Jeremiah Abrams was born and grew up in Freeland, a small town in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, USA where his family were manufacturers and employed many of the townspeople. Jeremiah has worked in the field of psychotherapy for over 35 years. He has also worked as a freelance journalist and editor, a consultant, trainer and professor of Jungian Psychology. Jeremiah attended the University of Virginia where he received a BA in Literature and History. He furthered his studies by earning a MS in Journalism and Communications Theory at Boston University. Later he became a licensed psychotherapist in Massachusetts, receiving specialized diploma training in Jungian and Bioenergetic Analysis, Family Systems Theory, and Gestalt, Psychodrama Training. Inspired by his intensive research and exploration of the dimensions of the human psyche, Jeremiah is an editor and author of four non-fiction books related to those subjects. His most recent, The Dreamtime Journey, was published under his own imprint, Mt. Vision Books, in 2007.
Did you grow up in a world of books?
I knew early on that language and telling stories was going to be an important part of my life. My mother had been a teacher and was an avid reader who imbued me with the values of a sound education. I was a teacher’s pet early on, loved to read and became an especially good speller. My favorite time in school was being read to. Our elementary school teachers read stories and great books to us every day, which sent me off into imaginative reverie. I read a good portion of the World Book Encyclopedia by age 12 and was endlessly fascinated by the world of history, geography, biography and good fiction.
When did you start writing?
I wrote quite well in grade school. My work was often chosen as models of exemplary writing so I knew early on that I could write. I went to a boy’s prep school in my hometown where I was editor of the high school newspaper and yearbook. I wrote intensively at university, and published the Curriculum Report of the University of Virginia in 1969. While in graduate school, I worked as a freelance writer, technical writer and editor.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I am a passionate student of archeology and ancient sites and have specialized in Classic Maya and Classical Greece. Mythology, anthropology and psychology are my primary intellectual interests, and I have often traveled to pursue these interests. I am also an avid outdoorsman, naturalist, book collector of esoteric Jungiana, and student of ruins and antediluvian history.
Have you done much international travel?
Yes, a fair share… I toured Europe by motorcycle in the 60’s, and traveled to India, Nepal, Tibet, Europe, Switzerland, Italy and Greece in the 70’s an 80’s. I spent a lot of time in Mexico and Guatemala in the 80’s and 90’s, maybe twelve trips/expeditions to visit ruins and indigenous tribes. Also annual trips in the 90’s and 2000’s to teach in Greece and around the Mediterranean, England and Ireland, Australia for four-month stints, New Zealand, extensive travel in the US and Canada.
What was your first big break as a writer?
My big break came in 1989 when I met my wonderful supportive publisher Jeremy Tarcher, who launched a series of New Consciousness Readers with my first book, Reclaiming the Inner Child. Jeremy stood behind the books he published and believed intensely in the quality of his titles. My second book with Tarcher, Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature, became a classic in 14 languages, largely thanks to Jeremy’s staunch belief in that work.
What was your biggest miscalculation?
In 1995, I published a book, The Shadow in America: Reclaiming the Soul of a Nation, with Nataraj Publishing, an imprint owned by Shakti Gawain, the famous new age author. That publishing venture turned out to be a hobby horse for Shakti and after ten or so titles she tired of it and folded the company into the successful parent company, New World Library, where my book among others became orphaned.
What project are you working on now?
I am concurrently writing two related books: one non-fiction project, Aeon, a treatment of the current shift in paradigm, the invisible psychological and technological implications of a world going through what amounts to a rupture in the fabric of human history. The other project, a novel in progress for the past four years, Aeon Finitis, is ostensibly the story of a year in the life of an everyman, a relatively unrealized person at the top of his career as a modern-day hero, an oncologist (cancer surgeon). He wakes up while transiting a midlife crisis. The storyline mirrors upheavals in our collective culture and the awakening into an awareness of our times and their connection to previous civilizations and their collapse. The storyline involves intrigues that I’d rather not discuss. That is leakage for a writer!
What will you teach at your upcoming writers retreat in Bali?
My emphasis will be on the psychology of the narrative process, techniques for finding the true voice that represents the writer’s authentic sensibility and that matches content to the task at hand. This work involves experiential learning, trusting the continuous image stream that arises from the imaginal realm within – the fount of all stories. Great writers are great listeners – to themselves first, then others. I believe self-expression to be a key to mental health and balance, and for many, the medium is words and story. My intent is to support a writer’s honest self-expression, both for beginners and old hands, and to train writers to listen to their inner voice.
Where may readers learn more about your writers retreat?
Visit my webpage at writeforyourlifebali.posterous.com/ and look for my public talks happening this month in Ubud and perhaps other venues in the future.
For anyone interested in being considered for Siapa, please contact: <dariskm#gmail.com>
Copyright © 2012 Al Hickey
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