Tag Archives: Carl Jung

First time novelist Matthew Félix delivers great escapism and some light philosophy with “A Voice Beyond Reason”


Review by: KEN KORCZAK

Pablo is an ordinary 20-something man living in a quaint Spanish village near the Mediterranean coast. He finds himself leading a simple, yet near ideal life. He’s employed in his mom-and-dad’s small grocery store. He has a pretty girlfriend, a cadre of good pals, a motorcycle … and he belongs to a supportive, tight-knit community.

But Pablo’s world is about to be shattered by tragedy. Suddenly, his comfy foundation is pulled out from under him. So many things he took for granted are gone.

The upending of his pleasant existence launches him on an unexpected journey of self-discovery that may not have happened if fate hadn’t thrown him a painful curve ball.

His journey of self-discovery manifests as a struggle between to competing viewpoints of modern life:

One is the dominant paradigm today, the pragmatic rationalism of a materialistic, scientific world view – versus that which many people today believe has been suppressed – a perspective focused inward on intuitive, non-rational, nonlinear and feelings-based cues that can lead to insights that may seem unrealistic at first, but tend to carry greater meaning, and ultimately, deeper value.

If I’m making this seem like this is a book of deep philosophy, it’s not that, or at least doesn’t read that way thanks to the skillful way author Matthew Félix lays out his story, so much of which takes place on surface, and where the action is stalled only occasionally for the deeper lessons the author wants to describe.

The latter is provided by the appearance of a classic figure of myth, literature and lore – the “Wise Old Man,” described as an archetype by the great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, and “a stock character” by Northrop Fry’s “Anatomy of Criticism.”


The archetypal Wise Old Man instructs a youth. Illustration by Gustave Doré

In this case, it’s the mysterious Victor Sarquino, a man with deep roots in the Andalusian region but who has not been seen in Pablo’s village for more than a quarter century, only to return suddenly for unknown reasons. He’s the classic archetype: Elderly, white bearded, piercing blue eyes and brimming with sage advice. (Think Gandalf, Merlin, Obi-Wan Kenobi …)

If there’s any weakness to this novel it’s the way Pablo and Victor engage in a series of philosophical dialectics that stops the flow of the narrative so that our hero can pepper his mentor with (often whiny) questions, prompting the Wise Old Man to dole out his wisdom, which border on becoming rather preachy lectures for us readers.

The great strength of this book, however, is the way Matthew Félix’s weaves spectacular observations of nature into the flow of the narrative. Because it’s set in the one of the most ancient and picturesque regions of the world, the Mediterranean coastal regions of southern Spain, the author has abundant material to leverage.


Matthew Félix

The natural environment takes center stage as a major character of the novel. Also, Pablo appears to gain strength, wisdom and insight from engaging with the spectacular scenery — rugged mountains, sparkling oceans, and splendid landscapes graced by groves of olive, almond or carob trees. There’s also misty caves, mountain goats, falcons, wildflowers and Neolithic rock formations to invoke a deeper sense of place and mystery.


The Alhambra of Granada, Spain Photo by ángel mateo

I must also mention Mr. Félix’s obvious appreciation for ancient Moorish architecture and references to the passing cultures of the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Carthaginians – all of whom vied for dominance of this resplendent land for thousands of years – and this enriches the narrative with a profound acknowledgment of the importance of history.

Unlike the rather rote dissertations on intuition and inner wisdom we get from the dialog with old Señor Sarquino – the author deftly allows us experience the profound landscape of timeless, romantic Spain through the eyes of his main character – and this is where the novel truly sores.

There is one aspect of the novel that remains a bitter disappointment to me – but I will not discuss that here – for the very reason is that I know that 95% of other readers will disagree with me on this issue. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out what I might be  talking about … if you even can.

All in all, though, this is a fine first novel that provides great escapism, a just profound-enough philosophical message to inspire, and an interesting enough plot to keep us turning pages while we root for the protagonist and cheer him forward on his journey of discovery.

Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS


Follow @KenKorczak

Web-based movie series “Milgram & The Fastwalkers” Out-Xs the X-Files


Review by: KEN KORCZAK

Think of a soap opera, but not the kind with impossibly handsome doctors and lawyers tangled in sleazy love affairs with achingly gorgeous women — no, instead imagine a soap opera that has UFOs and alien abduction as its central premise.

Well, that’s what you get with the first season of MILGRAM & THE FASTWALKERS, a micro-budget but heroic attempt to take ufology to the streets serial-TV style … well, Internet-platform style, that is.

But wait a minute — I want to jump right ahead and say that while Season 1 of ‘Fastwalker’ was indeed rather soapy, Season 2 quickly evolves into something much more sensational, and by sensational, I mean sensationally good.

Milgrim & The Fastwalkers easily out-Xs The X Files, in my opinion, and I loved the X Files.

But this is better. Read on.

Here’s the premise: Brilliant psychiatrist Richard Milgram (Richard Cutting) has his career in high gear having just won the prestigious “Pullman Prize” for penning a brilliant book, while his practice has a mile-long waiting list of people who desperately need one of the world’s best shrinks.

In the meantime, a young, career-climbing lawyer has developed a real problem. She’s the lovely Sally Lemm (Walker Hays), beautiful as a summer day — but tough, cold and hard-bitten as the worse kind of A-hole lawyer you ever want to meet

Her career is crumbling because she is being taken up, up and up into the frightening interior of a UFO operating room where nasty aliens are giving impregnating her with alien hybrid seeds, only to terminate her pregnancies whenever they see fit. And then they do it all over again.

Ms. Lemm eventually finds her way to Dr. Milgram, who is skeptical at first, but gets pulled toward where the science is taking him — to the astounding realization that this whole alien abduction thing just might be real.

Dr. Milgram is certainly based on the real, world-famous and late Harvard psychiatrist DR. JOHN MACK. Like Milgram, Mack had won the Pulitzer Prize for a brilliant book, and was among the most eminent psychiatric doctors in the world. Like Milgram, Mack was drawn into the endlessly bizarre world of ufology when he dared conclude that his many patients complaining of alien abduction were not crazy — that what was happening to them was probably real.

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Dr. John Mack, Photo by Stuart Conway

Mack’s distinguished career was rocked to the core. Harvard elites formed a kangaroo court and tried to revoke his tenure and spit him out like a bad oyster — but Mack was saved thanks mostly to the efforts of attorney Daniel Sheehan (of the Pentagon Papers case), who pulled his fat out of the academic-witch-hunt fire.

Portraying Dr. Milgram in the image of John Mack is just one thing that this intelligently written series gets right. Finally, here is a serial dramatic production channeling the UFO phenomenon which goes beyond all the surface cliches of ufology. It gets at the truly mind-bending, far reaching implications of what is most likely the most important sociological/scientific/spiritual issue of our times.


Yes, ufology is hopelessly infected with the lunatic fringe, but at the same time, has captured serious attention of some the most brilliant minds in the world, including the aforementioned John Mack, but also others, such as Jacques Vallee, Carl Jung, J. Alan Hynek, Horace Drew, Gordon Cooper, Laurance Rockefeller, Edgar Mitchell — and many other movers and shakers in science and industry.

Two other things that make Milgram & the Fastwalkers a superior production:

Character driven plots: The creators do not rely on the sensational aspect of the UFO phenomenon to carry the entire narrative. This saga is deeply character driven, and there are a lot of them! Milgram and Sally Lemm are the major players, but they are surrounded by well-fleshed out characters with all the normal problems of everyday life — from Milgram’s boozy, sex-starved wife, Evelyn (Kate Revelle), to Fred Robinette (John C. Bailey), Migram’s fellow psychiatrist with an addiction to gambling, to Lisa Hill (Danielle Davy), a repulsively seedy, scruples-free journalist hell bent on digging dirt to further her own career.

Punchy Script: The screenplay often sores to delightful levels with crackling, cut-to-the-bone dialogue that will spin the mind of the viewer like an alien brain implant. A prime example is a sizzling (and darkly humorous) scene in Episode 3 of Season 2 when hapless mechanic Kevin (Joe Hansard), a frequent UFO abductee, is confronted by the wonderfully freakish Claire Tighlman ( Victoria Guthrie) — who is almost certainly some kind of alien (probably a “reptilian” disguised as a human) — who badgers and bullies Kevin while simultaneously dishing out an awful kind of tough love.

I want to make mention of another scene that lifts this series to a higher level of authenticity. It’s in Season 2, Episode 6 in which Sally Lemm is paid a visit by a MIB (Josh Davidson), one of ufology’s infamous “Men In Black.”

I use the word “authenticity” because the scene captures the real flavor or the incredible weirdness of the MIB phenomenon, and while an element of wry humor is involved, it doesn’t present the MIB event as a shallow Hollywood joke as did those silly the Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones movies.


It seems clear that the scene leverages two of the most famous real MIB events, the first as reported by Jacques Vallee in his book, Confrontations. The incident occurred in 1976 near a small lumber town in California called Happy Camp. After numerous UFO sightings and confrontation with aliens, a local restaurant in the small town received a strange customer one day. Vallee describes it this way:

“… a stranger who had never been seen in town happened to stroll into Lois’s Cafe … all conversation stopped when the man came in. He ordered a steak dinner but proved unable to use a knife and fork, and eventually left without paying … he had pale skin and ‘oriental’ eyes. He wore a bizarre sort of shirt and no coat, although it was the middle of winter. He smiled constantly at people in a strange, forced grimace. Among the peculiar things he did during his extraordinary dinner was a brave attempt to drink Jell-O out of a glass.”

The other MIB event the scene takes a cue from is from the book, CAPTURED! by Kathleen Marden, the niece of famous UFO abductee Betty Hill. In this book, Marden describes a frightening MIB visit to a medical doctor who had hypnotically regressed a young man who had experienced an abduction event. Part of the doctor’s bizarre conversation with the MIB involved the MIB asking the doctor to hold a coin in his hand. Marden writes:

“(The MIB) told the him to hold (the coin) in his outstretched hand. he told him to watch the coin, not him. He did this and saw the penny change to a silver color, then to a blue color, become hazy, indistinct, and vanish .. the MIB said no one on this plane would ever see that coin again.”

The MIB then tells the doctor that Barney Hill (Betty’s husband) “knew too much” and that his heart had been taken in just the same way the coin had been made to vanish. This very same scene is played out with Sally Lemm and her MIB visitor, except he vanishes her ring instead of a coin.

The point is, the star and writer of this UFO show, Richard Cutting, has clearly done his homework and is delivering to his audience a script that is inspired directly from the pages of some of the best books on the subject. It imbues this drama with a depth and intelligence rare in shows about the UFO issue.

Again, I want to emphasize that Milgram & The Fastwalkers really hits its stride and becomes something special in Season 2, but I recommend you watch from the beginning, starting with Season 1, which is composed of 12 short episodes of just seven to 20 minutes each.

Let’s hope there is a Season 3.

Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS


Follow @KenKorczak