Centers of Power
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Centers of Power : The Convergence of Psychoanalysis and Kabbalah

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Kabbalah and psychoanalysis are conceptions about the nature of reality. The former is over two thousand years old. The latter has been formalized less than a hundred years ago. Nonetheless they are parallel journeys of discovery that have forever altered not only what we see, but the very nature of seeing itself. The purpose of this study is to explore how Kabbalah and psychoanalysis converge and diverge, complement and conflict with each other, in order to amplify their impact and enable mankind to gain a greater understanding of reality.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 276 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 27.94mm | 544.31g
  • Jason Aronson Inc. Publishers
  • Northvale NJ, United States
  • English
  • 0765705001
  • 9780765705006

About Joseph H. Berke

Joseph H. Berke is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. He is the founder and director of the Arbours Crisis Center, a pioneering psycho-social treatment facility in London. Dr. Berke is the author of many books and articles about psychology and religion as well as a lecturer and teacher. Stanley Schneider is a supervising and training psychoanalyst and a full member of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society. He is professor and chairman of the Program for Advanced Studies in Integrative Psychotherapy, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
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Review quote

This extraordinary book is an attempt to determine man's place in the world, spiritually and metapsychologically, by exploring two disciplines - psychoanalysis and Kabbalah. Joseph Berke and Stanley Schneider, two world-renowned psychoanalysts and authors, attempt to build a bridge between these disciplines which deal with the nature of man's existence and the various forces that affect his life. The erudite interlocution between the multilayered conceptualizations of psychoanalysis and the rich mystical thinking of Kabbalah, sprinkled with moving clinical vignettes from the world of therapy and with marvelous Hassidic tales and anecdotes, makes it an academic achievement as well as a fascinating journey into man's psychic and spiritual world. I highly recommend this book for its originality and scholarship, and for its readability and clarity of exposition. -- Ilany Kogan, training analyst, Israel Psychoanalytic Society; author of The Struggle Against Mourning The relationship between the self and the soul, as well as higher influences on a physical and meta-physical plain, are of fundamental importance for achieving an understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. In this remarkable study Dr. Joseph Berke and Professor Stanley Schneider show how much Jewish mystical concepts, as reflected in Kabbalah and Hasidic thought, are deeply intertwined with psychoanalysis and contemporary culture. The book invites us to explore new, elevated and more sophisticated levels of awareness of different dimensions of reality. Everyone, regardless of their religiosity, should make it a priority to read this book. In so doing they will greatly enrich the spiritual and psychological structure of their lives... -- Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo, founder and dean, the David Cardozo Academy, Jerusalem In this fascinating work two leading figures in the world of psychotherapy take us on a journey of discovery, beyond some of the conventional paradigms of our time. Most of these paradigms concern borders: the border and imagined division between scientific rationalism and spiritual experience, between secular modernism and religious traditions, between western culture and ancient Hebrew texts. Centers of Power deconstructs these borders and demonstrates parallels and interconnections at every step. Like an up-to-date form of Renaissance scholarship, on any page you might find a reference to the Zohar, to Freud or Jung, to Einstein, to the Talmud and a Chassidic story. The centers of the power in the title refer to the center point of a person, of a level of being, of a way of looking at the world, of a scientific system, of a level of mystical tradition, of a journey. According to Rabbi Shneur Zalman's Tanya, the central point of every level of being is Truth. All points of Truth join together reaching above to the Infinite and below to the lowest level of existence. The theory of the authors is that if you can locate the point of Truth in psychoanalysis, in contemporary culture, in yourself, and in life, then, since all levels of Truth in -- Tali Loewenthal, director, Chabad Research Unit, London Schneider and Berke have succeeded in drawing together two disciplines in a manner so skillful that it makes one wonder why these powerful connections have not been made before. It is a tribute to their scholarship and humanity that they have achieved this. Anyone concerned with healing and self-knowledge will benefit from reading this book. -- Paul Williams, joint editor-in-chief, International Journal of Psychoanalysis 2001-2007 Drs. Berke and Schneider have managed to show convincingly how basic concepts of psychoanalysis and Kabbalistic thinking overlap and deal-within different theoretical perspectives, with fundamental problems of the human psyche, in health and illness.While scholarly reviewing central aspects of both disciplines in close comparative analyses, they are able to provide the psychoanalyst with a clear and comprehensive understanding of the Kabbalah for the modern mind. By the same token, they convey a clear and profound summary of contemporary psychoanalytic understanding to the expert in the Kabbalah. By the same process, the educated layman may acquire an intelligent, thoughtful introduction to the relationship between psychotherapeutic thinking andthe spiritual dimension of an important field of Jewish religion. It is an important, thought-provoking contribution to the very actual discussion of the encounter of religion and psychological science in the light of our present knowledge of the unconscious determinants of behavior. -- Otto F. Kernberg M.D., author of Love and Aggression In writing about the Kabbalah and Psychoanalysis, the authors have written their own "Book of Splendor." What they have done is to integrate the mystical and ineffable spirituality of the Kabbalah along with all its numinous radiations, with other disciplines, such as psychoanalysis, cosmology, mathematics and physics. the result is a remarkable and highly credible work. Their summary of the principle aspects of the Kabbalah mystic are clearly explicated. Their review of the history of psychoanalysis is alone worth the price of the book. They state the following: "The dual influence theory in psychoanalysis comes closest to paralleling the dual influence theory of the Kabbalah. So, the dictum 'as above, so below,' becomes 'as below, so above.' One of the remarkable things about this book is that the writer's writing style is anything but mysterious, which is so unusual considering the content of this book. I recommend it not only to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists and other mental health workers but for the lay public, as well. -- James S. Grotstein, M.D., author, Who Is the Dreamer Who Dreams the Dream? A Study of Psychic Presences The relationship between the self and the soul, as well as higher influences on a physical and meta-physical plain, are of fundamental importance for achieving an understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. In this remarkable study Dr. Joseph Berke and Professor Stanley Schneider show how much Jewish mystical concepts, as reflected in Kabbalah and Hasidic thought, are deeply intertwined with psychoanalysis and contemporary culture. The book invites us to explore new, elevated and more sophisticated levels of awareness of different dimensions of reality. Everyone, regardless of their religiosity, should make it a priority to read this book. In so doing they will greatly enrich the spiritual and psychological structure of their lives. -- Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo, founder and dean, the David Cardozo Academy, Jerusalem In this fascinating work two leading figures in the world of psychotherapy take us on a journey of discovery, beyond some of the conventional paradigms of our time. Most of these paradigms concern borders: the border and imagined division between scientific rationalism and spiritual experience, between secular modernism and religious traditions, between western culture and ancient Hebrew texts. Centers of Power deconstructs these borders and demonstrates parallels and interconnections at every step. Like an up-to-date form of Renaissance scholarship, on any page you might find a reference to the Zohar, to Freud or Jung, to Einstein, to the Talmud and a Chassidic story. The "centers of the power" in the title refer to the center point of a person, of a level of being, of a way of looking at the world, of a scientific system, of a level of mystical tradition, of a journey. According to Rabbi Shneur Zalman's Tanya, the central point of every level of being is Truth. All points of Truth join together reaching above to the Infinite and below to the lowest level of existence. The theory of the authors is that if you can locate the point of Truth in psychoanalysis, in contemporary culture, in yourself, and in life, then, since all levels of Truth interconnect, instead of division there is unity. It is a beautiful idea. How can it be achieved? How can we find the center point of Truth and genuine power in every system? The ancient teachings of Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah, and their expositions in Chassidism, particularly of the Chabad school, provide an answer. In Centers of Power Kabbalistic and Chassidic models are used to explore therapy, culture and life. These models and insights provide a new order or paradigm, in which there are opposites, yet they join; there is fragmentation, yet it leads ultimately to Tikkun, Repair. This book, true to its spiritual sources, is fuelled by the ancient image of teh correspondence between the microcosm and macrocosm. When the therapist helps the c -- Tali Loewenthal, director, Chabad Research Unit, London Drs. Berke and Schneider have managed to show convincingly how basic concepts of psychoanalysis and Kabbalistic thinking overlap and deal-within different theoretical perspectives, with fundamental problems of the human psyche, in health and illness. While scholarly reviewing central aspects of both disciplines in close comparative analyses, they are able to provide the psychoanalyst with a clear and comprehensive understanding of the Kabbalah for the modern mind. By the same token, they convey a clear and profound summary of contemporary psychoanalytic understanding to the expert in the Kabbalah. By the same process, the educated layman may acquire an intelligent, thoughtful introduction to the relationship between psychotherapeutic thinking and the spiritual dimension of an important field of Jewish religion. It is an important, thought-provoking contribution to the very actual discussion of the encounter of religion and psychological science in the light of our present knowledge of the unconscious determinants of behavior. -- Otto F. Kernberg M.D., author of Love and Aggression
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