What Do You Anticipate?


Is It Hope Or Is It Fear?

Call it interregnum. Call it denouement. Without question humankind is at a set of crisis crossroads. The Middle East is simply one indication. It looks very much like Europe at the dawn of World War I. And we know where that went for the following decades.

I doubt you need a catalogue of all of the crisis points, from China hanging on the edge of chaos, to our own political menagerie fumbling toward failure. It was not so long ago that there seemed so much more hope for consolidation and stability. So much of it dissolved and the process hints of monumental change in the years ahead. And change can be good or bad. But in my mind this kind of process puts me in the position where I don’t wish to simply be an observer. Assessment of what may bees essential.

Fascination With Possibilities

Throughout my life I’ve always been drawn to the “what if”. For me possibilities are the staff of life and before us I perceive a feast or conflagration. Such evolution and revolution does not lend itself to a thoroughly logical analysis because the underlying forces are never clear. And so I chose to name this blog Cusp of Reality because I firmly believe that is where we all reside—like it or not.

That means this blog is partly a thought document and is meant to present thoughts for examination and to lead us toward the “what if”. And always there are different vehicles which may be chosen for the what if.

Waves, Hope and Promise

There are currently discussions of waves in human events. What did the waves of the twentieth century lead to? We are now being overtaken by a wave of information technology and, in the field of economics there is speculation that we are entering the postcapitalism era. Human affairs in all their forms offer hope, promise and promote fear.

I’ve chosen to write speculative fiction where the possibilities can be made graphic. Each of us has a rich inner life and there is a larger context. In the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I tell a story with a mythological context to lead us through possibilities as we see our future unfolding. Are we in a denouement of sorts and will it end in a transformation of some kind. If nothing else, the discussion and examination in this time is fascinating.The question always remains, “What If”?

Which among the possibilities would you choose?

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

Core Elements of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

Reflecting Growing Crises

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called:Women in Power, the first book of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy, was published in March. I am well along on the second book and I’m enjoying the reception of the first book. Now I’ll take the opportunity to continue the discussion of some of the elements of the trilogy.

First let me underscore essential themes. In our real world, as it is, we clearly are entering a period of growing crisis. Given the waves of conflict and change that engulf humanity from time to time, it could have been expected. The arrival of the period of crisis offers an opportunity for us to examine ourselves and our future. One of the ways we can do that is through a fictional exploration.

Let me now touch on three elements in the trilogy.

The Importance of Women

It is my belief that we have underestimated the role women will play in the future and the growing movement to empower women needs attention. Accordingly, the power of women in this series is significant. The Andromeda women are clear purveyors of their importance.

Through the ages women have played a wide variety of roles but often not as the central holders of power. They often engage men in a variety of ways and one of them has been as consorts. The role is a dangerous one and may involve in depth intelligence gathering. Such a role was chosen at the opening of the series as an important role. In the past women were often seen as despoiled when they were in such a position. That perception is fading.

In this series the Andromeda women will take on many different roles and their dedication and importance will be clear. We can see richness and appreciation of the varied roles of the women bears examination and thought. And, as it turns out, women warriors have a rich history including the Amazons in ancient times.

Exploration Through the Paranormal

Another element is paranormal. Certainly the series could have stayed close to what we might call a reality context. But I find mythology so enriching that I felt it was essential to use mythology to enhance the story. And mermaids were an obvious choice because we can note how pervasive the myth is. We must wonder what the myth says about women and our view of them. We have the chance to explore and note the power it indicates.

Power and Greed

Lastly let me briefly touch on the Overlords. I brought them into the story to convey a real world theme of greed and power which is forever troubling. But, in this instance their role had to be limited. We can only hope that people who concentrate on greed and power will fade in importance over time. And in this series there are a lot of characters and the story is complex. There was no need to further complicate the story by making the Overlords more complex or with considerable story detail.

Pondering Our Future

In all, I’m convinced we are entering a period of unparalleled change and opportunity. The times ahead will surely be difficult and our attention is required. And attention means sifting import especially, I believe, in regard to women.

In the next books the story will grow and change as humankind approaches what will surely be greater change but also possibly transformation. More on these themes in future posts.

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

The Context of Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power


Childhood Innocence

One day in 1945 I was standing on Fifth Avenue with my aunts. Before us marched troops returning from the terrible world conflict which had just ended. Above us were flights of planes also proclaiming victory.

Five years later my family visited Europe. I recall the streets of London cleaned of rubble now to the side in seemingly endless piles. In France there were the faces of people haunted by the horrors of the Nazi occupation.

Only later did that child come to understand what had happened. America was rejoicing and building long hoped for prosperity after a punishing depression and war. The past haunted us even while we built a glorious future.

Something Felt Fundamental

Then came another demarkation I did not understand at the time, but it took the heart of a young man. Birth control was liberating women and they arose in the Women’s Liberation movement. I could feel the flowering of promise.

And now has come an era with an aura of fear. I’ve heard it said that what we are seeing is an era similar to what presaged World War I. Out of that prior era came the march to the terrible world conflict and the beginning of nuclear threat. Humankind has a history of waves both terrible and promising.

Direction Unknown

For a time there seemed to be more promise than threat, but now we see Europe trembling, Asia in fearful potential and even our beloved country reeling from an unexpected instability. We can only wonder if we may descend into another terrible era of conflict. Human history has repeated these kinds of errors.

Renewal of Hope

But like an echo, from a period decades ago there is a revolution which is occurring. And it is a revolution unexpectedly happening across the world. This time we call it the Empowerment of Women.

When I scan these recent decades I can feel my dreams and fears but now a special hope. All of these things came together in their own way to create the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.

A Context of World Crisis

The context of the trilogy begins with many of the essential issues we see before us. In spite of the denials, the threat of climate change is upon us. A great variety of social crises are occurring. We also see oligarchs threatening the economic viability of countries and contributing to the failing of economic futures for so many people.

Center stage in the series is a movement with powerful women. Women were asserting their rights and place before World War I but could not turn the tide of war. But today women are rising up and may well be central to preserving our future. And, of course, in this trilogy a central force had to be a goddess.

We will see won’t we? What is before us deserves our attention and support.
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

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Is This a Time of Reform?

With Crisis Comes Opportunity

With all the political turmoil the question reform seems odd. It merely seems to be chaos and we have no idea where it will lead. And I’m not hearing a lot of wisdom from the talking heads.

Some things strike me as almost inevitable. Change, consolidation and finding a direction. This kind of turmoil can’t continue forever. All we can hope is that a direction will appear before we end up in an unimaginable crisis.

The point is that world events are hardly linear and neither are their components. Opportunities appear, reform eras come and go and from each of these things we may grasp them and make improvements. Sometimes the time is simply not ripe.

The Reform Era of the 1960s

We built a new country after World War II and then came a major reform era. We began to talk about stewardship of our world in more defined ways, the advent of effective birth control opened a new era for women and our thinking broadened in many ways.

As a psychologist one movement which caught my interest was community mental health. It was time to move away from in depth psychotherapy and psychoanalysis to a broad movement which would bring “mental health” services to the population at large. To do that they we were to apply a public health model.

Seizing an Opportunity

Just as I was finishing my Ph.D. at Duke the movement opened and I was interested. I have to admit I never liked school all that much. I just stuck with it. Too much of it was not particularly engaging for an intuitive personality type. I needed novelty, possibilities and community mental health offered those things. So I came to Baltimore to become engaged in inner city poverty. I did not really know what I was getting into but I loved it. We learned how to give services in diverse poverty communities. And we learned to do battle with the conservative forces in the mental health hierarchy who were not at all interested in groundbreaking and simply wanted the grant money.

What a Learning Experience!

We had to lay aside old ways of thinking. Had to delve deeply in the communities as they were and even keep ourselves safe. We dealt with junkies wanting to con us out of meds, riots when Dr. King was murdered, and sort out our own diversity. It was challenging, dangerous and exciting. Because we came with a new framework we could perceive origins, outcomes and vulnerabilities. In fact, we saw the savage policies which flooded our prisons and the roots of division between the people and the police seeding riots decades later.

For the Record

All such things must come to an end and in time the rambunctious, groundbreaking twenty somethings moved. But I could not resist putting down the experience for the records. The story in all its fascinating details is told in may book Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health.

From Past to Present

And then something happened recently. I came to awareness which had eluded me. The movement had come too soon. Certainly there were problems which would have worked against progress anyway, but in many ways wed lacked the tools to really document and develop what we found and what we did.

When we had gone out onto the streets we were all naive. We had to learn a new approach whether we liked it or not. Insight therapy and medications were not fundamentally useful. The community was in crisis with each community having a different crisis of sorts. And so we had to learn community and life management. But there were no tools to document what we found and ways to construct broadly useful models.

Now Comes Information Technology

The needed tools now exist. With parallel resources putting down what we found and what worked, we could have moved toward a comprehensive, flexible system which would have evolved into a whole new movement. I can only imagine what utility it would have today.

The long and short of it is that it is now time for a community mental health movement. All the prerequisites exist in Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health. We will see if these kinds of potentials will grow out of our present crisis. There are so many flowering buds out there in this age.

What do you see coming?

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

Our Nation in Crisis – An American Vision: Part 1



What do you believe is the core we need to address?

The Need for Vision for an America in Crisis

This has been a grueling election with a conclusion very few expected. Now we have to deal with the consequences.

Our middle class has seen income stagnate over forty years. Income inequality has been substantial and is increasing. We have created a body of people we are calling “left behinds”. And through it all there has been a stunning lack of vision combined with obstruction of problem solving.

Being Driven By Emotions

Many people in this country have been hurt and they are angry. Anger often leads to a search for someone to blame and awakens prejudice. We are just beginning to see and feel what fruits it will bear. Emotion, especially in the absence of constructive action may lead to feelings of hopelessness. People will strike out. Possibly they will strike first at the ballot box but surely more definitively in time. We wait to see where it will lead.

Seeing the Consequences

While I surveyed the national landscape, one of my daughters sent me this link to a Huffington Post article. I was stunned. The man had outlined the exact set of conclusions I had reached.

History Tells Us What Will Happen Next With Brexit and Trump by Tobias Stone


From the article:
“Lead people to feel they have lost control of their country and destiny, people look for scapegoats, a charismatic leader captures the popular mood, and singles out that scapegoat. He talks in rhetoric that has no detail, and drums up anger and hatred. Soon the masses start to move as one, without any logic driving their actions, and the whole becomes unstoppable. That was Hitler, but it was also Mussolini, Stalin, Putin, Mugabe and so many more.”

A Partial List of Risks

We now have questions to ask ourselves. We see and feel the anger. Do we now have a national awakening or are we to be led deep into feelings of hopelessness, disenfranchisement, dysfunction and destruction. Since World War II we have been the leaders of what we call The Free World. There have been substantial lapses such as with the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, but in general we have been able to offer support and security in many ways. If we fail now, before us there stands a vulnerable world. Europe took a bold step in establishing the European Union and it is now shuddering as nationalistic and populist movements such as led to Brexit threaten its future. And just to the side stands a sociopath called Putin who took Crimea and may well make additional forays into Eastern Europe. Of course, there is the Middle East with what I am calling their hundred years war just beginning. China has been flexing its muscles and we cannot know where that might lead without carefully crafted diplomatic restraint. Would North Korea see an opportunity to attack South Korea or go deeper into provocative conflict with Japan? What of the continuing tensions between Pakistan and India—both nuclear powers. The list is long and ominous. And in each case carefully crafted American support and diplomacy has proven crucial in fostering stability and progress. What if it declines or is missing?

It is easy to dismiss the prospects and blindly declare it will not come to worldwide conflict. But we need to pay attention to the history of deep wave phenomena. One of the most recent ones began just prior to World War I. No one expected that cataclysm and the duration of it through the creation of the Third Reich. The history of Nazi Germany has echoes suggestive of what we now see on the horizon in many areas of the world. Tobias Stone has warned us and history confirms his thoughts. The consequences for America may be considerable.

Paying Attention to Waves

Wave theory is fascinating and waves come in many forms. Recently I mentioned the book Postcapitalism by Paul Mason which addresses economic waves. Stone in his article addresses political/social waves. Waves are fundamental in human history. And now we seem to be entering another wave and we can either shape it or abandon ourselves to it. Inaction may lead to breathtaking consequences.

And in fiction we have a long history of exploring human conflict and where it may lead us. We are on the cusp of a real world exploration. In the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I chose a fictional exploration where mythology and the women’s movement are woven. It is an exploration filled with hope as strong women lead us into our future.

What do you see ahead as these conflicts build?

Next we look at some factors which contributed to putting us deeper into risk.

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page




Do you search for revelations or do they just come?

World in Crisis

An important election is hurtling at us. The contenders are unusual and, to put it mildly, a lot is at stake. Being absorbed in this political conflict may obscure our view of the true extent of conflict in the world. We face the effects of what may become a hundred years war in the Middle East. There are countries in Africa with frightening genocidal potentials. Precious efforts at political maturity in Europe are being endangered. Migration of stressed populations may bring renewal or terrible conflict. America may restore a process for our potential or may fall deeper into obstruction. One of the questions to ask is whether this is merely a crisis period or something more fundamental.

Among the major themes the world must face are climate change brought by human activity, demographic crises related to aging of populations in “advanced” countries and
poorly understood economic processes indicating we may be reaching the end of capitalism as we have known it. It is tempting to simply see these themes as events in the march of history. They deserve deeper exploration. Have a nice day!

Gaining a Focus

It would be presumptuous of me to think I can bring wisdom to clarify that horrifying list so I will attenuate my focus on this blog. Some of it will address interesting “realities”, some thoughts to be weighed and some will address my devotion to the potential in the movement to empower women. The latter will, in part, be seen in posts related to the meaning and origins of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.


There are categories which will address a number of themes. One is vision. Recently I addressed two visions in the Cusp of Reality blogs. Appalachia was 7/25/16 and the elderly was 8/1/16. We should not just be observers of the world. Opening visions will lead us to fascinating challenges.

Another category is human personality. Carl Jung brought us a rich personality typology. It is both intriguing and useful. I will address the components of this system. In the discussion you will sooner or later see yourself. I was so intrigued I used it in my doctoral dissertation at Duke. I confirmed that the personality of the artist (painter in that instance) is revealed in his or her work. Too much time had been spent on speculating about psychopathology as if creativity was a display of mental illness. We also learned that the personality type is a major determinant in the work of art, more so than the degree of difference within a type.

Yet another is the origin of Gaia’s Majesty. It is not merely a story. Its origins are found in mythology (inspiration from Carl Jung again) and the worldwide movement to empower women. This is a rich category which relates to the origins and development of the concept and process. We will discuss the meaning of specific characters in the books and the writing process itself.

Of course the world is hardly a boring place these days. Events and issues will present themselves and commentary expression and examination will be inviting.

Opening a Forum

Speaking of inviting…I do not perceive a blog as being a confined activity. Each and every one of you who read it will find something personal and have your own perceptions. I hope you will share them and I will be pleased to share what you have chosen to present.

Please let US hear from you.

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page