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Spectacular Light


The thing about living is light. It surrounds us, breathes through us – not in us but through us. The force of it is subtle as the New Mexico breeze I hardly notice under the hot summer desert sun then suddenly become acutely grateful for when under the shade of a hundred-year-old cottonwood tree.

 Light informs my psychotherapeutic work with patients who’ve suffered from complex childhood trauma, a terrible pain stemming from years of chronic abuse. There are horrid memories deposited in mind an

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Barry’s Blog # 14: The Royal Wedding

In April 2011 a million people gathered in London. News reporters showed that many were apparently weeping with joy. Broadcast in over 180 countries to perhaps 160 million viewers, the wedding was one of the most watched events in TV history. With an additional 70 million live internet streams, the Guinness Book gave it the record of “Most Live Streams for a Single Event”, beating out 2009’s memorial service for Michael Jackson (see below).

Hundreds of journalists described every conceivable angl

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Barry’s Blog # 31: The Race Card

The root of the White man’s hatred is terror, a bottomless and nameless terror, which focuses on this dread figure, an entity which lives only in his mind. – James Baldwin

As I considered the dark anniversary that is approaching, after all the writing I’ve done about race in America, it came to me as a shock of insight. It was so obvious, yet I hadn’t noticed it before. I was talking with a friend about white privilege, when he interrupted me and asked, “You’re not going to bring up the race card

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Every American president at least since Harry Truman, and arguably for much longer, has encountered a unique political dilemma created by two conditions. The first is a political reality. Capitalism and imperial expansion have dominated American politics since the beginning of the republic – and, if we are to properly understand the events of November 22nd, 1963 as a military coup – the end of the republic. In this context, all Presidents since Lyndon Johnson have been servants of the Deep State

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Part One:

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. – W.B. Yeats

All that is solid melts into air. – Karl Marx

In a previous blog series I discussed how the gatekeepers of our culture exclude and demonize much progressive thought by associating it in the reader’s mind with bizarre right-wing claims, thereby delegitimizing both:

…countless websites and books devoted to narratives that marginalize anyone who questions the dominant paradigms of the culture. They typically do this by identifying “loony

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Part Three -- History and Myth

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. – Andre Gide

As both American history and American mythology have shown us, it is always easier to blame others – dark-skinned people or dark-web conspiracies – for our troubles than it is to admit our own complicity. Chapters seven and ten of my book discuss what I call the Paranoid Imagination, tracing it backwards to the roots of Christianity and forward to the very beginning of the American Republi

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Barry’s Blog # 33: The Predator

Psychologist, author (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief) and ritual leader Francis Weller has evolved a useful psychological concept.

The Predator is a very common internal voice that means us no good. Sound familiar? It wants us to fail, setting impossibly high standards and then shaming us for not attaining them. Indeed, its message is that we never deserved peace, love, health or fulfillment, that the world is not interested in any gifts we might offer to

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When someone asks, “How are you?”, you might say, “Great!” or “I’m good” or “Hanging in there” or some such, and leave it at that. But if you are talking with a friend, loved one, or anyone who seems truly interested, likely you might share an anecdote about why you feel the way you do. For example, you might say:

  • I left my house at the normal time, just sailed along listening to great music on the radio, and got here early. Now I’m here with you, and that’s nice, too.
  • I’m nervous. I’m on the way
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Part One

To really understand our stubborn and increasingly dangerous attachment to the myth of American Innocence, we must become familiar with our heritage of what I have called the paranoid imagination, which combines eternal vigilance, relentless anxiety and literalistic religion with contempt for the erotic and tolerance for sadistic treatment of the weak or marginalized. Why these last two features? Because what we will not allow ourselves to desire becomes a vector of judgment, fear and ha

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Barry’s Blog # 7: The Outside Agitator

In America’s fevered, paranoid imagination the “internal other” as drug dealer tempts the good citizens and leads them from the clear air of the palace roof down into the basements of sin. But the terrorist, the “external other,” wants to tunnel under the walls and destroy the palace itself. Since long before 9/11/2001, the fear mongers have been in the lucrative business of reducing rational human beings to quivering children, willing to trade their celebrated freedoms for a thin promise of tem

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Lately, perhaps more than at any other time in recent history, Americans find themselves in a full-blown epidemic of “othering.” We are obsessed with cataloging the qualities of those individuals and groups who appear to embody everything that we cannot accept about ourselves.


Pick one or more: Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Latino immigrants, transgender people, African-American teenagers, anyone at all from the Mid-East. Trump supporters.

But it is important, perhaps critical, to understand that w

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Part Four

Myth is conveyed – and consumed – in narratives and images. So it is important to understand our most fundamental mythic image. The American obsession with individualism has been built up and buttressed by three centuries of stories, repeated in thousands of variations, of the lone, violent hero.

All societies evolved versions of Joseph Campbell’s classic “monomyth” — except America. Whereas the classic hero is born in community, hears a call, ventures forth on his journey and returns sa

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Part One

An earlier version of this essay was published in 2013 as the introductory chapter in Uncivil Liberties: Deconstructing Libertarianism, published by the Praxis Peace Institute.

You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself. – Ivan Boesky

This is America. If you’re not a winner, it’s your own fault. – Jerry Falwell

Free money makes the rich strong and wise, while it corrupts poor people, making them stupid and weak.– Lewis Lapham


In most parts of the world, the terms “libertarian” and

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9142464485?profile=originalIn this interview, scholar and professor, Les Lancaster, discusses the origins and aims of Transpersonal Psychology and compares and contrasts it to Depth Psychology, both of which have been highly influenced by the work of Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung.

He also delves into the connection between science and the transpersonal, suggesting we simply must recognize that there is something more to our world than the purely physical if we are to engage in the work of spirit and soul, and to reap its m

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Part Five

Whether they are uttered by Trump or by respectable media pundits, false equivalencies typically come into use in order to marginalize progressive alternatives when actual counter-arguments to them would be unconvincing. Here’s the logic:

A is the moderate opinion acceptable to those in power.

B is a progressive alternative, which gatekeepers ignore.

C is a loony, right wing conspiracy theory.

Eventually, public pressure forces the gatekeepers to address B.

When they can no longer ignore B,

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August 27, 2018 Culpepper Blog: War, Loss, and a Self-Directed Life: An Archetypal Study

In an earlier post on this site, “Projective Drawing and the PMAI: Helping Autistic Students Gain Greater Self-Knowledge”(January 23, 2018), I introduced a method of combining the House-Tree-Person drawing with the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator as a way to assess and develop the five social-emotional core competencies with students. Readers of this blog are encouraged to review that post for more detailed

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Part One

In January 2013, Chuck Todd, chief White House correspondent for NBC, addressed a conference of professional vote-counters. His audience included sales reps for voting machine and software companies, as well as several state secretaries of state. Todd ridiculed critics of electronic election machines, saying that they must be paranoid to think that anyone would deliberately alter election results. Earlier that week he had tweeted: “The voting machine conspiracies belong in the same categ

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9142473076?profile=originalRituals of Sacrifice: The Archetypal Roots of

Multi-Generational Trauma in the Americas, Part II

In our previous blog on the archetypal roots of multi-generational trauma in the Americas, we looked at how we might trace the roots of contemporary issues via a depth psychological lens. We examined the idea of there being links between early genocidal violence in North America and the genocidal violence perpetrated by the Nazi regime in Europe in the mid twentieth century. We also looked at the tra

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By Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson[i]


Many of us in our lives face a crucible or severe test at some point, but for the most part, it is thankfully not played out upon a public stage.

Not so for companies and brands. Often, due to circumstances they either invite by their own actions or are subject to for undeserved reasons, beloved brands and the leaders who guide them are put to the ultimate test, and how they react becomes their defining moment – for good or for ill. Something similar can be

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