Looking For Transformation

 

In this current era when we seem on the verge of transformation I’m going to do posts about my experience with the reform movement called community mental health long ago. I address even great details in my book Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.

Toward the Future

It was 1967 and I was finishing up my doctorate at Duke University. It was time to leave academia, get out into the “real world” and embrace a component of the reform movement following World War II.

One of the first programs of the Community Mental Health movement was beginning to hire in Baltimore. I went to take a look and was picked up at the airport by Carl Thistel, the lead community organizer. He took me on a whirlwind engaging tour of the city regaling me with the impact of poverty and drugs. I was interviewed by the engaging, enthusiastic director and the somnolent head psychologist who fell asleep while he was interviewing me. No matter. Carl had hooked me.

Plans Versus Reality

The movement had a compelling outline of its expected services and its rationale was engaging. We had the best of intentions but then there was reality. It wasn’t long before we learned that the mental health people in the State of Maryland didn’t really care and neither did the University which was managing the grant. They wanted the status and the money and to continue their business as usual.

In Opposition

On our side we had a bunch of enthusiastic, rebellious twenty somethings who included women dedicated to the Women’s Liberation movement, It was going to get very interesting.

It turned out no one really knew how to deliver services to impoverished inner city residents. The rationale sounded good but we had to figure out how to deal with reality. We devoted ourselves to the needs of these people we were to serve and had to figure out what they really needed and how we could deliver it – over the opposition of the State and the University personnel especially on the part of the older white men.

Likelong Commitment and Reservations

So, in my twenties I committed to supporting women’s liberation and harbored deep reservations about older white men even though now I are one.

In coming posts I’ll cover key elements as we hit the streets, climbed through dangerous high rise buildings and fought for what was needed. I’m also going to address the current crisis in the world and the transformation alternatives that may be coming.

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt, Ph.D.

Available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.

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A Focus on Transformation

Stunning Alternatives

 

Recently I mentioned that while this blog is titled Cusp of Reality that I’m redirecting it more to the issue of transformation. I need to explain what that means.

I’ve been on this earth awhile and certainly I’ve seen periods of crisis and turns toward productive development. But I’ve never seen the potential for the development of such vastly different transformations.

America in Crisis

I know I’m writing a blog about the cusp of reality and now am directing it  toward transformation. While part of my endeavor presently is to promote my Gaia’s Majesty series, in its development the issue of transformation has emerged. At this moment, I’m being led to comment on my view of the crisis America finds itself in. The news is dominated by the issues we see in our government. In the commentary it is repeated over and over that almost everything is about politics. I fundamentally disagree.

A brilliant old man I took classes from when I was in college talked about culture and things such as cultural flow. His illumination shines on what we are seeing presently. 

The kind of crisis we are enduring is not the product of a single election. This is a welling up of culture and various associated processes. We have opened a view of undercurrents and differing groups within our society. These groups did not materialize overnight. They were there all along but were often hidden from our sight.

World Transformation

America’s crisis is weighing heavily on what is happening in the world. Since World War II America  has been a stabilizing influence. Now, with an unstable and deeply pathological narcissistic president we have not just abandoned the world but are feeding its deterioration. 

Not long ago we had the hope of the Arab Spring and saw blossoming regimes in Europe. Now the Middle East is in dire conflict with our government contributing. We are seeing instability in such places as Great Britain, France, Italy, Poland with other tremors across Europe. 

Shortly It may be that burgeoning conflict of a level not seen since World War II will appear. The processes leading to World War I and World War II were not the product of careful design but of forces out of control. It seems we are at such a time again.

Transformation of America

What we see in our country is not a pretty sight. We are floundering and it is clear that there is a very strong element of corruption operating in both government and business. For decades now there has been a deterioration which has led us away from solving problems as our culture changed and we are entering a stressful world with rapid technological change.

What is happening is not just politics although there are political tremors. Much of it is cultural upwelling and rapid change in which we are not in charge. Even though many of the effects may be seen in the political realm there are many other elements of note. 

One of them is the stunning movement to empower women at last. I watch in awe as bright, determined women appear before us. At last we are coming to see the significant potential in half our population and it breeds wonder and hope-as well as opposition.

As positive elements flower they bring with them attention to factors in our lives which are of great import. We are coming to understand that we need to attend to change among men, defining a future for the people we call the left behinds, long overdue reform of our health care system, climate change (114 degrees in Paris this week)  and on and on.

These few themes and items noted are merely part of the flood nationally. Ahead I will be selecting some of them for more detailed comment.

Choice Point

These are the huge choice points we will select for transformation. Will we abet the decline of world relationships to lead us deep into terrible world crisis or will we face our own dilemmas, work for constructive problem solving and turn the corner to renew our stabilizing influence in the world? We will see shortly.

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Life Among the Living

 

Do you have a special myth you favor?

Variety of Life Forms

Many of us don’t consider it unreasonable to ask if other life forms really exist. Are there angels, do we have spirit guides and how real are our day or night dreams? Certainly there is a great deal of speculation about paranormal phenomena. It would be impossible to comprehensively enumerate the various kinds of life forms there are and may be. And then should we include various forms of consciousness in humankind? It sounds odd to say that but, in fact, they can be considered.

In fantasy, science fiction and paranormal fiction we see various forms of exploration and belief. The fact of the matter is that it is unreasonable to dismiss any of them out of hand. I consider myself to be a very rational person which translates into meaning rationally it is unreasonable to dismiss them.

Alternative Forms

Alternatives are seen in the belief in spirits of all kinds. We love to think about them, love to read about them and write about them. It seems, though, that we cannot definitively establish their existence. And there is a very sound reason why we can’t. As human beings we have a very specific sensory system which is meant to help us survive in what we call the real world. In most instances we don’t need to sense spirits in order to survive.

Likewise, the head of the patent office early in the twentieth century declared that they might as well close up because everything that could be invented had been invented. He was just a little bit off base or, not in touch with reality. At that time we hadn’t mastered wave lengths for radio or other forms of communications. Now we know that there are all manner of waves humming around us that we can’t sense ourselves.

Dismissing Nothing

As I already noted, I was told when I was getting an education as a psychologist that I was being trained as a scientist. Well, as a scientist I have come to understand that it is irrational and unscientific to dismiss all these various kinds of possibilities. And, decades later I’m not entirely sure what science really is. And, for that matter, it is unscientific to dismiss possible alternatives we do not yet understand or can establish. Where would we be without theorizing and exploration. 

But still we torment each other. We cry, “Get a grip! You can’t know that. Get a life. I have one and you don’t”. But the fact remains that what has been speculated may well exist and it may be that we haven’t yet been able to reach out to the other life forms—yet. And so we write about them, give them lives we create and yearn for the future. And it is so enriching to engage in this search and speculation. In fact we have better and richer lives when we do it. 

Let me know when you have made contact. I want to meet whatever it is. At least as long as it or they are friendly and are willing to share. For now please share your thoughts with me/us.

In the meantime I’m staying tuned with the crowd that speculates.

 

What alternative life forms do you believe in?

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

—————–

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

————-

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

This Is Not The America I Thought We Were

 

The World Opens

In 1945 my aunts took me to a victory parade on Fifth Avenue in New York. Masses of troops paraded down the Avenue to a cheering crowed with planes flying low above. It was an unforgettable experience

World War II had seemed distant with only an occasional intrusion such as the night I was seated in a window seat looking out at a darkened city and dim sparkles of light in the rain. There came a knock on the door. It was our block captain cautioning us about our blackout curtains being open. My father was a surgeon and had an A sticker on his car indicating he could buy gas when he needed it. My mother peeled off stickers for food. Otherwise I was an innocent.

Collectively We Rejoiced

We watched as towns sprouted to house the families created by returning troops. In 1952 we sat late into the evening before our twelve inch black and white television and cheered as we watched the election of our hero Dwight Eisenhower to the presidency. 

The early years assured I would watch events in our country and the world with great interest.

When I graduated from college at the University of Michigan my new wife and I moved to North Carolina where I was to begin my studies for my doctorate in clinical psychology.

Early Painful Revelations

It was the 1960s and the civil rights movement was growing. I was shocked at the racism I saw and, as the child of a privileged family at the discrimination I experienced because I was a “Yankee”. My interest and distress deepened as I worked to serve the impoverished people in the inner city of Baltimore.

One of the things I learned in college was about cultural flow from the impressive Leslie White, the father of cultural anthropology. What he taught stayed with  me and I could see that culture and its impact were all around us and changing constantlyl. I learned to detach it from politics which is only part of the picture.

It is About Culture. Not about Politics

Presently we are making the mistake of reducing everything to politics. What is happening now is an outgrowth of who we are and I am truly shocked to see it. I never expected to see someone like Trump elected president and do not view him as representative of a political party. The narcissism and corruption is shocking. And as someone who grew up in a Republican family I do not know who these people are who claim to be Republicans. I view them as betraying our country.

Even worse I see 40% of our country supporting Trump. I truly did not know they existed and I see them as betraying themselves and their future. I not only did not know this about our country but hope that we can salvage ourselves. 

I am especially disappointed in the men who lean more heavily into the dysfunction. It seems that our women have a much better perspective.

If we do not win this battle against this turn of culture we will not only damage our future but the future of the world as well. instability is growing across Europe and we are seeing corrupt regimes which are damaging much other relations.

We will see shortly but I clearly believe that our future will be created in the election of 2020. If we rise to the occasion we can turn our destiny back toward who we thought we were or descend deeper into something we thought unimaginable.

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before them.

(Available now in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.)

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

 

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

(Available now on Amazon)

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

(Available now on Amazon)

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Mysterium Tremendum

 

 

The following post comes from mythandmore.com which is the blog written by Margo Meck. I’m not going to comment on it at this time. I leave it at your doorstep to mull over. See my comments next post.

Posted September 14, 2013 in Musings & Mythologues

The word “numinous” was coined by Rudolf Otto from the Latin numen, meaning a god, cognate with the verb nuere, to nod or beckon, indicating divine approval.  This word, or its noun, the “numinosum,” refers to any phenomenon experienced as a manifestation of tremendous power felt to be objective and outside the self.  It is a crucial element of religious experience.  For Otto, the numinosum is non-rational and irreducible; it cannot be defined, only evoked and experienced.

According to Lionel Corbett, the numinous grips or stirs the soul.  The numinous produces a kind of holy terror, awe or dread which Otto describes as a feeling of the ‘mysterium tremendum.’ It can also erupt in the modern person as the experience of the uncanny or the supernatural.  Such awe may be overwhelming or it may be gentle as the still small voice.  The uncanny is not a function of intensity but rather of a specific quality. [see The Religious Function of the Psyche by Lionel Corbett for a detailed discussion on this.]

I experience the redwoods of northern California as a portal into the numinous.  The magnificence of these sentinels  “stirs my soul.”  I stand in awe of their grandeur.  There is something “uncanny” about them.  For me, these expressions of nature, I experience as supernatural.  There is something larger at work here; something that cannot be defined; only experienced.

According to Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and PsychepastedGraphic.png the numinous is also defined as something that suddenly confronts human awareness with an unexpected dimension of reality, something that is experienced as “Wholly Other” than the mundane sphere, that utterly transcends and subverts the everyday world of conventional experience, and that disrupts the very ground of one’s being as it was previously construed.  Jung’s notion of synchronicity can be recognized as the inexplicable coincidence that carries a numinous charge.

For me, myths are not necessarily numinous in and of themselves; just as the menu is not the meal, the map is not the landscape, and the road sign is not the way, etc.  What myths do is to alert us to the possibility of the numinous.  They help us recognize when we are in the grips of the mysterium tremendum.  The numinous can be beatific like Dante’s vision of Beatrice.  It can also hold a terror as when a demon visits us in a dream and we awaken breathing heavily in a cold sweat.  And, the numinous can also be experienced gently as the still small voice. Regardless of the form, the soul is deeply stirred.

My attraction to myth is many layered.  One of these layers is simply because myths are great stories.  Also, they typically contain pearls of wisdom.  They are mirrors reflecting the human condition.  And, I could go on.  However, for the purposes of this commentary, let me say that I am attracted to myths because they are metaphors for life that cannot really be explained directly.

Myths are keys opening the door beyond which lies the numinous.

Margo Meck is a mythologist, writer, story consultant, and speaker. She received her Ph.D. in Mythological Studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, CA. in 2007. She has lectured on various myth related subjects such as Personal Mythology and the Hero’s Journey.

Joseph Campbell says: “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.”

What implications do you think this has for underlying themes in human culture?

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

(Available now in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.) 

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before them.

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

(Available now in Pre-Order and goes on sale April 29 on Amazon)

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead.