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My presentation will focus on my most recent book, Tearing Down Walls: Ich Bin Ein Berliner.
This book is about some of the work we need to do in order to become all that we can be. Like Berlin, we all have a wall, an inner wall that separates us from ourselves and imposes a formidable limit on what we can become. It’s a wall that needs to be torn down. We built this wall at an early age when socialization began and we needed a barrier behind which we could hide that part of ourselves that was unacceptable to our parents and important others. We hid that part of us in order to be loved.
Like us, Berlin started out as a unified whole. Then, like us, a wall was erected that split it in two. To become one again, the wall had to be torn down and the darker side, the East side, had to be brought into the light and developed.
Berlin, thus, is a metaphor for the enlargement of personality that can occur when we, like Berlin’s inhabitants, tear down that wall and become bigger, richer, freer, and more diverse and democratic. In this sense we are all potentially Berliners.
The catalyst for this book was a powerful dream that contained a biblical image that suggested Berlin may well serve as a symbol of the Self, a stunning creative entity extremely diverse in its makeup, containing all the opposites, the contradictions, and the paradoxes found in great creations.
If there is time, I may also talk about a manuscript I am now trying to complete. Its title is “Ovid’s Evil.” This book is especially directed toward people who want to write. There are many things that keep us from writing and publishing what we truly think and feel. I try to explore some of the things that stand in our way. At the root of our fear of writing, as well as expressing ourselves in other ways, is the fear of losing love, admiration, and the respect of others. It’s a very difficult fear to overcome unless we can find something inside ourselves that can help protect us. Of course, there are other fears, too, like getting shot or beaten up, or finding a bunch of protesters in our front yard.
Lawrence Staples is a 91-year-old retired Jungian Analyst. He is a Diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich, Switzerland, has a Ph.D. in psychology, and holds AB and MBA degrees from Harvard. In addition to Guilt with a Twist: The Promethean Way, he is the author of The Creative Soul: Art and the Quest for Wholeness, Eighteen East 74th Street, Tearing Down Walls: Ich Bin Ein Berliner, and co-author with his wife, Nancy Carter Pennington, of The Guilt Cure and Our Creative Fingerprint. In his first half of life career, he was a corporate vice president and officer of a Fortune 500 company.
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