Mourning the Dream: Amor Fati

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all. In fact, it reminds me of Christian Gaillard’s work The Soul of Art. Susanna Ruebsaat’s book is an exceptional blend of art, image, and meaning.”
—David H. Rosen, author of
Transforming Depression: Healing the Soul through Creativity

What was the dream?

Where and when did I lose it?

Is its mourning complete?

Will it ever be complete?

Did I really lose the dream?

To whom or what did I believe I lost it?

Is it possible to find it again?

These questions offer the structure and nature of myth. They are the myth. Every myth holds loss. Loss is often the beginning of a myth, the events that form the very substance and structure of myth: The fairy tale that takes us deep into the forest of life where we are lost amongst those trees whose roots reach to the core of our being.

Everyone has a tale. What is rare is the courage to follow this tale to the dark place it leads us to. Shadowlands. Descent. Abduction from ‘reality’. Depth Psychology is interested in Psyche's story after the descent.

Symbolic awareness combines play of imagination with the distance to observe the inner unconscious process—we and our world are re-formed. Symbol, not yet an image, but more a felt sense of new direction, has an intensity that both pushes and draws us into the unlived life, driving us to live. Dr. Ruebsaat, through her words and art, shows us how to allow an emergence—a new container for life—as we learn to live.”
—Mary Barnes, retired RCC


The inner figure of the blind victim, the one who has the power to withstand the dark pull of the archetypal dynamic of illness/wholeness, was particularly active for a long period of time after I initially lost my eyesight. She kept looking for what I could not see, checking each eye over and over again separately, crying out in despair to the other eye to see if it could not grasp what this one could not. As a metaphor pointing to something not seen—shadow material not identified with—the soul of my blindness kept reaching out past her claustrophobic confinement to the blackness pressing in on her. She was relentless in her efforts to stay connected to the “not-me” that might help her learn how to see in another less literal way. I reflect now on how seeing and my sense of self became symbiotic in that what I could see, I felt was still a part of me; I could still be whole. I still had a relationship with these parts of my experience. And what I could not see, was not lost to me forever vanished as if my very sense of myself was suddenly unavailable, absent. Dead.

Rarely have I seen the inner dimension of visceral experience brought so tangibly to light as in Mourning the Dream—Amor Fati. Dr. Ruebsaat poignantly, poetically, and with remarkable transparency, explores hidden corners of her psyche while engaging in a dialogue with her readers that supports their own self-exploration. Ultimately, this powerful work of image and soul reaches beyond the realm of individual healing to offer the promise of helping to heal the splits and wounds of our culture at large.”
—Steven M. Rosen, author of Dreams, Death, Rebirth
As a person with a disability I found that Susanna Ruebsaat’s journey, as recounted in Mourning the Dream: Amor Fati, resonated very powerfully. The notion of “loving one’s fate, one’s life, in the face of its very mourning,” as she so eloquently puts it, spoke to the bereavement I have felt at the loss of some of my faculties. The three questions she poses that run as a leitmotif through the book:

Am I how I see myself?
Am I how I think of myself?
Or am I simply a way of seeing?

have become a touchstone; a kind of reality check whereby I can take my psychic “temperature” as I bounce through the vicissitudes of daily life. The fluidity embodied in these questions keeps me from getting too locked up in an Apollonian mindset. The fluidity that suffuses the book whereby the actors and the acted upon keep changing places are a liberation that animate the world around me in new and wonderful ways.