PRAYERWAYS by Louis M. & Patricia H. Berne Savary


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The rambling subtitle says it all: ""For those who feel discouraged or distraught, frightened or frustrated, angry or anxious, powerless or purposeless, over-extended or under-appreciated, burned out or just plain worn out."" That should cover just about everybody, at one time or another, and to treat such a broad spectrum of normal misery Savary and Berne propose an equally broad array of do-it-yourself therapies. These include ""centering,"" concentrating on a mantra, and writing (but not mailing) letters to people who've been bugging you. For more active individuals the authors recommend dancing (by yourself), groaning, screaming, or squeezing a handball. Anyone in any kind of trouble can get help by forming a spiritual connection with others through the practice of ""kything"" (rhymes with scything), defined as ""making your true self present"" to individuals with higher levels of psychic energy. Practically anything, from throwing a party to installing stereo speakers in your bedroom, qualifies as a prayerway, even praying. But though they're both Catholic, Savary and Berne downplay religion, and the God they periodically mention is as benignly nondescript as the deity invoked at the opening ceremonies of football games. Their message, in the end, boils down to the familiar bland assurance that with good will and a little psychological know-how no problem is too tough to crack. Dubious, to say the least.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 1980
Publisher: Harper & Row