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March 22, 2013 6:00am
The Ouroboros: eternal symbol
For centuries, oneirophants have sought to understand the mystery of dreams: what they tell us about ourselves, the future, and our needs and aspirations. In this collection of books from Jungian psychologists and published by Chiron Publications
, which is distributed by Lantern, various authors examine the meaning of dreams and explore the symbols that often appear in them and are reflected in the outside world.
In Let Your Body Interpret Your Dreams
, Eugene T. Gendlin describes how your body's reactions to dreams can teach you what the dream is speaking to you. First, you'll discover what the dream is about, and secondly, you'll learn something new from the dream that will aid your own development.
Animals are of great symbolic significance to us: both when we're asleep and when we're conscious. In Animal Life in Nature, Myth, and Dreams
, Elizabeth Caspari connects the world of real, living animals with the symbolic world of animal images in human thought. This book, fully illustrated with color photos, is a study of animals: their natural history, mythology, folklore, and religious significance around the world as well as their role in our lives, dreams, and everyday language. In The Archetypal Symbolism of Animals
, Barbara Hannah, a student and close friend of C.G. Jung, presents lectures on the symbolic meaning of several domestic and wild animals, and illustrates how our animal nature can become the psychic source of renewal and natural wholeness.
January 5, 2013 11:57am
A Practical Peacemaker Ponders . . .
As a new year begins, we hear much talk of resolutions, ways to improve one's life in the coming year. These might have to do with weight loss, increased fitness, decreased indulgence in sweets, alcohol or tobacco, controlling one's temper, and better budgeting of money. As a regular participant in fitness classes, I notice every January a sudden increase in attendance by new people I've heard called "resolutioners." These folks start out with the best of intentions, but unfortunately do not continue; within a month they are mostly gone.
The desire people have for personal improvement is something we as practical peacemakers want to encourage. Progress on any of the goals listed above leads to a more harmonious personal and family life, and thus a more peaceful society. However, the urge to make improvements that require discipline is fragile; it is no easy thing to change long-standing habits. In fact, it seems that the making of resolutions is considered a sort of joke: "yeah, sure, you're going to quit smoking--how long is that going to last?" "You say you're going to get up earlier in order to exercise--right."
How can we turn around this expectation of failure and make the keeping of resolutions more likely? I have three ideas.
November 20, 2012 6:00am
All kinds of hardships strike and stretch family bonds, whether it's the family as a whole or parents, siblings, relatives, or adopted family members. But despite harsh tribulations, families have time again shown that they possess a bond nigh on close to unbreakable. Lantern has published a number of books on coping with those family stresses:
Ashes to Gold
talks about how we've lost the ancient rites of passage that enabled boys to become men. Brad Fern and Tom Lutz provide a practical and mythic outline for the journey from adolescence to maturity for young men.
Songs of My Families
is about the a life story of Kelly Fern, who was both an adopted child and surrendered her own daughter to adoption. Told with refreshing honesty, Songs
is the moving story of two generations of women forced to make agonizing choices as they coped with harsh economic realities and personal crises.
As children grow they're faced not with just physical problems but mental ones as well. Two books by John A. McKinnon (An Unchanged Mind
and To Change a Mind
) examine the problem with maturation in adolescents and how parents can help their children by setting boundaries and preventing the problem from happening in the first place.
Parents may need to work on themselves as well. This is the premise of The Parallel Process
, by Krissy Pozatek, who shows how parents with troubled pre-teens, adolescents, and young adults can attune to their emotions, set limits, not rush to their rescue, and allow them to take responsibility for their actions.
August 16, 2012 6:00am
Students are getting on with living and learning at VA Tech
Lantern has published one books that does well when things in the world go badly: No Easy Answers
, a well-told, thoughtful, and insightful discussion of the Columbine High School killings of 1999.
Every time there's a school shooting
, people turn to No Easy Answers
. In the office we talk about this response, and cringe a little. But the reality is that people need this book. They need to understand what can turn angst into murder. When unfathomable events happen, it's natural to want to dissect them, to study them, and to take steps to avoid the disaster happening again. The book doesn't let anyone off easy, instead calling for people to examine their own behavior, and the behavior that they endorse or excuse.
One Political Science professor at Virginia Tech took preventative measures, and 300 students read No Easy Answers
in their introductory course. When this sort of non-violence education
is made formal (especially in wounded atmospheres like VA Tech
), we feel quite good about it. No cringing this time.
The American Mental Health Foundation Press
has made part of its mission to examine the issue of violence through publishing the work of Dr. Raymond B. Flannery
. Dr. Flannery has spent his career examining the issue of violence, among youth and others, and attempting to explore why it occurs and how it might be prevented.
One question that needs to be answered is why the school shooters are invariably male. In recent years, Lantern has found itself turning to this question of the adolescent male and the problems that affect them. Boys Will Be Boys
is a book about what factors influence aggression and violence in American males. It also provides descriptions and proposals for interventions, social action, and solutions to stop the violence. Working at the intersection of the men's movement and adolescent detention centers, Brad Fern and Tom Lutz explore in Ashes to Gold
the rites of passage (or lack thereof) that troubled male teens must pass through in order to understand themselves. Filled with extraordinarily moving stories of boys who have experienced enormous trauma, Ashes to Gold
is essential reading for those who would understand the great pressure that boys are under in today's society, and how vulnerable they are.
Finally, another book that's a kind of antidote. Violence can take other forms—the kind that's meted out upon you when you resist violence and the kind you see every day on television and on dinner plates. That's why Aftershock
is an excellent, even necessary, book for those contemplating direct action to stop violence.
August 9, 2012 6:00am
Just a little pin prick
Illnesses in childhood can be particularly devastating because they are both incomprehensible to the child and seem so unfair. Yet children can also be incredibly resilient and hopeful.
A particular example of this is found in How I Feel
, the true story of a little boy called Steven who became ill with diabetes and how he managed to cope with it. Written and illustrated by his older brother Michael, the book is filled with fun and very immediate, kid's-eye view cartoons of Steven's adventures through his illness and healing, and provides an invaluable resource for children, parents, family members, teachers, and caregivers.
Another much misunderstood and previously undiagnosed disease is childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A Thought Is Just a Thought
is the first storybook of its kind: the compelling and sympathetic story of Jenny, who suffers from OCD. The kind Dr. Mike helps Jenny overcome her fears by showing her how to rethink the bad thoughts, and eventually she stops dwelling on the thought and its irrational consequences, realizing that, after all, a thought is just a thought. This unique work, with a foreword by the medical director of the OCD Institute in Belmont, MA, will enable parents and doctors to understand how best to help children deal with suffering from this debilitating psychological illness.
As children grow they are always faced not with just physically problems but also mentally. Two of our books, An Unchanged Mind,
and To Change a Mind
(both by Dr. John McKinnon), look at why some young people find it so hard to transition from childhood to adulthood. An Unchanged Mind
examines what Dr. McKinnon calls disrupted maturation, and explains that the cure to the problem is not in pills. To Change a Mind
is a companion book for parents on how adolescent development can be derailed in today's complex culture and how to prevent the problem from happening in the first place.
The work and self-knowledge required to transition successfully from adolescence to maturity are not only the child's responsibility. They're the parents, too. Krissy Pozatek's The Parallel Process
urges parents to undergo the same process of self-examination and honest self-assessment as their children do as the latter go through treatment.
July 26, 2012 6:00am
C.G. Jung: Therapist in Chief
, which is distributed by Lantern, is not only the premier publisher of books on analytical psychology in the United States but a magnificent repository of works by and about C. G. Jung.
Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of the analytical psychology that now bears his name. Many of Chiron's titles deal specifically with Jung's theories and ideas, but some are more relevant to Jung's life and thought. In C. G. Jung: The Fundamentals of Theory and Practice
, Elie Humbert brings a unique understanding of Jung's ideas, developed over many years within the atmosphere of French psychoanalytic thought. In C. G. Jung: His Friendships with Mary Mellon and J.B. Priestley
William Schoenl uncovers two long-lasting relationships that influenced three important voices in twentieth-century ideas. Now revised, Jung: His Life and Work
by one of his leading interpreters and emanuenses Barbara Hannah is the most encompassing guide, while Young Carl Jung
presents a fascinating psycho-biography of the man who became one of the leading guides to the soul in the last two hundred years.
These books are just a small sample of Chiron's many titles, and we invite you to visit Chiron's page
on our website to browse some more!
June 27, 2012 6:00am
Shellshock Victims of World War One
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been much in the news recently, as veterans returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan receive treatment for a condition that had been rarely acknowledged post-battle (except perhaps as "shellshock" in World War One). PTSD, however, manifests itself on battlefields closer to home: in domestic violence; when police officers experience and witness violent events; suicide, nightmares, insomnia, and depression; and even within individuals who are themselves violent.
Since its inception, Lantern has concerned itself with trying to understand the roots of trauma and the violence that is its cause and effect—not only toward other animals or the earth, but to and between people. pattrice jones explores the issue of trauma among activists for animal rights in Aftershock
. Rob Merritt and Brooks Brown examine the culture of violence, intimidation, and bullying that existed in Columbine High School before the killings of 1999 in No Easy Answers
June 25, 2012 6:00am
Hector Aristizábal: Free to Smile
Hector Aristizábal grew up in the barrios of Medellin, Colombia, where he and his siblings had to use all their wit, wiles, and wherewithal to survive poverty, the ever-present allure of cheap drugs and very dangerous money, and the endemic violence from leftwing guerrillas, rightwing death squads, cocaine cartels, and the armed power of the State. As a young actor and psychology student, Hector was seized by the military, held in secret, and tortured. He survived and went on to find meaning in his ordeal as he channeled his desire for revenge into nonviolent activism both in his homeland and during decades of exile in the United States.
While challenging the State-sponsored causes of much suffering in the world, Hector reached out to some of society's most marginalized—at-risk and incarcerated youth, immigrants, and many others—using his theatrical skills and psychotherapeutic training to help people shape their own stories and identities. He sought to understand his own identity as well as that of one brother who was a revolutionary and another who was gay—and how his belief in personal integrity and political freedom might square with the realities of a country under the yoke of toxic ideologies. Hector was forced finally to examine his own motivations and commitments, and begin to heal his own gaping wounds.
Shockingly honest, heartbreaking, and vibrantly told, The Blessing Next to the Wound
is a passionate and evocative memoir that, amid enormous suffering and loss, is a full-throated affirmation of life.
May 17, 2012 6:00am
, whose titles Lantern distributes, has long been at the forefront of publishing authors dealing with the soul—that mysterious realm beyond the conscious mind from which our deepest selves (to our consternation as well as relief) emerge. Not surprisingly, the uncovering of the soul is often the task of poets and artists, as well as psychotherapists and shamans.
Perhaps no greater poet of the soul existed than Rainer Maria Rilke
(1875–1926). In Rilke: A Soul History
poet and scholar Daniel Polikoff tells the inner story of Rilke's literary career, tracing, step-by-step, the mythopoetic journey inscribed in the interweaving lines of the poet's life and art.
When her husband was diagnosed with a serious brain tumor, Marianne Tauber turned to art—painting and poetry—to cope with the situation. In The Soul's Ministrations
, she explicates what was behind the drive to create, presenting seventeen paintings and poems alongside a narrative of the time of crisis in journal form and then delving into the concepts of Jungian psychology and alchemy to make sense of the images and their healing effect.
And what of art used more directly in therapy? Creative Transformation
is an account by a dance and drama therapist about the integration of Jungian theory, creative arts therapy, and developmental object relations theory. Using the arts as a psycho-therapeutic tool, trauma and addiction are explored and enacted, calling upon the imaginal realm of the arts as a vehicle for transformation and recovery.
November 9, 2011 6:00am
Laurence Hillman: Psychopomp
For some astrology is nothing but bunkum, but for others (and, admit it, you include yourself) it offers intriguing insights into our characters and motivations.
a fascinating combination of psychotherapy and astrology, therapist Donna Spencer and astrologer Laurence Hillman unite their disciplines to create a new, radical, readable, and inspiring method for aligning one's personality with one's calling. The astrological dimension provides a focus and direction to the therapeutic process that guides a person toward his or her specific calling in life, while also enabling them to reinvigorate their relationships.
October 19, 2011 6:00am
The ways of the psyche are made a little less inscrutable in the collection of books that follow.
explains how traumatic events affect our bodies and abilities, and explores the culture of trauma that people have created through our violent exploitation of the Earth, other animals, and one another. It offers understanding and practical tips for survivors of all kinds of trauma, for therapists who treat trauma, and for anyone who hopes to reduce the amount of terror in the world.
An Unchanged Mind
begins with a clinical riddle: Why are American teenagers failing to develop normally through adolescence? Why are so many unprepared for life's challenges at school, at home, and in their social lives? Using case studies from a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teenagers, the book explains the causes and effects of maturational delays, and offers effective, non-pharmacological methods to help troubled kids catch up.
, Laurence Hillman and Donna Spencer unite the disciplines of astrology and psychology to create a new, radical, readable, and inspiring method for aligning one's personality with one's calling. The astrological dimension provides a focus and direction to the therapeutic process that guides a person towards his or her specific calling in life while also enabling you to reinvigorate your relationships.
Perhaps no-one in the twentieth century plumbed the psyche more deeply and resonantly than C. G. Jung. In the beautifully illustrated The House of C. G. Jung
, we are allowed to explore the nooks and crannies as well as the open spaces and hallways of the 100-year-old house that belonged to the architect of the unconscious.
Fairy tales can reveal a hidden side of our lives, our unconscious, and our interrelationship with others. In the Ever After: Fairy Tales and the Second Half of Life
uses contemporary research on mid-life and aging to interpret rare fairy tales that reveal a deep folk wisdom about the psychological tasks encountered in the second half of life. Collected from around the world, these stories offer an engaging exploration into the problems of adulthood and aging.
Also highly recommended are Psyche's Stories
, which comes in three volumes. Each of these volumes offers Jungian interpretations of well-known and rare tales to reveal the universal psychic dynamics that are at their core and how they affect us in our individual and collective lives.
In And a Sword Shall Pierce Your Heart
, Charlotte Mathes describes her experience of struggling to find meaning and wholeness in one of the most shattering of experiences: the death of her child. That journey led her to Jungian archetypal psychology and to a heartfelt desire to help others deal with such grief and loss. Through personal experience, myth, and stories, Mathes shows how parents can gain a renewed sense of inner and outer wholeness in life.
December 31, 2010 2:51pm
A Practical Peacemaker Ponders . . .
marks the completion of a goal I set myself back in my 20's: to read all of Nobel Prize-winning author Hermann Hesse's novels. Within a few years, I'd read them all--with the exception of this one. I tried, but surprisingly couldn't get into it. I say surprisingly, because I had no problem slogging through the dense and lengthy Magister Ludi
. Later I learned that Hesse himself had commented that, as he had written Steppenwolf
when he was 50, and the main character, Harry Haller, is about that age, the book would be best understood by readers of that age, too. So I made a mental note to pick it up again at age 50, and did so, but after two more attempts then I still had no interest. Finally just recently I tried again, and the fourth time was the charm.
November 29, 2010 8:52am
The Blessing Next to the Wound
is featured and reviewed on the wonderful La Bloga
. It discussing Blessing
as a challenging book, but one you're grateful for having read.
That’s ayahuasca. You go to a dark place and see things; that’s where the light is. You go to the jungle to go into your own jungle. It is a paradox, but it is a beautiful one.
November 16, 2010 4:26pm
A Practical Peacemaker Ponders . . .
On a recent sunny Saturday I was riding home on my bike from a couple of errands and spotted a yard sale. Because I enjoy browsing at such sales, I stopped and began to inspect the merchandise. After a few minutes I became aware that a car had pulled up across the street. A man got out and began arguing with the woman hosting the sale, yelling that she was selling household items that belonged to him. She explained to us customers that this was her ex-husband.