PASSION FOR LIFE by Muriel James


Psychology and the Human Spirit
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 Psychotherapist James (co-author, A New Self, 1977, etc.) and her son and fellow therapist expand on transactional analysis to build their own theory of psychology and the human spirit. Having a passion for life, in the authors' terms, means ``being excited and involved in what is and what can be,'' an attitude they seek to promote through an understanding of seven basic urges of the human spirit: to live, to be free, to understand, to create, to enjoy, to connect, and to transcend. A chapter is devoted to explaining each of these urges, the goal toward which it is directed, and the character trait essential for reaching that goal. Inspiring stories of individuals who epitomize success in each area are providedamong them, Betty Ford, Lech Walesa, Albert Schweitzer, Beverly Sills, and other less famous individuals. In their discussions of human spirituality, the Jameses take care to offend no religious sensibilities. Each chapter ends with a set of exercises in self- improvement, including a contemplation exercise featuring appropriate quotes from religious leaders, scientists, philosophers, and assorted pundits. Other exercises ask the reader to use visualization techniques, to recall dreams and other past experiences, to complete sentences, to examine behaviors and situations, and to analyze problems. Throughout, the tone is upbeat and the language nontechnical, and simple line drawings illustrate basic concepts, making the book accessible and appealing to the nonpsychologist. Slick pop-psychology for those interested in easy-to-digest self-help books.

Pub Date: May 27th, 1991
ISBN: 0-525-24988-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1991