Meaning and Entertainment

 

What are you seeking when you read?

Reading and Writing As Discovery

Roger the psychologist here. As I tread my way through the world of being a writer, I must confess that it stirs a lot of conflicted feelings and perceptions. I guess many of us may wonder why we write and may from time to time come up with some answers. I enjoy the process and find it one of discovery.

When it comes to reading, I’m not really there to pass time or just for entertainment. I have to be engaged and it has to stir something in me. And recently I had a curious discovery. A lengthy trip on a plane was coming up and I bought some books for my iPad. There was nothing to distract me on the flight.

From Out of the Past

The first book was Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I didn’t really know what it was about but I started reading. It turned out to be set in France during World War II. I was curious about the experiences of the people at the time and she drew me in and gave me their perspective. It was not a love story and was both difficult and engaging. And then something strange happened. I saw the face of a shop girl from when I was with my parents in France. I was ten years old at the time. She was in a bad mood but suddenly froze and looked off into the distance. The connection was instantaneous. As a ten year old I couldn’t understand that the Nazis had left only five years before. But something about that look stuck in my mind and then connected to the story I was reading.

Reflections of Our Personality

We harbor strange things in our brains. And in my brain, I search for connections. I’ve wrestled with a name for the genre I’m writing and have finally settled on choosing the term speculative fiction. I’m what’s called an intuitive personality type and the “what if” is always foremost for me. In Nightingale I think I was engaged with what ifs about how one endures such a terrible environment and then I found I had harbored someone else’s pain in the memory of a shopgirl’s face. I can’t prove that connection but we get stirred in interesting ways.

And There Was Meaning

In the end it was meaning and connection I sought. In Nightingale I found some elements of both. And, in my own writing, I am looking to understand why I chose to write the trilogy of Gaia’s Majesty. And recently I believe I’ve come to understand that it is about the empowerment of women. For decades, in my office, I listened to stories about people’s lives and one thing that came out again and again was the struggles women endured because they might be cherished on the one hand, but in other ways were pushed aside and told what they could not do. So, I chose to convey a story about talented women on an important mission. It was meaning I was seeking.

What are you discovering?

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

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 

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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

 

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:

Emerging Identities on the Cusp of Reality

 

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It seems many parts of humankind are now emerging to full awareness. What do you feel is emerging in you?

And Then There is Reuben

The cast of characters in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy is rather large and I have posted about the main characters who hold important roles throughout the trilogy. The man Reuben deserves special mention.

These books had an odd origin. I can’t say I sat down one day and began to formulate a plan. The story and the characters appeared to have been developing for a long time (decades) and then one day came rushing out at me. And among them was Reuben.

His character is inspired by Tim Gunn who is a central person on the television show Project Runway. I could not find a way to really do justice to the real life person but had to bring him into the story in his own way.

In the story Reuben is a gay man who is a couture designer in Milan, Italy. But he has a multitude of talents. His designs extend to designing safe havens and places for the Tethyans as the crisis builds. Reuben has extraordinary commitment, elegance and élan as well as sensitivity. A very special man indeed.

Recognition of Diversity

In the end I had to ask myself why I thought it was so important to have this character in the series. What he does in itself is important but many types of people could have filled the role. And then it came to me. There is another movement beyond the empowerment of women in the world which has very special significance. We are recognizing more and more elements of human diversity and blending. Reuben represents our recognition of our diversity as we accept the LGBT community and gay marriage.

#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 Revealed

The Myth Underlying the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy: Part 6

 

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Join us at cuspofreality.com. the commentary, join the conversation, and get the FREE Novella at publication.

Can you imagine deep partnership which melds these attributes?

And among the Tethyan women were some with specific abilities which were essential. There were the Illuminata or women who were of the sun and fair of complexion. They brought clarity and illumination of all kinds including understanding and the essences of stewardship. And then there were the women of the Mysterium who were of the moon. They were of darker complexion and conveyed the mystery that is woman and the associated passions and creativity.

In defense, the women of the Mysterium could employ their fundamental power. Their passions and sexual nature meant they could overwhelm a man and stir him to extraordinary involvement or self destruction. In love and special bonding endeavors they formed truly enlightening and elevating passionate bonds with the right men. It is this primordial power which many men fear most even while some relish the mystery and delight. Among these women were leaders who formed an elite Mysterium and some Illuminata as well.

There was another fundamental force of the universe present among these beings. It was called the Maelstrom which was closer to the men and was often associated with predation and destruction. As a universal force it is most clearly seen in the universe among the stars. There are cataclysms as galaxies collide and giant stars explode. But in this force there is also a creative component of a very different kind. When galaxies collide new solar systems and planets are created. When a star explodes new heavier elements are created and this stardust brings new wonders to the universe as in the stardust of which humankind is made. And so the Maelstrom is both destructive and wondrously creative. Together these universal forces of the Mysterium and the Maelstrom play out in humankind.

And so with these people and forces in place Gaia watched as a final confrontation was fostered. It was not yet apparent to all the people who would be involved or central. But the inevitability of the conflict would become clear. We can wonder at the resolution and outcome. And it would appear that it is impending.

Nicole Laurette
It may have been that it was ordained she would enter the spirit world. As a Haitian mulatto woman she learned the depths of Vodun (which we call Voo-Doo). She gained extraordinary powers. At her finger tips were the arts of healing and death. It seemed that her future had to be linked to Andromeda and she found added depth as she joined the reality of Nordic mythology.

#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 Revealed

The Myth Underlying the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy: Part 5

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Join us at cuspofreality.com. the commentary, join the conversation, and get the FREE Novella at publication.

Another form of empowerment of women?

Because of the nature of the conflict, the Progenitors and Primals had to be prepared to defend themselves and their defense could not be passive. They knew, when it was essential, they had to be aggressive and unforgiving. If they were to prevail over the forces they were up against they might have to meet brutality with brutality. In that regard they had a sophisticated and well prepared warrior class. This class was composed of women.

In our world there is a mythology which referred to a warrior class of women as Amazons. The legend of the Amazons is, indeed, derived from this class of women warriors except today they are far more sophisticated and are integrated into our societies across the world. They stand to defend the Primals and Progenitors and all things which are sacred and essential in this movement to preserve and elevate humankind. These women are called Andromeda. The name relates to one meaning of the word which is “ruler of men”. They took their places among well tended societies but they were prepared to respond aggressively.
Adelais
She came from a Primal family and was headed for an education at La Sorbonne in Paris. Her grandmother was an important figure in the environmental defense community and it seemed she might follow her into the future. That is, until her grandmother was murdered. The event changed her future dramatically and she was insistent that she would become a member of Andromeda. Her inclinations, in the end, led her deep into the spirit world.

#cuspofreality

#women rising

#empowerment of women