From Publishers Weekly
The author's call for a life of the body--as opposed to an emphasis on success, material possessions and divisive "isms"--rigorously extends the arguments advanced in his popular The Reenchantment of the World . Stressing that the human infant's emerging self-awareness is bodily as well as conceptual, Berman views conventional birthing methods as traumatic; he faults modern infant care for a dearth of physical contact with the young. His analysis of repressed "somatic awareness" takes unusual turns: a history of mirrors, decoding of upper-class vs. lower-class body language, a review of our changing relations with animals--from reverential cave art to the treatment of other species as mere objects. Next, he identifies a countercultural tradition supposedly rooted in bodily experience and rejecting the cerebral, mechanical way of life of the dominant culture. Examples include Gnostic seers' fusion with godhead, Jewish mysticism, 11th century French Cathar heretics with their trance and ecstasy techniques, the soul travel of Renaissance occultists. This maverick synthesis challenges commonly held assumptions. Photos. First serial to Reality Club magazine; paperback rights to Bantam.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"This is one of the most important books that will be written before the third millennium begins." -- Larry Dossey, M.D., dust jacket blurb, "Coming to Our Senses"
"[Berman has] stepped beyond intellectual history to become our foremost historian of experience" -- Guy Burneko, World Futures, vol. 30, 1990
"a thought-provoking, boldly original book" --Alex Raksin, Los Angeles Times, 14 May 1989