Artist's block and lover's block flow from the same pool. Often, we fear deeply the very thing needed to create original art, to experience intimate relationships and to live authentic lives: we are frightened by the impulse to be fully revealed to ourselves, and to others, as this most often entails exposing the unacceptable shadowy aspects of our humanity and risking rejection.
Mirrors in all their manifold guises permit us to safely see and experience ourselves in reflection and become better acquainted with the rejected, ostracized aspects of our personalities. Creative work is one of the few places where we can truly express and witness lost aspects of our authentic selves.
Within us a treasure beckons. This is what we spend our lives pursuing. What slows and distracts us is not the object we long for, but where we search. To find this precious gem, we must eventually return to our own creative spirits.
Lawrence Staples has a Ph.D. in psychology; his special areas of interest are the problems of midlife, guilt, and creativity. Dr. Staples is a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich, Switzerland, and also holds AB and MBA degrees from Harvard. In addition to The Creative Soul: Art and the Quest for Wholeness, Lawrence is author of the popular book Guilt with a Twist: The Promethean Way.
"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.
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi ("the leading researcher into ‘flow states’" —Newsweek) demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.
"Explores a happy state of mind called flow, the feeling of complete engagement in a creative or playful activity." —Time
For those who know how to interpret them, our creative fingerprints are as unerring as our physical fingerprints in identifying us. Our creations are self-portraits. We cannot escape ourselves no matter how hard we may try. In all art, there is an underlying voice that cannot be completely hidden or extinguished. In the end, our creative work can reflect only one thing: ourselves.
Topics explored in Our Creative Fingerprint include: Creativity and Inner Truth—part of which examines seven paintings by Frida Kahlo, Divine Discontent: The Inner Urge to Create, Transformation: Cleaning Our Psychic Augean Stables, and Creativity and Rebirth.