If, like me, you live your life knowing first-hand and full-well, from bearing daily witness to the limitations of thought, logic, reason and order as over-indulged, over-privileged, overrated, as well as both limited and limiting ways of understanding the world-universe and everything in it – and more especially a human experience within it – then you might like this mind-opening book.
Particularly, if you work in some capacity with people who struggle with being too-different in this world and find your training limits your ability to understand, then this book can be a bit of a mind-bomb.
It’s not, at least in parts, an easy read but your mind with thank you for it.
The universal quest to create cosmologies – to comprehend the relationship between mind and world – is inevitably limited by the social, cultural and historical perspective of the observer, in this instance western psychoanalysis. In this book Michael Robbins attempts to transcend such contextual limitations by putting forward a primordial form of mental activity that co-exists alongside thought and is of equal importance in human affairs.
This book challenges the western assumption that knowledge is synonymous with rational thought and that the aspect of mind that is not thought is immature, irrational, regressive and pathological. Robbins illustrates the central role of primordial mental activity in spiritual cultures analogous to that of thought in western culture as well as its significant contributions to numerous other phenomena including dreaming, language, creativity, shamanism and psychosis.
In addition to his extensive clinical experience as a psychoanalyst Robbins draws on first-hand contact with Maori and other shamanistic cultures. Vividly illustrated by first and second hand accounts, this book will be of great interest to psychoanalysts, those with a psychological interest in spiritual cultures as well as those in the fields of developmental psychology, cultural anthropology, neuroscience, aesthetics and linguistics.