Diamond Cutters - Pre-Valentine festival of poetry, music, and song!
Please come and join us for the upcoming poetry reading from the books that is engaging audiences around the world with its inspirational, powerful, and forward looking poetry
Interview with Andrew Harvey (Diamond Cutters launch in Adelaide)
Diamond Cutters names the tradition of Visionary Poetry from the early 20th century with Kathleen Raine and David Gascoyne through to contemporary poets in the early 21st in both Britain and America as well as Australia at a time when spiritual consciousness is more important for us than ever; not simply as an inward or private language, but as a way of actively seeing and reading what is going on in our world today at a time of critical personal and political transition.
This unique anthology (400pp), co-edited with Andrew Harvey, names and celebrates this impulse and focus, taking poetry beyond social realism towards the Source which is both our origin and transformation as human beings. At the same time, it is deeply political and ecological, critiquing the restrictive ideologies that limit our minds, our freedom, and our compassion. Poets include William Stafford, Robert Bly (now 90), Jeni Couzyn, Andrew Harvey, Dorothy Walters, Janine Canan, Gabriel Bradford Millar, Aidan Andrew Dun, Thanissara, Niall McDevitt, Rose Flint, Thomas R. Smith, Irina Kuzminsky, John Fox, and Philip Wells. It has global reach and emphasis towards what it means to realize ourselves as 'One World People'.
The contributors of Diamond Cutters are poets famous and obscure, living and dead, who have come together from points across the globe to present this work, which is being hailed as “Neo-Metaphysical Verse” for our times. “Neo-Metaphysical Verse,” is that which opposes directly the bathetic, the ugly, and the trivial, that have manifested so broadly across our world. Diamond Cutters provides a move to end that regime, clothed simply with the truth and beauty.
Guy McPherson - Human Extinction within 10 years
Be warned: You’ll all be dead in 10 years
Emeritus Professor Guy McPherson from the US is back to talk about abrupt temperature rises and species extinction
Emeritus Professor Guy McPherson from the US is back to talk about abrupt temperature rises and species extinction
Stuff, 28 November, 2016
He's been called a doomsdayer and worse for good reason: He's the guy who says all humans will be dead in 10 years.
And since his arrival in New Zealand for a Hamilton talk about the end of the human species, climate change specialist Guy McPherson has seen hate mail pour into his inbox.
But his response is that the Earth's fate is our fate and we need to accept that.
"There has never been a case like this where you have avoided your own personal dying, but I am open to miracles," McPherson said.
The hate mail goes with the territory, though, particularly when you add a 10-year time frame to the discussion.
That's right. The University of Arizona emeritus professor says in 10 years, humans will cease to exist. Abrupt rises in temperature have us on course for the sixth mass extinction - similar to one that happened about 252 million years ago that culminated in the "great dying".
That event was the worst of the mass extinction events in our planet's history and saw all complex life cease, leaving microbes and fungi to rule the planet.
"I think we are heading for something like that this time around, too," McPherson said.
"I just don't see how very complex, very complicated organisms that depend upon so many other species, such as humans, I just don't see how we get through that."
So far, responses in New Zealand have ranged from anger to acceptance.
Of those turning up to hear him speak, most are already open to his ideas.
"I'm speaking to the choir at some level," he said.
As a biological scientist, he said he has a responsibility to present the evidence and help people cope with the diagnosis.
"If you have been given a terminal diagnosis, and I believe we have as a species, then how do we act as individuals towards those around us?
* Emeritus Professor Guy McPherson will be speaking in Event Room One at the Bill Gallagher Centre, Wintec Campus, Hamilton, on Monday, November 28, at 6pm. The talk is free.
A DAVID GASCOYNE CENTENNIAL IS A FREE AND OPEN FORUM EVENT TO MARK THE OCCASION.
David Gascoyne, one of England's greatest 20th century poets, was born 100 years ago on Oct 10 1916. Gascoyne is an enduring poet who will become a big presence in the 21st century. Public homages such as this are helpful, as they were helpful to Blake in 1927 (the 100th anniversary of his death).
Proceedings will commence at 8pm. Please forward to interested parties. It is taking place at The Junction pub in Harrow-on-the-Hill, Gayton Road, the street that Gascoyne was born on. The function room at the Junction has been booked from 8pm to midnight. At about 11pm we can stroll down Gayton Road to the house where Gascoyne was born. Harrow on the Hill is not difficult to get to and from. It's only a few minutes from Baker Street, and the pub is very near the train station.
Anyone who cares about Gascoyne is invited to participate. Just turn up on the night and a slot will be alloted.
DARK GOLD: THE HUMAN SHADOW AND THE GLOBAL CRISIS
C. G. Jung wrote, “The future of mankind very much depends upon the recognition of the shadow.” In her new book Dark Gold: The Human Shadow and the Alchemy of Global Crisis, Carolyn Baker masterfully sheds light on the darkness of both the personal and collective aspects of the human shadow that, I imagine, would truly give Jung hope for the future of humanity. To my mind, there is no more important work that any of us could do at the present moment in our history.
—Paul Levy, author of Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil
Carolyn Baker has done it again; she has taken a familiar topic and opened it with startling revelations. Her book is filled with wisdom, shining a light on the many ways the Shadow manifests in our culture. From war and racism, consumerism and New Age spirituality, Carolyn sees through our collective postures of superiority and invites us to do the hard work of redemption. At this critical time in our history, we urgently need her insights and guidance on how we may indeed, uncover the Dark Gold that awaits us.
—Francis Weller, author of The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief
Dark Gold: The Human Shadow And The Global Crisis endeavors to educate, challenge, and most importantly inspire the reader to engage with the shadow as a necessary first step in both individual and collective healing. It emphasizes and elaborates on the abundant emotional and spiritual treasures that invariably issue from shadow exploration and transformation. Dark Gold challenges us to become courageous enough to be accountable and compassionate enough to love ourselves and the earth community fiercely, even when we feel it will make no difference.
Carolyn Baker, Ph.D. is the author of Love In The Age Of Ecological Apocalypse: The Relationships We Need To Thrive and Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths For Turbulent Times. In 2014 with Guy McPherson, she co-authored Extinction Dialogs: How To Live With Death In Mind. She lives and writes in Boulder, Colorado and manages her website www.carolynbaker.net. A former psychotherapist and professor of psychology and history, Carolyn offers life coaching for people who want to live more resiliently in the present as they prepare for the future. Her radio show, the Lifeboat Hour, airs on Progressive Radio Network every week. She may be contacted at: Carolyn@carolynbaker.net
Dark Gold by Carolyn Baker: Book Review
rank Kaminski, originally published by Mud City Press | TODAY
Dark Gold: The Human Shadow and the Global Crisis
By Carolyn Baker
241 pp., hardcover
Next Revelation Press – Nov. 2015. $27.99.
[SoftCover: $19.99 - August 2016]
If you’re familiar with the work of early 20th century Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, then you know about his concept of the shadow aspect. Commonly referred to simply as “the shadow,” it’s a mostly unconscious layer of the personality that consists of all our disowned traits. Everything that the ego refuses to associate itself with lies there. These repressed traits aren't all negative; some of them represent “bright shadow” material. For example, one might feel compelled to squelch one’s creativity or feminine/masculine side for fear of how these qualities might be judged by others. Whether positive or negative, the stuff of shadow manifests in our lives in problematic ways, often leading us to vilify others by projecting our own perceived faults onto them. In order to heal the psyche and become whole again, according to Jungian theory, one must reintegrate the shadow, a process called shadow work.
Carolyn Baker is no stranger to shadow work. In her three-decade-plus career as a psychotherapist, life coach, author, speaker and educator, she has put Jung's methods to work in helping many others achieve psychic healing and wholeness. She has also done the same for herself. Her courageous 2007 book Coming out of Fundamentalist Christianity, which chronicles her path from growing up in a rigid Christian home to eventually becoming a vehement advocate for social justice and LGBT rights—and thus boldly challenging core beliefs instilled in her as a child—is a poignant case study of shadow reintegration. In her current work, Baker helps others prepare emotionally and spiritually for the difficult future humanity faces as our ecological crisis deepens. Her latest book, Dark Gold, examines the role that she believes shadow work can play in this journey.
The book’s main thesis is that understanding and confronting one’s shadow is a necessary first step toward becoming a compassionate steward of the Earth community. This is because we inhabitants of the developed world have come to think of ourselves as separate from nature, even though we’re part of it, and this perceived separateness has enabled us to rationalize our unchecked exploitation of nature. Thus, to quote Baker, humankind’s predicament is “a horrifying testimony to the destructiveness of the shadow unseen and unhealed.” Nor is it only the individual shadow each of us possesses that must be addressed; humanity as a whole has a collective shadow that is in need of healing. Baker insists that shadow work holds precious treasures for those who undertake it, and it’s these treasures, together with Jung’s conviction that the shadow is “80 percent pure gold,” that inspired her to call her latest book Dark Gold.
Each chapter of the book focuses on a different dimension of the shadow in contemporary life. Chapters one and two anatomize the personal shadow, while the rest of the book probes the many facets of the collective shadow. Some examples of the latter include the shadows of war, institutional racism, the American dream and torture carried out by U.S. armed forces. Baker concludes every chapter with a list of discussion questions or suggested practices. For instance, at the end of her chapter on the shadow of racism, she asks readers to view Lee Mun Wah's breakthrough 1994 documentary The Color of Fear, then journal about the feelings that watching the film evoked. The purpose of this exercise is to come to terms with the part of one’s psyche that is intent on “othering” those who belong to racial groups other than one’s own.
Othering, explains Baker, occurs when an individual or society projects shadow material onto a particular group of people or entities. Whether the perpetrator is a gay-bashing minister who is himself secretly gay, or an entire society like the modern industrial world pretending it has no use for nature when in fact it wholly depends on nature, the goal is the same. Projecting aspects of oneself onto others enables one to continue disavowing those aspects.
Accepting that we’re part of nature means admitting that we’re subject to natural limits, and herein lies the key to understanding why we’re so bent on othering nature. Doing so is a form of denial about the direness of our situation, a situation that Baker likens to being in a state of planetary hospice. (The hospice metaphor comes from the fact that human beings, along with innumerable other species, face the specter of extinction.) Yet Baker contends that no matter how fervently some may choose to deny our crisis, everyone grasps its reality on some unconscious level. And she believes that the cognitive dissonance arising from our staunch rejection of this fact we know to be true is making our culture insane.
If there's one thing that Baker emphasizes above all else in Dark Gold and her other work, it's the importance of grieving. She maintains that properly grieving over the annihilation of life on Earth is the single most important thing one can do right now. And while this next point might seem counterintuitive in a culture as averse to enduring emotional pain as ours is, she also holds that the more we grieve, the more we become filled with love and joy. In extolling the virtues of grieving, Baker invokes the eloquent image of a heart “broken open.”.
She goes on to relate an experience of her own that caused her to become more compassionate through heartbreak. It involved befriending a homeless man named Buck. Over the course of her relationship with Buck, Baker had her eyes opened to the tragic realities of homelessness, as well as the fact that homeless people have a lot more in common with the rest of us than the prevailing stereotypes would suggest. In one keenly insightful passage, she sheds light on why so many people are intolerant of the homeless. “We know in our bones,” she writes, “that it could happen to us as surely as it happened to them. When we see a homeless person, we are, in a sense, viewing ourselves—an experience that for the majority of middle class human beings in our culture is abjectly terrifying.” Baker believes there are lessons for all of us in the story of her friendship with Buck, since the economic milieu into which we’re descending is one in which more and more people will become homeless.
The joy that comes of feeling one’s grief rather than suppressing it is but one instance of the dark gold to be mined from the shadow. Other forms of dark gold include increased self-acceptance, healthier personal relationships, greater control over one’s unwanted emotional reactions and access to previously untapped creative energies. Moreover, every gain that one makes in reclaiming his or her own shadow improves the overall state of the collective shadow, which in turn brings the Earth community closer to being healed. “Since the collective shadow is comprised of the projections of individuals,” writes Baker, “even minimal reclamation of our own projections facilitates harmonious communication and interaction within the human community and the planet at large.”
Baker stresses that the search for dark gold within the shadow is, much like the quest for literal gold in the physical world, an endeavor requiring great energy, time and patience. So it’s appropriate that the shadow-healing exercises located at the end of each chapter increase in difficulty as one moves through the book. They begin with a link to an article on the web about how to discern the personal shadow—through methods such as journaling, dream work and observing one’s behavior—in order to start the process of mending it. From here, the exercises progress to doing community service, consciously grieving, trying to learn tonglen meditation, undergoing a vision quest experience, seeking out various trainings on topics related to shadow work and watching/reflecting on films that offer insights into the shadow’s workings.
Toward the close of the final chapter, Baker comes to what is perhaps the most demanding of all her shadow work practices: taking a “searching and fearless moral inventory” of oneself, such as one does as part of a 12-step program. This inventory is challenging because it can’t consist of blanket apologies, but must be a specific and well-thought-out accounting of all the harm one has done to others over one’s entire life. Baker is candid enough to admit that she’s hurt plenty of people close to her and that, as a result, her moral inventory has been a difficult and protracted undertaking. Yet she has some encouraging words of wisdom to others as they begin this step: “Remember that making amends is for your benefit as much as for the benefit of the other person.”
Dark Gold is one in a line of books that Baker has written over the past several years to help others prepare emotionally and spiritually for the trying times ahead. Writing these books is a calling of hers that began in 2009 when she first embarked on her own “inner transition,” as she refers to the process of coming to terms with humanity’s predicament. “I made a conscious decision,” she recalls, “to spend the rest of my life preparing for the collapse of industrial civilization and assisting others in doing the same.”* It’s a noble calling, and it will be fascinating to see what other illuminating books it will spawn in years to come.
* Carolyn Baker, “Preparing For Near-Term Extinction,” Carolyn Baker, May 7, 2013, https://carolynbaker.net/2013/05/07/preparing-for-near-term-extinction-by-carolyn-baker/ (accessed Sept. 3, 2016).
DIAMOND CUTTERS - UK - POETRY READING
Poetry has always held both the stories and the consciousness of the tribe, reaching deep into what we know as the Oral Tradition—and as Julian Jaynes suggests in his extraordinary book The Origins of the Bicameral Mind about language and prophecy, for longer than prose. Poetry and music both speak to the same part of the brain, which actually (as recent neuroscientific research has indicated) is a different part of the brain that prose speaks to. It is the lyrical, of course, and also the imaginal. It is the imagination, which gives rises to vision, which is central and a stake here. As the saying goes- ‘Without a vision, the people perish’
Natasha invites you to the first in a series of Book Stop literary events. An evening with poet and author, Jay Ramsay, who will be talking about the anthology Diamond Cutters, recently published in San Francisco.
Venue: Bedford Hotel
Date: Friday 21st October, 7.30p.m.
Tickets on sale at Book Stop. £20.00,to include a free book and glass of wine.
Separate poetry reading at Calstock Arts Centre on the afternoon of Sunday 23rd October. Check our website for full details.
DIAMOND CUTTERS edited BY ANDREW HARVEY AND JAY RAMSAY.
Entrance is Free.
Why is poetry important, even essential, for us now? And what part does it have to play in the wider culture of our time?
Jay Ramsay and Andrew Harvey have edited this ground-breaking collection of poetry which features internationally acclaimed poets from all over the world.
This exciting book launch features readings by:
GABRIEL BRADFORD MILLAR
Please join us at the beautiful Black Books Cafe in Stroud on FRIDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER 7.30 pm BLACK BOOK CAFÉ, High St, Stroud
Entrance is free but donation to cover room cost is welcome.