Lessons Learned by Dr Allan Hunter
Even further lessons from a very small child;
I’ve noticed that the concept of a toy is a very broad one – and one that can tell us a few things if we are alert. Little Zoe (4) has always chosen her toys based on her imagination. Yes, the cardboard box is often more enthralling than what’s in it, and that’s always been true for her. But better yet is the way she doesn’t buy into the idea of what is “special”. The cherished antique teddy bear from my mother is not more important to her than any other toy. In fact she’s just as likely to hug and cherish a rolled up sock or the plastic number 7, and she will sometimes insist on taking to bed with her such things as a toothbrush – having developed a lively imaginary rapport with it during the course of the day.
The toys she returns to get hugged, dropped, thrown, and need frequently to be dusted off, washed and repaired. They get trodden on, forgotten, remembered, and generally have a hard life. Like parents, they have to undergo all kinds of indignities, but their job is to simply to endure; ours is to recognize that all of it, every bit, is part of the messy business of love.
We’re not here to look pretty, like dolls, nor to sit safe on a higher shelf. We’re here to be in the rough and tumble, get messy, and know that this is love.
He is a full professor of Literature at Curry College, a counselor, and his doctoral degree in literature is from Oxford University. British by birth, he traveled extensively in Europe, India, Africa, and India before settling in Boston, Massachusetts.
Three of his books seek to show readers how to use writing as a therapeutic and life-enhancing tool. They are all based in workshops he has taught for over thirty years (The Sanity Manual, Life Passages, and Write Your Memoir). In each case the emphasis is on using writing and story to reach a place a deeper understanding and peace. His other books have explored the way six specific archetypes recur in the 3000 years of the western world’s great literature; Stories We Need to Know, The Six Archetypes of Love, and Princes, Frogs and Ugly Sisters: The Grimm Brothers’ Healing Tales. He concludes that these archetypes are ways for us to contact the deep structures of the psyche.
His tenth book, The Path of Synchronicity, asks us to consider what it is the universe seems to nudge us to do, rather than what we think will make us famous or wealthy. As such times we move into the flow of synchronicity.
He followed this with Spiritual Hunger in which he asks us to consider how we can feed our inner need for relevance in a mass culture, and how we can choose healthy possibilities rather than those sold to us by large corporations.
His most recent work is Gratitude and Beyond – an exploration of how gratitude is just the beginning to the journey of self-discovery. Following a brush with death I describe how I learned, the hard way, lessons I needed to know so that I could live more harmoniously in the world.