I have a few versions of this book, now this one. Lovely.
A Q&A with MIT professor Sherry Turkle about her new book, Reclaiming Conversation. – Amazon
Sherry Turkle has been a thorough investigator of the media – and I like her experiential – ethnographic approach in her first book Life on the screen – Amazon
We are in the early days of technology. Can we develop etiquette – a new norm in the way we have about things like eating with your mouth full. Will parents say, “Don’t put your phone on the table while we are eating.” ? It could happen. We changed norms around smoking. Around sexism. This interview begins to articulate new norms without being anti tech,
Relational Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and Counselling: Appraisals and reappraisals [Kindle Edition] Del Loewenthal (Editor), Andrew Samuels (Editor)
In the light of the last post I’m keen to read this book and pleased its in Kindle format. The image on the cover is evocative! It shows well the potential for psychotherapy to create ambivalence in a relationship.
So much on my mind – I can’t keep up with it!
Books to read on relationships – “Marriage is the medium”
I have been reflecting on the role of evolution in relationships.
I doubt that marriage was somehow hard wired or ‘natural’ yet what is our pairing history?
I have a hypothesis:
We became human through a process of evolutionary development where we gained an advantage by walking upright, liberating the hands, developing language, having a bigger brain. Some of these processes or all of them, involved us being born as infantile creatures more vulnerable than other mammals. We are born at what might be a more juvenile stage in other primates. This means that the parents play a vital role in development. Grandparents do too; an explaining why we live beyond our reproductive life. Through the grandparents the group has a collective memory and redundancy in its nurturing capacity.
Psychologically this can all go haywire, evolution did not provide a fool proof post-natal environment. In fact it may be that what does not kill us makes us stronger psychologically. We have attachment wounds and seek out spouses that offer the possibility for psychological healing, a second go at being nurtured. It may be that the fear of change leads us to seek out partners that confirm our familiar view of the world and ourselves and reinforce it. Or there may be strong out-of-awareness mechanisms that can see the healing opportunity. But for some reason pair-bonds evolve that have the potential for re-living (a hellish time) and then repairing attachment wounds.
Some of this may happen while the partners are young, though I imagine it is more likely in the grand-parent phase of life. It may not have happened a lot, but if a tribe had sufficient elders who were somewhat psychologically healed it would lead to significant advantages for the group. Hence the evolution of cultural taboos against divorce and incentives for staying together.
Whatever the reason for the power of hanging-on in a relationship, there is a process of healing that is possible if there is guidance and consciousness. This healing does not happen if at the point of difficulty in the relationship partners just move on. By staying in the relationship, and becoming conscious the marriage becomes a healing space just like a therapeutic relationship. In fact the therapeutic healing space is a surrogate marriage, it can even be a futile substitute. Marriage becomes an alchemical crucible, where stages of transformation can be facilitated by conscious attention. The evolutionary basis is there but we also have reason and consciousness and we have developed capacity for depth and loving relationships. This cultural evolution can happen much faster than physical changes, and there is currently a rapid shift from individualism to a relational paradigm.
There are plenty of other, less benign forces at work that explain marriage, such as inheritance of wealth and bonding families and tribes, however the healing potential of relationships is also there. Very recently (slowly) we as humans may be ridding ourselves of sexist elements of marriage such as ownership of women by men and becoming more conscious of the healing potential.
With this hypothesis to sharpen and examine I have a pile of books to read on my kindle:
Robert Bigelow was my teacher in 1969 at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. I was deeply influenced by his teaching. It seemed like we were getting genetics 101, but I now see that his insights were very rare, and they did not get a good grip on the orthodoxies. Sone of the details may be wrong or dated – the overall hypothesis makes sense and makes his book a worthy candidate for Peace Studies.
Time I read it again – not on the kindle unfortunately.
Then a couple by Stephanie Coontz (she is mentioned in an earlier post relevant to this discussion) here :
Diane Wolfthal Images of Rape
A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion
Here is a review: Goodreads
This book is on my list because I’m exploring the relational paradigm. Archetypes of Relational Space? What comes up is that marriage is a medium. This might be relevant?
I can get the paper version here for 1c But I want a digital one… And that is here on Google
There is a lovely video of Paul Levinson on Amazon
While on the journey I downloaded a sample of another book, this one looks like fun. The Plot to Save Socrates
(Thanks Brian for pointers)
Heard about this on Shrink Rap Radio where Dr Dave interviews the author/editor Mark Winborn. Worth listening to.
I had to get the book, it is a sort of meditation on the nature of the relational space. It focusses on therapy, but this would be so relevant for those of us who consider that the marriage is the therapy.
I like the look of this book.
Have looked inside on Amazon. I’ll get it one day. Have a few more on my plate right now.
Brain pickings has more its no 10 on the list.
One of the books that gripped me and introduced me to Archetypal Psychology was Ginette Paris’ Pagan Grace (Seem to not have a post about that book — maybe soon?) – I loved it and it was like clicking a hyperlink into a new world. So happy today to have a newish book as a sample on the kindle.
Been posting a few items about books here. Very casual. Hardly posted a thing this year, and see post on Evernote below re that. Feel some motivation coming on.
The motivation is to post book covers and snippets because I am loving my ebooks – have for years. I don’t really want the paper books anymore. But I miss the affordance of the stacks of books lying around unread. They are now just a line of links on a screen and sometimes I can’t even recall why I have the book sample or who recommended it. There are so many samples, just a list! So I’ll post unread books here, awaiting reviews.
Once paper books are read they can go on a shelf somewhere. Even the pile in the garage. I can look at them when I tidy up, and think, oh yes I remember that.
OK, so there is a purpose for the blog, to notice what I have in my ebook library in some sort of meaningful way. So out with Evernote for books – and onto the blog with them. Expect more flimsy post with cover pictures.
I will update posts too, I often do that here, they need edits and additions as they go up very rough.
I tried Goodreads for this purpose, however for some reason I am more attracted to my own blog, at least first. Social media can come later, if at all.
There is already plenty here in the blog to stir reminiscences. There are references to books back to 1999. As I went back to look I found a dead link to this item
Malcolm Gladwell on Blockbusters and books. Collaborative filtering!
authors–John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Michael Crichton,
Dean Koontz, and Danielle Steel–account for sixty-three of the
books on the list. In a world more dependent on collaborative filtering,
Grisham, Clancy, King, and Steel would still sell a lot of books. But
you’d expect to see many more books like “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya
Sisterhood”–many more new writers–make their way onto the best-
seller list. And the gap between the very best selling books and
those in the middle would narrow. Collaborative filtering, Hagel
says, “favors the smaller, the more talented, more quality
products that may have a hard time getting visibility because
they are not particularly good at marketing.”
It seems he was wrong though.
Must revisit, interesting. What has happened 15 years later to those lists?