 1984 was published in 1949, shortly after World War II. My takeaway from the book was that we should be alert to the coming power of totalitarianism. Certainly his projection of the future was born out in the growth of communism and more recently we can see his themes in the intrusion of information technology. It seems we are never alone.

And then there is Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 a Space Odyssey (published in 1968). There are fascinating themes but my personal love is Hal, the onboard computer. I don’t know about your experience but I am convinced that Hal or a descendant is alive and living in my computer! How else to explain its behavior.

Interacting with People’s Lives

In my office, interfacing with people about their lives, I could not simply focus on the here and now. I needed to sight where they were going and how that might interact with where we were going as people. The lives of people became a collage of who we are and what was happening to us collectively.

Being free to explore and to be a free spirit is delightful but inevitably we run into what we call reality and what kind of reality is being created around us. The reality of hippiedom in the 1960s and 1970s was engaging and entrancing. And now the reality and richness of computer based games opens whole new worlds.

An Enchanting and Expanding World

For me though, living on the cusp of reality permits a jump from the cusp of reality into a glowing and growing movement in a new world. It’s the exploration which is so exciting and, by the way, I want my partner with me. In the end it is she who especially enriches my world and my life.
Where do you think humankind is headed?

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

Who We Are Versus Who We Think We Are

Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery – An Unbearable Choice

Book 1 Los Res 10-1-2015

(Book 1 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy)
Available now at Amazon.com 

—————————————————–

Who We Are, Versus Who We Think We Are

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A Challenge for Each of Us

Our personal identity is a constant challenge for each of us at all levels. We have to assume an identity in order to function but, in fact, we may have a very different identity from that assumed by other people. On a day by day basis we can’t trouble ourselves with these matters. Why would we? So we make an assumption and forge ahead.

The fact is that most of the time we probably think not at all about issues of identity unless we are challenged or face a problem. Sooner or later there will come an event when someone will ask “Who the hell do you think you are?” The question may mean the person is offended by a position we have taken or it may be a more fundamental challenge. If it is the latter then we truly are challenged.

Our Personal Identity

And sometimes we are perfectly clear about who we are but are in hiding. Others may think they know us but do not. There may be a fundamental mixture of comfort and pain.

Now, with these questions, if you are confused or feel lost then you thoroughly understand why we do not dwell on such questions most of the time. It is only at crisis point that we must attend.

And Then One Day…

And writers of fiction often come to the point where they wonder who their characters really are or where they came from. One of the reasons to have an outline and a firm understanding of the story is that it keeps us focused rather than letting us get lost in a fantasy related to a character’s identity or our own identity. Or is that the point of writing fiction? Can we expand our world and our identity? Are we often asking questions we want to explore.

Different Kinds of Meaning

The fact is that we who write fiction are almost surely not simply engaging in an interesting exercise or a labor of love. It seems likely that our engagement goes much deeper. As a psychologist I know that what we are doing is often a reflection of our personality. Those of us who engage in speculation and fantasy are different creatures from the people who focus on the glory of the turn of the phrase. In my dissertation I sought to answer the question “does the painter’s work reflect his personality?” The literature was full of unfounded psychoanalytic speculation.

But Carl Jung gave us a magnificent personality typology free of bias and authority. I found the personality of the painter was clearly displayed in his work. In discussing my dissertation results with artists I could see their focus and how their personality identity shaped their work. A study with writers would probably uncover some interesting differences. As I step back and look at the characters in my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I see a melange of parts of me, people I would like to know and layers of identity issues.

What do you see when you take this viewpoint into the act of creation?
Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery Amazon page

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home 

#personal identity,#personal crisis,#fantasy,#fiction,#creation

 

The Creation of Gaia’s Majesty – 2

Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery – An Unbearable Choice

Book 1 Los Res 10-1-2015

(Book 1 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy)

Available now at Amazon.com

———————————–

Creation with Design

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How do you approach a creative endeavor?
The books of Gaia’s Majesty were not entirely designed. It felt more like they unfolded. The concept began to “occur” and then I did do construction and outlining.

My wife, Mala, and her writing partner Laura write screenplays. Some might say its not the same thing as fiction writing but they have a lot in common. There’s only so much writing by pure inspiration which can be done. I learned about the story arc and used Dara Marks’ Transformational Arc for each of the books and for the trilogy as a whole. (see http://www.DaraMarks.com). I found a rigid application was not possible (it never is in a creative process) but it proved very helpful. There had to be departures since people are people and stories are stories in the creative process.

Life Takes Over

From there the characters took on life and the “what if” came to life as well. I found things coming from out of my past. There were universal forces which presented themselves. I brought in the Mysterium as a creative force of the universe. It is the force most beautifully displayed by women which fosters bonding and fulfillment. When I finally decided to go back and googled it I ran across details about a board game. Seriously? Then I dug deeper and found material about the Mysterium Tremendous which I covered in my post of January 18, 2016 with a further commentary on January 20th. It turns out I had filed the term in my brain fifty years ago when I was deep into the works of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.

I also brought in the Maelstrom. The name is probably much more familiar. I saw it as the destructive force in the Universe but felt it had a creative side as well. Even as galaxies collide and suns are built and destroyed there is creation. And out of the explosions of suns come stardust from which humankind was built.

More Speculative Elements

From there came further speculation. As the myth of the story developed I found I could not look away from the possibility that there were other types of life forms. Our senses have a specific focus for our life and survival. We might be missing something. After all this room in which I sit is alive in its own way and I can’t feel what is transiting until I pick up my cell phone or use my computer. What else have we been missing?

And, of course, I had to ask the question, perhaps the universe is not just the universe but may it be a life form in itself? For the longest time we naively thought Earth contained the only life there was in the universe. We are seeing evidence which points far beyond our planet. And currently in our life on earth it is hard not to speculate about a coming denouement and the possibility of transformation. And within each event were waves. (More on all of these possibilities later.)
Experiencing the Speculation

A central issue, of course, was creation and whether it had coherence and direction. But, in the end, it is the exploration process which I find most interesting. And the wonder of it all is that we are getting to see how it all plays out with humankind. At least for now.

What do you expect will happen?

Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery Amazon page

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

#fiction writing,#personal inspiration,#universal forces,#Carl Jung

The Creation of Gaia’s Majesty – 1

Gaia’s Majesty: Discover – An Unbearable Choice

Book 1 Los Res 10-1-2015

(Book 1 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy)

Available now at Amazon.com

Fiction and Empowerment

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Do you find purpose in your reading or writing?

Finding Answers

At some point I began to question why I was writing this story. 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 throughly 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: Discovery Amazon page

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

#women empowerment,#speculative fiction,#Gaia,#ancient mysteries,#spirit guide,#Carl Jung

Regarding the Cusp of Reality

From the Cusp of Reality Humankind Explores Its Future

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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 think 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: Discovery 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: Discovery Amazon page

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

#romance novel,#fantasy fiction,#paranormal,#spirits,#speculative fiction

Reality – Who Needs It?

 

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Wonderment

Our birth is a cruel process. It was cozy in there. Nurturance in all forms was assured and it was nice and warm. No wonder we complain at birth. But, of course, we have to wonder what this place is that we suddenly landed in. There were these strange moving objects doing things to us and making what we came to know were noises which meant speech. It was time to adjust to a new reality although we didn’t know what to call it or even that it had a name.

Preparing for the World

What we know is that preparations are being made in the womb. We bounce our babies almost instinctively which probably duplicates something of the experience of riding in the womb. When my first daughter was born I was amazed that the dogs disturbed her not at all. She would be sleeping in our arms and one of the dogs would suddenly bark. It didn’t wake her. She had been hearing it for some time and was not at all surprised. We have to wonder what else the child was learning in the womb.

But there is a lot of learning to come. Adults understand that but tend to see it in concrete terms. There are many other levels of learning. Constantly there are new forms of reality to be addressed. The world has to be defined and understood and we have to define ourselves as well. Those may be static things but there is the matter of interactions with the rest of the world. The array of things to be learned and organized is staggering when we begin to catalogue them.

Defining the Self

Defining the self is crucial to relating to the other beings around us. And those beings are not just humans but the animals in the person’s life whether they be house dogs or the bird outside the window. In all this we build a personal framework which includes self definition so that we can respond to other humans and the world in general. Am I bold or restrained? And we do this on many dimensions.

Establishing a Platform

Overall, one way to look at it is, we establish a platform from which we respond. Another reality is that there are changing platforms for the self. It may change daily and certainly does over a lifetime. And it involves personal discovery.

Certainly, if you begin a catalogue for yourself you’ll find there is quite an amazing array of selves and platforms. And through it all we constantly work to define a reality of the self which is how we view ourselves. Over time that reality changes.

How do you define reality?

#cuspofreality,#womenrising,#empowermentofwomen,#gaia,#gaia’smajesty,
#gaia’smajestydiscovery,#anunbearablechoice,#gaia’smajestychallenge,
#thechosenrise,#gaia’smajestytransformation,#lifeforcesrevealed

The Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

 

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What in your life took hold even without a plan?

Ephemerality to Fact

It was my writing of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy which inspired this blog. As a psychologist I have always been impressed by how ephemeral reality can be even for people who are demonstrably stable. When the inspiration for the Majesty stories struck it quickly became clear that a lot of it had already been created back in the reaches of my mind. Granted we now have the tools to scan our brains and can see unconscious processes. But it was still amazing to me how well formed it was.

Layer upon layer it came forward and with each layer came the characters. Maybe they did not quite come up and introduce themselves but they were there. Many days after writing I found myself quite weary as if I had really been dealing with a host of beings. I have to wonder how many other people experience that or something related when they write. Our imaginations are powerful things and I suspect many writers feel the same way.

A Sequence Existed

And so the writing proceeded. I thought I was writing a book but it quickly became clear that there was more than one. The first one, Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery introduced the concept, the settings for the characters, the characters and the fundamentals of what was happening to humankind. In the second, Gaia’s Majesty: Presence, Gaia becomes ever more involved and the world descends into crisis. But being who I am as a person who may be cynical but believes everything can be salvaged, we then move into the third book, Gaia’s Majesty: Transformation.

I’ll leave the books to unfold but at this point am fascinated by the process. And now I have the first book days away from publication and two more books well advanced. What disturbs me is that I feel a fourth book is stirring deep inside and I have no idea what it is about but I can feel it.

Reality as a Living Process

What we call reality requires considerable attention. It is clearly made up of depths and when we get to reality then we have the interface with our fellow humans. The fact that it is so complex and alive is what gives us our passions and excitement. How wonderful is the process of creation in all its facets and that we have so much behind our reality!

Can you perceive something stirring deep inside you?

#cuspofreality,#womenrising,#empowermentofwomen,#gaia,#gaia’smajesty,
#gaia’smajestydiscovery,#anunbearablechoice,#gaia’smajestychallenge,
#thechosenrise,#gaia’smajestytransformation,#lifeforcesrevealed

Major Themes – Why We Write

 

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For each of us who write, we have to ask, “why”? And “what”?
Is a blog reality, a fantasy or a life form? Does it manifest a spirit of its own? The answer takes some thinking. My answer is…all of the above. Remember the name of this blog.
While I have this blog broadly outlined, I’m finding it has a life of its own. And as such maybe it is also a separate reality. It keeps redirecting itself. And then maybe I need to underscore the thought about its life. This blog and the whole Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy feels to me as being a life forms of its own. Certainly I jump in and give some direction but in both instances it feels to me as if there is independent life. I’ll own those statements about reality and life as closely related to the core concept of this blog. Or maybe blogs manifest a fantasy. Just the idea of looking for a clear definition of this blog makes me laugh. The image I posted for this blog post might as well be me.

Have You Noted That My Concepts Aren’t set in Concrete?
This blog is also a thought document and it is not meant to convey fixed truths or talk about hard data. You are getting a major clue about my personality type. I’ll get back to personality types, and the gift Carl Jung gave us, later on.

Themes and This Blog
I have already posted some blogs on major themes such as cusp of reality, women rising (empowerment), mythology, stewardship among others. Now let me comment on something which is near and dear to my heart. Writing.

I have to admit I’m not perfectly clear why I write. It’s even hard to define what writing is. Communications? Self expression? Enhancing social relations? Furthering a cause? Clearly in some of its forms it is an art form of which there are many. In high fashion, designers enhance the magic which is woman and they simultaneously express themselves in their focus and direction. And clearly any art form includes exploration. Picasso evolved and so do most painters. And it seems so do writers which may give us a clue about the art of writing. And when I speak of writing as art, I don’t confine that perception to fiction. It is clear that even the most scholarly work may be an art form.

Nonfiction
Granted writing fiction is very different from writing nonfiction. I’ve written nonfiction and had a system or a body of knowledge to convey. In Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership I conveyed the body of information my wife and I gained when we remarried and in clinical experience helping stepfamilies (remarried families) in crisis. In Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health? I set down a fascinating experience giving service in core poverty in Baltimore. Incidentally, those many years ago I saw the seeds of the recent problems and disorders in Baltimore. And in Creating Characters and Plots I couldn’t resist using Carl Jung’s personality system to show how writers can use his system for their purposes. Each of these books had some form of body of information in it. They reflected real life explorations which were then organized. For more information see the links in NonFiction by Dr. Burt at the top of the home page of this blog.

We Are All Multifaceted
When I look at it, I think one major reason I write fiction is that it is a free form for exploration. Speculation is closely entwined. Often in nonfiction we see hard facts and procedures but in fiction we have the easy (or not so easy) capacity to tell an engaging story and to ask the “what if”. I won’t even try to give fiction a full exploration. It deserves books in its own right. But what you will see in this blog is that it is the speculation/exploration which is central in my endeavor.

What is it that you find most gratifying and intriguing in writing? The real world shows us that writing often does not yield a great success or great financial rewards. They would be very nice but the fact is most of us go ahead and write anyway. I hope you’ll share your thoughts and experiences. Help build our discussion by joining in.
#cuspofreality,#women rising,#empowerment of women,#Gaia,#Gaia’s Majesty
#Gaia’s Majesty Discovery,#An Unbearable Choice,#Gaia’s Majesty Challenge
#The Chosen Rise,#Gaia’s Majesty Transformation,#Life Forces RevealedBook Production:

Who Cares About Reality? – Just Live Your Life

Do you find yourself ever considering the meaning of reality

dreamstime_m_33330628

Inspiration and Personal Growth

It sounds so simple to forge ahead in life and find inspiration and personal growth as it materializes. But we do not proceed that way and there is this thing called planning and preparing for the future.

Inevitably we have dreams and one of the ways we pursue our dreams is to read. My personal choice has always been speculative fiction, fantasy and science fiction. I want to be intrigued and want to explore. Certainly stories of romance can be enchanting but I usually want to explore more deeply. If a romantic story or movie involves the theme of women rising I am strongly engaged. Something amazing is happening for women and for our partnerships and I want to explore it.

Colliding with Reality
Speculation often leads us into a collision with reality and may hint at what is to come. Let me give two examples. George Orwell’s novel 1984 was published in 1949, shortly after World War II. My takeaway from the book was that we should be alert to the coming power of totalitarianism. Certainly his projection of the future was born out in the growth of communism and more recently we can see his themes in the intrusion of information technology. It seems we are never alone.

And then there is Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 a Space Odyssey (published in 1968). There are fascinating themes but my personal love is Hal, the onboard computer. I don’t know about your experience but I am convinced that Hal or a descendant is alive and living in my computer! How else to explain its behavior.

Interacting with People’s Lives
In my office, interfacing with people about their lives, I could not simply focus on the here and now. I needed to sight where they were going and how that might interact with where we were going as people. The lives of people became a collage of who we are and what was happening to us collectively.

Being free to explore and to be a free spirit is delightful but inevitably we run into what we call reality and what kind of reality is being created around us. The reality of hippiedom in the 1960s and 1970s was engaging and entrancing. And now the reality and richness of computer based games opens whole new worlds.

An Enchanting and Expanding World
For me though, living on the cusp of reality permits a jump from the cusp of reality into a glowing and growing movement in a new world. It’s the exploration which is so exciting and, by the way, I want my partner with me. In the end it is she who especially enriches my world and my life.

Where do you think humankind is headed?