Hello friends. I’m looking forward to a lively discussion around my book this November. First, some business:
If you haven’t got a copy yet, the quickest ways to do so are directly from me (www.madnessatthegates.com) through Paypal, or from Amazon. Even quicker, if you have a tablet, would be to order an electronic copy (Kindle, Ipad, etc.) from Amazon. I also have sample chapters and essays available for free on the website. You might also find my blogs interesting (as well as shorter reads) at http://madnessatthegates.posterous.com/
This November could not be a better time for our conversation. Right now, we are “between the worlds.” The entire Hispanic, Catholic and Pagan worlds are focusing on All Souls Day, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), and Samhain, the Celtic/Pagan New Year. The ancestors are among us right now like at no other time. They require our attention, our celebration and our tears. If you live in the Bay Area, there are still spaces available for our Day of the Dead Ritual (http://www.barryandmayaspector.com/Barryandmaya/Day_of_the_Dead.html).
Now for that lively discussion. I suspect that any proponent of Depth and Archetypal Psychology will agree that we need to look at the soul of a society or culture in the same way we look at an individual soul. We ask such questions as: What has this soul banished to the underworld, to become its shadow? What do those repressed parts want from those who inhabit the light? What sickness results from such repression? What myths are in play? What Gods are being disrespected? What would such a soul look like if it honored those gods?
At the same time, there’s little to be gained by preaching to the choir. I want to encourage dissension and healthy argument from those who disagree with some of my insights (or mistakes, if you prefer), especially in regard to the current political scene. What better theme to start with than a mythological perspective on the election that I offered on my most recent blog: Barry's Blog # 40: The Ritual of the Presidential Debates
The Myth of American Innocence requires periodic maintenance. I am suggesting that the Presidential election is a mass ritual that the nation participates in so as to revive and energize the myth and reconstitute our national sense of denial. What do you think?
Alternatively, there are many other themes we could discuss. If anyone is interested in going through the book doing, say, three chapters each week (twelve in all), I'll be happy to oblige.
And again: This is the time to remember our ancestors and both the blessings and the wounds they have bequeathed us. We are all in this together. Every single American carries a huge burden of unacknowledged grief simply by virtue of living in this society.
Or, in psychological/theological terms, as James Hillman said, every American, regardless of their professed spiritual beliefs, is "psychologically Christian." That is, we are all likely to take our myths literally.
I want to encourage everyone to see The life of Pi. It is a beautifully filmed allegory about the 'shaddow', and the very issues we are discussing.
Good morning Brit - thanks for letting us know this. As soon as the DVD is available, I will purchase and watch. Thank you also to Bonnie and Barry for giving us extra time (December) to collaborate. Brit can you mention a couple of the 'shadow' highlights manifesting/worked through in this film. I have seen the preview on TV with the tiger in the boat! Regards LInda
The movie is 'panoramic' and available in 3D. If at all possible, I reccommend seeing it on a big screen. I would prefer to not give away anything about the story. Britt
Good morning Britt - It has been over 5 months since you provided this message of encouragement to all of us to watch The Life of Pi. Thanks you to our eldest son for sending us a DVD of same; my husband + I watched this amazing creation, as you stated - 'filmed allegory about the shadow.' It is amazing how crystal clear the visuals (pictures) were for me, delivering the depth message story within. I was immediately stuck by the simple fact that I am visually perceptual stronger in my understanding of depth/soul matters in comparison to the literary works of others (Jung), the exception being poetry that does touch cords and resonate from the depths of soul matters.
I wonder what Jung would say about this film? Have a great day and thank you for the encouragement to watch this movie which touched us deeply to tears of joy. Peace + love Linda
Liza Brickey & I recorded a 2-hour interview with Barry & Maya Spector on KOWS FM on 10/22/11, in which Madness At The Gates Of The City was a prominent subject. You can find it archived here:
Jon Jackson, M.D.
Chair, Numina Center for Spirituality & the Arts
Good evening - thank you for sharing deeper meaning concerning veils, the 'Burkha' etc. in relation to our on-going study of welcoming the other. I will need to read the above a few times. I received my book today in the mail, thank you for sending and I still have time to finish reading it before our, your gracious extended time, in this book club with us, ends. Regards Linda
Hi all: I saw the film "Lincoln" recently and wrote a new blog about it: Madness at the Gates of the City - Filed under 'Barry's Blog # 43: ...
Good morning Barry - how fortunate we are indeed, to be lead by you and your recent posts! I will say what you wrote about the myth, behind/within, the film Lincoln as stated in your informative Blog #43 Article was very informative and I will need to read this again along with your writing concerning the Burkha/veils....plus get into your book that arrived on Friday.
That is where I am at today - deep in the reading, thought of it all! Later. Regards Linda
Harrowingly, beautifully, deeply, said. And as long as we continue to categorize these shooters, et al, as "monsters," we can continue to project our own unclaimed, "innocent," and sublimated expressions of violence...keeping our mythic innocence intact.
The "uninitiated" ego identity of our culture—unclaimed—so, unconsciously seeking witness through explosive erruptions of concentrated, toxified, unprocessed grief.
Martin Prechtel says "All war is unprocessed grief..." James Hillman said, "We don't even know how much we are mourning the loss of..."
Initiation into adulthood, into wisdom, by way of communal grief. Three days solid.
Thanks, Barry, for the image.
A Somber evening Barry - I have only gotten to page 100 of your book and read article #44 on your Blog. Your country is facing a new tragedy, either nature or man-made, with little time for mourning, rebuilding, etc. Hard times and I feel for the families - all this devastation 11 days before Christmas.
I struggled with some of your comments in Blog #44 for I do not believe that there is any such thing as 'harmless violence where no one gets hurt.' witnessing 18,000 virtual murders at a minimum = desensitization which has nothing to do with 'breeding' anything, let alone innocence. There are hurting and healing words and some of the above word-pairings, simply feel wrong in my heart of hearts.
Out of respect for the great loss of naive innocence, inherent in the 5-10 year old children who died today and their devastated family members; let us please not contaminate their real, naive innocence that continues to exist in America and I doubt any "country" can claim 'innocence' status for all lands have landed immigrants, who left their homelands for a multitude of reasons - the good, bad and the ugly.
Our children are animate and our land, inanimate and both are love objects. We profess to protect, love and care for both and there are many more 'good stewards' out there in the world shedding 'good will and peace' seeds towards their fellow man. Let us not loose sight of this fact, especially after a young adult shed much blood, tears and devastation.
The old saying 'united we stand; divided we fall' is a part of this young adults tragic, homicidal/suicidal rage ending in a massacre. Let us not forget - he was alienated to the degree and depth of familial hatred that he killed his mother, father and brother.
Your President spoke from his heart on TV to the American people and the global community. I do believe he is leading, not only as your head of state; most importantly, as a healthy and loving man, husband and father.
In sorrow plus regard, Linda