Seated in her nest of ashes, Cinderella embodies human misery. The essence of inner and outer nobility, she is the envy of her cruel stepmother and her ugly sisters. Using this familiar story, Ann and Barry Ulanov explore the psychological and theological aspects of envy and goodness. In their interpretation of the tale, they move back and forth between internal and external issues – from how feminine and masculine parts of persons fit or do not fit together to how individuals conduct their lives with those of the same and opposite sexes, how they conflict, compete, or join harmoniously.
“The Cinderella tale, so simple and so profound, offers a direct road into and through the thickets of envying and being envied. Envy between sisters, between mothers and daughters, between the sexes, between nations . . . between different parts of our own psyche, even of God – these are the multiple places of wounding we touch in this book. The central role of envy in determining the very nature of our society – its politics, for example – is, we think, crucial.”
After considering this rarely discussed human emotion, the authors focus on the nature of goodness as it surfaces in the envy experience. They reflect on its abundance, ability to unite disparate parts, its abiding presence, and its joy, then conclude with a glossary of terms and a brief review of the psychological literature on envy.
How does the spirit come into clinical work? Through the analyst? In the analysand’s work in the analysis? What happens to human destructiveness if we embrace a vision of non-violence? Do dreams open us to spiritual life? What is the difference between repetition compulsion and ritual? How does religion feed terrorism? What happens if analysts must wrestle with hate in themselves? Do psychotherapy and spirituality compete, or contradict, or converse with each other? What does religion uniquely offer, beyond what psychoanalysis can do, to our surviving and thriving? This book abounds with such important questions and discussions of their answers.
Carl Jung is the foremost interpreter of the many interactions of religion, the world of the spiritual and psychological insight into human behaviors. In this book, one of the outstanding Jungian scholars of our time surveys Jung’s contributions to a whole series of issues, ranging from the political to the pedagogical to the inner life of a saint, Therese of Lisieux.
This eloquent work speaks of the centrality of imagination in the life of the spirit. Ann and Barry Ulanov describe the imagination as a bridge between the psyche and the spirit.
Using rich imagery drawn from literature, film, and their own experience as therapists, they unlock for us the healing power of our imagination.
"Imagination heals by building a bridge sturdy enough to link us up, each of us, to the river of being already present in us, to the currents flowing through us and among us in our unconscious life."
After describing this healing power of imagination, the authors go on to show how it is vital in the spiritual life: in preaching, prayer, teaching, counseling, and politics.
Ann Belford Ulanov submits that we have all painted our own pictures of God. Most of them were formed in early childhood and now lie buried in our unconscious selves. Even though we may be unaware of our images of God, they play an active, sometimes harmful role in our spiritual development.
Picturing God demonstrates the importance of confronting our unconscious selves and allowing our images of God – both positive and negative – to surface. Such inner exploration reveals not only relevant insights about ourselves, but also pulls us beyond our private pictures of God toward a truer view of the living God. Picturing God shows us how to explore our unconscious selves and how this spiritual exercise can change the whole of our lives: how we respond to God, how we relate to others, and how we view ourselves.