The Necktie And The Jaguar
The Necktie and the Jaguar: A Memoir to Help You Change Your Story and Find Fulfillment
by Carl Greer, PhD, PsyD
How do you answer the call of your spiritual self? Is it possible to nourish the soul while also meeting your material needs? Can conscious reflection on our lives help us attain the wisdom that will make life's journey a more pleasant one? The Necktie and The Jaguar is a thought-provoking memoir that offers the insight of a master in its author Carl Greer.
As Greer’s remarkable story unfolds, the reader is encouraged to ask questions about their life so they, too, might break from old patterns and live according to the needs of their soul.
Greer, a businessman, philanthropist, and retired Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist, describes his early life in a postwar, midwestern, middle-class upbringing tainted by a childhood tragedy that taught him to constrict his emotions. He found career success and built his wealth as the president of an independent oil and gas company. But at midlife, he recognized that his spiritual self was crying out for nourishment and expression.
Greer’s forays into Jungian analysis and martial arts offered some satisfaction of his longings for purpose and meaning as well as lessons for navigating career challenges. It was his shamanic training, however, that made a profound difference. Greer explains how he answers his soul’s needs through spiritual practices such as journeying to transpersonal realms, which led to his reinventing his life and devoting himself to the service of others while living with a deep respect for Pachamama, Mother Earth. Providing at the end of each chapter many thought-provoking questions that are pegged to its themes, The Necktie and The Jaguar encourages self-exploration and serves as a testament to the power of self-discovery, offering the reader insight and inspiration. As Carl Greer learned, you don’t have to feel trapped in a story someone else has written for you.
One hundred percent of the author’s proceeds for his books go to various charities via The Greer Foundation.
Reviews of The Necktie and the Jaguar: A Memoir to Help You Change Your Story and Find Fulfillment
"Greer offers the story of his evolution from business leader to shamanic practitioner.
The book opens with a ritual that the author and a shaman did to “summon and engage helpful energies, including that of the jaguar.” The memoir goes on to peel back the layers of Greer’s life. He was raised in a Midwestern suburban community in the 1950s, which encouraged hard work, a lack of emotional expression, and a belief in traditional and stereotypical masculine roles. These notions, he says, shaped his early life choices to pursue metallurgy and a career in the oil business. Although these decisions brought him some outward success, he says, they left him hungry for deeper connections with other people. As he confronted health and marital problems, he realized that his competitive nature had serious drawbacks; his marriage later ended. He refocused his life with a blend of Jungian analysis and shamanic spirituality, which, he says, helped him to deal with childhood feelings of loss and to reconnect with his high school sweetheart, whom he later married. Now he’s both a student and teacher of shamanic spirituality. Greer’s work is filled with engaging moments of self-reflection, as when he highlights how many of his life choices were driven by his fear of a deeper calling; for instance, he notes that he used metallurgy to “burn out” his poeticism. Throughout the narrative, Greer effectively invites readers to look closely at the ways they may be unknowingly limiting their own potential. To foster such analysis, he includes thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter, encouraging readers to recognize and challenge familiar patterns of their lives—and he notes that it’s never too early, or too late, to examine one’s own life in this way. The book’s ultimate message is that when one accepts one’s true self, one can discover new creativity, passion, and possibilities.
A compelling and cathartic remembrance and self-help guide. "—Kirkus Reviews
"The Necktie and the Jaguar is a spiritual memoir for readers who would better understand the intersection between spiritual practice and perception and everyday living, and takes some unusual routes in the course of its discoveries.
Greer holds a background in shamanistic training as well as traditional Jungian analysis and martial arts. His memoir about his self-exploration and transformation from a traditional style of success (as president of an independent oil and gas company that built him wealth) to that of a spiritual pilgrim is gripping.
Some readers might experience discomfort if the book hits too close to home with its close examination of finding value beyond monetary wealth and career. This is because The Necktie and the Jaguar embraces redefining ideas of success and achievement, moving into realms beyond that of the status quo or monetary gain.
This is where Greer's background in psychology stands out, reaching ordinary readers with a story of how despite being a husband, homeowner, and successful businessman, he still lacked satisfaction. His restlessness eventually shook him out of his comfort zone and traditional definitions of value and wealth.
Ironically, these psychological and business lessons also permeate this exploration of inner worlds and spiritual paths, giving them a concrete foundation that is lacking in too many other memoirs of spiritual enlightenment.
This is the very factor that makes The Necktie and the Jaguar so accessible to audiences that might not ordinarily pick up a memoir about fulfillment and enlightenment. Greer began his life in familiar circles, but expanded his goals and perceptions in ways that produced riches beyond his imagination.
These riches could not have been perceived without a redefinition of value. Readers of The Necktie and the Jaguar will find positive encouragement in many of his words: "At last, I was consciously making different choices and beginning to establish new habits that were making me feel happier, freer, and more authentic."
Writing about how his engrained competitiveness has begun to fade, Greer is quite honest about his struggles with patterns and traits which remain to this day. He's also honest about his newfound abilities and satisfaction. The Necktie and the Jaguar will reach New Age, spirituality, and traditional business book readers alike with a story that holds a blueprint for achieving a different, ultimately more satisfying, life.
Greer’s forays into Jungian analysis and martial arts offered some satisfaction of his longings for purpose and meaning as well as lessons for navigating career challenges. It was his shamanic training, however, that made a profound difference. Greer explains how he answers his soul’s needs through spiritual practices such as journeying to transpersonal realms, which led to his reinventing his life and devoting himself to the service of others while living with a deep respect for Pachamama, Mother Earth. Providing at the end of each chapter many thought-provoking questions that are pegged to its themes, The Necktie and The Jaguar encourages self-exploration and serves as a testament to the power of self-discovery, offering the reader insight and inspiration. As Carl Greer learned, you don’t have to feel trapped in a story someone else has written for you."–California Book Watch Midwest Book Review
Also available as an audiobook
From Chiron Publications
Narrated by James Conlan
Praise for The Necktie and the Jaguar
by Carl Greer, PhD, PsyD
“Carl Greer has written a moving testimonial to the reality of transformation in life’s journey toward psychological and spiritual wholeness. This narrative of his personal experience should be an inspiration and encouragement to others who find themselves also along the Way.”
—Murray Stein, PhD, Jungian analyst, past president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology, and author of Jung’s Map of the Soul
“Carl Greer is an explorer who clearly throws himself wholeheartedly into every angle of himself that he chooses to invest in. The result of his life search is this powerful narrative, which is a testament to his journey through the material, psychological and spiritual realms. Looking back on his eight decades on this planet, he has uncovered gold in unexpected places. This book will offer insight and inspiration to its readers.”
—Malcolm Stern, psychotherapist, past president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology, author of Slay Your Dragons with Compassion, and cofounder of Alternatives
“Carl Greer’s memoir of making radical changes in his life shows that working with various states of consciousness can be extremely helpful in a creative process of personal transformation. With journaling questions to support readers in their own self-reflection, The Necktie and The Jaguar is an engaging story and a strong testament to the power of a mindful approach to decision making, leadership, and living authentically.”
—Ronald Alexander, PhD, psychotherapist and author of Wise Mind, Open Mind
“Chronicling the seasons of a man’s life—from child to sage, Carl Greer shares his remarkable journey as businessman, psychologist, Jungian analyst, shaman, and philanthropist, hence bridging the moral and the numinous on his path toward individuation. In reading his memoir, you get the real sense of being in the presence of a wise man with a fulfilled spiritual existence. His life story will inspire you to become your possibilities and develop a deeper sense of grounding and purpose connected to something greater than ourselves. What a truly extraordinary life.”
—Jon Mills, PsyD, PhD, ABPP, Postgraduate Programs in Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy, Adelphi University; author of Inventing God
LIST OF CONTENTS for The Necktie and The Jaguar by Carl Greer, PhD, PsyD
A Note to the Reader
Chapter One: A Boy in the Woods
Chapter Two: A New Family
Chapter Three: Keeping My Own Counsel
Chapter Four: Westward Bound
Chapter Five: Burning Out the Mystic
Chapter Six: Getting Established in the Big City
Chapter Seven: Donning the Necktie
Chapter Eight: Working with All the Moving Parts
Chapter Nine: Loose, Loose, Tight, Loose
Chapter Ten: The Mythopoetic Challenge
Chapter Eleven: Discovering What Had Been Hidden
Chapter Twelve: The Jaguar’s Call
Chapter Thirteen: Letting Go
Chapter Fourteen: Bringing In
Chapter Fifteen: Giving in Service to Others
About the Author
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The Necktie and the Jaguar
A Memoir to Help You Change Your Story and Find Fulfillment
"The Necktie and the Jaguar will reach New Age, spirituality, and traditional business book readers alike with a story that holds a blueprint for achieving a different, ultimately more satisfying, life. . . . Gripping." - California Book Watch
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