Mary Shelley’s story of Frankenstein is a psychological primer on how we make monsters. The interaction between Victor Frankenstein and the creature he makes enact this drama. Like a mirror, the monster reflects Victor’s horror of his dream to be a new god who would erase death from life.
Our existence is fundamentally interpersonal. Human beings are not isolated, free-floating objects, but subjects existing in perpetual, multiple, shifting relationships. Life is defined by these myriad interactions – by the push and pull of inter-subjectivity as well as the overt and covert social contracts. Through them we realize our incompleteness and vulnerability.
Lucid dreaming is an ancient and revolutionary psychological tool for exploration, which has been scientifically confirmed in recent times. By understanding it as a relational tool, you can move deeper and deeper, achieving new and more powerful realizations. I taught myself how to lucid dream in the spring of 1975. This turns out to be the same spring that researcher Keith Hearne recorded the first ‘eye signal’ of lucid awareness in the University of Hull sleep lab from the sleeping lucid dreamer, Alan Worsley.
In the last few years a resurgence in the nature of narrative, of story and personal and collective identity has gained widespread attention. My interest in one’s personal narrative is tied to the nature and structure of myths, both personal, national and global. So what is it to make a myth and to live by a myth?
A tall, dark-skinned, successful professional woman, Anya grew up feeling she was “too much”. Her body size, feelings, and needs were “too big”. When I’d ask her about her feelings, she reported keeping them “shoved in her body” where she “held on tight”. This manifested in stooping to reduce her height, gathering her shoulders up around her ears, and collapsing in her chest.
Jung rejected the idea that modernity could sever our ties to the mythic imagination of our ancestors. He spent a lifetime elaborating this position through his work on the archetypal structures that inform and organize human thought, emotion and behavior.
After months of sheltering in place, it was exciting to see people enjoying meals together in make-shift sidewalk cafés, masks and all. With restrictions beginning to lift, we found ways to adapt to safety concerns while maintaining our spirits.
As a little girl, when there was tension in the home, Tina Stromsted would slip out the house into the field next door, and dance. As she twirled and swooped and breathed in the rhythms of Nature, she was able to release her anxiety to the winds, and ground herself enough to straighten her small back, and return to her family.
Why is the feminine erotic soul important for men and women today? Feminine and masculine are beyond gender. We all have some balance of masculine and feminine qualities no matter what our sexual orientation.