Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE LOVER WITHIN by Robert Moore


Accessing the Romantic in the Male Psyche

by Robert Moore & Douglas Gillette

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-09593-3
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

 This last volume of four (The Magician Within, p. 208, etc.) from Jungian psychoanalyst Moore and mythologist Gillette completes a vision of the mature man as a noble, emotionally generous, artistically expressive soul. Here, stating that all men are ``wired for loving, and for mystical experience,'' the authors consider why this is such a difficult ``energy'' for most men to master. They agree with men's movement luminary Robert Bly on the importance of a father to a boy's psychological development and on the connection between impaired adult instincts and early loss or deprivation: ``What determines the mode of a man's loving [monogamy, promiscuity, etc.] involves the ways in which he was wounded and affirmed as a boy.'' Men can struggle to avoid shadow behaviors and learn to use techniques to access the ``Lover within''--techniques including some form of play every day (to honor ``the Child within''); expressive activities (especially dance); and the development of capacities for spiritual experience. In this view of the authentic lover's ideal, a romantic involvement is central, not to find the lost elements or repressed parts of a man's life--though failure to do so sours a relationship--but to share what Harville Hendrix calls a ``passionate friendship'' (a friendship with, the authors add, a spiritual dimension). Shorter and less burdened by elaborate distinctions than the previous books--and offering a more streamlined roundup of background examples and fewer of those murky philosophical passages that erect barriers where there should be bridges. But even so, it's a dense and weighty read. (Fifty b&w photos, eight pages color photos--not seen)