The Psychologist and the Unconscious

 

Long ago and far away when I was in college and graduate school three men led me onto very different roads.

Leslie White

First came Leslie White, the father of cultural anthropology. An old man walked out on a stage before a bunch of college students and utterly mesmerized us about the meaning of the extrasomatic cultural stream. This was my introduction to the human unconscious because he spoke of something outside of us that flowed and shaped our lives.

Sigmund Freud

Then came Sigmund Freud who spoke to us about our unconscious. Call it what you will, it is a force which also shapes us and our lives. We tend to think we are in charge of ourselves but when the unconscious is noted we find we often are not in charge and that we sift murky waters. His work was fascinating and important.

Carl Jung

But shortly I was introduced to Carl Jung who spoke about our personalities and the world of myth in ways which were stunning. The three men come together and point out to us that we are constantly trying to manage a world which is rich, constantly changing and, to put it mildly, is challenging. Truth is amplified and shouts uncertainty. It became clear to me how uncertain our inner world is and what magnificent promise it offers.

The World of Fiction

Certainly as we enter the world of fiction as writers we know that creativity is demanded and that we must make a contribution which goes beyond simple story construction and coherence. But often we aren’t prepared for what occurs.

Emergence

Having been fascinated by Jung and by the presence of images of mermaids across the world I thought to construct a book featuring these fascinating women. Little did I know what was lurking. A book became three books and more are threatening to appear. Not only did the story expand but there were characters who became demanding. They expanded their substance and may appear unbidden.

The Lesson

In the end I had to face an obvious lesson formed out of the work of the three men mentioned above. In our minds we are not stable entities and when we open work such as fiction we face the intrusion and wonder of what we harbor and what is rampant around us as stimuli and reality in all its forms, subtleties and substance. When we write we must be prepared for a torrent of inner richness from all kinds of sources. And therein lies substantial creativity and possibilities which can enrich us and our readers. What comes are not just stories but the richness of our lives. The writer discovers the range of influences within and the reader can explore possibilities which go beyond the form of what is contained in the book.

In the end I have had to listen to an important message. Get a grip psychologist! And attend to what these very concepts truly mean.

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

My Choice of Mysterium

 

What did you conclude after reading about Mysterium Tremendum? (Post of 3/10/17)

The Library of the Unconscious

Up front I have to tell you about my curious brain. I have what I call files in there that were chosen for retention because I found the item interesting or important in some fashion. All too often the item may not be attached to the data which suggested to me I should be storing it. Such is the case for the term Mysterium.

When I set out to write the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy there was much of it which was ill-formed. In fact, I did not set out to write a trilogy. It just became a torrent which I knew related to my regard for the empowerment of women, what it represented and where it might lead humankind. Early on it was apparent that at least some of these women were extraordinarily engaging to the men they met. Beck, the lead male protagonist, was utterly enchanted by Avery with whom he fell deeply in love. Out came the term Mysterium to describe her ability to passionately engage and “bewitch” him. But it was not just bewitching which can be pejorative. It was to form a deep, extraordinary, passionate experience which enhanced their lives together. I happen to be an ardent fan of the Mysterium and chose to make it an important part of the story.

Enriching Fiction

Recently I thought it best to describe the meaning of Mysterium in more specific terms and I went googling. What I found were pages of references to a board game. Not what I had in mind. And then I happened across the material in the preceding post.

It seems I had filed the term decades ago as I was foraging in the world of Carl Jung and James Campbell. And there it was as something which well described what I was seeing in the relationship forming between my lead protagonists.

As it developed in a world of empowered women who were tended by our Earth Mother, Gaia, it became clear to me that it explained something. I believed it related to a process, a perception, and experience deep down in the human psyche. Intuitively I felt it explained the opposition by men to the empowerment and equality of women.

A Universal Phenomenon

We see the desire to contain the influence and power of women everywhere, in every culture and it has always mystified me. And now I’m going to tread into territory where I think many of my male compatriots may take extreme exception. But, I’m going to say it anyway. The impact of a woman’s mysterium strikes deep into men. I believe the power it exerts threatens their sense of their own power.

Lets face it, from the beginning, men’s power has been a significant force. It was essential to our survival and defense in our most primitive days. It is so fundamental that it is not easily contained.

Then comes a woman who is attractive and draws the man in. We use words like bewitch which is often how men experience the attraction. And then in lovemaking an extraordinary climax is reached and as it ebbs the need for it subsides and with it much of the man’s feeling of power. Then a man experiences alternatives. He can be disturbed by her power and what has happened to him and the two of them or he can rejoice in her, hold her close and revel in the experience of the endorphins they share.

Plumbing the Depths and Overcoming

Yes, I hear you. It may be that it is much more complicated than that. Yes, it certainly may be multilayered, and when we reach deep into the human psyche and extraordinary experiences, we cannot crisply define what we find. But, I believe this is our nature and it is a major contributor to the irrational fight to contain and restrain women in all regards. And it is my belief that in the empowerment of women we are seeing a process that will help us accept it and all its many benefits. And then, in the end we will have true partnership and discover its true meaning and glory.

Much more to come over time.

Do you find these thoughts intriguing or do you hate the very idea of it?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt