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Gravity and Levity

By (author) Alan McGlashan
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Vintage Publishing, London, United Kingdom
Imprint: Chatto & Windus
Published: 23rd Sep 1976
Dimensions: w 140mm h 200mm
Weight: 280g
ISBN-10: 0701121866
ISBN-13: 9780701121860
Barcode No: 9780701121860

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Kirkus US
Brevity as well as levity and gravity distinguish this volume of charming essays by a British psychiatrist. His theme is the paradox of nature and he invites us to delight in its never-to-be-resolved mystery. His early chapters adroitly put down those who seek Final Answers, First Causes. He calls them door slammers and includes among them Teilhard du Chardin as well as Jacques Monod. He agrees with Huizinga that play is a quintessential human activity, leading to discovery and an opening up. He discusses the role of Paul and Freud in "taming" Christianity and the unconscious, respectively. A pithy essay on the dual aspects of time, linear and cyclical - linking the first to the perceptual aberrations of schizophrenics and the second to manic-depressives - lays the groundwork for his concluding chapters on the psyche, chaos, order, and rhythm. He believes that the fundamental rhythms of macrocosm and microcosm are the keys to understanding human nature, enabling us to achieve the delicate juggling act between reason and the unconscious. It's a Jungian myth-rejoicing, optimistic point of view presented with an artful balance of wit and scholarship, dream and reason. (Kirkus Reviews)