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Flames From the Unconscious: Trauma, Madness and Faith Paperback – June 17, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1855756991 ISBN-10: 1855756994

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Karnac Books (June 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855756994
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855756991
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,348,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Michael Eigen’s Flames from the Unconscious aligns us with his consciousness and opens up our experience of the world. We are led into the heart of a deeply caring individual: a restless, demanding, probing, sensitive, tender and inspiring therapist who knows our fears but is no longer afraid himself.”

”An astonishing and gripping psychoanalytic meditation on the collective psyche and the experiences of the recent traumatic past. As always, Michael Eigen has an extraordinary ability to use language in a way that opens and deepens psychic reality. His form evokes what his theory proposes, the constant ebbing and flowing, opening and closing of our ability to stay in contact with that reality. He is a master of psychoanalytic theory who nonetheless brings us up constantly short in the face of what is shockingly raw and untheorizable in life.”

”Eigen finds in psychoanalysis—especially in the work of Winnicott—the language of commitment to his patients and to his own unique rewording of psychoanalysis. Time after time as paragraphs open with powerful assertions one is conscripted into Eigen’s quotidian psychoanalytic and spiritual depth. Who else can find in the ordinary “grace” of lived experience so many challenging reflections? No one else thinks like this, writes like this, or puts psychoanalysis into a separate realm. Like the writings of Adam Phillips, this is literature for the ages.”

”This beautifully written book emphasizes the dilemma of how we deal with the ‘Flame of Life’ within us. [Eigen] emphasizes the importance of ‘Primary Aloneness’ both with and without the presence of the other. He urges us to reconcile with the competing oppositions within us: love/joy, madness/creativity, and so many other conflicts. Ultimately, this book constitutes an urgent and moving appeal for us to accept our inner diversities, to live with them, and to reap the benefit of their reconciliation. This contribution represents an integration of psychoanalysis (both theoretical and clinical), religion, mysticism, and philosophy.”

About the Author

Michael Eigen is a psychologist and psychoanalyst as well as a senior member and training analyst with the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis. He is also Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology and supervisor for the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. His other books include Damaged Bonds, Rage, The Electrified Tightrope and Feeling Matters.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robin Bagai on July 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The mark of a good historian in any field is to make the past understandable, adding relevance for the future. The measure of a good therapist is attunement to our changing emotional states, helping us formulate experiences we cannot. The test of a true sage is the ability to call forward the deepest parts of ourselves and awaken riches that lie dormant within. Michael Eigen somehow succeeds in doing all three simultaneously, and like a good mother helps us both heal our wounds and grow beyond them. Using a rhythm and cadence that sings like a lullaby, this book is a deeply rewarding experience for anyone who wishes to know themselves and our world more fully. (Robin Das Bagai)
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