Marked by Fire: Stories of the Jungian Way is a collection that includes and illuminates the inner life. When Soul appeared to C.G. Jung and demanded he change his life, he opened himself to the powerful forces of the unconscious. He recorded his inner journey, his conversations with figures that appeared to him in vision and in dream in The Red Book. Although it would be years before The Red Book was published, much of what we now know as Jungian psychology began in those pages, when Jung allowed the irrational to assault him. That was a century ago. How do those of us who dedicate ourselves to Jung's psychology as analysts, teachers, writers respond to Soul's demands in our own lives? If we believe, with Jung, in "the reality of the psyche," how does that shape us? The articles in Marked By Fire portray direct experiences of the unconscious; they tell life stories about the fiery process of becoming ourselves. Contributors to this edition of the Fisher King Review include: Jerome Bernstein, Claire Douglas, Gilda Frantz, Jacqueline Gerson, Jean Kirsch, Chie Lee, Karlyn Ward, Henry Abramovitch, Sharon Heath, Dennis Patrick Slatterly, Robert Romanyshyn, Patricia Damery, and Naomi Ruth Lowinsky.
NAOMI RUTH LOWINSKY was born in California to Jewish parents who emigrated from Europe to escape persecution. Her childhood was spent in many landscapes: North Carolina, Italy, New York, New Jersey, back to California. She studied literature at the University of California at Berkeley and now writes poetry and prose, teaches psychology and creativity, and practices Jungian analysis. She is a member analyst of the San Francisco Jung Institute, where she teaches in the training program as well as in the public programs. She is Poetry and Fiction Editor for Psychological Perspectives, a magazine published by the Los Angeles Jung Institute, and reviews poetry for The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal. Her book, The Motherline: Every Woman's Journey to Find Her Female Roots, was published by Putnam in 1992. Her first poetry collection, red clay is talking, was published by Scarlet Tanager Books in 2000. A chapbook, a maze, was published by Modest Proposal in 2004. Her most recent collection is crimes of the dreamer, published by Scarlet Tanager Books in 2005.
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky offers us a superbly detailed investigation of the powerful, mythic forces of the world as they are revealed to the active creative self. Don't miss this enlightening and fascinating book. —David St. John, Author of 'Study for the World's Body: New and Selected Poems' and 'Prism.’
Naomi's poetry and prose is infused with the suffering and joys of humans everywhere. Insightful and deeply moving, she brings us the food and water of life. —Joan Chodorow, Author of 'Dance Therapy and Depth Psychology', editor of 'C.G. Jung on Active Imagination.’
A passionate love letter to those who yearn to be heard. A must read for every woman who longs to write poetry. —Maureen Murdock, Author of The Heroine's Journey and Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory.
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky reinterprets mythic and historical reality in provocative versions of the stories of Eurydice, Helen, Ruth, Naomi, and Sappho. The voice of The Sister from Below argues, cajoles, prods, explains, and yes, loves her human counterpart, and becomes the inspiration for Lowinsky's stunning poetry in this highly original book. —Betty de Shong Meador, Author of Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart and Princess, Priestess, Poet.
Who is She, this Sister from Below? She's certainly not about the ordinary business of life: work, shopping, making dinner. She speaks from other realms. If you'll allow, She'll whisper in your ear, lead your thoughts astray, fill you with strange yearnings, get you hot and bothered, send you off on some wild goose chase of a daydream, eat up hours of your time. She's a siren, a seductress, a shapeshifter . . . Why listen to such a troublemaker? Because She is essential to the creative process: She holds the keys to the doors of our imaginations and deeper life the evolution of Soul.
The Sister emerges out of reverie, dream, a fleeting memory, a difficult emotion--she is the moment of inspiration--the muse. Naomi Ruth Lowinsky writes of nine manifestations in which the muse visits her, stirring up creative ferment, filling her with ghosts, mysteries, erotic teachings, the old religion--bringing forth her voice as a poet. Among these forms of the muse are the "Sister from Below," the inner poet who has spoken for the soul since language began. The muse also appears as the ghost of a grandmother Naomi never met, who died in the Shoah--a grandmother with 'unfinished business.' She visits in the form of Old Mother India, whose culture Naomi visited as a young woman. She cracks open her Western mind, flooding her with many gods and goddesses. She appears as Sappho, the great lyric poet of the ancient world, who engages her in a lovely midlife fantasy. She comes as "Die ur Naomi," an old woman from the biblical story for which Naomi was named, who insists on telling Her version of the Book of Ruth. And in the end, surprisingly, the muse appears in the form of a man, a long dead poet whom Naomi loved in her youth.
The Sister from Below is a personal story, yet universal, of giving up a creative calling because of life's obligations, and being called back to it in later life. This Fisher King Press publication describes the intricate patterns of a rich inner life; it is a traveler's memoir, with outer journeys to Italy, India and a Neolithic cave in Bulgaria, and inward journeys to biblical Canaan and Sappho's Greece; it is filled with mythic experience, a poet's story told. The Sister conveys the lived experience of the creative life, a life in which active imagination--the Jungian technique of engaging with inner figures--is an essential practice.
The Sister speaks to all those who want to cultivate an unlived promise, those on a spiritual path, those who are filled with the urgency of poems that have to be written, paintings that must be painted, journeys that yearn to be taken...