Storytime with Robert: Robert A. Johnson Tells His Favorite Stories and Myths

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Robert A. Johnson was more than an international best-selling author of fifteen books, brilliant and influential Jungian analyst, and acclaimed international lecturer; he was a master storyteller. This collection is transcribed from Robert’s own tellings throughout the years. Robert told these stories, his favorites, to an appreciative and revering community each night at Journey into Wholeness events from 1981 to 2001. Robert collected several of these stories in his beloved India, but the book includes stories and myths from Chinese, Native American, Mexican, and European traditions. Each story is introduced by a colleague, mentee, or friend whose life was profoundly changed by the presence and teachings of this wise and other-wordly sage. 

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Robert A. Johnson was more than an international best-selling author of fifteen books, brilliant and influential Jungian analyst, and acclaimed international lecturer; he was a master storyteller. This collection is transcribed from Robert’s own tellings throughout the years. Robert told these stories, his favorites, to an appreciative and revering community each night at Journey into Wholeness events from 1981 to 2001. Robert collected several of these stories in his beloved India, but the book includes stories and myths from Chinese, Native American, Mexican, and European traditions. Each story is introduced by a colleague, mentee, or friend whose life was profoundly changed by the presence and teachings of this wise and other-wordly sage. 

Robert taught us we could enjoy a myth or a story as a child would, or we could listen more carefully to discover a roadmap for our own inner work. Magical, humorous, tragic, enigmatic, these stories illustrate Robert’s capacity to speak to the delights and adversities of the human experience, and to our collective quest to become our most conscious and authentic selves. 

“Nonnie Cullipher spent years holding space for people to do their deep inner work at Journey Into Wholeness events, where Robert Johnson did some of his richest storytelling and teaching. She opened her heart wide to receive myself and every other inquiring mind who arrived. I can’t think of a better person to envision, curate, and construct this collection of stories from and about Robert. She is a discriminating, wise, and humor-filled master of the craft of pulling people together and drawing out their cherished tales.”  – Tayria Ward, Ph.D., Founder of Bridging Worlds

“One could see clearly that the people loved—actually, ‘adored’ would be the better word — this master storyteller. Everyone referred to him as ‘Robert,’ and we all knew immediately who was meant when that name was mentioned. There was only one Robert.” – Murray Stein, PhD

“Robert Johnson was a masterful storyteller. He knew the potency of a metaphor, which, when received by the listener, can simultaneously interest the intellect, energize the body, and evoke the soul. Robert’s investment in story is rooted in the humus of what Jung described as the collective unconscious: the richly layered, symbolic language of thousands of years of humans trying to understand how to be fully human in a soul-filled body.” – Paula M. Reeves, PhD

“Robert wanted people, through stories, to consider their own complexes, healing, potentials, self-imposed restrictions, initiatory experiences, and the individuation journey. He would be pleased to hear us discussing and wrestling with them.” – Barry Williams, PsyD

“Robert understood that it is through myth, fairy tale, and story that humankind expresses and records those collective, archetypal dreams that bring meaning to the human experience. He favored story. As in a dream, these stories give image and voice to aspects of our personalities that are out of balance.”  – Pete Williams, PhD

“More so than anyone I had previously met, Robert was enigmatically self-contained… otherworldly. Maybe that’s why I was almost always speechless in his presence. His quiet and gentle spirit invited a space for reflection, where words sometimes seemed superfluous.” – Virginia Apperson, PhD

 

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 The Good Year (Hindu) – Introduced by Murray Stein

Chapter 2 The Miracle of Guadalupe (Mexican) – Introduced by Gertrud Mueller Nelson

Chapter 3 One‐Two Man (Paiute) – Introduced by Phil Cousineau

Chapter 4 Savatri and Satchavan (Hindu) – Introduced by Laurie Downs and Elizabeth Rucker

Chapter 5 Cry of the Loon (Inuit) – Introduced by Barry Williams

Chapter 6 The Frog Queen (Hindu) – Introduced by Rob Luke

Chapter 7 The Dame Ragnel (Western) – Introduced by Paula Reeves

Chapter 8 The King and the Sannyasin (Hindu) – Introduced by Pete William

Chapter 9 The Woman at the Crossroads (origin unknown) – Introduced by Virginia Apperson

Chapter 10 Heaven’s Emissary (Hindu) – Introduced by Frank Roth

Chapter 11 The Rainmaker (Chinese) – Introduced by J. Pittman McGehee

Chapter 12 Transposed Heads (Hindu) – Introduced by Ruth Hill

Chapter 13 The Old Jew (Western) – Introduced by Jim Cullipher

 

 

 

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