Cultural Writing. Psychology. LISTENING TO THE RHINO uses stories, myths, and case studies to show the living reality of something deep in the psyche that resembles a large, primordial animal, a creature whose support of human agendas is not entirely reliable. This irrational part of ourselves–call it the autonomous psyche–finds expression in a multitude of contradictory ways in both the lives of individuals and the sweep of world events. Sometimes it is responsible for the miraculous healing of body and soul; at other times it perpetuates the most horrifying forms of violence. Whether it works primarily for good or for ill depends in large part on how we relate to it.
“The language is accessible, the tone is personal and the presentation is lucid….Seamlessly, the book turns to two major topics of special concern in today’s world: the nature of violence and the use of psychotropic drugs. They are connected, in this psychological analysis, as they both are related to the powerful, little-understood storehouse of energy and wisdom in the human psyche which Jung called the collective unconscious and showed to be variously reflected in human creativity, religion, war and illness. (This autonomous force, in all its power, is symbolized and imaged by the rhinoceros of the book’s title). We find here an original and thoughtful section on the psychological bases of violence, especially in the U.S., and some challenging ideas about approaches to such issues as school shootings, gun control, and religious and other terrorisms… Another section…shows us how medication can be used to avoid genuine emotion, deny underlying problems, and how it can destroy psychological healing processes…Don’t be deceived by the small size of the book or the informality of the language. Only a profound understanding can put forth such subtle and complex ideas in such apparently plain talk.” -Deborah Wesley, in Psychological Perspectives, Vol. 51, issue 2
Janet O. Dallett lives in Port Townsend, Washington, having spent a career as a Jungian analyst, in California and Washington . In addition to having published numerous scholarly articles and three very well-received books, Dr. Dallett has taught, lectured, and led workshops throughout North America . She is the founder of the Port Townsend Edward F. Edinger Society for the Study and Advancement of the Work of C. G. Jung. As analyst, she specializes in the psychology of creativity.