Center for Sacred Psychology

THE PICTURE TENDERS: Embracing the Holy Longing by Arthur O. Ross

(A sequel to The Picture Collectors: A Story of Holy Longing

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THE PICTURE TENDERS by Betsy Caprio Hedberg

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Length: 81 pages, filled with color illustrations of icons, vintage pictures, and original artwork. A work of fiction—scribe and picture researcher, Betsy Caprio Hedberg, Center for Sacred Psychology.

Price: $10.00 (US$)

Guided again by pictures, this time found in a hundred-year-old family sewing cabinet, Arthur O. Ross continues his spiritual autobiography. 
No reckless car chases or train wrecks!  No steamy bedroom scenes! 
No crazed killers or mad scientists!  No space aliens or vampires!
No explosions, shoot-outs or barroom brawls…
          …well, what subject matter is left?  Just the most exciting adventure of all: the response of a contemporary soul to the ancient call of the Holy.  

Readers of The Picture Collectors: A Story of Holy Longing will remember Arthur as a Los Angeles psychotherapist with a Jungian slant.  Art, as he’s called, lives and practices near the ocean, and volunteers at the local Veterans Hospital with his pet-therapy dog Lily.  He also coaches a Little League team and makes annual visits to his family’s cabin near Paradise, California.  Self-described as “spiritual but not religious,” Art found his life changing inwardly and outwardly in 2010, when he found picture-treasures in an old family trunk.  Now his memoir resumes, sharing more pictures, people, and archetypal themes in another hand-crafted eBook.  Art’s priorities in these pages are finding a new spiritual director, and chewing over questions about his need—or lack of need—for institutional religion.

Included: beautiful icons from eastern Orthodox traditions, evocative vintage graphics, floor plans, and samples of Arthur’s own collages, dream artwork and visual journal pages.  In the Appendix: a retelling of the story of Kitezh—the Mystical City Under the Sea (sometimes called “Russia’s Grail Legend”), and a historian’s look at correspondences between her discipline and Arthur’s world of Jungian psychology.  Also included: a link where readers can contact Art, and Q&A from earlier readers. 

            “I call this part of my narrative The Picture Tenders: Embracing the Holy Longing because I—and others—have become caretakers or tenders of so many remarkable images about the life of the soul,” writes Arthur O. Ross.  “These pages are a bridge, recording my shift from a fuzzy spirituality to concrete spiritual practice.  They’re leading to a final installment which I’m working on now, tentatively titled The Picture Heirs: Cherishing the Holy Longing.   I’m hoping to meet more readers who’ll join me in exploration of the interior life in our hectic times and places.”

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In these books we're invited to go along with the main character, a male psychotherapist examining his family heritage. How this affects him, and what happens when he starts to think about it all with his spiritual director, are introductions to the enchantment of the spiritual journey. These books sneak up on the end, you find you too have sacred pictures and are praying with them. This is what happened to me when I read the Holy Longing books.
Monrovia, CA