BODYMIND by Kenneth Dychtwald


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Dychtwald had a revelatory experience in 1970: he was ""standing naked before a roomful of men and women of all ages"" being studied by a Dr. John Pierrakos. Dychtwald was startled when this stranger accurately, concisely, and rather comprehensively described the author's relationships, his character, and personality--like a clever palm reader. Hence his wish ""to have a comprehensive system for viewing some of the ways the mind and body interface."" His method consists of indiscriminately grafting together snatches of Western and Eastern philosophies--as well as more recent popular ""self-development"" movements like est, sensitivity training, biofeedback training, etc. The resulting farrago finds Dychtwald insouciantly endorsing irreconcilables. The fact that, for example, Tantric yoga and Wilhelm Reich view sexual behavior--particularly the role of the orgasm--in opposed, non-complementary ways, affects the author not at all; he still subscribes equally to both. Anything goes that seems to validate a ""bodymind psychology,"" that justifies such questions as ""Did my body create my mind or did my mind create my body?"" Anything that allows him to state the obvious with an air of discovery (that sexual health and vitality are reflected in the genital region), or to indulge in questionable generalizations--to wit, a person whose upper body is proportionately larger than his lower body is ""overdeveloped in his ability to be expressive, social, assertive, and outgoing"" but lacks ""strength and fortitude with respect to emotional stability and self-support."" This book finally impresses the reader as, in Castlereagh's words, ""a supreme amalgamation of mysticism and nonsense.

Pub Date: June 6th, 1977
ISBN: 087477375X
Publisher: Pantheon