The Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel, Revised Edition

Fisher King Press
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In an era in which all seemed to dwell in the self-imposed solitary confinement of virtual reality, life in vitro behind the screen, the young take to the streets and gather in the squares. Attempting to break the bonds of oppressive regimes and cold-hearted mammonism, they have raised their voice across the globe, demanding freedom, solidarity, and justice. Will these voices persevere to withstand the strong, silencing forces of darkness, of ruthlessness and oppression? Will the Voice of Wisdom be listened to, so that we may "dwell safely, without fear of evil." (Prov. 1:33)

The Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel introduces a psychological perspective on the history, development, and myths of modern Israel.

The realization of Zionism relied on the pioneer, who revolted against the Way of the Father and sought spiritual redemption through the revival of Mother Earth in the ancient land. Myth and history, psyche and matter are constantly intertwined in the birth and development of Israel, for example when in the Declaration of Independence we are told that pioneers make deserts bloom, the text actually says they make spirits blossom.

Pioneer, guardsman and then warrior were admired hero-ideals. However, in the shadow of the hero and the guiding myths of revolt, redemption, strength and identity-change, are feelings of despair, doubt, weakness and fear. Within renewal, lurks the threat of annihilation.

Suppressed aspects of past and present myths, which linger in the shadow, are exposed. Psychological consequences of Israel's wars, from independence to the present war of terror, are explored on a personal note and from a psychoanalytic perspective. Shadow aspects of the conflicting guiding myths Peace and Greater Israel are examined, as well as mythical connections, such as between Jerusalem and the respective archetypal images of Wholeness and Satan.

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About the author

Erel Shalit, author and Jungian psychoanalyst, is the Academic Director of the Jungian Analytical Psychotherapy Program at Bar Ilan University. He is a member of the Council for Peace and Security. He has been Director of the Community Mental Health Clinic, Shalvata Psychiatric Center, and served as officer in the Medical Corps of the Israel Defense Forces. In addition to The Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel, Dr. Shalit is the author several books, including: The Cycle of Life: Themes and Tales of the Journey, Enemy, Cripple, Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path, The Complex: Path of Transformation from Archetype to Ego, and Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Fisher King Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2011
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781926715698
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Middle East / Israel & Palestine
Political Science / Terrorism
Psychology / Social Psychology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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"'Enemy Cripple & Beggar' provides an informed and thoughtful perspective concerning literary good and evil alongside society's norms and mores. An original work by Erel Shalit . . . a unique blend as a literary and psychology manual, making it highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library collections." —Midwest Book Review

"A fascinating journey into the Hero and the Shadow . . . a treasure for our times. Vital and applicable to both lay people and experts, the book flows seamlessly and spirally from scholarship, to textual interpretation, to case studies, and the analysis of dreams. Shalit draws on an impressive breadth of scholarship and myths/fairy tales, looking at both history and story.”—Joseph Madia, New Mystics

'Enemy, Cripple & Beggar' provides new thoughts and views on the concepts of Hero and Shadow, elaborating on mythological and psychological images. Myths and fairy tales explored include Perseus and Andersen's 'The Cripple.' You'll also enjoy the psychological deciphering of Biblical stories such as Amalek - The Wicked Warrior, Samson - The Impoverished Sun, and Jacob & the Divine Adversary. With the recent discovery of The Gospel of Judas, Dr. Shalit also delves into the symbolic relationship between Jesus and Judas Iscariot to illustrate the hero-function's inevitable need of a shadow. This Fisher King Press publication can be comfortably read by those interested in Analytical Psychology and by those interested in the interface between psychology and mythology, and psychology and religion. 

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE ECONOMIST

Winner of the Natan Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today
 
Not since Thomas L. Friedman’s groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family’s story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts: both personal and national, both deeply human and of profound historical dimension.
 
We meet Shavit’s great-grandfather, a British Zionist who in 1897 visited the Holy Land on a Thomas Cook tour and understood that it was the way of the future for his people; the idealist young farmer who bought land from his Arab neighbor in the 1920s to grow the Jaffa oranges that would create Palestine’s booming economy; the visionary youth group leader who, in the 1940s, transformed Masada from the neglected ruins of an extremist sect into a powerful symbol for Zionism; the Palestinian who as a young man in 1948 was driven with his family from his home during the expulsion from Lydda; the immigrant orphans of Europe’s Holocaust, who took on menial work and focused on raising their children to become the leaders of the new state; the pragmatic engineer who was instrumental in developing Israel’s nuclear program in the 1960s, in the only interview he ever gave; the zealous religious Zionists who started the settler movement in the 1970s; the dot-com entrepreneurs and young men and women behind Tel-Aviv’s booming club scene; and today’s architects of Israel’s foreign policy with Iran, whose nuclear threat looms ominously over the tiny country.

As it examines the complexities and contradictions of the Israeli condition, My Promised Land asks difficult but important questions: Why did Israel come to be? How did it come to be? Can Israel survive? Culminating with an analysis of the issues and threats that Israel is currently facing, My Promised Land uses the defining events of the past to shed new light on the present. The result is a landmark portrait of a small, vibrant country living on the edge, whose identity and presence play a crucial role in today’s global political landscape.

Praise for My Promised Land

“This book will sweep you up in its narrative force and not let go of you until it is done. [Shavit’s] accomplishment is so unlikely, so total . . . that it makes you believe anything is possible, even, God help us, peace in the Middle East.”—Simon Schama, Financial Times
 
“[A] must-read book.”—Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times
 
“Important and powerful . . . the least tendentious book about Israel I have ever read.”—Leon Wieseltier, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Spellbinding . . . Shavit’s prophetic voice carries lessons that all sides need to hear.”—The Economist
 
“One of the most nuanced and challenging books written on Israel in years.”—The Wall Street Journal
We don't have to read books to learn a great deal about guilt. It seeps in through our pores, our eyes and our ears. Not a word has to be spoken. We can remember that look we got from our elders and the shock waves of humiliation and pain that suffused our minds and bodies. It would have been easier and less painful if we could have learned it all by just reading. The reading comes later when we are trying to understand and comfort the pain.
A refreshingly unconventional look at the role of sin and guilt in our lives, Guilt with a Twist: The Promethean Way is the result of more than twenty years of thought and writing. It is also the result of many years of clinical work by a 78 year-old psychoanalyst who is still practicing. Lawrence Staples concludes that we must eat forbidden fruit and bear guilt if we are to grow and achieve our full potential. His unorthodox view has the potential not only to change the way we look at guilt but also to soften its effects and heal us.
The conventional view of guilt is that it helps us remain "good." It helps us resist doing things that would disturb or harm our individual and collective interests. This view of guilt has an important role in the maintenance of conventional life. Yet, the conventional view, important as it is, also creates an enormous problem. It can deter us from being "bad" when that is exactly what is needed. The contribution virtue can make to society must be acknowledged. There indeed are sins that are destructive; there also are sins that benefit. While the conventional view is part of the truth, it is not the whole truth. The meaning of sin and guilt is far more complicated.
"The art of life is the most distinguished and rarest of all the arts." -C.G. Jung, CW 8, par. 789.

The Cycle of Life explores the patterns that unfold over the course of our lives, as we set out to find our place in the world, in our efforts to live authentically, and in our search for home-that place within ourselves that can so easily be neglected or disregarded in this fast-paced modern world.

In the first half of life, the task of the young traveler is to depart from home, to adventure out into the world to find his or her own individual path. However, in the second half, we find ourselves on what often amounts to a very long journey in search of home. In many a tale, the hero, for instance Gilgamesh, sets off on his road to find life's elixir, while other stories, such as the Odyssey, revolve around the hero's long and arduous journey home. Many are also familiar with the journey of Dante, who at the very beginning of his Divine Comedy finds himself "Midway along the journey of our life.”

The archetypal journey of life is constantly reenacted in the never-ending process of individuation. We find ourselves returning to this venture repeatedly, every night, as we set out on our voyage into the landscape of our unconscious. Many dreams begin by being on the way, for instance: I am on my way to ... I am driving on a road that leads into the desert ... I am walking through one room after the other in a long corridor-like building ... I am walking towards my office, but it looks different than in reality ... I walk on the pavement and on the opposite side of the street someone seems to be following me ... I go down into an underground parking ... I am in my car, but someone I don't know is driving ... I have to go to the place from where I came ... 

"'Enemy Cripple & Beggar' provides an informed and thoughtful perspective concerning literary good and evil alongside society's norms and mores. An original work by Erel Shalit . . . a unique blend as a literary and psychology manual, making it highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library collections." —Midwest Book Review

"A fascinating journey into the Hero and the Shadow . . . a treasure for our times. Vital and applicable to both lay people and experts, the book flows seamlessly and spirally from scholarship, to textual interpretation, to case studies, and the analysis of dreams. Shalit draws on an impressive breadth of scholarship and myths/fairy tales, looking at both history and story.”—Joseph Madia, New Mystics

'Enemy, Cripple & Beggar' provides new thoughts and views on the concepts of Hero and Shadow, elaborating on mythological and psychological images. Myths and fairy tales explored include Perseus and Andersen's 'The Cripple.' You'll also enjoy the psychological deciphering of Biblical stories such as Amalek - The Wicked Warrior, Samson - The Impoverished Sun, and Jacob & the Divine Adversary. With the recent discovery of The Gospel of Judas, Dr. Shalit also delves into the symbolic relationship between Jesus and Judas Iscariot to illustrate the hero-function's inevitable need of a shadow. This Fisher King Press publication can be comfortably read by those interested in Analytical Psychology and by those interested in the interface between psychology and mythology, and psychology and religion. 

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