• Coming to Our Senses: Body and Spirit in the Hidden History of the West

    Coming to Our Senses: Body and Spirit in the Hidden History of the West (Hardback) By (author) Morris Berman

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  • Full bibliographic data for Coming to Our Senses

    Title
    Coming to Our Senses
    Subtitle
    Body and Spirit in the Hidden History of the West
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Morris Berman
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 430
    Width: 138 mm
    Height: 216 mm
    Weight: 425 g
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780044407195
    ISBN 10: 004440719X
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: SOC
    BIC subject category V2: JFC, JHM
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S3.6
    BISAC V2.8: SOC002000
    DC20: 909.098120828
    LC classification: CB245
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: SOC002010
    Illustrations note
    19ill.
    Publisher
    HarperCollins Publishers
    Imprint name
    HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
    Publication date
    11 October 1990
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Review text
    A wildly ambitious attempt by the author of The Reenchantment of the World (1981) to reinterpret the entire history of the West through an analysis of the split between mind and body, and the consequent attempts to heal or hide from it. While characterizing consciousness as "fully embodied," Berman blames an early shift from kinesthetic to visual awareness for "the basic fault" in our natures and as the source of untold torment and turmoil. Pointing to heresy as the pivotal countercultural current, a "skeleton key to the whole Western reality system," he launches into a rereading of Christianity, the Cathars, science, and Fascism - illustrating, he says, four categories of "gnostic response" present in all heretical movements. As he careens through the tangled undergrowth of our individual psychologies and the collective psyche, Berman raises more questions than he clears. He names one fault, but describes many - between mind and body, human and animal, Self and Other, male and female - and compounds the difficulties by adopting psychologist Robert Masters' concept that we have not one body but five (finding it more accessible than the seven often described in traditional religious thought). He enthusiastically cites dozens of other thinkers - psychologists, novelists, historians, mystics, sociologists: everyone from Descartes to Rajneesh. Along the way he mixes scholarship with slang, analysis with zeal. There's more good intent than execution here, but Berman's to be applauded for gathering much provocative material and raising important questions about it. (Kirkus Reviews)