The Empowerment of Women



How Can This Be? – Women Rising?

A Monumental Upwelling

I’ve struggled with how to begin this post. Did we see this coming? In some ways we did but now that it’s here we aren’t sure how the process will be fulfilled. And I must confess that I am not at all clear how I became so engaged in support of feminism.

My family of origin was not exactly a hotbed of feminism. My father was a renowned surgeon and my mother was the surgeon’s wife. She tended their social life and their two sons of which I was the younger. Nothing particularly forward leaning there.

Looking back I suppose my support of women came forward gradually. I was always the tallest kid in my class. I was a stick with no balance which meant I was terrible at sports. Sports did not engage me. I remember the day when I was watching two boys arguing with each other at home plate. Why it was that important escaped me. I thought we were passing time by playing a game. I folded my mitt under my arm and went home for good.

Piecing It Together

When I was a preschooler and in elementary school my best friend was Arlene. I always saw girls as friends and liked how they treated each other. And then, of course, came adolescence and a whole new wonderful relationship element opened. But the friendship element and respect remained.

College was when my feminism really began to flower. That time in Ann Arbor opened a new world. Tom Hayden, one of the founders of Students for a Democratic Society, was in my class and the protests of the coming reform movement were beginning. And the girls were definitely a part of it. And they were very much present in my graduate school class.

I am clear about one thing, it all came together when I took a job in the inner city of Baltimore in the 1960s. As one of the first people hired for the community mental health program I found there wasn’t much in the way of activity. I was shown to an office and found there was nothing to do. I went next door to talk to a newly hired social worker. She was a black woman who became my mentor. We went out into the streets of inner city Baltimore poverty. I tell that story in my book Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health which is available on Amazon. Roz was a guiding force but among the new hires were young psychiatric nurses who were assertive and determined. Our staff formed an activist core and women were very much a part of it. I believe this solidified my core of dedication to women rising.

Where do you stand on this issue?


The Truth of Speculative Fiction



What form of fiction do you prefer? Why?

The Truth of Speculative Fiction

Again I come from the position of asking what constitutes reality. Not only do we disagree among ourselves but an examination shows us that there are forms and layers.

Fiction, for example, is only unreal because the characters and the story do not exist in what we call the real world. But, of course, they do. People we know inspire characters, we, ourselves, inspire characters. And how many basic story patterns are there?

Our Choice Represents Us

The particular type of fiction we choose either to read or to write tells a story about each of us. As such there is no such thing as the best. It is merely what is best for the person who is pleased with their choice. That does not deny that some people are better at their craft than others.

Later in the blog I”ll be addressing the substance of human personality types which Carl Jung had the brilliance to organize for us. Each type makes their own choices of fiction. That again suggests there are no rights or wrongs, just a matter of who and how we are.

The Richness Of the Creations

Romance attracts one set of people, science fiction another. Tragedy has it’s own way of helping us adapt and explore. I prefer speculative fiction because of my personality type. I’m constantly looking behind things. When I see myth, I see human truth of many sorts. When fiction is speculative I can examine possibilities and turn them around in my mind. I find it such fun. I want to be intrigued. It isn’t the turn of phrase for me. It is the what if which engages me. And then we can plan for a future and how it might be.

And so we have a variety of forms of seeking how things might be, what choices we might make and the shapes and meanings to be found in the world. And again and again we open our minds when we explore various realities and each one may mean something very different to each one of us. Aren’t we fortunate?

What are your emerging choices?

Publication Is Coming Soon


Now that I have the final edit from my editor Carolyn Haley it is a matter of days until Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery – An Unbearable Choice, the first book in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy is published.

Starting tomorrow I will begin a daily post of six parts of the underlying myth of the series and each will include a thumbnail of a major character. There will be no post this Sunday.

At publication I will put up a page containing the first chapter of the book which can be read on the website. And I will also post a page where a FREE first novella from the book can be requested. All you need do is send me an email requesting the file for the novella.

I also look forward to us beginning a discussion.


The Universality of Mythology



Life Dramas
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 has its own form of 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, even 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 across the world and, like Marco Polo, even brought us things from Asia. The mythology he gathered from across the world was brought back for illumination. His study of the world came to 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 dissertation I chose to study if the personality of the artist (painters in this 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 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 in definitive forms into my writings. And as I used myth to develop the Gaia’s Majesty stories 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.

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

Dreams Versus Reality


Your Dreams

Do you dream? Oh no, I’m not talking about those things that crop up at night. I’m talking about the dreams you have for your future, your desires, what might be. How much of a hard edge do they have? Do they involve mysticism? Do they lead you into a spirit world of your own? What do they say about you and your life?

Questioning Reality
I’m a clinical psychologist and have spent a lot of time talking with people about their lives. Often we talked about reality but as the decades passed I came to question the meaning of the word. Do our hopes and dreams fall outside the realm of reality? Of course not.

Fiction Choices
And when you read, what are your choices? Do you gravitate toward apocalyptic fiction, dystopian fiction, romance or simply something which advances a “what if”? Are you engaged by ancient mysteries or are you looking for inspiration in how they may emerge in the here and now.

Relating to Reality
At once I have to say that the title of this blog reflects my core belief. I do not believe in a fixed reality. Reality is ephemeral and subject to our own interpretations. We live on a cusp and reality is often something which emerges and recedes into a mist. We take up a station of beliefs and surround ourselves with family and friends who reinforce something stable enough to be called reality.

Myth and Mysticism
And then there is what lies out there in the mist of the past. We enjoy myths and may recognize that they may offer prophesy and be visionary. Yet, we may fail to recognize that they can convey a stark and important reality of their own. And myths do not just speak to the past but also may relate to the future as it is emerging and how it may be.

Assuming we live on the cusp of a changing reality then we have to wonder what we are to do with that. Naturally most of us take hold and fix a reality of sorts which works for us. But then there is the matter of the emerging world. That is where speculative fiction and such things as dystopian fiction, science fiction etc. come in. We can explore with them. And my considerations have led me to the writing of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. (The first book, Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery, will be published in October.) It asks the what ifs and comes out of my life experience. The trilogy relates to stewardship in a world in crisis. Women are central because it is apparent that they are emerging as a much greater force in the world. Certainly they have always been important but they are coming into power and partnership with men in new and important ways. And we have to wonder if there is a transformation in our future.

A Dual Pathway
The possibilities are fascinating in a world which appears to have gone asymptotic in many ways. And so I’ve chosen to explore through this blog and through fiction in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. Stay tuned.

Surely, regardless of your age, you have dreams, if not for yourself, then for someone in your life. What are those dreams and who are they for?