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Love & Will Paperback – July 17, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A book to study and cherish, for those daring enough to study and cherish our human heritage and potential. -- San Francisco Examiner

The implications of this distinguished book for education and culture are profound. -- Harvard Educational Review

This volume—written in a brilliant and impeccable style—is an excellent analysis of life and love in the modern period. -- Chicago Sun-Times

Wise, rich, witty and indispensable....It should have led any list of important books. -- John Leonard, New York Times

About the Author

Rollo May (1909-1994) taught at Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, and was Regents' Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. An influential psychologist, he was the best-selling author of Love and Will, as well as the author of The Courage to Create, Man's Search for Himself, The Meaning of Anxiety, and Psychology and the Human Dilemma.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (July 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393330052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393330052
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book in graduate school in 1973 and then again 30 years later. When I was a young man I had not had enough experience with Eros to understand the book. I knew I wished to do great deeds but I did not know the source from which these thoughts emerged. Now, in the second reading, I recognize the forces of Eros in my past and present and recognize the need to integrate the daemonic or shadow to fully harness these forces.

The central thesis of the book is that Eros, the life force, directs our Will toward our highest potential. Rollo May asserts that hate is not the opposite of love, apathy and disinterest is. The opposite of will is not indecision - but rather May sees it as detachment. May's central thesis is that Eros (Love) is the fundamental energy behind Will. Eros is the force that drives men to seek God. Eros is the spirit of life and is not to be confused with the sex drive. Rollo May points out that the sex drive seeks satisfaction and release of tension whereas Eros drives us outward. Much of the first half of the book carefully explains the similarities and differences between the sex drive and Eros, the life force. Primarily May sees sexuality as a drive reduction process, similar to the learning theorists Clark Hull and James B Watson. Eros, however, is the creator, forever reaching out, seeking to expand. As Paul Tillich says "A movement from the potential to the actual" and "vitality is the power of creating beyond oneself without losing oneself." Eros is the power from which we do not want release but rather to be prolonged, to form the world. Eros drives us to go beyond ourselves, to transcend ourselves, to reach ethical goodness, to seek truth and beauty. May connects his theories to St.
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Format: Paperback
LOVE AND WILL is probably Rollo May's best book, his magnum opus. It was published in 1969, when May--by then one of the most prominent psychologists on the American scene--was sixty-years old. And, despite its intelligence and psychological sophistication, it became a best-seller. Central to this praiseworthy work are chapters 5 & 6, in which Dr. May introduces (presaging James Hillman) his radical concept of "the daimonic." Any person concerned with the so-called senseless violence so prevalent at the close of the millennium would do well to have a look at these stunning, seminal chapters. Also of interest, especially to psychotherapists, is May's erudite discussion of "intentionality" a little later on. Though May's treatment of some subjects might be slightly dated, there is much here to be strongly recommended, especially for students and other readers who appreciate substantial books such as Ernest Becker's THE DENIAL OF DEATH.
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Format: Paperback
Rollo May merges psychology with philosophy to put contemporary views on love, sex and happiness in perspective. With insight that draws upon centuries of great thinkers, May points out some subtle paradoxes that being in love creates. He examines how our intentions often have to be redirected in order to get what we desire, and by that time, we forget what it was that we were after. Love and Will is no self-help book with fluffy answers or advice. It is an attempt to reconcile our emotions with our actions, ambitious as it is illuminating
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Format: Paperback
Find out here why love and will are so psychologically intertwined....and why a dearth in one means a dearth of the other. In a culture in which deterministic explanations and excuse-making have largely replaced a recognition of personal responsibility and the power of the will, it's no wonder love itself is impoverished. May also offers alternatives to this state of affairs. An excellent book.
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Format: Paperback
Simply stated, this is the most intelligent book I have ever read. Rollo May goes to extrordinary lengths to dissect the misunderstood concept of love. He traces love from the Greeks to modern day. Each page challenges the reader to rethink his/her superficial understanding of love. The author's case studies from his own psychoanalytic practice provide relevant examples of how the values of modern society have reduced love to a physical act of gratification. Anyone interested in improving themselves as a human being must read this very challenging and thought provoking book.
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Format: Paperback
Rollo May made one statement which has stood with me after reading this book for the second time a few years ago. I had originally read this book about 1975 when I was 23 years old. The statement he made was our concept of continuous improvement [what Japanese business theorists call Kaizen, but he of course does not mention that] is somewhat of an illusion. Rather things stay the same. He alludes to the human heartbeat as being fairly constant rather than improving and alludes also to the myth of Sisyphus eternally pushing the rock up the mountain only to have it fall back again. The lesson seems to be that will is what holds the love together and makes existence possible even when things do not seem to improve or we are facing endlessly repetititive tasks as the work of love.

The sections on eros and the daimonic are also good, as other reviewers have already mentioned. I heartily recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more of the fundamental realities of life and love.
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