Description : The author offers a look at depression, drawing on his own battle with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, researchers, and doctors to assess the disease's complexities, causes, symptoms, and available therapies.
Description : In Thomas Merton and the Noonday Demon, Donald Grayson transforms a long-neglected cache of letters found in an ancient monastery into a book that offers new insight into the author of these letters, Thomas Merton, the renowned spiritual writer. At the time of their writing, the mid-1950s, he was living as a Trappist monk, at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. Having reached an impasse in his monastic vocation he decided to leave Gethsamani for the Monastery of Camaldoli in Italy. Camaldoli at that time, bucolic and peaceful outwardly, was inwardly riven by a pre-Vatican II culture war; whereas Gethsemani, which he tried so hard to leave, became, when he was given his hermitage there in 1965, his place to recover Eden. In walking with Merton on this journey, and reading the letters he wrote and received at the time, we find ourselves asking, as he did, with so much energy and honesty, the deep questions that we may well need to answer in our own lives.
Description : RELIGION & BELIEFS. A memoir that resurrects the ancient term acedia, or soul-weariness, and explores its relevance to the modern individual and culture.
Description : This study puts the thought of Evagrius Ponticus, a fourth-century theologian, into dialogue with modern cognitive science in regard to the topic of evil, specifically moral evil. Evagrius, in his writings about prayer and the ascetic life, addressed the struggle with personal moral evil in terms of the eight thoughts or demons. These thoughts were transmitted by John Cassian to the Western church, and later recast by Gregory the Great as the Seven Deadly Sins. Though present understandings of evil appear to differ greatly from those of Evagrius, his wisdom concerning the battle against evil may prove to be of great help even today. Using the work of Pierre Hadot to recover Evagrius's context, and the work of Paul Ricoeur to discuss how we construct descriptions and myths of evil, Evagrius is brought into dialogue with the cognitive sciences. Using current research, especially the work of Eugene d'Aquili and Andrew Newberg, this study reveals the contemporary relevance of Evagrius' approach to combating evil. In addition, the interdisciplinary study of patristics and cognitive science opens the pathway to a better understanding between Christian tradition and the modern sciences.
Description : Until recently little has been known about Evagrius of Pontus. His work on the eight evil thoughts was widely influential in the development of the idea of the Seven Deadly Sins in the Western Spiritual tradition. But those who followed him, from Cassian to Augustine, were more concerned with attributing guilt, and thought in a forensic way. This was very unlike the thought of Evagrius who concerned himself with questions about how to deal with evil thoughts and temptations in a healing way. Each chapter deals with one of the Thoughts, giving the contemporary background, the biblical and theological background, the teaching of Evagrius and what came after, and its relevance for us today.
Description : A wide-ranging look at the allure and changing significance of work.With seductions, misunderstandings, and misinformation everywhere, this immensely readable book calls for a new contract--with ourselves. Drawing from history, mythology, literature, pop culture, and practical experience, Ciulla probes the many meanings of work or its meaninglessness and asks: Why are so many of us letting work take over our lives and trying to live in what little time is left? What has happened to the old, unspoken contract between worker and employer? Why are young people not being disloyal when they regularly consider job-changing? Employers can't promise as much to workers as before. Is that because they promise so much to stockholders? Why are there mass layoffs and "downsizing" in a time of unequaled corporate prosperity? And why are the most common lies in business about satisfactory employee performance? The traditional contract between employers and employees is over. This thoughtful and provocative study shows how to replace it by the one we make with ourselves.
Description : The idea that one can soak up someone else's depression or anxiety or sense the tension in a room is familiar. Indeed, phrases that capture this notion abound in the popular vernacular: "negative energy," "dumping," "you could cut the tension with a knife." The Transmission of Affect deals with the belief that the emotions and energies of one person or group can be absorbed by or can enter directly into another. The ability to borrow or share states of mind, once historically and culturally assumed, is now pathologized, as Teresa Brennan shows in relation to affective transfer in psychiatric clinics and the prevalence of psychogenic illness in contemporary life. To neglect the mechanism by which affect is transmitted, the author claims, has serious consequences for science and medical research. Brennan's theory of affect is based on constant communication between individuals and their physical and social environments. Her important book details the relationships among affect, energy, and "new maladies of the soul," including attention deficit disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, codependency, and fibromyalgia.
Description : Psychoanalysis and the Artistic Endeavor offers an intriguing window onto the creative thinking of several well-known and highly creative individuals. Internationally renowned writers, painters, choreographers, and others converse with the author about their work and how it has been informed by their life experience. Creative process frames the discussions, but the topics explored are wide-ranging and the interrelation of the personal and professional development of these artists is what comes to the fore. The conversations are unique in providing insight not only into the art at hand and into the perspective of each artist on his or her own work, but into the mind from which the work springs. The interviews are lively in a way critical writing by its very nature is not, rendering the ideas all that much more accessible. The transcription of the live interview reveals the kind of reflection censored elsewhere, the interplay of personal experience and creative process that are far more self-consciously shaped in a text written for print. Neither private conversation nor public lecture, neither crafted response (as to the media) nor freely associative discourse (as in the analytic consulting room), these interviews have elements of all. The volume guides the reader toward a deeper psychologically oriented understanding of literary and visual art, and it engages the reader in the honest and often-provocative revelations of a number of fascinating artists who pay testimony to their work in a way no one else can. This is a unique collection of particular interest for psychoanalysts, scholars, and anyone looking for a deeper understanding of the creative process.