Entries by Boris Matthews, PhD, LCSW

Nature In Uproar

  The tale of “The Fisherman and his Wife” tells a story for our times: Our human willfulness can finally ask too much of Mother Nature. In “Frau Holle,” discussed in last month’s article, we saw that cooperating with Mother Nature brought golden rewards. Attempting to manipulate Mother Nature likewise got results: but tar, rather […]

Willfulness and Greed vs Mother Nature

Guess who’s going to win? It’s Mother Nature every time. Two traditional stories—“fairy tales,” Märchen (in German) – tell the fate of human greed and willfulness. One, Frau Holle, I will discuss this month. I will take up the other, The Fisherman and his Wife, in August. Both tales teach the same lesson: given half […]

Finding Your Purpose in Life

In the April 2018 blog I wrote about the “soul’s code,” a term popularized by James Hillman in his book by that name. As I wrote there, “Essentially it’s the idea that we grow down into this world from a spiritual dimension, and that gradually we discover—if we are blessed and have good-enough mentors along the way—what […]

A Different View of Why We Are Here

Let’s face it: Why are we here on the planet?  Apparently other people have asked this question before. I just googled “Why are we here on earth?” and got more than ten pages of hits. I’m not going to review them here. If they interest you, you can google and follow up. What I want […]

Facing the Dragon

Fifteen years ago, my late friend and colleague, Robert Moore, published a little book whose relevance has lost nothing in the intervening years. In his preface to Facing the Dragon: Confronting Personal and Spiritual Grandiosity, Moore (2003, xi) quotes a sobering passage from Jung’s Answer to Job: Everything now depends on man: immense power of […]

Companions for the Journey IV

From time to time I discover a book that helps orient me in the turbulent times in which we live. Recently, a friend gave me Soul Food: Stories to Nourish the Spirit & the Heart, by Jack Kornfield and Christina Feldman (1). The authors have collected stories from a wide variety of sources: Taoist, Buddhist, […]

Emotional Responsibility

In his Emotional Intelligence (1995) and Working with Emotional Intelligence (1998), Daniel Goleman focused our attention on the profound role that emotions play in our personal, work, and social lives. His presentation is well grounded in neurology and richly illustrated with vivid examples of emotions running riot; as well as calm and calming responses to […]

Return of the Light

Several years ago the husband of a friend had a life-saving experience of light. During a psychotic episode due to a severe infection he felt he was in a pitch black space. In the distance he could see a point of light. He knew that he would survive if he could keep the point of […]

Transgender

What are we to make of the transgender phenomenon? A Google search for “transgender” brings up 67,600,000 results. GLAAD, an organization that for more than 30 years “has been at the forefront of cultural change, accelerating acceptance for the LGBTQ community”1 posts this description on its website: Transgender is a term used to describe people whose […]

Archetypal Weather Report

Many people these days feel deeply unsettled by what they see happening in countries around the world – including here at home. Several international figures embody the current Zeitgeist: Erdoǧan in Turkey, Duterte in the Philippines, Putin in Russia. I could also mention would-be leaders of nations, for example Marine LePen in France and Geert […]