Roger B. Burt’s Monthly Newsletter

 

 

 Welcome To My Newsletter – Myth and Transformation 

Roger B Burt: Author of Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: 

Women in Power

(The newsletter posts the second Monday of the month)

Come Join Us In An Adventure 

Our world is an intriguing place and its drama has increased considerably lately. In my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I touch on major themes and possibilities related to our world. Book 2 , Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise is to be published soon. There is adventure in the books on which I will comment but I will also be sharing my perceptions of our real world adventures. Let me begin with a quote from Joseph Campbell – Author and scholar. I read Campbell’s statement decades ago and it has stayed with me as a living, fundamental truth. Its reality has fueled my writing.

Joseph Campbell

“It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation.”

I Should Have Known Better

As a clinical psychologist writing a novel with mythic content sounded interesting. And as an intuitive personality writing offered possibilities—and possibilities are the fundamental passion of my personality type. I learned there were demanding characters lurking in my head. Also there were emerging crises in our world that would align themselves in the plot and do much to drive it.

Life Beyond the Mundane

Myth is inspiring and we can see it unfold in our lives. And now, in our world we see dramatic events dominating our lives. We may be on the edge of another great conflict but we may also be on the verge of a transformation. Let’s begin by exploring. We will see won’t we?

Let me invite you to join us at my blog  cuspofreality.com

Available Now: Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power (Book 1 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy)

Amazon Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Gaias-Majesty-Mission-Called-Women/dp/1935994255/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535136372&sr=1-1&keywords=Gaia%27s+Majesty

The New Millenials

 

What is your age group called?

Making Noise

I’m from what is called the Silent Generation but it seems I can’t keep quiet. My commitment now is to an entirely different generation. They are called the Millenials. Once upon a time I was of that age and the cadre I traveled with was not so silent. So let me speak in behalf of the Millenials.

A common viewpoint is that age brings wisdom. Seriously? I am not impressed by the evidence to support that contention. Experience, perhaps. Wisdom. Not so much.

The Wisdom at Awakening

I was to learn about wisdom. When I was hired for my first job after I got my Ph.D. at Duke I went to Baltimore in 1967. The community mental health movement sounded interesting and groundbreaking. Using a public health model, we were to bring mental health services to all the people of our country. Nice try!

Then came the awakening I could never have expected. To be blunt, effective leadership was lacking. Or at least their concept of leadership was a foreign language to the twenty somethings on the line of delivery. We huddled as we developed services and were not impressed by the seniors. Our particular unit was headed by a psychiatrist (of course!) and he was fairly clueless in our estimate.

Dedicated to a Mission

The people who had hired us made a significant error. They hired young people who loved new ventures. We were dedicated and could think. Bad. Bad!

Now granted, many of us were finding our way into a new field of endeavor. They called it mental health but it was being done differently. Or at least we wanted to do it differently. We were a diverse lot. Many of us banded together while some others chose different courses. One of the early radicals later became a dedicated creature of the establishment. One other fellow was fired. (An appropriate term because he became a radical who engaged in arson.)

Frequently the young staff went off the radar and developed new slants and we really, really got into the community. We even managed to engineer the hiring of people from the community we served so they could work with us.

Dedication Versus a Form of Venality

What’s the bottom line? We developed a very effective system for intervention, responded to the needs of these impoverished people and learned effective means of passive aggressing the establishment rather than engaging in confrontation so that we could deliver truly effective services.

The powers that were wanted not be disturbed, assumed obedience by their lesser colleagues, lived for status, wanted continuity of the established system, reveled in the status afforded by a new type of grant and wished unfettered use of the money. We wanted an effective mission.

In the end the establishment won. Yes, some of the hires from the community actually retired form the jobs which was an enduring victory of sorts. But, in the end, the services were sabotaged.

Bonding With and Empowering the Millenials

What did we learn? A great deal. We learned how to deliver truly effective services to an impoverished community and allied ourselves with them. And one of the things I learned is that we need to listen to and engage the young people now called the Millenials. Our current young adults have been dismissed as not interested in what needs to be done politically and otherwise. My brushes with them suggest something different. Look at who was standing in line in Wisconsin to vote. Millennials! And now look at who is fighting for effective gun control!

They are there. Many are quietly angry and frustrated. Only now are they beginning to show up on the streets. We need to recognize them and that this is their future and we old farts need to form a union with them. The coming demographic changes of all sorts are in our favor and we can win this fight. Now we need to band firmly with the Millenials.

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

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

Wonder and Creation

 

Competing Forces

There are numerous competing forces in our lives. Some are the ordinary demands of our lives but there may be other kinds we ordinarily cannot perceive. We often seem to be interacting in an environment we do not understand. A lack of awareness compounds the problem.

And then there is the matter of power. There are all kinds of power but in this instance I’m not thinking of what comes out of the wall socket but the power of rulers who run our lives. These days we generally do not to talk about rulers but of government and we hope that it is democratic and serves our interests.

Levels of Management

The forces in our lives require management and those forces may be at a personal level or a societal level. When the world collectively goes into crisis we have a much broader set of management issues.

We address the possibilities in a variety of ways. One way I chose to address them was in fantasy fiction. Our world has reached a turning point in many ways and just when we are bringing women to power. And by that I don’t mean taking power away from men but I’m looking to true partnership.

Ways to Achieve Breakthroughs

From time to time we seek breakthroughs and hope we may move to a higher more beneficial existence which means our struggle has been fruitful. In the end, periodically at least, we are seeking a washing away of what has cluttered our lives. That means we use our sense of wonder to find a new creative form for our existence.

That sounds terribly lofty doesn’t it? In a sense it is, but too often we fail to see what we have created. The world wars of the twentieth century were terrible and at the end there was a sense of exhaustion along with relief. Sometimes after such conflicts we don’t pay close enough attention to what we created. Europe came together as never before and America rose to a new level of prosperity.

Now we face another era when we have to overcome a broad threat to our future. That requires us to again invoke a sense of wonder at the potential and to bring our creative notions to bear to overcome the adversity we have created and to rise above it.

Seeking Inspiration

Inspiration along with necessity are often the sources of the wonder and creativity we need to build for our future. In the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I seek to stir the visions of wonder about what we can create and overcome and the creation of a vision of what we might become especially as women are empowered.

What do you want to see come out of the current turmoil?

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

A Failed Debate

 

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What would you like to see debated?

Unfortunately this political season is not proving to be particularly illuminating. There are so many important issues to be addressed and the greater focus appears to be on noise. I saw the following item in Bloomberg Business recently. I don’t agree with every conclusion but some of it is illuminating. I highlighted some of it.

Currently we are seeing the shallow nature of the political discourse and how obstruction and failure of vision has cost us dearly. Too often it seems we avoid dealing with the social part of economics and our national needs. It is worth much more thought.

———————-

From Bloomberg Business 8/1-8/7 edition.

The liberal economic order created in the second half of the 20th. century has rarely seemed in such danger. The threat is that dithering and incompetent governments will prevent a liberal economic order from realizing its full potential. Unless something changes, excellent opportunities for spreading prosperity farther and faster will be lost.
To seize those chances, leaders need to understand why globalization works, be willing to make the case to skeptical voters, and do more to support those workers whom international trade — or any other kind of economic disruption—threatens to leave behind.
Globalization is simply competition writ large. One of the few things economists know for sure, maybe the only thing, is that competition spurs innovation and efficiency, making products better and cheaper and raising living standards in the aggregate. The wider the scope of this competition, the better. What about the idea that trade should be fair rather than free? Some rules are needed, of course, to avoid labor and environmental abuses and to guard against predatory subsidies and exchange-rate policies. Past and prospective free-trade pacts aren’t lacking in such rules. Yet the claim that trade with low-wage countries is unfair in and or itself is both economically specious and morally bankrupt. When goods are made at lowest cost, it’s a win-win for trading partners. And make no mistake: Free trade is anti-poverty.
It’s vital that political leaders make this case. When they bow to demands for trade barriers rather than propose help for workers whose jobs are displaced by competition, they abdicate their responsibility. The right approach is to provide effective safety nets, better vocational education, help with moving and retraining to find new jobs, employment subsidies for low-wage workers, and fairer, simpler taxes.
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I don’t agree with all aspects of the argument but it is illustrative and shows the flaws created when narrow ideology is applied. It relates to the current debates about economic policy which are argued in a wilderness devoid of social needs and consequences and diverse perspective.
Again we come back to vision.

There is food for thought here.

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

A Vision For Appalachia

 

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Where should we apply our resources?

In this political season there is vision coming from some quarters and none from other quarters. One of the saddest things I am seeing is the complete lack of vision in regard to the future of the people of Appalachia and the victims of the coal industry.

Beauty at Our Doorstep

Appalachia is one of the most beautiful areas I have ever visited and its people have been treated terribly. We now have politicians claiming they are going to save the coal industry and the reality is that it cannot be saved. The corporations have found ways to decrease the labor needed and the coal is running out even while it is clear that we have to turn to renewable energy sources.

The Meaning of Help

So what of the people of Appalachia? Are we to do nothing for them, for their future. They have a very high opiate addiction rate partly because of the injuries so many have sustained in the coal mines. Addiction is not a simple matter. One thing that must be done for addicts, as we attempt to help them with the addiction, is to move them toward hope and purpose. We are not doing that.

We hear that their future is dim, that other forms of energy must be used but we hear nothing of how they and their communities may have a new and brighter future.

Other Models

Recently I spoke with someone who also attended Duke University and he had made a visit to the Research Triangle (Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham area). He said everywhere he turned he saw thriving startup companies. It made me think of Appalachia.

The mountains and the valleys are lovely, graced with streams and glorious seasons. Each of these little areas can be homes to the right businesses. Of course, there is snow which has a beauty of its own and then there is spring and a brilliant fall. The summers, because of the mountains, are more muted.

New Possibilities Being Born

We have entered the technological future and are seeing the possibility of something called post capitalism. We no longer are inclined to build huge industrial complexes. Instead we have pocket industries of a wide variety of sorts. Where California is lacking in water, Appalachia has abundant water.

Taking the Challenge

Because of history, the eastern mountains have many problems and change will not come overnight. But with vision we have an area which has tremendous potential. The beauty of it can help build a future but it will have to be a very different kind. It will take considerable resources, including health resources, patience and offering something to younger generations among many other things. At present I hear nothing of vision for them and their area.

We have been mired down in obstruction and lack of vision. Maybe I can raise the hope that we can begin to focus on constructive action and many shades of vision. In that we just might be able to develop the potential of Appalachia and to give the people hope and purpose. I can dream can’t I?

What visions are found in your dreams?

Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery Amazon page

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page