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Lifting the Veil Paperback – June 1, 2012
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About the Author
Jane Kamerling, L.C.S.W. is a Diplomate Jungian Analyst and member of the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts and Interregional Society of Jungian Analysts. She is a faculty member of the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and has designed and co-directed the Clinical Training is a senior analyst who has lectured both nationally and internationally on the relationship of Jungian psychology to culture, mythology and religion. She has a full time analytical practice in Chicago. Fred R. Gustafson, D. Min. is a Diplomate Jungian Analyst (Zurich) and member of the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts. He is a senior training analyst with the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and a clergy member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He has lectured both nationally and internationally on subjects related to Analytical Psychology and religion. He is the author of The Black Madonna of Einsiedeln: An Ancient Image for Our Present Time, Dancing Between Two Worlds: Jung and the Native American Soul and The Moonlit Path: Reflections on the Dark Feminine.
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In the long introduction to their book they lead us into their thought processes: 'History provided the cultural conditioning which forms individual and cultural identity. In Jung's psychology, anything that threatens or conflicts with that ego position, whether it is the ego identity of an individual or a nation is called the shadow. The content of the shadow is mostly unknown and includes all the ideas and concepts that seem foreign and threatening to the ego or its identity. When the ego is threatened by the contents of the shadow, this content is projected outside of oneself onto another. The object of the projection is known as "the Other." "The Other" becomes a magnet for uncomfortable shadow projections casting all the negative darkness onto an unknown foreign, place, or culture. Having a historical knowledge reduces the possibility of projecting shadow. History reveals common themes across cultures, emphasizing humanity's similarities.' And later they go on to say 'This book hopes to direct our attention towards gaining that awareness. First...we will try to give a concise overview of history that is relevant to the issues of today. Included is the making and falling of nations, the development of Islam and the economic influence as the world interconnects through the pressure of globalization. We introduce a psychological framework, described by Carl Jung, in which to view the individual within the world and then expand that paradigm by explaining the psychology of collective groups and societies. Using symbols that are bigger than life and that hold collective psychologies, we try to illustrate the dynamics presently being played out between East and West. The book dances between archetypal images that express our common emotional views and experiences, on the one hand, and the facts that surround and feed the archetypal manifestations on the other.' "It is easier to see shadowy political machinations in the Middle East, for example, than to struggle with the same issues in the West.'
From this overview the authors address misconceptions that few understand. In a chapter dealing with the dress of Islamic women we discover the concept behind the veil form the instruction of Muhammad to today, since that appears to be a signal of repression of women to Western perception. 'Western attitudes identify the attire of Muslim women as an expression of repression, oppression, and male dominance by a backward and primitive people. This book uses the veil as a metaphor of the unseen influences that affect both the actual oppression and abuse of women worldwide as well as repression of unconscious material. Though the veil is literally worn by women in the Islamic world, this book emphasizes that the oppression of the feminine resides in both East and West. The veil, as a garment, is not the issue, but what it has come to represent in the West through Western misunderstanding and misinterpretation.'
It is this genuinely concerned approach to erase misconceptions 'between' and instead look at the greater collective thinking that unites us all that the authors find their greatest success. In addition to all the opening of windows shuttered by mutual misunderstanding, another aspect of this valuable book as an open dialogue about the history of the world's religions and a very fine glossary of the terms about Eastern thought that clarifies many misconceptions. This is a most valuable guide to approaching the situation of the barrier between the 'us' and the 'them' that figured so prominently in 911 and in other events throughout the world. There is more information within the covers of this fine book that will help us understand ourselves and the universe - and as a sidebar, it is a terse explanation of Jungian psychology! Grady Harp, July 12
In "Lifting the Veil" of ignorance about Islam and the meaning of the veil, other veils are also lifted. This is a psychologically rich book that explores the current polarization between West and Middle East from a fresh and needed perspective. On May 31, 2013 (and later via streaming download) the authors will be conducting a seminar with the Asheville Jung Center. See [...]