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This slim volume by noted Jungian analyst Johnson (Lying with the Heavenly Woman) and psychotherapist Ruhl (who also coauthored Balancing Heaven and Earth with Johnson) doesn't purport to have all of the answers to today's psychological ills, and therein lies its strength. While acknowledging the myriad possible reasons for our discontent, the authors present a winning argument for why we should cease to seek a fix or an answer and find deeper satisfaction in things as they are. Society may tell us to keep looking for the next purchase, person, job or feeling to fill the void, but, as the authors point out, "contentment comes from the inside." In addition to the examples Johnson and Ruhl draw from Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Taoist and other traditions, they present an extended discussion of the themes of spiritual blindness and insight in King Lear to illustrate the inward and outward examination necessary for growth. Their contemplative strategies for achieving happiness take into account the pace and complexity of modern life, and are not merely a call to simplify and reduce. Closing with a discussion of "gifts" that can be difficult to recognize (confusion, paradox, ordinariness, detachment), this small book is surprisingly weighty. Author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Prominent Jungian psychotherapist Johnson and fellow therapist Ruhl, Johnson's collaborator on Balancing Heaven and Earth (1998), take on the great question of how to find contentment while remaining alive to life's struggles. In a small set of pithy, wise essays, they argue that contentment means learning to live wholly with what we have rather than ceaselessly straining for more. This is, of course, a common theme in inspirational literature. Johnson and Ruhl add something new, however, in what they say about being content while also growing psychologically. The paradox of simultaneous contentment and growth is basic to the life quest, as exemplified in the great Shakespearean story of King Lear, who goes mad because he cannot be content with Cordelia's truthfulness. Johnson and Ruhl also cite a great Hindu story, the Mahabharata, in which unhappiness follows happiness whenever "the well of suffering runs dry." Happiness must never be mistaken for contentedness, they say, for one can have the latter in the absence of the former. Patricia Monaghan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Johnson gives a clear understanding of contentment from a Jungian perspective. I have had difficulty connecting what he has written with a Christian understanding of contentment or... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Unknown
I love this book, possibly my favorite of Johnson's but I love them all!Published 6 months ago by S. Elf
I believe that this book should be heavily promoted across the United States! We need to learn how to accept what is and love the moment. I highly recommend this read.Published 6 months ago by Calvin
What a valuable little book! This is an easy read, full of simple insights that can guide a person to a better life. I have liked it so much I downloaded a copy for my Kindle.Published 11 months ago by Patricia N. Fisher
Robert Johnson manages to give great insights on 'contentment' with many references to King Lear. Very helpful reminders and practices to daily bring to fuller consciousness.Published on August 4, 2013 by dlangler
Robert Johnson's books are all brilliant and written in such a way that they are easy to understand and the reading proceeds quickly. Read morePublished on July 24, 2013 by Colorzone
Just google some pop psychology and you will get as much useful information. I can't believe I wasted my hard earned money.Published on December 1, 2012 by Abby