THE SYMBOLIC AND THE REAL: ew psychological approach to the fuller experience of personal existence by Ira Progoff

THE SYMBOLIC AND THE REAL: ew psychological approach to the fuller experience of personal existence

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KIRKUS REVIEW

No matter what his subject, it is unpardonable for any author to write as poorly as Progoff does here. The chronic complaint in the field of psychology has been that preceding generations of its interpreters have left a heritage of badly-chosen terminology, neologisms without adequate definitions, labyrinthine studies with incomplete conclusions; Progoff himself echoes this complaint. But his own present contribution to the literature staggers with a burden of the same error. What is ""spaceless space""? What is ""the transrational ground of the mind""? What is his own definition of ""the psyche""? Progoff is a depth psychologist. He is trying to explain some of the principles of his work, which seems (and the word is used advisedly) to revolve around a para-mystical methodology which he calls ""psyche-evocation"" (whatever that is), as opposed to traditional psychoanalysis. As early as the first chapter, he begs tolerance for the entire book, some 225 pages, by saying, ""the primary material to be communicated is not contained in intellectual ideas, but is a quality of experience. Its essence is a tone of feeling, and this is something that a flat statement of concept and idea cannot convey"". In this he is correct; his statements are very flat, and convey nothing but his own recognition that anything written about his profession will find a lucrative market.

Publisher: Julian Press