Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kamerling & Gustafson's Lifting the Veil

Lifting the Veil
by Fred Gustafson & Jane Kamerling

The following is the foreword by Thomas Singer, MD

In her chapter “The Symbol of the Veil,” Jane Kamerling writes in this book of her seeing an Arab woman standing alone on top of a hill as night approached in the desert forty-five years ago: “Hidden under the robes that concealed her body was a world unknown to me.” This becomes the central, symbolic image of the authors’ quest of Lifting the Veil. Many meanings of this multivalent and potent symbol emerge in the journey to unveil to Westerners the foreign world of Arab Muslims. There is one potential, perhaps unintended, meaning of “Lifting the Veil” that occurred to me while reading this unique study. Could it be that the title of the book also boomerangs back onto the long veiled Jungian tradition of only looking at the world through our own very particular point of view—which is frequently quite blind and deaf to what is happening around us?


Shirley Ma provides a Jungian perspective on the Chinese tradition of footbinding and considers how it can be used as a metaphor for the suffering of women and the repression of the feminine, as well as a symbol for hope, creativity and spiritual transformation.

Drawing on personal history, popular myths, literature, and work with clients, Footbinding discusses how modern women still symbolically find their feet bound through this ancient practice. Detailed case studies from Western and Asian women demonstrate how Jungian analysis can loosen these psychological bindings allowing the client to reconnect with the feminine archetype, discover their own identity and take control of their own destiny.