Three eminent psychiatrists draw upon the latest research of the human nervous system in this account of the complexities of love and its essential ...Show synopsisThree eminent psychiatrists draw upon the latest research of the human nervous system in this account of the complexities of love and its essential role in human well-being, explaining how relationships function, how parents shape their child's developing self, and how society flouts essential emotional laws. Illustrations.Hide synopsis
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Lewis, Amini and Lannon have presented a cogent, and compelling exposition of the neural structures underlying the unconscious determinants of human motivation and choice. Their depiction of the vital, organizing, physiological role of attachment and its relationship to the lifelong functioning of the limbic brain is clear and convincing. However they give short shrift to Freud, and early psychoanalytic investigators towards whom they adopt a condescending tone. They overlook the importance of the original discoveries of the role of the unconscious mind, and of the processes of identification and incorporation which they translate into 21st century language.
On the whole however, they present a complex account of our deepest emotions and attachments in a clear accessible way. Their heavy reliance on metaphor, and literary quotations is often illuminating, and often over the top. Their thoughts on the sociopolitical implications of their thesis are thought provoking, and ominous.
All in all it is a book very much worth reading and thinking over.
This is one of the most interesting books I've ever read, and I've already given it to a number of friends. Yet I don't buy into its conclusions entirely, and as I just texted a friend, I think the authors underestimate the neocortex, at least in some cases, and my thinking at the moment is a sort of cross between what this book says and the theory of Null-A per A.E. Van Vogt, elaborated in depth by Korzybski and applied in detail in what is unfortunately almost impenetrable prose by Albert Ellis in his New Guide to Rational Living.
I've read many good books that were not important. I've read many important books that were not good reads. "A General Theory of Love" is the one of those rare books that is good and important, a tome that I'd consider spinach candy, if there were such a thing.
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