Psyche Speaks had its origin in a dream, in the dream’s poem, and in a series of strange events. Dr. Lockhart writes: “I awoke from a dream, speaking the last line of a poem….. where madness is psyche’s only nurse. Later that day, as I walked along Market Street in San Francisco, I experienced a series of events that were a powerful reminder of that line, which haunts me still.”
It is the author’s sense that the failure in modern life to nurse psyche in ourselves and in others does, in fact, open the door to madness. Madness itself becomes nurse. The dream, the poem, and that day’s events have led the author to work on the problem of how to nurture psychic development in our day, which means, first of all, how to listen to psyche in the overlooked and undervalued Market Street we call every day, ordinary life.
Jung perceived and taught that the psyche now, as in ages past, produces myths by which to portray its sufferings, its realities, its hopes. These images may correspond to ancient myths of other peoples and other times, but we need also to hear those symbolic expressions of the psyche in our own time which are new or different, not contained in old stories or categories, mythical or clinical.
What is the psyche trying to say in our time? The author believes the new myths have to do with eros, with a new eros forming: an eros which cannot be portrayed or comprehended within old explanations, interpretations, or analyses: an eros which recognizes that psyche first and foremost wants to be heard. To hear and to tell means to keep faith with the myth-inducing quality of life and the myth-producing quality of the psyche. This eros also requires a re-casting of our normal distinctions between “inner” and “outer,” for psyche seems to be speaking from a space between these realms. Dreams are visitors from this between space. Listening to and enacting the hints of such dreams will provide the welcoming eros for what the Irish poet AE called “The Pilgrim of Eternity” and for what Jung called the “Coming Guest.”