From Procrustes to Proteus: Disempowerment, Actualization, and Empowerment

Allan Cooperstein, Ph.D. (author of The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy at Amazon)(Unpublished Manuscript)

Stasis, Creativity and Personal Evolution

The excessive demands of today’s society exact a heavy toll on the individual in terms of increased stress and the need to make rapid, constant adjustments to changing personal, economic, social, and political conditions. More than ever before the needs to incorporate and process information, to make hurried decisions, to live a pressured, harried lifestyle have escalated. Stress has become a catchword on the lips of many and has figured into the dramatic increase in the use of minor tranquilizers. The upcropping of tension-reduction therapies and stress-management workshops, the growing interest in biofeedback, yoga, and meditation testify to the rising need, for those living in western society, for adjustment to ever-accelerating demands made upon them in their daily routine of living.

As we attempt to adapt and survive within fast-paced social, business, professional and personal life areas, many have become aware of the detrimental physical and psychological effects of their tremulous  existences and have sought some means of escape from their hectic pace to the point of sacrificing established careers, or life-paradigms. “Dropping out” was, at one time, more a phenomenon to be found among the youth of the Sixties. Today, it can be seen occurring in established, middle­-aged individuals, some having abandoned a former lifestyle entirely in order to execute dramatic career changes. In some cases, secure and lucrative situations are left behind in order to seek out a more satisfying, simplified and less stressful adaptation to life.

What are some of the factors involved in this evolving social and psychological change? What is it that many are running from…and what are they moving toward? Why should it be that the “American Dream” of material success, financial security and professional achievement is, for a growing number of individuals, a unidimensional and shallow form of being?

Elgin, in “The Third American Frontier: the Evolution of Consciousness and the Transformation of Society”(1977) aptly describes the social change as “..a frontier of social and individual change… It is the frontier of the person exploring, in community with others, the next stage of human possibility.”(p.234). Among the goals needed in this transition, he calls for a “..self­ realization ethic that asserts that our proper goal is the evolution­ary development of our fullest human potential.” Elgin cites, as three basic features of contemporary living, increased stress associated with social change, our living environments and decision-making environments. Finally, he says “To become an able decision maker within such complex supersystems requires the processing of ever-greater amounts of information, faster learning and relearning of new skills, and increasing creativity to deal with novel situations.”(p.237).

This paper is focused on an understanding of creativity (and its loss) within the individual. It is not my intent to explore or analyze the dynamics of the creative process itself in any great detail. More in-depth excursions can be found in such works as The Nature of Human Intelligence ( Guilford , 1967), Stimulating Creativity (Stein, 1974), The Creative Process (Ghiselin, 1952), Creative Person and Creative Process (Barron,1969) and The Act of Creation(Koestler,1964). I would rather lay a founda­tion based upon the â priori assumption that all individuals possess creativity to a greater or lesser degree and the matrix of factors which make up creative functioning, whether manifested in one’s personal or vocational life, and is subject to intrapsychic and socially-imposed limitations.

“Normal” Adjustment and the Loss of Self

The diminution or loss of creative functioning and the petrification of personal and professional evolution are phenomena commonly associated with the advent of middle age. However, it is not restricted to that period. For that reason we might question whether creative stasis is somehow related to a “normal” social­ psychological process.

It is significant that Maslow (1968) suggests that normal adjustment “..implies a continued successful rejection of much of the depths of human nature, both conative and cognitive. To adjust well to the world of reality means a splitting of the person” (p.142, italics added). In his view, Maslow asserts that the so-called normalcy of societal adjustment involves elements of defense: defense against seeing too much or too little; defense against presenting one’s self as too liberal or too radical; defense against the emotions and thoughts that would lead from a position of seeming security (and stagnation) to a more vital, novel, yet threateningly insecure set of new environmental demands. A pernicious, flattening adjustment is called for, a procrustean bed upon which not only aspects of the self are lopped off but, in the service of security, the victim willingly participates in a self-inflicted deindividuation.

In Creativity – The magic Synthesis, Arieti (1976) considers the appearance and disappearance of creativity during the average life. He says:

At a certain time in the life of many individuals, generally toward
the middle years but at times as early as the middle twenties, a
sense of discouragement prevails. The individual feels he will
never be able to create. He must give up. Often, on closer
examination, we recognize that persons of this type have been
handicapped by a grandiose image of themselves… Early in life
they conceived of a grandiose self that would live up to great
ambitions and expectations… with the passage of time the person
realizes that he will not accomplish these great deeds: he then
considers himself a failure, and lives the rest of his days in a state
of renunciation (p. 380).

Although I agree with Arieti (and the homage he pays to Karen Horney’s concepts of the “Ideal Self” versus the “Actual Self”), the general pattern described by his statement calls for qualification. There is a pathological aura in his use of the term “grandiose”. This word connotes deviant levels of inflated and possibly delusional goals. The hopes, dreams and aspirations of youth are quite normal. However, bruised and abraded by personal, social and, most importantly, educational “realities socially-sanctioned limitations erode earlier targets for achievement. The anxiety-based need to adapt to consensually defined “normal” existence for the sake of acceptance and security supplants earlier desires. Risks considered worth taking as a youth are pushed aside with greater and greater conformity to the prevailing societal norms with a growing loss of zeal or passion for life.

Bühler and Allen (1972) seem to touch upon the deeply emotional aspect of, and struggle towards, creativity: “The ecstasy of creative vision and creative struggle is the only one comparable to the ecstasy of orgasmic love” (p.48). They (Ibid. p. 48) describe four basic tendencies in life which, upon closer examination, provide an interesting construct to consider: “(1) the tendency to strive for personal satisfaction in sex, love, ego recognition; (2) the tendency toward self-limiting adaption for the purpose of fitting in, belonging, and gaining security; (3) the tendency toward self-expression and creative accomplishments, and (4) the tendency toward integration or order-upholding.” Clearly, these authors do notsubscribe to a simplified Freudian notion of creativity as drive-reducing and reactive in order to maintain homeostasis. Instead, they address themselves to the notion of the individual as a proactive, striving entity, attempting to tread the midline between assertive actions directed towards the satisfaction of personal (physical and psychological) and self- expressive (creative) needs while attempting to adapt (conform, gain security) and uphold order (build and maintain structure).

These need sets are often treated as dichotomous and mutually exclusive: the individual either gratifies their needs for growth and expression or their needs for conformity and conservation. I would suggest that, much like the Piagetian concepts of accommodation and assimilation, both processes are operative reciprocally throughout childhood and adolescence. Upon entering adulthood however, the shift is dramatically towards the conservative end of the spectrum, accompanied by a loss of degrees of freedom, and a diminished capacity to adapt to novel situations.

Viewing the Bühler-Allen polarity from another perspective, Maslow(1968) refers to deficiency needs (D-needs) and growth or becoming needs (B-needs), indicating that we must “..become more fully aware of the fixative and regressive power of ungratified deficiency-needs, of the attractions of safety and security, of the functions of defense and protection against pain, fear, loss, and threat, of the need for courage in order to grow ahead” (p. 46). Further, he claims “We grow forward when the delights of growth and anxieties of safety are greater than the anxieties of growth and the delights of safety” (Ibid. p.47). For Maslow, heavily influenced by Kurt Goldstein’s work with the brain-injured, the individual struggles against the simultaneous, oppositional pulls of safety (decreased risk) and growth (increased risk). It is a struggle for authenticity as man “..not only transcends himself in various ways; he also transcends his culture. He resists enculturation. He becomes more detached from his culture and from his society” (Maslow, Ibid.,p.12).

The resulting growth vector stemming from the resolution or integration of oppositions is reminiscent of the Freudian struggle between the demands of the id against the limits of reality, causing a coping structure-the ego–to evolve. Yet within a humanistic framework, another dimension, the dimension of Self (the inner, core being versus the socially-formed self), must be considered. The two lines of thought interrelate by virtue of the struggle necessary for the birth of creative self­ evolution. The pain, insecurity, joy and power are part of a process necessary in freeing one’s being from the created consensually- approved self one has created in order to move towards the new form that one may yet become. May (1972), says that “Being is manifested only in the process of actualizing its power; otherwise how could we even be aware of it, let alone know its ramifications: Power becomes actualized in those situations in which opposition is overcome” (p.144). May seems to imply that power is the focused means through which the creativity of one’s essential being effects personal, interpersonal, and environmental changes, creating (or recreating) one’s own reality as a reflection of the actualizing self. That power–and its direction–makes manifest, through Being the unmanifest creative potential which is part of the process of Becoming. And with each manifestation there is an affirmation of the self being born into existence.

Without resolution of the oppositions, without giving vent to the inner pressures to grow in some actual, change-oriented way, tensions can only mount and seek negative expression through emotional reactions or as psychosomatic distress. Complaints of anxiety and depression are quite common in our society although those who report such symptoms may often not understand why they are experiencing them.

With a strong procrustean pull towards enculturation through conformity to social expectations on the one hand, what lies at the other pole as a counterforce? How is one to seek the Self that was lost or laid aside in countless instances of self-submergence in order to reclaim the creative birthright that was once its own?

Br’er Rabbit and the Myth of Proteus

Lifton (1972) identifies the counterforces and offers a suggestion for their resolution:

One response is to break open one’s life psychologically, to
engage in extensive experimentation in one’s living patterns. This
response produces what I call “protean man”, recalling the figure
of Proteus in Greek mythology, who was able to change his shape
with relative ease–we see in the protean style an interminable
series of experiments and explorations, some shallow, some
profound–abandoned in favor of still newer psychological
guests. This fluid identification to identification, whether with
people or ideas or groups or communities, seems to be less
painful, less difficult for people now (especially the young) than it
would have been for earlier generations. It is not completely
painless, however, since it is also characterized by new, more
vague, forms of guilt and anxiety protean man often feels anxious
but is not sure of the source of the anxiety” (pp. 80-81).

Lifton’s proposal appears to have much validity. For many, their life-paradigm, the silent ground or backdrop against which their life is played out has lost its meaning or value. Many of the motives that contributed towards their current existence have slipped beneath the surface of awareness leaving be­hind a slick of vague dissatisfaction, shifting, low-level resent­ments and diffuse feelings of constraint. There is however, a positive side to the emotional distress. The existence of symptoms are, in fact, “signals” which, according to Flach (1975),are a precursor to insight into the condition(s) which led to the upheaval. He refers to depression as “..a common prelude to the creative moment.”(p.9). It is as if subconscious (or preconscious) currents are converging, shifting, seeking some route to conscious awareness and expression. Although options for a protean approach to life are unseen, the need is making its presence felt.

Lifton’s suggestion, i.e. to “break open” one’s life psychologically, sounds somewhat rash and abrupt. Much as I agree that a shift from the procrustean to the protean pole is called for—even in the “normally adjusted”—consideration must be given to those intrapsychic and social support factors that maintain the individual, albeit unhappily, as he or she may be. Awareness of these defenses provide some degree of insight into how the person has elected to defend against environmental threats as well as those originating from within.

Elucidating an existential point of view, Rychlak (1973) states that for Medard Boss, “..’defense’ means that the individual is unwilling to become aware of a certain world-relationship which is under lumination. The more he tries to defend himself against this lumination, however, the more certain that the indi­vidual will adhere to it, be involved with it, and become unable to free himself from its import. He really cannot escape it through defensive maneuvers and in no case can he ‘hide’ his real character from its world oneness”(p. 458). The description finds an eloquent parallel in the story of “Br’er Rabbit and the Tar Baby” in which the rabbit’s initially frustrating contacts with the misperceived and misunderstood object cause an ever-increasing entanglement that finally engulfs him through his angry attempts to pull free.

In a related way, the individual seeking “lamination” engages aspects of himself, long forgotten or never before realized. Experiencing this in the Now, these aspects could be perceived as ego-dystonic (not belonging to one’s self), as if they were alien, frightening, and beyond control. Consequently, by procrustean standards, they must be excised. To do so, however, means to defend against awareness of these newly emerging possibilities for the Self, and it is through the use of such defenses that the fixation and regression (mentioned earlier by Maslow), occur.

The nature of these defenses and their origin merits some attention. Although their use indicates that a “Me – Not me” choice has been made, it is naive to assume that they derive purely from an inherent psychogenic origin.

Wilhelm Reich and the Protean Shift 

Among early theorists, Wilhelm Reich (1972) offers rather interesting concepts bearing upon the origin and nature of defenses. Although once a student under Freud in the classic psychoanalytical tradition, Reich was an innovator who was not only keenly sensitive to the shortcomings of analysis as practiced by Freud, but a social critic and political activist as well. Of primary interest here is his remarkable awareness that, although one may have forgotten, repressed or suppressed innumerable compromises of the Self, the character would still maintain a record of events and the tolls paid for adjustment. Etched on, or molded into, the ego (self) would be the fossilized remnants of one’s capitulations to the demands of society.

Basing his fundamentals of character analysis heavily upon a Freudian anlage, or foundational principle, Reich (1972) says of the ego’s struggle as a buffer between primordial id impulses and the environment:

..the ego, in its efforts to mediate between the inimical parties for the purposes of survival, introjects the suppressive objects of the outer world, as a matter
of fact, precisely those objects which frustrate the id’s pleasure principle, and retains them as moral ar­biters, as the superego. Hence, the mortality of the ego… is an alien component borrowed from the intrud­ing and menacing outer world.” (p. 170).

Further, Reich says it is “…as if the affective personality put on armor, a rigid shell on which knocks from the outer world as well as the inner demands rebound,” (Edwards, 1977, p. 45). Finally, Nagler (1967) comments that Reich conceived of the defenses taking on “..an automatic mode of reaction,…a rigidity which produces a loss in psychic and physical elasticity.(p.379).

Reich postulates that the polar conflict remains as an internalized constituent of the psyche and may even find expression in the physical structure of the individual. However, he is strongly emphasizing the role of society and its repressive as­pects as the major contributor of causes in the development of defenses and their incorporation within a “character armor.” This armoring may then be seen as “..the crystallization of the socio­logical process of a given epoch.” (Ibid. p. 379)

Questionable as many of his concepts may be (especially in the latter phases of his life), Reich’s attentiveness to the ground of the therapeutic encounter, the nonverbal gestures, mannerisms, muscular tensions, posture, added significantly to a more holistic appreciation of the individual,  no longer seen as merely a symptom-generating mechanism. His humanistic leanings are described by Rycroft (1972) who states:

Reich’s advocacy of character analysis in addition or in preference to symptom analysis and dream interpretation also contributed to the realization that the therapeutic effect of psychotherapy derive not from the unearthing of traumatic memories or from the correct interpretation of dreams and symptoms but from the nature of the relationship which develops between analyst and patient… Reich opened up the possibility of discovering what really goes on between them and contributed significantly to the idea that psychotherapy really consists in a confrontation or an encounter between two real, live people. As a result, his work constitutes a formative though not always acknowledged influence … on the existentialist, contractual, and ‘encounter’ schools of psychotherapy” (p. 24).

I suspect that here, based on a Reichian foundation–although Reich was not, per se, a creativity theorist–the beginnings of the protean shift takes place. In the confrontation between therapist and client, the individual comes face-to-face with a mirror reflecting back the self he has constructed to meet past needs to adapt. Most significantly, he is encountering a representative from that society whose implicit norms and expectations have become anachronistic psychological introjects. It is in this therapeutic meeting, that a feedback loop will finally be closed, permitting the client to become aware of his own defenses and the obstructions to growth. Further, with a resolve to break free of the pupae-like casing comes the inevitable anxiety of growth into a world that the client alone must create; a world consisting of a philosophy within which levels—rather than a singularity–of consciousness exist, where creativity is valued, where a sense of universalism is to be found.

I would like to speculate for a moment on one of the questionable fundamentals of Reichian analysis and its theoretical implications in relation to the reclamation of creative functioning in the evolving protean individual: the significance of orgasm. Essentially, Reich took the position that societal introjects were largely responsible for the proliferation of neuroses and character aberrations through attempts made by the individual to stave off expression of impulses considered by Reich to be, in the main, sexual and related to Oedipal conflicts. Thus, at the root of all neuroses Reich identified the controls imposed upon sexual expression.

As a physician, Reich tried to link the psychological to the biological and, in a manner of speaking, succeeded. His failure, however, lay chiefly in not recognizing that sexuality was one crude form of a procreative or creative process. Narrowly centered only upon sexual expression and biased by Freud’s influence, the Spirit of the Times and, perhaps neurosis, he seems to have overlooked basic, biological data that would have diffused the sexual emphasis and subsumed it within a greater, more acceptable and productive gestalt.

First, sexuality is founded upon an openness to the reception of and reaction to sensual stimuli. Second, the capacity of an individual to respond spontaneously is a function of the degree of their inhibitions, or the absence of them. Finally, orgasmic capacity is largely reflexive; presence of cognitive or emotional inhibitions can obstruct or block orgasm. Sexuality can be used as an index of one form of disinhibition, for the natural, loving, spontaneous, playful elements of sex are in some ways qualitatively linked to creativity. It is this qualitative similarity that Bühler and Allen (1972) address when they compare the “ecstasy of creative struggle” with the “ecstasy of orgasmic love.”

Once sensitized and accepting of the defenses used to stabilize the world, to ward off environmental or intrapsychic threats to stability, there then comes the need to understand, respect and differentiate (with some degree of discrimination) among the types of consciousness one habitually uses or avoids.

Carl Jung: Further Evolution towards Healing, Holism and Consciousness

Carl Jung (1970) draws from medicine, biology, psychology, history, anthropology, mythology and other esoteric areas in order to syn­thesize a unique topography and set of dynamics of consciousness in an “open” system with transpersonal potential. Jung considered consciousness to be the “tip of the iceberg” with the average person being capable of only a limited, conscious awareness. Beneath, were layers of unconscious materials. He used dream analysis, word association and active imaginations as the mediums through which the mute unconscious could make itself heard, firmly asserting that the unconscious processes could only be inferred only indirectly.

Jung’s therapeutic process normally consisted of three phases. After establishing a face-to-face dialectical process calling for spontaneity and involvement between therapist and patient, the phase of Catharsis is begun. In this phase, the emotionally-charged and problematic elements are revealed. The second phase—Elucidation–calls for the therapist to interpret past behaviors and deal with issues of positive and negative transference. It is in this phase that, in agreement with Reich’s character analytic approach, the therapist is truly dealt with as a representative of the social system from which the client comes. It is during this phase that the frustrating or gratifying aspects of society will be reflexively projected onto the therapist and the client will react to the image and set of expectations he has himself created. Here, Jung’s Personal Unconscious material surfaces, exposing the exemplars upon which the individual has based his existence. Education is the third phase, calling upon the client to utilize his newly acquired awarenesses in a valuing way to re­construct, by conscious choice, the direction to be pursued or the self-actualizing direction to be sought after.

It seems clear that, in gaining awareness of his many compromises of Self, in the free interpersonal relationship between therapist and client and in their joint search for the basic underpinnings of the client’s life, that an opportunity is made available for the client to be himself, to provide as authentic a presence as is possible. In being one’s Self and finding acceptance with at least one other significant person, comes the freedom to entertain other potential selves; larger gestalts of being in the world springing from the positive ground of the therapeutic relationship. It becomes part of a protean shift.

For Jung, psychotherapy is a growth-oriented process. Flach (1975) states that “..the goal of Jungian psychotherapy centers on the development of a new equilibrium among a variety of inner psychological forces, especially “archetypal” sources’ which are viewed as the fundamental wellsprings of creative human endeavor” (p. 3). It seems that with the freeing-up of the individual with the gradual disengagement from the matrix of conventions, there is a release of “..creative energy… in forms which society normally considers creative” (Ibid. p. 3). Whether such creative expression is in the arts or sciences is beside the point. What is most significant is that human potential has been released for expression through acts of will and power in those forms inherently meaningful and specific to the individual.

To contemplate the “archetypal sources” mentioned by Flach it is necessary to consider three overall elements of Jung’s topography of consciousness in a highly simplified format.

Fig. 1 Simplified model of Jung’s topography of consciousness*

Unlike Freud, Jung believed that the unconscious was largely accessible to consciousness. However, he discriminated between the Personal Unconscious and the Collective Unconscious. The Personal Unconscious “..is that part of the psyche containing all the things that could just as well be conscious” (Jung, 1970, p. 48). This repository of preconscious data contains “..recognizable material of a definitely personal origin; these contents are individual acquisitions or products of instinctive processes that make up the personality as a whole. Furthermore, there are forgotten or repressed contents, and creative contents” (Ibid. p. 40).

The Personal Unconscious represented the dusty archives of one’s personal history. Contents range from easily accessible, neutral unconscious data–such as the shoe one habitually puts on first in the morning–to the locked and guarded files on perceived defects in one’s own character, shameful or immoral self-incriminating acts or fantasies. It is within the Personal Unconscious that we not only defend ourselves from our own thoughts and feelings, but also where we store the introjects of society–the watcher at the gate of awareness–used to inhibit inappropriate’ behavior and prevent further additions to the negatively-tinged aspects of our personal chronicles. The Personal Unconscious is also the factory for the creation of the Persona; the masks donned to present the best face forward while hiding from others those aspects of ourselves considered unacceptable.

The creative aspect of the Personal Unconscious is the capacity to weaken the fixed quality of “objective” reality and permit creative recombinations of elements. Too great a conforming attachment to what seems “real”, too strong a clinging to the external world through an intense out­ward focus (or sustained perceptual vigilance) diminishes the capacity for psychic elasticity which would permit a multi-dimensional capability to view one’s self or one’s life.

One of Jung’s most significant contributions is his recognition of the area lying beneath the Personal Unconscious, i.e. the Collective Unconscious. He describes this “space” as having “..another class of contents of definitely unknown origin, or events of an origin which cannot be ascribed to individual acquisition”(Ibid.p.40). The Collective Unconscious is objective, impersonal, and can only express itself through the media available within the Personal Unconscious: talents, skills, etc. Consequently, its productions are subject to alterations of psychic origin: repression, suppression and defensive distortions, especially in view of the alien qualities which would possibly be rejected as “not-me”, or ego-dystonic. It is through mythological or allegorical characters and symbols that the Collective Unconscious makes its presence known. These are universal in their appearance (in various guises) throughout all cultures. Such universal symbols are the archetypes, referred to above by Flach.

Archetypes: Instincts, Obsession and the Introduction of an Energy Concept

Whitmont (1967) describes archetypes as virtually “..â priori energy field configurations which express themselves in typical representational images and in typical human emotion and behavior patterns. They are analogous to instinctual patterns observed in animal behavior. All psychic energy is channeled and directed into these basic forms of experience, behavior and emotion. Thus, the archetypes constitute the predispositions of the psyche, or the basic motivations and drives around which the conscious personality will subsequently organize itself” (p.368).

The concepts of archetypes and archetypal energy are intrinsically mysterious by virtue of the suggestion of a quasi-instinctual center of energy surrounded by “complexes” which result from conditioning. The complexes, universal “seeds” of fundamental perceptual-drive organization, seem to predispose us to perceive reality within certain limits, although there remains much room for variation due to genetic, personality, intellectual, cultural and social differences. In addition, the energizing aspects of the archetypes should then bias us towards selecting out certain aspects of our world which would be “felt” as being more meaningful than other aspects, thereby providing a form of “inner guidance system”. By “charging” us, we are motivated toward performing certain deeds that do not seem to make sense; attempting release/express the “archetypal pressure” from within, sometimes as actions, sometimes as externalized forms.

Such an archetypal drive would resemble the disturbed reality of Roy Neary, the electrician in the motion picture “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. Following an encounter with a UFO,  Neary became obsessed with the need to express a psychic form which he could not help but project onto the quasi-homogenous perceptual fields of amorphous materials, such as shaving cream and mashed potatoes. He attempted to shape and model the three-dimensional form of his unexpressed concept, failing, but nonetheless doggedly contemplating his aborted products saying “This is important. This means something.”

Whitmont addresses just such an experience, indicating “If the conscious ego cannot translate the archetypal expressions symbolically, their meanings will not be accessible, and the ego cannot relate to them in a way which will utilize the energy creatively… if the archetypes are denied, then compulsive, obsessive patterns will develop which in their extreme forms become psychotic” (Ibid.p.368). This is complemented by Stein’s(1975) descriptive comments: “At the start of the creative process the individual experiences a state of disequilibrium. His psychological condition is marked by disturbed homeostatic-tension arising from a lack of closure and a lack of emotional satisfaction with the existing state of affairs… The creative process, therefore, may start as an active or reactive process” (p.3-4).

For the character of Neary, the process was initially active, then reactive. The UFO encounter initially upset his view of the world. Then, the experience seemed to connect with an element in his archetypal substratum, triggering a process that threw him into a state of increasing disequilibrium, powerfully driving him forward towards some concrete form of expression. Only when there was a matching of the external form with the inner, archetypal force seeking expression could he rest. The significant meaning originating within found, in its external isomorph, the means to release the pressure.

It is only a small stretch of the imagination to apply the same principle to schizophrenic behavior. In the face of a disorganized ego structure, archetypal material cannot either be translated by the Personal Unconscious or transformed into some externally manifested phenomenon. Incongruities arise between projected archetypal symbols and external experience which cause the individual to appear as delusional, hallucinatory, grandiose, etc., for there is no coherent, organized, synthesizing pathway from the Collective Unconscious to consciousness to the external world. The schizophrenic is left in a perennial limbo, unable to find (or sustain) a meaningful existence. Jung touches upon this when he states, “If the archetypal situation underlying the illness can be expressed in the right way the patient is cured. If no adequate expression is found, the individual is thrown back upon himself, into the isolation of being ill; he is alone and has no connection with the world” (Jung, 1970,p.116).

Considering the brief review of Jung’s humanistic and transpersonal psychology, can we acknowledge the presence of a Collective Unconscious in our protean individual? May we relate the word “inspiration” to the archetypal influences that tug at our consciousness, first requesting change and later demanding it?

A Summing Up

I have tried here to bring together a variety of concepts centering about the individual’s need to grow, to evolve, to create one’s Self and one’s world. This brief odyssey has touched upon humanistic and transpersonal views and methodologies directed towards some understanding of a fundamental need to actualize and express the fullest human potential, both individual and social. Many of these same principles are found in other theorists and therapists, although clothed somewhat differently. Carl Rogers, for example, calls for an “openness to experience”, an inner locus of evaluation and the ability to freely and playfully rearrange elements and concepts. His definition of the creative process is “..      the emergence in action of a novel relational product, growing out of the individual on the one hand, and the materials, events, people, or circumstances of life on the other” (Rogers,1961, p.350).  Rogers’ belief, that “..the mainspring of creativity seems to be the same tendency which we discover so deeply as the curative force in psychotherapy–man’s tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities” (Ibid.p.351, italics added).

Rogers asks for both the acceptance of the need to change and the acceptance of new conditions (positive and negative), the courage to alter existing conditions in a playful, experimental manner and decisions based not upon consensual standards, but centered within the core of one’s being as one seeks to construct a world congruent with their need for Self-expression. Without the centeredness as our locus of evaluation, as May (1975) indicates, “..we would feel ourselves to be in a vacuum. The ’emptiness’ within corresponds to an apathy without; and apathy adds up… to cowardice. That is why we must always base our commitment on the center of our own being, or else no commitment will be ultimately authentic”(p.13).

May calls for “perceptual courage” and “creative courage”, daring to see and to change what is seen, and that this will, in turn, lead towards “..the discovery of new forms, new symbols, new patterns on which a new society can be built.” (Ibid. p.21).

Perhaps Freud’s metaphysical life and death instincts of Eros (self-preservation, pleasure, love, creativity) and Thanatos (destruction, death, anhedonia) were noumenal expressions of insight acquired during his final days; that he had come to realize the essential polarity of humankind in the forms of either the procrustean death of the Self through surrender to conformity and the stasis of security, or the forceful, self-actualizing and creative struggle of the protean individual. seeking to create and recreate the world–and himself–through the joys and pains of creative transformation.

References

Arieti, S. Creativity the magic synthesis. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1976.

Barron, F. Creative person and creative process. New York: Holt, Reinhart & Winston, 1969.

Bühler, C. and Allen, M. Introduction to humanistic psychology. Monterey: Brooks/ColePublishing Co. , 1972.

Edwards, P. The greatness of Wilhelm Reich. In C. A. Garfield (Ed.) Rediscovery of the body.New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1977.

Elgin , D. The third American frontier: the evolution of consciousness and the transformation of society. In B. McWaters (Ed.) Humanistic perspectives: current trends in psychology.Monterey: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co., 1977.

Flach, F. The creative process in psychiatry. New York: Geigy Pharmaceuticals, 1975.

Ghiselin, B. (Ed.) The creative process. New York: Mentor, 1955.

Guilford, J. F. The nature of human intelligence. New York: McGraw­Hill, 1967.

Jung, C. Analytical psychology. New York: Vintage Books, 1970.

Koestler, A. The act of creation. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1975.

Lifton, R. J. Psychological man in revolution: the struggle for communal resymbolization. In G.F. Coelho, E. A. Rubenstein, & E. Stillman (Eds.) Social change and human behavior. (U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and ;welfare Publication No.(HSM) 72-9122.) Washington,

D.C.: U.S. Government Printing office, 1972.

Maslow, A. Toward a psychology of being. New York: Van Nostrand Co., 1968.

May, R. The courage to create. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1975.

May, R. Power and innocence. New York: Delta, 1972.

Nagler, S. H. Wilhelm Reich. In A.T. Freedman (Ed.) Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry.Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Co., 1967.

Reich, W. Character Analysis. New York: Touchstone, 1972.

Rogers, C. On becoming a person. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1961.

Rychlak, J. F. Introduction to personality and psychotherapy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1973.

Rycroft, C. Wilhelm Reich. New York: Viking Press, 1971.

Stein, M. I. Stimulating creativity (Vol.1). New York: Academic Press, 1974.

Whitmont, E. Carl Jung. In A. M. Freedman (Ed.) Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry.Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Co., 1967.

Note: Figure rendering thanks to Wynja Web Development: wynja.com

 

The Mind of Stefan Dürr: The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy

Kindle Countdown Deal: https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Stefan-D%C3%BCrr-Syndrome-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B06ZYPCBL4/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=The+Mind+of+Stefan+D%C3%BCrr&qid=1571002420&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

Friday, October 18, 2019, 8:00 AM PDT to Friday, October 25, 2019, 12:00 AM PDT

A mind research experiment studying human consciousness goes horrifyingly wrong. Thousands are killed when a Russian suburb is mysteriously destroyed, leaving a mile-deep crater in its place. At the same time, a U.S. space shuttle vaporizes in orbit, and a Canadian mountaintop is ripped away. One thing lies behind it all: The mind of Stefan Dürr. Existence is dreary hell for Dr. Beau Walker. An embittered loner, he sleepwalks through life until the government virtually kidnaps him, hurling him into an incredibly menacing adventure beyond his wildest imaginings. Coerced into joining a U.S./Russian scientific team, Beau searches for the cause of the disasters. Beginning with a treacherous, life-threatening exploration of the anomalous crater, where scientific laws don’t seem to apply, he’s thrown into a world of unimaginable advanced biotechnology, biowarfare, genetics, paranormal research, and military intrigue. The stakes are inconceivably high: Find and control the cause…or face worldwide annihilation.

Are you a 7th Grade reader?: Perspectives on The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy

The problem with reviews, whether on Amazon, Goodreads, or Yelp, is that they are unreliable. A wonderful restaurant is degraded because the service was too slow or the reviewer didn’t like the waiter’s expression. The subjectivity taints the report and it does about the food, but other things (“I didn’t like the decor.”

Now, knowledgeable readers are familiar with Kirkus, Portland, Midwest, and San Francisco Book Reviews. Their staffs are professional critics who read for story, writing skills, and to be transported into the world of the novel. Not all submissions are reviewed. Here are some examples:

–Brian Allen, Editor of Phenomena Magazine, says, “Anyone who has seen the film ‘Lucy’ will get the idea, but more so… [This] is an absolute thrill ride of a book that is almost impossible to put down.” 

–Kirkus Review–“an exuberant and involving read,” 

–Portland Book Review–“having the right amount of adventure and romance, this crisscrossing genre tale isn’t just a good read, but may also look great on a big screen,”

–Self-Publishing Review–“the book mixes uncommon palettes and manages a masterpiece with it. If The Andromeda Strain was analyzed in four dimensions, The SHIVA Syndrome might be the result,”

–Midwest Book Review– “highly recommended, indeed; especially for thriller and sci-fi readers who have become deluged with too much predictability and who seek cutting-edge action, believable protagonists, and action that is solidly intense throughout,”

–San Francisco Book Review “Science fiction fans will love The SHIVA Syndrome. Fans of paranormal fiction, psychological thriller, philosophy and fantasy will love it, too.”

Some lay readers, it seems, want their literary food chewed for them. They are turned off by being challenged by a novel, made to think, opened to new areas they’ve never explored.

Harold Bloom, an American literary critic and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University is a prominent Shakespearean lecturer. He refers to some of Shakespeare’s work as “elliptical,” or ambiguous. The author/playwright intentionally doesn’t shed light on all aspects , but leaves the readers/audience guessing. For example, it’s hinted that Brutus is Julius Caesar’s illegitimate son as Hamlet is that of Claudius.

As a psychologist/author, I examined the reviews of ordinary readers of The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy, I found interesting trends. Many readers wanted an easier read. Hollister Creative (Jun 20, 2017) writes, “Do you read like a 7th grader? Actually, the question should be, “Do you like to read like a 7th grader?” If so, you are like most people who read website and blog content. The average American adult reading level is that of a 9th grader. But popular mass-market novels are written at a 7th grade level because studies show adults prefer reading two grades below their ability.”

Here some very different examples:
“5.0 out of 5 stars Long and Exciting Thriller June 28, 2019
The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy is a long and exciting thriller that contains three books in one. Dr. Walker, the protagonist has special powers. Born to an African American mother and Native American father, he is blessed (or cursed) with a higher sensibility. He could read people’s intentions and their lives with a single touch and could also feel the intense pain of people many miles away. He possesses a deeply analytic and receptive mind and due to it gets involved in a high-secret mission. There are other gifted people in the team, but it is difficult to maintain the trust factor and know who is his alley and who an enemy. The story is filled with numerous revelations and contains many elements like paranormal and psychotic. There are many frightening pieces of stuff like drug-induced mind control of soldiers which in real-life could create havoc on the earth. The plot is a mixture of fantastical and realistic. It is brilliantly written and maintains the interest from the first page to the last. “

4.0 out of 5 stars Complex, Exciting, and Thrilling June 21, 2019
This exciting sci-fi trilogy deals with subjects like psychology, biotechnology, spirituality, and more. I thought that the story was well-written and full of some very captivating plot twists. There is a lot of complexity in the series; it has a lot of interesting layers that all come together in unique and interesting ways, but I would definitely say make sure you are paying attention while reading or you might get lost and confused. This book is action-packed and explores some really thought-provoking subjects, making it both a thrilling read and fascinating book. I really appreciated having all three books in one so that I did not have to stop while consuming the entire story. There is a lot going on, and it is all very exciting. This book makes for an excellent read.

4.0 out of 5 stars Intense and Detailed June 20, 2019
The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy: (The Mind of Stefan Dürr, The Cosmic Ape, The Interdimensional Nexus) by Alan Joshua is a trilogy that will blow your mind. The first book itself opens with a creepy scene, a man floating in a tank much like a fetus in the womb. This book crosses the genres of thriller, sci-fi, and the paranormal. If you like any of those, you will most likely dive into this book and never look back. The story line itself is fairly complex, and a bit difficult to keep track of, the author has definitely done his research when it comes to scientific matters. The average reader may find these things hard to follow, but nonetheless the story is interesting and clever. A thought-provoking and riveting read, set aside a few hours to fully delve into this heady book. It will make you question your perception of reality and more. There’s a little bit of everything here from the paranormal to anthropology, making this a challenging and substantial book. Highly recommend.

In contrast, here is a review from another pole:

“This is a trilogy, released here as one book, though you can purchase and read them separately if you wish…I admit, I’m very confused as to why the option; if this shouldn’t be experienced fully as separate novels, then it should simply be one novel instead of three. [This has nothing to do with story and was a New York editor’s suggestion]. Anyway, “The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy” consists of “The Mind of Stefan Dürr,” “The Cosmic Ape,” and “The Interdimensional Nexus.” Alan Joshua gives us nearly 700 pages of science fiction mixed with paranormal cut with psychological thrills and mythology, and then double dipped in social and philosophical dilemmas. There is nothing simple about this story, so much so that it can be quite hard to follow at times. [Not true, but why should there be? This is written for adults reading above the 9th grade level.] Characters are plentiful, nearly to the point of over-saturating the plot, [Subjective: not said elsewhere] and never mind that I actually couldn’t stand any of them and couldn’t possibly care less about what happens to them [No one criticized the “plentiful” characters; she could not relate to any Sounds like a rush read and or lack of empathy.]. I tried to give this a fair chance and I believe I made a good effort. The fault doesn’t lie with me. I think this author should go back to the drawing board, take only the bare bones, core concepts, and give this sci-fi idea a brand new lease.”

Always interested in my readers, I discovered that she is not a sci-fi buff and should not have been chosen as a reviewer. She says, in relation to another book says, “Well, simply reading the summary, I would have had zero idea what “XXX” is about beyond it being in the science fiction genre.  I feel guilty ripping this to shreds [which she would do] because if the blurbs are true, “XXX” has been a hit with readers from South Korea to the United States. It could be that I am not the intended audience [sci-fi] the author was writing for, and that’s okay. Based on positive feedback from others and overall good press surrounding this sci-fi book, I am settling on an intermediate rating. [This rating is based on guilt and the reactions of others]

So, in assessing readers, I have learned many prefer to read below their education level, many do not like to be encouraged to explore new ideas, and their reviews–as on Yelp–can be biased by choosing the wrong genre. Others become frustrated if they have to consult a dictionary, this lowering their rating. What subjectivity and dishonesty–rating a book based on the blurbs of others!

After two years, The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy has 66 reviews on Amazon (4.3 average) and 49 reviews on Goodreads (4.29 average).

I hope I haven’t offended anyone. My intent was to clarify the subjectivity of readers’ reactions. After all, who of us liked Shakespeare while in high school only to discover his brilliance as adults?

Goodreads Review: 98% of people liked The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy

Cold Coffee Cold Coffee rated it 5 stars

From the very first paragraph, I was hooked on this prize-winning, sci-fi, paranormal adventure. If you are not afraid of the unknown and are willing to become part of this suspenseful page-turner, I strongly recommend this book.

Alan Joshua begins The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy in the basement of a Russian brain research institute. If you’ve ever wondered if humans are being used in mind control experiments hidden in the underbelly of governments as scientific research, this realistic, fictional account will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and pulse pound. Full of astonishing detail, it reads like a handbook for psychic development: “Stefan Dürr’s wiry frame hovered in a transparent, liquid-filled, vertical sensory deprivation tank. Naked, with the exception of a soft weight belt, straps battened down a round, silver helmet covering his head and shoulders. When he exhaled, a plastic umbilical line at the top released a stream of bubbles that crept through the viscous solution toward the surface.”

In a time where understanding and controlling horrific catastrophes, far beyond the threat of climate change around the world, researchers conclude that the evolution of human consciousness might be our only salvation. For those of you who have seen or read Chayefsky’s Altered States, this is similar but Altered States on speed, reaching far beyond.

This is great storytelling and is striking in its visualizations. It is filled with dialog that will hold your interest as well as believable characters, like disgraced research professor Dr. Beau Walker. For example, in Philadelphia, Walker resigns himself to a weekend of scoring his students’ booklets on basic psychology. But the weekend is not what he imagined. As he naps, the Russian city of Podol’sk is inexplicably vaporized in deadly silence. Unaware of his paranormal bond with the event, Walker “clawed at the sweat-saturated shirt, now tinged pink with oozing blood, rolling his head back and forth on a damp pillow.” What is this puzzling link with event 5,000 miles away?

Walker’s nightmares continue when he is snatched by the government and coerced to join a U.S./Russian multidisciplinary scientific team, searching for the cause of the disasters. Their descent into a Russian crater will have you on the edge of your seat.

This trilogy is for any sci-fi, paranormal, or action-adventure fan. Certainly, worthy of a movie, it is full of surprises and twists and turns. I urge you to step into a story where science, the paranormal and human consciousness meet with unexpected and devastating results. Be prepared for the “after sense” as I call it, the lingering thoughts after you close the book. I recommend that you buy this combined version of the trilogy.

The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy is not limited only to sci-fi fans. It is for thinking people seeking stories of some complexity that can be intriguing and mentally stimulating. If you love science fiction and are tired of the lack of imagination found in many books and movies today, this psychological thriller should be your next read.

I expected to hate this book but wow was I wrong!

 

Wendy L, Reviewer #SFRTG

I expected to hate this book but wow was I wrong! While Thrillers and sci fi are my favorite genres
the paranormal is not my thing. This book blends all three in an unexpected and interesting way.
The research that went into this book is exhaustive. It's a bit hard to follow at times due to how the
author refers to the characters (first names then last names) but it's worth it.

Beau Walker is asked to join an expedition to find out what went wrong with a laboratory experiment in
Podolsk Russia. All that is left of the lab is a huge crater that is slowly expanding. What they find
there and what follows will make you really stop and think. 

I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in sci fi, thrillers, paranormal and spirituality.

The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy

More than a scientist, more than the offspring of a Mohawk–African American marriage–and far more than human, Beau Walker holds the key to human evolution…and its annihilation. A disgraced researcher, Walker is snatched by the military and forced to join a U.S./Russian scientific team, searching for the cause of the disaster. Beginning with a terrifying descent into the mile-deep Russian crater where he finds an American astronaut’s arm, he is hurled into the worlds of advanced biotechnology, biowarfare, paranormal research, and military intrigue.
The stakes are unimaginable: Find and control the cause of the events or face planet-wide obliteration.
—————————————————————————————————
Dr. Stanley Krippner, internationally known parapsychologist, writes: 
5.0 out of 5 stars
A remarkable book!
After a Russian mind-research project opens a black hole in a Moscow suburb, researcher Beau Walker is coerced into joining the ensuing investigation. He soon realizes that anomalies worldwide–including the loss of an American space shuttle and a bizarre personal experience–coincided with the Podol’sk singularity. As events escalate, Walker embarks on an epic journey to come to terms with his personal demons, even as he struggles to save humanity from itself.

In The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy (by Alan Joshua), the author (a clinical psychologist) skillfully and ingeniously interweaves altered states of consciousness and parapsychology with genetics, paleontology, mythology, and religion to produce a frightening, brisk, and film-worthy story building to an intense climax. The story challenges conventional notions of reality, ultimately concluding that human consciousness extends well beyond the flesh–and offers enormous potential for both creation and destruction.
————————————————————————————————-
Amazon:
Feb 27, 2019 Sherry rated it it was amazing
The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy is destined to become a sci-fi classic. The excitement never lets up and it would take years to fact check all of the information it contains. The scope of the story reveals a lifetime of research and deep thought. It spans almost every hard scientific field and delves into psychology, anthropology, religion and the paranormal. Alan Joshua’s rich and grounded imagination manages to connect all of these seemingly disparate systems into a thought provoking unity of human experience. The writing is totally engaging and the sustained intensity makes it hard to put down, except to catch your breath.
—————————————————————————————————
KIRKUS REVIEW: “Deft dialogue, crisp plotting, and a likable central figure make this multidisciplinary scientific adventure an exuberant and involving read.”

PORTLAND BOOK REVIEW: “Having the right amount of adventure and romance, this crisscrossing genre tale isn’t just a good read, but may also look great on a big screen.”

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW: “Highly recommended, indeed; especially for thriller and sci-fi readers who have become deluged with too much predictability and who seek cutting-edge action, believable protagonists, and action that is solidly intense throughout.”

IND’TALE MAGAZINE: “a riveting, page-turner, right from the start!”

PHENOMENA MAGAZINE: “Well plotted and written, this is an absolute thrill ride of a book that is almost impossible to put down: it might also cause the reader to wonder what really does go on (MK-Ultra for example) in some of the secret government laboratories dotted around the world.”

Amazon and Goodreads Readers:
“The Shiva Syndrome is in the top 10 books of the best sci-fi/fantasy books I have read in over 40 years and I read over 200 books a year!”

“Let’s get straight to the point: The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy is one of the best-written stories I’ve read in years.”

“I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a science fiction journey that is so well researched that it truly could be happening right now! This was one book that caused me to rethink what happens behind closed doors.”

 

The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy: Mind control experiments hidden in the underbelly of governments

Cold Coffee

From the very first paragraph, I was hooked on this prize-winning, sci-fi, paranormal adventure. If you are not afraid of the unknown and are willing to become part of this suspenseful page-turner, I strongly recommend this book.

Alan Joshua begins The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy in the basement of a Russian brain research institute. If you’ve ever wondered if humans are being used in mind control experiments hidden in the underbelly of governments as scientific research, this realistic, fictional account will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and pulse pound. Full of astonishing detail, it reads like a handbook for psychic development: “Stefan Dürr’s wiry frame hovered in a transparent, liquid-filled, vertical sensory deprivation tank. Naked, with the exception of a soft weight belt, straps battened down a round, silver helmet covering his head and shoulders. When he exhaled, a plastic umbilical line at the top released a stream of bubbles that crept through the viscous solution toward the surface.”

In a time where understanding and controlling horrific catastrophes, far beyond the threat of climate change around the world, researchers conclude that the evolution of human consciousness might be our only salvation. For those of you who have seen or read Chayefsky’s Altered States, this is similar but Altered States on speed, reaching far beyond.

This is great storytelling and is striking in its visualizations. It is filled with dialog that will hold your interest as well as believable characters, like disgraced research professor Dr. Beau Walker. For example, in Philadelphia, Walker resigns himself to a weekend of scoring his students’ booklets on basic psychology. But the weekend is not what he imagined. As he naps, the Russian city of Podol’sk is inexplicably vaporized in deadly silence. Unaware of his paranormal bond with the event, Walker “clawed at the sweat-saturated shirt, now tinged pink with oozing blood, rolling his head back and forth on a damp pillow.” What is this puzzling link with an event 5,000 miles away?

Walker’s nightmares continue when he is snatched by the government and coerced to join a U.S./Russian multidisciplinary scientific team, searching for the cause of the disasters. Their descent into a Russian crater will have you on the edge of your seat.

This trilogy is for any sci-fi, paranormal, or action-adventure fan. Certainly, worthy of a movie, it is full of surprises and twists and turns. I urge you to step into a story where science, the paranormal and human consciousness meet with unexpected and devastating results. Be prepared for the “after sense” as I call it, the lingering thoughts after you close the book. I recommend that you buy this combined version of the trilogy.

The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy is not limited only to sci-fi fans. It is for thinking people seeking stories of some complexity that can be intriguing and mentally stimulating. If you love science fiction and are tired of the lack of imagination found in many books and movies today, this psychological thriller should be your next read.

2018 New Apple Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing: The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy chosen as one of 3 “Official Selections”

Your book ‘The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy‘ was chosen as an “Official Selection” in the SCIENCE FICTION category of our Fifth Annual Indie Book Awards! 
“Official Selection” status is an Honorable Mention.

Each category receives a solo Medalist Winner.  When the judging panel for the category can not come to a unanimous decision for the medalist winner, they will select up to three Official Selections out of all the entries within the category.  These receive honorable mention distinction.  The Official Selections are all equal in their honors, not second or third, etc.

The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy: The Dream Culture of the Neanderthals

Mankind’s Origins by Stan Gooch
The Dream Culture of the Neanderthals: Guardians of the Ancient Wisdom

The Dream Culture of the Neanderthals explores the influence of Neanderthal man on the cultural and biological development of humanity. It traces the power of long-held beliefs and superstitions to the influence of Neanderthal lunar and dream-based traditions. This work offers a compelling vision of a unified humanity that can benefit from the gifts of both its Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon ancestors. The Dream Culture of the Neanderthals provides evidence that direct descendants of the Neanderthal race may still be alive in Central Asia. A number of long-standing beliefs and superstitions show how the ideas that dominated the lives of our ancestors still have a powerful influence on us today.

Contrary to current theories, Stan Gooch maintains that the Neanderthals were not destroyed by the younger Cro-Magnon culture but were incorporated into that culture through interbreeding. The blending of the disparate influences of the lunar, matriarchal-based Neanderthals and the solar, patriarchal Cro-Magnons may explain the contradictory impulses and influences that have generated human conflict for millennia. There is evidence that direct descendents of the moon-worshipping, dream-cultivating Neanderthal race are still living in Central Asia today. While their physical descendants may be almost extinct, the influence of Neanderthal occult wisdom remains strong and can be found throughout history among witches, kabbalists, the Knights Templar, Rosicrucians, and even in Christianity.

About the Author
Stan Gooch began his career as a highly regarded psychological researcher who studied the evolution and history of the brain in his books Total Man and Personality and Evolution. His research on paranormal influences and Neanderthal culture appear in his books The Double Helix of the Mind, Cities of Dreams, and The Secret Life of Humans. He lives in Wales.“Stan Gooch is a brilliant, bold, and original thinker.”

From The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy

Walker moved down the rough walls of the hillock and worked his way along a game trail. A sudden, resounding roar from a ledge above made him freeze in place. Holding his breath, he raised his eyes slowly. Overhead, a huge, slavering cat’s head peered down, its lips drawn back, revealing four-inch long, scimitar-shaped teeth. He pressed into a niche in the rock wall, screwed his eyes shut, and tried to deny the reality of his situation.

Another thunderous roar confirmed its actuality. His eyes darted about wildly, searching for an escape route.

The sinister, striped beige-and-white beast appeared at the bend in the path. It sniffed the air as if relishing his scent, then moved closer. Slowly, gracefully, its sinewy body wound around the curved path. Its green eyes fixed on him, it dipped, coiling into a crouch, readying to spring.

A dark object shot out of a recess in the wall. The thick spear plunged into the cat’s side with such force, it was almost tipped off its feet. With a piercing screech, the cat writhed to free itself. Thick, steely arms forced it toward the edge, pushing it over the side, crashing into rocks below before it slammed to the ground.

Walker released the breath he held, but his relief was short-lived. A barrel-chested figure draped in animal skins stepped into view, holding the blood-slicked, stone-tipped spear. The hulking man watched him expressionlessly. Thick, protruding brow ridges sloped back to reddish-brown hair, merging into a scraggly beard that framed his crude features. Was that a glint of intelligence in the man’s deep-set eyes? He seemed as baffled by Walker’s appearance as Walker was by his.

Could he be…A Neanderthal !

He stepped away from the wall and held up his hands, showing empty palms. He forced a strained smile and pointed to himself. “Walk-er, Walk-er, Walk-er. I-am-Walk-er.”

The Neanderthal’s head tilted inquisitively as Walker spoke, his spear held in readiness. He listened intently, then tried to imitate Walker. He pursed his protruding lips and bellowed a loud, high-pitched, “W’gee! W’gee!” He moved closer and circled Walker carefully. “W’gee!”

The Neanderthal stretched his neck to sniff him, then tugged at his clothes. He reeked of body odor, foul breath, and sweat. Although Walker wanted to draw away from the disgusting stink, he remained still.

After a long moment, he held up his palm. The Neanderthal seized his wrist in a beefy fist. Walker grimaced in pain and dropped to one knee.

The empathic effect of the physical contact was immediate and powerful. His mind filled with intense sensations, images, and primal emotions. A verdant valley, others of his kind huddled around a fire pit, the burial of an ochre-covered child in a fetal position under a wildflower blanket, the deep pain of a wolf’s jaws locked
onto his forearm.

The man pulled him to his feet and, thankfully, released his wrist. He stared into Walker’s eyes, then slapped his great chest with his hand. “Ruh!” he exclaimed forcefully. “Ruh.” He struck his chest again.

Walker was confused. He forced a smile and shook his head, trying to convey his lack of understanding.

The Neanderthal watched Walker, as if he were attempting to work out the problem. Then his eyes gleamed with what seemed to be an insight. He reached out and tapped Walker’s chest with a thick index finger, pushing him back with his extraordinary strength. “W’gee.” The Neanderthal tapped him again. “W’gee.” He turned his finger toward himself and tapped himself twice. “Ruh!” He paused. “Ruh!”

Walker nodded his understanding. He pointed to himself and said “W’gee.” Then he pointed to the man and said “Ruh.” The man dipped his head and drew his protuberant lips back into what seemed to be a smile of acknowledgement. So, your name is Ruh.

Using short, shrill phrasings, Ruh pointed ahead and down, urging Walker to descend.

They soon reached the bottom. Walker’s captor pushed at his back, directing him toward the dead cat. Ruh moved around the animal cautiously, poking it with the spear.

Walker stopped cold. The creature’s front paws twitched in a death reflex. With a piercing scream, Ruh’s spear smashed into the animal’s skull, crushing it and showering himself and Walker with blood and blobs of brain tissue.

He took a finely chipped hand axe from a fur pouch at his waist and whacked at a long tooth until it broke away. With a guttural grunt, he offered the tooth to Walker.

Walker smiled and accepted it, then stuffed it in his pocket. Apparently satisfied, Ruh screeched a long and short burst that sounded like a command toward a nearby thicket.

Two figures appeared from behind the dense bushes and approached slowly.

To Walker’s surprise, the taller one had the proportions of a modern human. Exposed, drooping breasts identified her as female. She was slightly taller than the Neanderthal, with a narrow head, lighter skin tone, and dark brown hair. Unlike the Neanderthal, her brow did not protrude and she had a conspicuous chin. She remained at a distance, kneeling, avoiding Walker’s probing eyes.

A child hid behind her.

“They don’t belong together!” he gasped. “A Neanderthal male and a Cro-Magnon female?”

Cinematherapy: Take a Spielberg and call me in the morning

Living Stories of  Achievement and Healing

In National Psychologist (May edition, 2006) by Richard E. Gill Assistant Editor and Allan Cooperstein, Ph.D. (Alan Joshua).

Sounds absurd, but watching a film may not be for entertainment alone. It can be a type of therapy that enables the viewer to explore and experience deeper layers of one’s being by identifying with film character to develop mental strength and gain lost, forgotten or undeveloped inner resources. Exposing a patient to a film in which the character suffers similar symptoms or situations may catalyze healing by allowing identification with the character and thus move toward resolving problems, said Allan Cooperstein, Ph.D., a clinical and forensic psychologist. “Cinematherapy allows a person to gain awareness of deeper layers of themselves, to help them move toward a new perspective in their behavior as well as healing and integration of the total self. It’s possible for the person to connect with the film’s character to help resolve problems and to broaden the scope of meanings,” Cooperstein said.

Of the film-watching process, Cooperstein said, “Subconscious changes are intensified via the viewer’s sympathy and hope – attributes that make people human. The film is a perfect example of a man with unresolved PTSD and hidden pain who, unlike Viktor Frankl (see Man’s Search for Meaning) is trapped in horror of his past, Cooperstein explained. A patient suffering similar symptoms might be able to identify with the film’s character, empathize with him and, in watching, realize that he is undergoing similar symptoms never before made conscious or even denied.

Cooperstein, presently writing an article on A Christmas Carol, said Charles Dickens’ 19th century offering provides an extraordinary example of how Cinematherapy works. Taken on a tour through time by “spirits,” Ebenezer Scrooge, a Victorian anti-hero, becomes an observer capable of seeing his past shortcomings and missed opportunities. Although taking place in fantasy, reverie or altered consciousness, it demonstrates Scrooge’s reclamation through his experiential “mind movie” and leads to healing and a richer, happier life. The theme of conversion is prevalent among Dickens’ works, but nowhere is this more desired, welcome, beneficial and joyous than in this tale of a misbegotten life in which Scrooge’s dream has the suggestion of a form of hypnotic psychotherapy, offered Cooperstein.

One of the benefits of Cinematherapy is to have a person watch a film that expresses the type of mental distress they are experiencing. “By watching a film that has something to do with you, subject-object barriers between you and the story begin to break down,” Cooperstein suggests. Another example is a person who is extremely depressed. A psychologist would ask the person to watch a film in which the character is suffering from the same illness and had success overcoming it. The character’s road towards progress, while not necessarily the same as the patient’s, can offer exemplars that may generate others better suited to the patient’s life. “The patient could model himself after some of the character’s successes modify his own behavior but keep his own identity, allowing him to become the same individual who would be more effective… while developing inner strength and coping skills.”

It’s very important, Cooperstein said, to bring back into therapy what a person has discovered or learned from watching the film. Cooperstein likens the process to a hypnotic state in some susceptible patients and has even coupled the process to biofeedback to enhance the effect. During therapy, Cooperstein attempts to have the person model or try to implement some of the successes the character has demonstrated in the film.

Cinematherapy also can be used for patients who are mentally challenged (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?), or chronically ill (Whose Life Is It Anyway? and Bigger Than Life), or narcissistic (Schindler’s List) or have poor self-esteem (The Color Purple). It provides situations and role models to which they can relate, human constructs of which they may have not conceived before.

While somewhat outdated, Rebel Without A Cause still brings the same message of a troubled teen with ineffectual parents, as it did when James Dean burst into the public’s eye portraying an adolescent plagued by the troubles of youth and how he goes about resolving those problems. The film could be used today for a youth suffering similar problems. But, Cooperstein warned, although watching a film might help identify problems and potential solutions, they must be tailored to the individual’s dynamics and do not, however, tell the person fully how to resolve their personal problems or situations. “That’s where nothing less than a comprehensive therapeutic approach comes into play.”

Of the film-watching process, Cooperstein said, “Subconscious changes are intensified via the viewer’s sympathy and hope – attributes that make people human. The film is a perfect example of a man with unresolved PTSD and hidden pain who, unlike Viktor Frankl (see Man’s Search for Meaning) is trapped in horror of his past, Cooperstein explained. A patient suffering similar symptoms might be able to identify with the film’s character, empathize with him and, in watching, realize that he is undergoing similar symptoms never before made conscious or even denied.

Cooperstein, presently writing an article on A Christmas Carol, said Charles Dickens’ 19th century offering provides an extraordinary example of how Cinematherapy works. Taken on a tour through time by “spirits,” Ebenezer Scrooge, a Victorian anti-hero, becomes an observer capable of seeing his past shortcomings and missed opportunities. Although taking place in fantasy, reverie or altered consciousness, it demonstrates Scrooge’s reclamation through his experiential “mind movie” and leads to healing and a richer, happier life. The theme of conversion is prevalent among Dickens’ works, but nowhere is this more desired, welcome, beneficial and joyous than in this tale of a misbegotten life in which Scrooge’s dream has the suggestion of a form of hypnotic psychotherapy, offered Cooperstein.

One of the benefits of Cinematherapy is to have a person watch a film that expresses the type of mental distress they are experiencing. “By watching a film that has something to do with you, subject-object barriers between you and the story begin to break down,” Cooperstein suggests. Another example is a person who is extremely depressed. A psychologist would ask the person to watch a film in which the character is suffering from the same illness and had success overcoming it. The character’s road towards progress, while not necessarily the same as the patient’s, can offer exemplars that may generate others better suited to the patient’s life. “The patient could model himself after some of the character’s successes modify his own behavior but keep his own identity, allowing him to become the same individual who would be more effective… while developing inner strength and coping skills.”

It’s very important, Cooperstein said, to bring back into therapy what a person has discovered or learned from watching the film. Cooperstein likens the process to a hypnotic state in some susceptible patients and has even coupled the process to biofeedback to enhance the effect. During therapy, Cooperstein attempts to have the person model or try to implement some of the successes the character has demonstrated in the film.

Cinematherapy also can be used for patients who are mentally challenged (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?), or chronically ill (Whose Life Is It Anyway? and Bigger Than Life), or narcissistic (Schindler’s List) or have poor self-esteem (The Color Purple). It provides situations and role models to which they can relate, human constructs of which they may have not conceived before.

While somewhat outdated, Rebel Without A Cause still brings the same message of a troubled teen with ineffectual parents, as it did when James Dean burst into the public’s eye portraying an adolescent plagued by the troubles of youth and how he goes about resolving those problems. The film could be used today for a youth suffering similar problems. But, Cooperstein warned, although watching a film might help identify problems and potential solutions, they must be tailored to the individual’s dynamics and do not, however, tell the person fully how to resolve their personal problems or situations. “That’s where nothing less than a comprehensive therapeutic approach comes into play.”

Allan Cooperstein, Ph.D. writes fiction as Alan Joshua. His The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy has received considerable praise:
Kirkus Review “Deft dialogue, crisp plotting, and a likable central figure make this multidisciplinary scientific adventure an exuberant and involving read.”
New Consciousness Review “A thrilling read”
Portland Book Review “Having the right amount of adventure and romance, this crisscrossing genre tale isn’t just a good read, but may also look great on a big screen.”
Self-Publishing Review “Any attempt to describe the book in a single statement is difficult, but the book mixes uncommon palettes and manages a masterpiece with it. If The Andromeda Strain was analyzed in four dimensions, The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy might be the result…The book mixes uncommon palettes and manages a masterpiece with it. It is a surprising, suspenseful, and utterly superb read from start to end.”
Midwest Book Review “…highly recommended, indeed; especially for thriller and sci-fi readers who have become deluged with too much predictability and who seek cutting-edge action, believable protagonists, and action that is solidly intense throughout.”
San Francisco Book Review “Science fiction fans will love The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy. Fans of paranormal fiction, psychological thriller, philosophy and fantasy will love it, too.”