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Arching Backward: The Mystical Initiation of a Contemporary Woman Paperback – October 1, 1996


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Arching Backward: The Mystical Initiation of a Contemporary Woman + Offering from the Conscious Body: The Discipline of Authentic Movement
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892815469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892815463
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #857,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Arching Backward is an eloquent and lyrical prose poem, riveting testimony from a modern mystic. Adler offers this narrative of her extraordinary journey, traversing territory both intensely intimate and primordial, luminous and transcendent. This is a heroine's mythic journey, as fascinating as it is mysterious." (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence)

"Her numerous visions are spread out through the book like so many Tarot cards or photographs with no explanation. The effect is akin to walking through an abstract art gallery. One emerges with a nebulous sense of nerve-jangling impressions, which may be just what Adler, with her austere artistic temperament, intended." (Shared Transformation)

From the Back Cover

WOMEN'S STUDIES / SPIRITUALITY

“Janet Adler has given us a riveting testimony of a fifteen-year-long process of whole-bodied awakening. I have never read anything to match the honesty, immediacy, and grace of witnessing, and I have no doubt that Arching Backward will become a classic in the literature of the sacred.”
--Sherry Anderson, coauthor of The Feminine Face of God

“These stark and startling visions, fiery emblems of what we have wrought, have been borne forth bravely in a time when, because of human destruction, we hover between life and death.”
--Susan Griffin, author of A Chorus of Stones and The Eros of Everyday Life

“The ancients tell of an eternal song, an eternal fire that silences the mind, cracks open the heart, reveals the mystery of birth and death. Janet sings us this song with the blood and fire of her own experience, beautifully.”
--Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart

Arching Backward is an eloquent and lyrical prose poem, riveting testimony from a modern mystic. Janet Adler offers this narrative of her extraordinary journey traversing territory both intensely intimate and primordial, luminous and transcendent. This is a heroine's mythic journey, as fascinating as it is mysterious.”
--Daniel Goleman, author of The Meditative Mind

Arching Backward is the story of an American woman who found herself suddenly and violently immersed in a mystical initiation for which she was not consciously prepared. For four years, Janet Adler's life was dominated by the transforming experience of a primal energy and the visions that were created by it. She was not seeking spiritual experience, nor was she a student of any particular mystical tradition. But the visions brought her into the realm of the sacred, transforming her body into a conduit for spiritual energy.

The writings collected here record her visions and describe the way this contemporary woman dealt with the impact of this energy on her physical body, her work, and her relationships. Her story offers a guide for others on this journey and provides a powerful affirmation of women's experience of the spirit.

JANET ADLER teaches Authentic Movement in retreat settings, universities, and institutes in the United States and in Europe. She has created two films: Looking For Me, documenting her work with autistic children in the 1960's, and Still Looking, a film reflecting the evolution of her work in Authentic Movement.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William E. Fraser on March 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so excited to get this book, because I love the dance form Authentic Movement and this book is all about its founder using it for her own healing. But the book is written almost like a dream sequence, and I can't figure out what the author was learning during her process, or what it all means. I found the book a bit dark and confusing. I wouldn't mind dark if I could understand the insights the author got from moving through it. But I couldn't.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mick Bysshe on September 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was recommended to me by a college professor and former nun after I mentioned that I was having some experiences with spontaneous kundalini. I needed guidance. Joan Adler's journey was somewhat like mine yet somewhat different. I was particularly amused with an incident where some doctors basically told her concerning her health issues: *we know what it is--it is something to do with kundalini--but we cannot do anything about it; try reading Dante's "Inferno."* That seems par for the course with those who experience the spontaneous kundalini syndrome: you're in hell. With a DSM-IV category called *Spiritual Emergency* there may be some hope for those who slip through the cracks and are *diagnostically homeless,* as one writer has put it. My grown daughter read this book and said Joan had quite an imagination, which made me think what's imaginary about the world she was describing? Nothing as far as I was concerned. I heartily recommend this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Gibson on October 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was experiencing a very scary kundalini spiritual emergency in which I would go into a trance and by body wanted to do spontaneous backbends. I thought this was a book of someone having a similar experience. If it was I couldnt tell. It appears it IS a woman's spiritual journey...and a large part of her experiences are visions which she describes. I won't say it's a bad book, but for me it was more like reading poetry and I did not find it at all helpful. I am currently cash challenged, so I have to say I regret buying it.
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