ral's notebook …access to all of ral's online activities


September 21


The dream was clear:
Find where dreams are homed.
I know my journals have been home
to my dreams over the years.
But the journals are not lost,
or misplaced, or in need of finding.
What then?
Do dreams have homes like us?
Some not yet, some just born, some toddlers, some
unruly adolescents, some mature, some elderly
some already dying, some dead. If so,
What then?
Do dreams leave home and journey to us?
Come visiting as uncertain guests?
To find their home means we must travel.
Who among us will take that trip and how?
What then?

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September 16

NOTEWORTHY                                                                 Number 2 — September 16, 2017


For sustained inventiveness and sheer genius, it is hard to beat China Miéville’s 2010 novel, Kraken: An Anatomy[1]. Based on old Norse legends, Tennyson’s famous poem (“The Kraken”), John Wyndam’s[2]  novel, The Kraken Wakes, and other such sources, it is a useful work in relation to my dream (see “Lamentation in Three Parts” at http://ralockhart.com/WP/?p=133) that speaks to a final Ragnarök Here is a sample: And after? Nothing. Not a phoenix age, not a kingdom of ash, not a new Eden. This time, for the first time, in a way that no threatened end had ushered in before, there was no post-after. (p.272).

A good follow-up study to Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, is Joshua Green’s Devils Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency.[3]

I’ve been immersed in the book based on the exhibit of Miró’s paintings during the period from 1917-1934.[4] I was prompted in this direction by an article decrying the loss of unsupervised play in children. It is the unsupervised play that is crucial to the development of the imagination. Many of the spearheads of the development of modern art may be thought of as adolescents rebelling against the parents (representational art): manifestos, intentional destruction, and all manner of such and it worked! A new form of art was born. But Miró went at it differently. He went backward into childhood and recaptured an extraordinary sense of play. This I think may become more and more necessary in the times ahead as paradoxical as that may seem. The exhibit was called, La Naissance du Monde. The Birth of the World.

Next month will see the publication of the first of three volumes in a new series entitled, Jung’s Red Book for Our Time: Searching for Soul Under Postmodern Conditions. The series is edited by Murray Stein and Thomas Arzt and published by Chiron Publications. My essay, entitled “Appassionato for the Imagination,” will be in this first volume. The title came to me in a dream. For a description of the volume and the list of essay titles and contributors, go to http://chironpublications.com/shop/jungs-red-book-time-searching-soul-postmodern-conditions-vol-1/

Numerous studies reveal that reading and particularly, reading fiction, has a powerful effect on the brain producing remarkable increases in cognitive function, emotional intelligence, and empathy. One of the scary things about technological “progress,” is that as more and more children become addicted to “smart” phones, it is not making the children smarter. Recent studies are showing that one-quarter of American children do not learn to read by the time they are teens and the smartphone addiction becomes more intense. Watch for headlines about the increasing mental health problems of teens stemming from being tethered to technology. What can possibly be done about this?

[1] MiéVille, China. Kraken: An Anatomy. New York: Ballantine Books, 010.

[2] John Wyndham was Jung’s favorite fiction author.

[3] Green, Joshua. Devils Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency. New York: Penguin Press, 2017.

[4] Miró, Joan 1917-1934. London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2004.

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Another poem from the “Giving Darkness Its Due” series:

September 10
The Way Ahead
The way ahead is dark indeed
everyone hoping to find a seed
to grow something old or new
when all that’s left is but a few
It’s hard to face the coming end
To know what to do, how to fend
Whom to trust, whom to blame
All bets are off, the game’s aflame
We’ve ruined the world and our nest
Ignored the truth and all the rest
Not to mention what could have been
Lost forever in Ragnarök’s final win


September 7


The man lying in the bushes was not asleep. He was laughing.
He’d had a dream he said, of a pelican with a bow tie.
“I’d call him Reginald, if I were you. And I’d get yourself a bow tie.”
He answered: “Can’t say as I’ve ever seen one of my kind in a bow tie.”

The shirtless tatooted man was not laughing, but walking fast,
prodded by a security man shouting “keep walking!”
and poking shirtless in the back with stiffened fingers.
“He needs a pelican with a bow tie, ” I said as I walked past.

The poker’s partner stepped in front of me, stopping me.
“What’s your name, sir?” he asked, as if the habit itself was bored.
“Owl Man,” I said without delay, pointing to the owl on my tee.
“Let’s see your ID, sir!” “I don’t carry ID on my morning walk.”

“Why did you say that guy needed a pelican with a bow tie?”
“Because the homeless guy around the corner had a dream
of a pelican with a bow tie and he couldn’t stop laughting.
Everyone needs a dream or at least something to imagine on.”

“Well, Owl Man, your talk is crazy, but you do not seem crazy.”
“We are at an edge, Security Man. What are you going to do?”
“Look, I gotta help my partner deal with a situation. You can go.”
“Thank you. But don’t forget the pelican. Don’t forget the bow tie.”

My morning walks are for treating my balance problems.

But they offer so much more when I pay attention,

don’t divert my eyes, don’t fear saying unexpected things.

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September 6

The tiny squirrel does a tippy-toe scurry across the road

just missing being flattened by the unseen auto

the driver unaware she nearly pancaked the latest incarnation of *’s curiosity

She doesn’t know that *’s embodiment is not a one-time thing

limited only to a human and man at that and long ago

*’s curiosity is restless and seeks incarnation

over and over in other and other

There, in that homeless one, in that fallen leaf, in your left shoe

how about a little more reverence then for the untended

you never know when *’s curiosity will incarnate

may never learn, the secret of love is curiosity


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NOTEWORTHY Number 1—August 26, 2017

August 26

? There is a very good article on “Freudianism” centered on arch-critic Frederick Crew’s new book (New Yorker Aug. 28, 2017, p. 75-82), entitled, Freud: The Making of An Illusion. New York: Metropolitan Boos, 2017. In the New Yorker’s A Critic at Large section, Louis Menand’s critique is entitled, “The Stone Guest: Can Sigmund Freud ever be killed.”

? By far the most illuminating work on the radical right/libertarian plans for the takeover of the United States is Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. New York: Viking, 2017. This book makes visible what is mostly hidden, hidden on purpose and by design. Once you read this book, you will be able to see what is happening in our country and why things are developing the way they are. This is essential reading as is Professor MacClean’s earlier book, Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan.

? Paco and I are working on the second volume of Dreams, Bones & the Future. It will be subtitled, “Queries & Speculations.” We hope to be finished in the fall. Watch for excerpts soon.

? Rose-Lynn Fisher is an artist, writer and photographer whose latest work is photographing tears through optical magnification to create an extraordinary and fascinating look at human emotions as pictured in the microscopic landscape of tears. If you want a break from the craziness of today’s news, look at The Topography of Tears. New York: Bellevue Literary Press, 2017.

? The 1981 film My Dinner with Andre with Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn is one of my favorite films. I watch it from time to time and see how prescient so much of the conversation was. Now I have spent time with Wallace Shawn’s new book, Night Thoughts (Chicago: Hay market Books, 2017). It’s a short book, but long on implications for considering possibilities amid the rubble of our time.

? Did you know? In Brown vs. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public education was unconstitutional. This not only sparked the civil rights movement, but energized the southern states to find innumerable ways to block this decision from changing what the states considered was their “rightful way of life.” This “fight” is still going on. In 1959, Prince Edward County in Virginia, padlocked all public schools, and used public funds for whites only education. For five years, black children had no public education. The backbone of racism and inequality is alive and well in many parts of the country. One of the purposes of “originalism” in court appointments, and particularly to the Supreme Court is to revitalize the original aspects of the Constitution that permitted (without naming) the fact of slavery. If originalism gains a clear majority, watch for civil rights cases, such as Brown vs. Board of Education, to be nullified.

? The anti-science stance of the current government will escalate dramatically as it is a part of the deeper and broader embrace of anti-truth. “Climate change” as a phrase has been outlawed in all government connected and government supported activities. The basic idea here is that “the truth is not what is, but what we say it is.” At some point, reality is going to bite hard.

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August 18


The Road to Ruin has never been called
the Road to Ruin, always, always something else.
In the language of reverse speak the sign’s
arrows point to Greatness, Best, Number One.
Always, always, the Road to Ruin is littered
with the throwaways, the cast-offs:
humans that are different
the powerless and the havenots
truth and its children
values and their kin
culture and creativity
At some point it will hit you and you will turn
around and go back and begin to recover all
that has been thrown away.

It can be too late sooner than you think.

The Crow’s Appointment … from a dream

August 12


Crow waddles in, refuses the couch,
hops atop the stolid oak desk.
“A bit unusual,” I’d say.
Not at all, I’m always black.
“No wish for white then?”
None at all. Black is best you know.
“You seem ok with being a crow and being black.
What’s your problem then?”
No problem. But I’ve had what you hue mans call a dream.
“Well, then, tell me the dream.”
You mean for free?
“Well, then, what’s your fee?”
Three thousand of your US dollars per dream.
“That’s insane!”
So, as a hue man, what would you pay for a crow dream?
“The whole idea of paying for a dream is absurd!”
Hmmm. Insane. Absurd. The rule of three requires a third.
“Let me think. How about harebrained.”
You got something against hares? No feathers, I admit.
“We will have to continue this next time. Your hour is up.”
But it’s only been thirteen minutes.
“Economics. We’re on the thirteen-minute hour now.”
Insane! Absurd! Harebrained!

…a line from a dream

August 11

… a line from a dream

Hey, all you light seekers
Give darkness its dew!

Dew forms in the night
when surfaces of car glass
and spider webs cannot
evaporate faster than the air’s
moisture condenses.

Dew: the lachrymose impulse of darkness

Is such a line from a dream nonsense
as some say, or is it a line for a poem?
I am for embracing the possibilities
of the line more than the Inquisitor’s
blustering and dismal dismissive cant.

Give darkness its dew is not a thought
I’ve had before. Such is the gift of dreams.
Imagine now condensation and evaporation
as psychological even physiological processes
giving birth from the darkness of the night.

In other words: dreams as dew.

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Reality comes visitng…

August 10

You can control people by language, but you cannot control the world–only how the world is perceived by people, until the world in its ineluctable reality comes visiting. To deny the visitation of reality is to suffer the fate that only Philemon and Baucis avoided by welcoming the disguised gods. Everyone else perished.

From The Guardian:

USDA staff reportedly told to avoid term ‘climate change’

Department of Agriculture staffers have been told to “avoid” using the term “climate change” in written correspondence, The Guardian reported Monday. In instructions on how to discuss climate change-related work, “climate change” is listed as a term to avoid and replace with “weather extremes.” Another blacklisted phrase is “reduce greenhouse gases.” The instructions were included in an email sent in February by Bianca Moebius-Clune, the USDA’s director of soil health. President Trump has repeatedly expressed doubts about the science of climate change, and his top pick for the USDA’s chief scientist, Sam Clovis, has called climate research “junk science.”

Watch to see what the President orders of the Congressionally mandated Climate Report by scientists at 13 agencies. The report is grim by any measure. The NYT has a draft copy so even if the President suppresses it, it will be available for all to see.

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This site is the access point for all the online activities of “ral” otherwise known as Russell Arthur Lockhart, Ph.D. I work as a Jungian Analyst, Writer, Editor & Publisher (The Lockhart Press), and Consultant. The focus in all my activities is the psyche as it expresses itself in dreams, imagination, language and culture. Your comments are most welcome and appreciated.