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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Coming to Our Senses Paperback – July 1, 1990

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Originally published by Simon & Schuster in 1989, "Coming to Our Senses" is the second volume in a trilogy on the evolution of human consciousness, and the recipient (in 1990) of the Governor's Writers Award for Washington State. (The first, "The Reenchantment of the World," was published in 1981 by Cornell University Press; the third, "Wandering God," was released in 2000 by the State University of New York Press.) The focus of this particular volume is the relationship between culture and the human body, and the somatic basis of Western religious experience. Whereas the first volume in the series is largely historical, and the third largely anthropological, "Coming to Our Senses" focuses on human psychology, especially the earliest years of life, and how this has historically influenced the nature of adult life and institutions in the West.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 425 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Bantam ed edition (July 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553348639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553348637
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #803,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Louis Berger on April 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
It is interesting that what all the Amazon reviews to date have ignored or missed is Berman's deep foundation in a psychoanalytically informed understanding of ontogenesis (especially the very earliest developmental era). Berman, though no psychoanalyst, does know a good deal of the literature (Winnicott, Balint, Kohut, Klein, Barrett) but not quite enough about the clinical aspects of the discipline itself. (For example, he seems unaware of Paul Gray's work, an approach I see as a crucial addendum to the psychodynamic literature that Berman does know about.) He has much to say, and reading him carefully, slowly (a la Nietzsche's "slow reader"), thoughtfully, and via a series of circling converging passes through the work will repay the effort. I've scanned his "Wandering God," intend to study it, and it seems a more mature summing up of his position.

Incidentally, in this book I recommend especially chapter 1, a thorough introduction to ontogenesis, and chapter 10, a highly interesting and comprehensive analysis of two classes of creativity.

Although he has much to say (about Western insanity--for example, about the "psychotherapeutic use" of pets [p. 90]--a minor but telling example!), I think he's off the mark and misleads his readers by predicating his analyses on the mind-head vs body-experience polarity. I don't think the very important split to which he refers is well characterized in that way. (It so happens this split is a topic that interests me greatly---my new book [The unboundaried self] which should be out in 2-3 months focuses on this issue in a somewhat different way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "annblessing" on December 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
Morris Berman makes accessible the fusion of phenomenology, existentialism, and somatology which has been developing over the 20th Century. My own guides to this synthesis, which refuses to let the dual embodied first/third-person viewpoint remain outside intellectual consideration, are Paul Shepard (whose books have been reissued), Berman (whose earlier titles have been reissued), and Thomas Hanna. Berman's trilogy (The Reenchantment of the World, Coming to Our Senses, and Wandering God) may be the most explicit statement of his own formulation of the fusion, but his other cultural critiques such as Twilight of American Culture, written from the same dual first/third-person perspective, also provide insights into his formulation. If you find Coming to Our Senses skull-shattering, don't give up -- extend your reach to his other books. And perhaps read a smaller bit of Berman at a time. Slowly, in small bites. Like the biscuit labeled "eat me" in Alice -- it will take you wonderful places.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Lupoli on January 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An important work! This book describes what I believe to be the underlying problem of western civilization, mainly our disconnect from our bodies.
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How the Cathars and the Nazis have to do with love and pets. Why the Catholic Church may have invented the modern totalitarian state with the institution of the Inquisition. Why it matters to you to have some mental hygiene for mental health and private ownership of your own mind. How massive bait and switch events rob people of the time of their lives.
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