THE OTHERNESS FACTOR by Kathleen Hall

THE OTHERNESS FACTOR

Co-Creating and Sustaining Intentional Relationships
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut self-help book that offers advice on how to connect with others in a mindful way, using self-knowledge and compassion.

Authors Hall and Hardegree detail how their relationship philosophies have evolved through hard personal experience, including divorce, business failures and disillusionment with past belief systems. They reveal this through Socratic “discussions,” a conceit that readers will find familiar from other populist philosophical works, from John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678) onward. Through conversations, reminiscences and exegeses of their favorite authors—including other contemporary philosophers and quantum physicists—they outline an approach to life that promotes self-knowledge, liberation from the ego, and an appreciation and acceptance of diversity. Modern relationships are fraught with discord, and much of the trouble, the authors argue, comes from people having underdeveloped senses of self and desires for “completion” through partnership. If you enter relationships mindful of your own core self and respectful of others’, the authors say, you will find greater fulfillment. This all makes perfect sense, and receptive readers will find this message valuable. However, there’s also much in this book that will provoke skeptics, as its rhetoric assumes that readers are already initiated into New-Age spirituality. Terms such as “wisdom masters” and sentences such as “[w]e may not know how to be more of who we are because we haven’t been paying attention to what we believe or why we do what we do” aren’t jargon, exactly, but some might call them psychobabble. Also, it seems unusual that a book that advocates letting go of the ego includes inspirational quotes from such famous egoists as Henry Ford, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Oscar Wilde. Even the most casual student of history will know that these fellows didn’t practice what this book preaches.

A reasonably clear philosophy of relationships that will make sense to many, despite its occasional awkwardness.

Pub Date: Nov. 27th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0990390411
Page count: 230pp
Publisher: Collaborative Options
Program: Kirkus Indie
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