Also available in an open-access, full-text edition at http://oaktrust.library.tamu.edu/handle/1969.1/85766
“Emotion is an expression of the self,” Verena Kast writes in this ground-breaking study of the neglected emotions of joy, inspiration, and hope. “If we decide we no longer want to hide behind empty shells, then we will have to allow certain emotions more room. We will have to let ourselves laugh louder, cry louder, and shout for joy.”
Kast skillfully and engagingly makes the case that not only therapists and analysts but also individuals seeking growth in their own lives should give more attention to the elated emotions. Fear of excess (mania) and analytic preoccupation with grief, anxiety, and depression have together caused joy and hope to be shunned as a focus in individuation (the process toward wholeness). Kast convincingly demonstrates the role of joy in relationship and existential involvement. Joy answers the human need for elated feeling and meaning in our lives, a need which is often filled in modern society by secularized parodies of religious ecstasy, such as addiction and compulsiveness.
Kast explores the Dionysian myth as an archetypal image of the transforming effect of ecstasy on the personality. She considers Sisyphus, the absurd hero of French existentialism, as the symbol for rejection of false hope and joy, rejection which clears the way for true hope rooted in basic trust and the positive mother archetype. She suggests simple techniques for recapturing our joy through development of an autobiography of joy. Using this approach, we can discover what gives us joy personally, how we can best experience joy, and how and why we choke off our joy. By viewing joy, inspiration, and hope as core emotions in our being, we open ourselves to greater wholeness and fuller life.
|Publisher:||Texas A&M University Press|
|Series:||Carolyn and Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology , #1|
|Product dimensions:||5.54(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.54(d)|
About the Author
VERENA KAST holds a doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Zurich. After having served nine years as president of the Swiss Association for Analytical Psychology, she is now vice-president of the International Association of Analytical Psychology. She has published eighteen books in German, three of whichThe Nature of Loving, A Time to Mourn, and The Creative Leaphave been translated into English. Her works also appear in Japanese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, and Italian. Joy, Inspiration, and Hope is the first of her books to appear originally in English. Kast is professor of psychology at the University of Zurich and an instructor and training analyst at the C. G. Jung Institute, Zurich.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"We risk our lives in order to feel alive" states Swiss Jungian psychotherapist, author and professor of psychology at the University of Zurich, Dr. Verena Kast. Proposing a new approach to healing, she suggests we not painfully track our devastation. Instead, we are to ask ourselves: How can I get my joy back? How do I retrieve this biogenetic inheritance, intrinsically mine? This book reminds me of a story of a young woman who escaped a terrible trauma in the southern U.S. which hurt her so badly that when she staggered into a New York bus depot she collapsed and was taken to hospital. She could barely speak for weeks. Her psychologist employed a technique of which Dr. Kast would heartily approve: she asked her client to name one thing that made her feel happy...just one. The young woman replied that she knew for certain that she liked chocolate. Her love of chocolate then, became the foundation for her on-going recovery. Dr. Kast suggests that it is the search for joy that both motivates and sustains us despite the traumas of life. She says this search "...is based in the realm of the nurturing mother archetype" (in contrast to that of the father archetype where we minutely analyze our difficulties in order to be more conscious of them.) The argument of this analytical text is that "we are not only flung into life, as the emotion of anxiety suggests, but we are also carried by life." In tracking our lost joy we must steadfastly avoid alluring imitations that ultimately disappoint, such as the ecstatic yet brief burst of joy gleaned from dependencies on drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, competition, power, control and prestige. These escapes establish further sub-dominances of cruelty such as sadism. Kast describes a subtle avoidance of joy: "Many people say `Do I have the right to rejoice when everything is so bad in the world?' I have also heard this subtle form of sadism expressed in a slightly different way: `Not only do you speak about joy; you even take shameless delight in it. Meanwhile, the world is coming apart at the seams.' Less subtly stated, a sadistic commandment lurks in the background: "Thou shalt not rejoice" as if to imply that only a disgraceful human being is capable of rejoicing. When we think of how vitalizing joy actually is, this prohibition of joy because of the terrible state of the world proves to be sadistic. We are outraged by brutal sadists, but we need to keep an eye out for the subtle sadists as well." Kast explains that in order to steadfastly pursue joy, and keep it, we must employ hope. The way to contain our joy over the long haul involves a willingness to behave as though there is, in fact, something better.This better is what Kast believes to be holiness and she names it `hope'.