ON THE WAY TO SELF KNOWLEDGE by Jacob & Dennis Lewis--Eds. Needleman


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HELP! I need somebody--but is it a guru or a shrink? In response to this dilemma, the philosopher Jacob Needleman arranged a lecture series at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco, in the hope of clarifying both the distinctions and the interrelations between these two paths of self-knowledge, psychotherapy and the ancient spiritual disciplines. This book is the enriching and often electrifying result. The eight lecturers--psychotherapists interested in the further reaches of self-development and spiritual teachers concerned with helping people live--dispatch the basic question with little ultimate disagreement. The consensus, most concisely expressed by British therapist A. C. Robin Skynner, is that therapy and the sacred traditions lead in quite different, one might say perpendicular, directions: therapy towards integration and functioning on the plane of normal daily life, spiritual discipline towards the far more difficult and demanding ascent into transcendence and self-evolution. But while the confusion of the two can be dangerous, properly understood they can assist and enhance each other. From this issue, virtually every speaker takes off into dazzling realms of speculation about the ultimate nature of man and the ways toward its full experiencing. With the possible exceptions of Robert S. DeRopp (author of The Mind Game), who is flippant and arrogant, and Victor E. Frankl (originator of logotherapy), who is pleasant but platitudinous, each of these men (including the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Tarthang Tulku; the challenging Catholic therapist Thomas P. Malone; and the brilliantly playful Jungian James Hillman) speaks with the authentic voice of the seeker: the suppleness and surprise, the complexity and humility, of intelligence deeply grounded in personal experience.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1976
Publisher: Knopf