Posts

The God of Fire

God is Charged

The word God stirs people, sometimes sets off explosive or loving feelings. It gets a reaction, either good, bad, or indifferent. In depth psychotherapy and writing, I help folks explore shock, trauma, and healing both emotionally and spiritually. Simply saying “God” is meaningful to different people in different ways, and that is to be respected.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great American transcendentalist philosopher wrote in The Over-Soul, “How dear, how soothing to man, arises the idea of God, peopling the lonely place, effacing the scars of our mistakes and disappointments! When we have broken our god of tradition and ceased from our god of rhetoric, then may God fire the heart with his presence.”

A Fire in the Heart

My novel, The Unholy, generated quite a reaction among traditional religious people. Some posted angry reviews that I dared explore the dark side of religion. They were upset, some enraged. I meant no ill will. Metaphysical thrillers make us ponder and question religious matters, human feelings, and the meaning of life. Dramatic storytelling pops out the good and the bad. It sets a fire in the heart for matters authentic and sacred.

Goddess of the Wild Thing didn’t provoke the same outcry among hard-core religionists. The story is about complicated love, the dark side of religion not as upfront and center. However, this story is laced with religious trauma injuring the capacity to love. Traditional religion, the dark side of spirituality, has profoundly impacted relationships and life. The challenge for one woman is to find a way through her spiritual dilemma so that the potential for love can emerge.

My soon-to-be-released thriller, The Goddess of Everything, taps into compromised love – a heart divided. The power of the dark side of religion serves as a backdrop for conflict and hoped-for resolution. Husband and wife are nearly torn apart by the toxicity of a religious mother’s love gone bad.

The antidote, in all my stories, for religious wounding is fire in the heart. It is truth to self and to those who are themselves true. It is the experience of life, not perfect or without problems, but real and true and passionate. This is fire in the heart, this is God.

Visionary Fiction and the God of Fire 

In visionary fiction, novels of crisis and consciousness, fire sets each page ablaze. We’re challenged to let go of what no longer works for us, including dead ideas about religion and God. God, as Emerson addresses, is accessed only by shedding lifeless traditions and rhetoric. God isn’t in the dogma, tradition, or rhetoric. God is, in Emerson’s words, ” . . . the infinite enlargement of the heart with a power of growth  to a new infinity on every side.” Step into infinity on every side, discover the God of Fire, as the imaginary realm of visionary fiction draws you in and nourishes your soul.

“Live Deeply…Read Daily”

pauldeblassieiii.com

 

 

 

When Life Gives You Lemons, Call the Alchemist

 

Alchemical Books

We are all alchemists. In depth psychology and visionary books, alchemy is at work. Alchemist Awakening speaks to the amnesia within, sleepwalking through life until we psychically wake up. Everyday Enchantments lifts the veil from our eyes so we can see the magic in daily life. Daily alchemical magic transforms base, raw emotion into meaningful experiences. Love trauma in Goddess of the Wild Thing rips the mind apart and makes room for alchemy. The Unholy shocks us with religious horror then transports us into a realm of dreams and natural magic. Literally, everything that happens in life can transform us to the core.

Depth Therapy – Visionary Thrillers

When I do psychotherapy, write visionary thrillers, and live everyday life, I call on the alchemist within. This is a psychological dynamic that energizes experiences so daily happenings help and heal even as they can upfront hurt and sometimes shock.

We tend to this vitalizing force in the human psyche by raising our awareness. It’s a quiet and gentle knowing. Therapy assists patients in discovering this realm, reading ushers the attentive into imaginary states of mind, awareness then transforms dangerous and horrid experiences into meaning. That’s the luscious juice in the lemons life dishes out, the alchemical gold in the base metal of human suffering.

Alchemy and Unconscious Mind

When visionary writers write, they live out their characters and stories. Depth therapists have to descend into the unconscious mind and learn its ways before helping others make the inward descent and heal. Therapy is an alchemical awakening, and reading visionary fiction also wakens the alchemist within.

Awakening is a must lest we perish in a black hole of despair. We’ve all gone down the tube at one time or another. We’ve needed help. More times than I can count, I’ve opened a book randomly (to include novels) and found a paragraph that speaks to me. It’s uncanny, moving, and more than a wee bit mysterious. It’s the alchemist within spontaneously guiding us to awakening, however small or revolutionary.

Alchemy and Enlightenment

During the middle of my day in psychotherapy practice, I have lunch and read. Frequently, I turn to alchemical texts, let my eyes land where the text falls open. One noontime, the writing spoke to the therapist’s need to sit silently, act as a quiet container of practically unendurable pain until the patient sees for herself the meaning behind the crisis. Wisdom lies in not speaking what the patient cannot yet see or understand. They must, with the caring presence of a depth psychotherapist, feel all that must be explored and then and only then will the clouds part and enlightenment, perchance, dawn.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, the first session of the afternoon ushered the patient and me into a realm of nearly unendurable trauma. Listening without rushing into words allowed her to go through a dark emotional tunnel and, fortunately, by session’s end gain insight. It was soulful enlightenment regarding heart-rending pain birthing tearful insights and a release of pent-up emotions. I breathed a sigh of relief, grateful for the noontime reading that prepared me for the rough time ahead. It awakened the relational alchemist inherent in depth therapy and visionary/alchemical books

Reading Awakens Inner Alchemist

Visionary reading awakens the inner alchemist as we enter a dark emotional and spiritual tunnel through the challenges of the protagonist and the horrors of the antagonist. It’s a story like our story, the narrative that is our life replete with hopes and dreams gone south and turned sour. The inner alchemist awakens within our imagination as we delve into the feelings and the ensuing meaning of life experiences and visionary books.

“Live Deeply…Read Daily”

pauldeblassieiii.com

Madness, Reading, and the Soul

 

Dreams last night popped with shocking images, some horrifying. They set me right and got me back on track. There’s nothing like a bit of shock and horror to shake up the soul. Oddly enough (or maybe not), I feel better. The week of doing depth therapy with traumatized patients, clearing the way through dark forests and troubling times, is settling ~ mind clearing. I think I’ll write, do hot yoga, great meals, and lots of love all weekend.

Soulful times generate soulful living. Reading is integral to my daily life, takes me into soul. There’s a place inside that can be nourished, satisfied, only through reading. I have to enter in visionary worlds that sometimes are horrifying, land me in a realm of madness as the protagonist encounters light and dark energies in daily life. It’s a time of conflict and pain, no resolution except by going through what needs to be gone through.

Reading visionary fiction is a lot like dreaming. In dreams, we can’t help, force or cajole, what’s going on or about to happen. I know there are people who try and control their dreams. The psyche does not take well to being controlled. There’s always kickback when we attempt to manipulate, conjure, what we want to happen. Old religions did this via prayer, thinking they knew what was best and wanted to force the hand of their god to comply. Healthily, sanely, we live in accord with life, letting events and dreams play themselves out as we consciously decide to find our way through tight spots.

Life is tough. Reading helps. Settling into an old chair, taking up a book we’re into and letting our mind go with the flow of the words and paragraphs and scenes – the story of a life and the mysteries and magic that take them by surprise – does something to us. It nurtures and strengthens our imagination. Stories make a difference in the quality of our life.

Madness is a private thing. It’s a matter of quality living. When we’re in touch with our private madness, we discover an imaginal world similar to the stories we’ve read. Feeling out of control, wanting to slow it up and shut it down, wishing things away only to make things worse is part and parcel of private madness. It’s our way of learning if we listen and give it a chance to speak.

So, give yourself some soul time. See if there might be a visionary novel that’s whispering your name. You’ll find that your unconscious mind guides you to just the right literary medicine. Trust your instincts, browse through your favorite online or brick-and-mortar book retailer, and pick up a copy of a story that just might touch your private madness and forever touch your soul.

Live Deeply…Read Daily”

pauldeblassieiii.com

Step Into a Visionary World

Reading visionary fiction ushers us into an imaginative outside of everyday space and time. The human psyche nourishes itself via reflection of archetypal images and symbols. Realms of mystery occur in dreaming time and reading. In many ways, reading and reflecting on visionary fiction is a waking dream.

As a depth psychologist of forty years, I’ve tended hundreds of dreams with patients. We’ve explored and worked through intense emotional and spiritual crisis, physical and sexual trauma, and daily life stress. Inevitably the images and symbols discovered in dreams helped them to heal.

Images and symbols in visionary fiction reflect the archetypal workings of the unconscious mind. Archetypes are the age-old transcultural symbols which, for centuries, healers and seekers have sought understanding and transformation. Quietude, meditation, and reading encourage their appearance from the depths of the soul.

Yesterday, a person told me how important novels are for them. They said, “I really get into the characters. When magic and mystery are there (that’s the type of novels I read), then I’m pulled in right off. I look forward to opening the e-book every day. By the end, I feel like I’ve lost a friend. Then it strikes me that I’ve made a friend, a story that I’ve learned from and that’s changed me a little bit – just a little bit. But that little bit makes a big difference.”

Readers are sometimes shocked that elements of urban fantasy and even horror find their way into visionary reading. Well, life brims over with unseen, phantasmagoric dimensions. We’re usually not aware of these realities. Reading, entering a world of wakeful dreams, sensitizes us to the otherworld. It operates behind the scenes of daily life.

Raising consciousness via visionary fiction happens as images and symbols waken in the psyche. They live within, they sleep within, and they waken within us with awareness and attention. Stories bring awareness and attention to numinous energies. Suddenly, what’s taken place in the narrative occurs in your life. Or, perhaps, it’s already taken place. Awareness gives us pause, stirs reflection and meditation. We wonder. We stay open. We step into soulful stories, a visionary world, and images and symbols quicken a sense of mystery that lies behind the scene of daily life.

“Live Deeply…Read Daily”

pauldeblassieiii.com  

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

A Good Read for A Good Life

“Books are not made to be believed but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book we shouldn’t ask what it says but what it means.” ~ Umberto Eco The Name of the Rose

I love Eco’s insight into books. There is meaning in them. Meaning defines a literary story from a tale told for entertainment solely. The meaning at first doesn’t take, perhaps. Other times, we see and feel it immediately.

Kate, my wife, and I are watching the new Le Miserables (Victor Hugo) series on PBS. It’s riveting. From the beginning, we’re pulled into a world of pain, conflict, and one’s search for resolution and meaning. There’s a visceral flow of energy with each scene.

Energy, a visionary and imaginative charge, brings stories to life. They touch us where it counts. They speak to us of real things happening in real lives. They speak to us of our life.

Our life – now we get down to it. Secretly or openly we want and deeply desire answers. At least, we’ll settle for opening our minds to new thoughts. Visionary inspiration births thoughts that surprise us. Hermes, the archetypal trickster life energy with us, quickens us to what to read that’s good, meaningful.

I know I hunger for meaningful books. When I finish one, there’s a sigh and a letting go. It’s been good, very good. Like a nourishing meal. Then, there’s usually another book waiting (usually around six or seven on my kindle and the same number on my stack of unread hard copies). One of them stands out. It’s there I go, meaning calls. I need, crave, good books because I seek to nurture a life nurturing and meaningful.

This Spring, consider taking up the habit of good reads. Have them lined up and ready to go. There’s always a few minutes, maybe more, each day to have a good read for a good life.

“Live Deeply…Read Daily”

pauldeblassieiii.com

 

Inspiration Comes When We Need It Most

🌟 🌟 🌟

Inspiration comes when we need it most. Just when we’re on the verge of giving up, it meanders into our mind. Other times, it rushes forward like the north wind. Trusting inspired thoughts and intuitive flashes opens the door for them to come more frequently.

The written word is a mighty source of inspiration. Words, scenes, and characters linger with us. Watch, wait, and sense. There’ll be a tug for the next book you need to read, the one that will provide just the inspiration your thirsty soul needs. But, you need to be open and watch, wait, sense and follow through.

I remember when I read Dancing with Air by Uvi Poznansky. The story pulled me toward and into it. I wasn’t sure why, at first. Then, as I settled into the narrative, I got it. It’s about love, how it lasts, and how critical appreciation is. Before we know it, things can happen. Everything becomes confusing. And, then we realize what’s going on, what we’ve had all along, and we’re appreciative. I needed that message, that inspiration.

Now, I’ve felt the pull toward The Merkaba Mystery by Iva Kenaz. Actually, it been calling my name for a while. I love her writing, the visionary inspiration in each of her works. Esoteric lore and a mysterious place of transition set the stage for this metaphysical novel. I’m not sure what’s in it that lures me, but it’s there. And, I feel the draw. It has a message for me, and I’m open and ready to hear it.

Next, Maria DeBlassie’s, Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic and Daily Conjurings, always touches my soul. I pick up this volume regularly, open it to any page and find inspiration for the day. It sensitizes me to things, little and big, in daily life I so easily overlook. They are the details, the wonders of nature and relationships we take for granted. When I finish a section, my inner sight is cleared and I see and feel more deeply.

So, let something good come your way today. It’s there. It’s trying to. Let’s open our mind to the possibility of a new book for fresh insight and guidance. You know how much we need it. Stories and inspired writing gives us new insights and fresh energy for the living of a life that requires much and also gives a great deal. But, you need to be open and watch, wait, sense and follow through.

“Live Deeply . . . Read Daily”

pauldeblassieiii.com

Falling in Love with Soul

Ahhh…to fall deeply in love with soul—not many have considered it. So few have discovered it. It remains a central need for us. We so easily become soulless, lose soul. There’s tiredness that won’t go away. There’s a vague sense of unhappiness lurking like a shadow. There’s that quality to life that it’s not wholly satisfying. These are symptoms of soul loss.

I’m preparing for vacation with Kate. We’re off to a secret place of new sites, smells, tastes, time together. We dwell on the past year, what’s new that we’re seeing in the places we visit. It’s a time of reflection, absorbing, and experiencing. Most of all, it’s a time of being together.

Doing depth psychotherapy and writing every day is consuming. Your work-a-day life is consuming. Life takes a lot. And, life can give a lot. But, soul is required. If we’re moving too fast, having lost enjoyment because of the speed at which we live, then there’s soul loss. We’ve fallen out of love with soul.

When I write, and when I do psychotherapy, I love what I do. When I prepare for vacation, I love the anticipation and the getting there. And, once I’m in the doing of what I’m doing, there can be utter joy. That is soul. That is falling in love with soul and a soulful life.

The visionary fiction I write dramatizes soul. There are people who’ve lost it or come close to losing it. They feel crazy or on the verge of crazy. When we get to the edge of sanity, we teeter and totter. Oh, it’s a very scary time. Sometimes the teetering goes on and on. We feel ill inside, lost and empty. Physical sickness strikes. Mental anguish bears down and won’t let up. The characters in my stories struggle with what it means to be a woman or a man living with pain from the past and abusive people in the present. What do you do? You can’t run from the past forever. You can’t pretend the toxic people in your life now aren’t as bad as they seem. They are. And the truth of what they are and how you play into what they do has to be faced. This is a visionary story—intense, loaded with choices that make the difference between soul and soullessness.

I do therapy and write and live from what I know and have gone through. If I didn’t my patients and readers would feel it. Instead, I’ve been told that what I’ve offered makes sense and helps hurting souls. I’m glad for that. The past week doing therapy has been tough, and I’ve given it my all. The past year nurturing two books in visionary fiction with another on the way has been hard work. I’ve given everything workwise my all. Even more importantly, I’ve given my personal life my all. At least, I believe and hope that I have. There’s been a lot of going through rough times and coming out the other end mentally and spiritually more clear and with sharpened consciousness. Doing therapy and doing writing, living as authentically as I can in my marriage and with my family, has been my priority.

Take some time this summer to make falling in love with soul your priority. You and I can do it by slowing our roll and taking in the joy of being with those we love. We can do it by slowing our roll and reading what nourishes us. Read with deliberation, care, letting the words and meaning of the story settle in like a good meal. On vacation, I like to slow our roll, not move fast and furious. I’m taking a beautiful visionary book, Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo. It’s a classic in the genre of magical realism. Acclaimed as a masterpiece of the surreal, it’s a story of one man’s quest for heritage and soul. Tormented spirits share secrets from the past.

I’m going to take my time with this read. I’m going to take my time with my wife, Kate, the sites we see, the moments lingering together. Falling in love with soul, for me, always means falling in love all over again with so much. What is right before me and with me every day comes once again to light. I realize how scary it is to lose sight of life and soul by living so fast and in such a demanding way. So, let’s take time together, live a little slower, read a little slower, and fall in love with soul.

Rape, Rage, and the Monster

There are timeless myths and stories that speak to the horror of rape. Rape makes us insane, and it can empower us to heal. Then, there can be hope. Hope potentially ushers in a more profound understanding of the incredible force that is rage and the patriarchy that ignites it.

A recent Broadly article notes, “If we go back to Greek antiquity, Medusa was a mighty force endowed with the power to both kill and redeem. Sculptors and painters would use the Medusa head as an apotropaic symbol to ward off evil spirits. But her tragic beauty was even more inspiring. Take the Roman mosaic floor on display at the Getty, where Medusa’s wild, snaky locks are depicted as wind-blown curls, her petrifying gaze an elegantly turned head. Her head peers out from the center of the mosaic, a protective talisman offset by a shield of concentric circles. There are countless other examples, too, where she’s definitely more muse than monster . . . Beautiful victim, monstrous villain, powerful deity—she’s all of those things, and more besides. Perhaps it’s that mercurial nature that makes her an endless source of fascination. She is, in a sense, a site for our collective projections of both fear and desire: simultaneously a symbol of women’s rage and a figure sexualized by the very patriarchal forces she is seeking vengeance against.”

In symbolic dream material treated in depth psychotherapy, the Medussa emerges as an image of rape. When the symbol enters treatment, I wonder about the unresolved sexual pain of the patient. Over time we move into the pain, find our way in and through it, and therapeutically understand the victim’s story. We all have stories, some about sexual pain.

Unresolved sexual trauma is a monster. Visionary fiction may visit the hallowed realm of rape, rage, and the monster. The dark side of the patriarchy is the monster of all manner of violation. Sexual rape is intimate violation. A monster enters and plunders.

In visionary thrillers such as Goddess of the Wild Thing and The Unholy, we experience trauma. Unconsciously we’re drawn to the stories we need to read, must read. They nourish the soul as well as the mind. In them, something within us is touched. It needs to be touched because it’s lying there dormant and in need of awakening.

“Consciousness”, reported one patient, “is so hard.” “There are so many other things I’d rather do with my time than turn within and discover what’s there. I’ve rushed around, done this and that in a frenzy. It’s all been about escaping myself—getting away from the monster and my rage. It’s there for a reason. I’m glad I faced the monster and my rage. I’ve told my story and have come out the other end of that dark tunnel. But, it was no easy task to face the monster and the rage.”

Good stories, thrillers, take us into dark tunnels of mind. We’re hesitant to go there. We should be. They are scary places. But, unless we take things a step at a time, enter into our story we never discover the hope that can heal.

Hope comes at the price of our time, energy, and effort. Nothing happens without time, energy, and effort. There’s an emotional zero, a big psychic zip, without investment into self. Remember, passivity is an investment, a lethargic and fruitless one, but an investment nonetheless. The unique fact about an investment in story, following instinct into the dark tunnel of discovery regarding self and others, is that there can be hope.

When we read, we do it for a reason. The mind nudges us to read. Stories come our way, tug at us. We listen, respond, and discover that when we read, we receive what we need. We find out that behind the rape, rage, and monster is the hope that we can heal.

Changing Your Life, One Visionary Story at a Time…

This morning I was talking to a writing pal. We had a passionate talk about visionary fiction changing your life one story at a time. We got into how hard change can be and how stories help us so much. Getting into the characters and the dramatic thrill of the narrative gets the literary blood boiling. In metaphysical thrillers, with dreams and natural magic, we’re propelled into transformation in a desperate person’s life. Once we finish the story, our head shifts and attitudes get realigned.  Unconsciously, we go about the business of making practical changes without realizing we’re doing it. Stories affect us in a very, very big way.

Visionary/metaphysical fiction turbo charges transformative energy. It’s a different kind of read. You need to be willing to suspend disbelief regarding an unseen world. There are those hard-core empiricists who just can’t do it. They only believe in and trust what they can see, touch, smell, and control. But, there are other folks like you and me for whom the unseen world of the deep unconscious mind pulls and pulsate. It’s what old shamans called the spiritual world. Daily, in my professional practice of depth psychology, I witness numinous images and symbols emerge from the unconscious. They speak to the story of a soul in the midst of gaining consciousness, healing, and transformation.

Consciousness, natural magic, and life changes are birthed when we least expect. Visionary storytelling conjures such inner transformation as long as we are open to the story and being taken by surprise. Our lives can change. And reading visionary/metaphysical stories can help us along this path provided that we are daring to move forward.

Daring to move forward can be the hard part when it comes to change. I’m reading a couple of fantastic metaphysical novels. The Alchemist Awakening by Iva Kenaz is a story about a woman’s spiritual journey and discovery that we are all “alchemists with amnesia.” That’s a line that gets you thinking and your soul moving in the right direction. Then, I’m also into The Goat Foot God, by Dion Fortune. It’s a novel in which the invocation of the god Pan generates uncanny happenings. In my visionary thrillers, The Unholy and Goddess of the Wild Thing, there are also uncanny events laced with fear and hope. A young medicine woman in The Unholy has nightmares that trouble her sleep.They speak of past trauma and how it threatens to prevent her from moving forward in her life and love unless she dares to do what she must do. In Goddess of the Wild Thing, it’s love itself that is at stake. We all struggle with love, and Claire Sanchez wrestles with whether bad love is better than no love. There’s no easy answer; but, she does find an answer, and it’s a wild one!

In a manner of speaking, all answers are wild ones. If they are authentic and genuine to what we need, answers completely turn our world upside down and inside out. They are wild! They upset the ordinary course of things. They bring consciousness. It’s only when the old way—the tried and gone over and over and over again way that bears no results—grinds to an end that light breaks through. It’s a wild light that blinds us at first, and then we can see straight and clear.

In doing depth psychotherapy with patients in emotional and spiritual crisis, I listen to their stories. They are dramatic thrillers in their own right. People go through rough stuff. The wounds and bruises we sustain in life often come out of action-packed encounters with people. We trusted them. We never thought that what happened would happen. We’re wounded and bruised and want to give up. That’s when it’s time to read a story, a terrific story that takes time to get through because it takes thought to get through.

At the end of one patient’s treatment, they related, “You know I didn’t think I’d ever had a chance in life. I was beaten down as a kid. I took refuge in my reading. I guess in a whole lot of ways it’s what helped me to turn within so I could do my therapy. I learned to listen to my dreams. They are their own kind of stories. They told me about myself and gave me hope. And then our work together has been a positive unfolding story. I’m glad I turned within and did therapy. It’s been a good story, and it’s helped me find my way and heal.”

Good stories, like the ones we’ve lived in our own lives, take thought, and reflection. They help us turn within, take stock of our self, our relationships and our lives. And then, if we let their message sink in, they offer us the potential to actually, and possibly profoundly, change our life one story at a time.