From my upcoming book Tending the Fire: Imagining the Source of our Creativity

The Union of Subterranean and Celestial Fire, by Bob Sandford. White oak and walnut. Intended as the book cover art. “Hillman writes of the union of celestial and earthly fire in the alchemist’s image of nature: “[n]ature’s fire is both celestial, descending from sun and stars and lightening, and arising from the earth out of thermal springs, gases, geysers and volcanoes. The alchemist [and we can add, the one who creates] works with both kinds…'”

“Honoring the soul is a creative path. A love of the humanities grows organically out of this, for to love the soul is to love it where it lives. And like nature’s myriad creatures, it lives even in the most unlikely places and in the strangest forms. Approaching soul through creativity we find it everywhere, for being creative is a mode of presence that opens to that which lives everywhere and anywhere–in hidden places and hidden in plain view. The difficulties of staying this course are great for our understanding will always fall short; yet we must for our humanity is at stake. We create with the whole of who We are, including what of us remains beyond our awareness, understanding and control. Our relationship to these elusive factors is ever at issue in creativity.”

Here is what Dr. Susan Rowland, Chair of MA Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life at Pacifica Graduate Institute, says about the book:

Tending the Fire: Imagining the Source of Our Creativity is an astonishing book for digging into what creativity is, and what it means with the support of Jungian and Archetypal psychology. This book fills a gap in Jungian literature between the works on the creativity of the psyche for healing and clinical applications and the Jungian addresses of art, including van den Berk’s Jung on Art. It shows the daimon of creativity at the heart of every human being.
        Uniquely, Tending the Fire draws from Jung and Hillman to create something that spans the work of both. This is rarely done and in itself of huge value to the Jungian field. This book is a psychological revelation of creativity. It is particularly impressive because it brings together aesthetics, philosophy and depth psychology in ways that enhance all three. As a teacher of depth psychology, creativity and the arts, I would use this book a set text, and recommend it to all students of Jung. It is moreover important to all those, artists, educators, students and clinicians that care about fostering the creative imagination.”

I am in the process of submitted the manuscript to publishers. If you would like to be notified when it is available, please contact me.  


Many Rooms

ManyRoomsCD_web_smallerFrom the liner notes:

While the whole creative process for me is deeply spiritual, the title “Many Rooms,” borrowed from John 14:2, refers not to the scriptural image of heaven but to the image in dreams of a house of many rooms – an image of the soul.
Just as each room of a house has its own character, possibilities and stories, the many spaces of the soul are inhabited by different “characters” each with their own possibilities and stories.
The sixteen songs on this CD are like characters being themselves, living and  dancing in the spaces where they are most at home.       …more…

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KKFI 90.1 Local Showcase, August 28, 2014

 

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rhythm

Why does Music have such an effect on us? Where does it come from?

In the beginning, there was rhythm. In our mother’s womb we hear the beating of her heart and the rhythm of her breath. We feel the stillness and movement and the sleeping and waking of her days. We are born into the world by the rhythm of contractions. She waits, they come, she pushes. Repeat and you’re a little closer to trading one home for another and a birthdate that will forever be your milestone. And entering the world we embrace the heritage of all living things: we breathe in, out, in, out. Our breath connects us to all living things.

Our relationship with others begins with the rhythms of hunger and feeding, suffering and peace, sleeping and waking. The Sun rises, the day passes, night comes. Repeat.

Our flowering is marked by the passage of days. And when we learn to crawl and to walk, we learn anew the ways of rhythm, of marking the passage from here to there. Young, the rhythm of our lives is quick. Our hearts beat faster, we grow faster, we heal faster… and our impatience turns minutes into hours. As we grow older we learn that the rhythm of consistent effort bears great fruit over the long journey. And, learning the sustained tempo of patience, we know in our bones that “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

The Roman Catholic liturgical cycle (Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time, repeat) gears into the rhythms of earthly life to sustain our spiritual journey. The lifeblood from the living heart of God, eternity itself, courses through the rhythms of our days.

Music is full of life because it begins with life itself.

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