ON NOT KNOWING HOW TO LIVE by Allen Wheelis

ON NOT KNOWING HOW TO LIVE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Despite a career devoted to guiding the lives of others, renowned psychoanalyst Allen Wheelis reveals in this intensely personal account that his own life has been a frustrating search for meaning. His book's a collage of dramatic vignettes and philosophical ruminations that articulate the agony of the troubled healer. Wheelis is amazed that he's succeeded so little in satisfying either sexual passion or the mysterious drive toward God. like Hegel or Kazantzakis or even Teilhard de Chardin he sees evolution as the unfolding of Spirit, but for him there's no sure knowing how its rush relates to human demands for meaning and value; perhaps this Spirit is amoral; perhaps it will simply let evil destroy mankind. Should he just immerse himself in life as it is, like his wife has done, or must he keep on struggling to make sense of it all, though satisfaction eludes him and he's left with a kind of helpless nihilism tempered by the earth's lyric beauty? His spare, disturbing essay concludes that, finally, the search itself is all and even desperate seekers can be surprised by joy.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Harper & Row