Using the image of knots that are hard, and sometimes impossible, to untie, Ann Ulanov circles around the psychic dilemmas that entangle us, sometimes for decades. These can be heartrending to us and destructive to others, even to those we love. Yet these knots, so peculiarly our own, also open onto human problems we share with others, even across the ages. Hence working on our knots takes us far down to taproots of energy and far up and out to bring that vital aliveness into shared existence with others. Knots thus comprise a ladder, offering footholds and handholds, for descending and ascending between what Jung calls Below and Above, human and divine.
What are such knots? What to do when forgiveness does not happen? What to do with the inferiority of the inferior function? With the question of how much lightning can we stand? With the perils of individuation? These are just a few examples from the essays in this book. The reader is invited to browse the essays according to personal interest or to read straight through. The surprise is that these vexing knots that tie us up and hold us down also give us a mooring; they bind us to a path that is uniquely our own that can bear the fruit of our service to others and to the surrounding whole.
Praise for Knots and Their Untying
The forgotten fairy in the Brothers Grimm's "Sleeping Beauty" plunges a kingdom into a deathless sleep. Ann Ulanov links the fairy's spell with the kind of knot that ties us up so tightly everything begins to freeze. In a style that is vivid, fresh, and colorful, Ulanov familiarizes us with the highest and lowest in human experience. This book connects us with the knotted, dissociated, and unforgiving parts of our personality. We are invited on a journey that celebrates the unwanted as an opportunity to position a person in service of a greater whole. Casting a bridge between the "hereness" of daily life and the "thereness" of the spirit world, Ulanov weaves a web of connections between the psychological and religious that is authentic, meaningful, and deeply moving, creating a liminal space that can untie one of the toughest knots of all, that of the unforgiving soul. A book of astounding quality!
JOHN HILL, JUNGIAN ANALYST AND AUTHOR OF AT HOME IN THE WORLD: SOUNDS AND SYMMETRIES OF BELONGING
1 The 13th Fairy
2 Transforming Trauma: Psychological and Spiritual Pathways
3 The Perils of Individuation
II. BODY AND PSYCHE
4 How Much Lightning Can We Stand?
5 The Inferior Function
6 Countertransference and the Erotic
III. BEHIND THE SCENES
7 Before We Were: Creating and Being Created in Our Analytic Profession
8 Losing, Finding, Being Found
9 The Many in the One, the One in the Many
IV. PSYCHE, SPIRITUALITY, RELIGION
10 Is There a There There? Or Is This the Wrong Question?
11 What Do We Do If We Cannot Forgive? If Forgiveness Does Not Happen?
About the Author:
Ann Belford Ulanov, M.Div., Ph.D., L.H.D., is the Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychiatry and Religion, Emerita, at Union Theological Seminary, a psychoanalyst in private practice, and a member of the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association, New York City, and the International Association for Analytical Psychology. She is the author of many books, her most recent including: Madness and Creativity (Carolyn and Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology, 2013); The Unshuttered Heart: Opening to Aliveness and Deadness in the Self (2007); Spirit in Jung (2005); Spiritual Aspects of Clinical Work (2004); and Attacked by Poison Ivy, A Psychological Study (2002). She is the co-author, with her late husband Barry Ulanov, of Religion and the Unconscious; Primary Speech: A Psychology of Prayer; Cinderella and Her Sisters: The Envied and the Envying; The Witch and The Clown: Two Archetypes of Human Sexuality; The Healing Imagination; and Transforming Sexuality: The Archetypal World of Anima and Animus.