Coming to Our Senses

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

4.45 (82 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

List price: US$11.81

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Product details

  • Hardback | 430 pages
  • 134 x 206 x 30mm | 421.84g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 19ill.
  • 004440719X
  • 9780044407195

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)show more

Rating details

82 ratings
4.45 out of 5 stars
5 57% (47)
4 32% (26)
3 10% (8)
2 1% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X