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BOOKS

The Courage to Be The Courage to Be by Paul Tillich


My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This classic defines the central human dilemma of being distanced from our essential nature. He defines courage as the choice to live fully in spite of human limitation and anxiety.

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Getting the Love You Want Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Dr. Hendrix classic that is a must read for everyone in, or wanting to be in, an intimate relationship. He makes a cogent and compelling case that our best chance for healing ourselves and our world comes from intimate relationship. Hendrix has designed a simple, optimally effective method for people to engender, foster and develop connection, which is the basis for fulfilling our needs as human beings. This author’s works is both profound and accessible by anyone.

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Shame: The Power of Caring Shame: The Power of Caring by Gershen Kaufman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This classic on a fundamental aspect of all emotional suffering is a must read for anyone on the journey of finding their lost heart. Kaufman’s writing is both profound and easy to grasp. He illuminates brightly what has for far too long lived in the shadows.

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Ta Hsueh and Chung Yung: (The Highest Order of Cultivation and On the Practice of the Mean) (Penguin Classics) Ta Hsueh and Chung Yung: by Anonymous


My review

The one book I would take to a desert island. Two of the “Four Books” that every Chinese scholar revered for 2000 years. These concise texts are packed with infinite wisdom.

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The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Mythos Books) The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell


My review

Campbell explores the monomyth, the one story that runs through all stories, of humankind’s longing for spiritual union with the All.

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The Nicomachean Ethics The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle


My review

Aristotle’s enlightening classic that proves that a virtue is not the opposite of a vice, but is the mean between two vices. He makes a beautiful argument for why self-love is not selfish, but is in harmony with the good for all.

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Mencius (Penguin Classics) Mencius by Mencius


My review

The wisest Sage to have ever lived. He said, “The principle of self-cultivation consists in nothing but trying to find the lost heart.” Within these words lies the secret solution to life’s difficulties.

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The Upanishads (Penguin Classics) The Upanishads by Anonymous


My review

The source of wisdom for the Indian subcontinent. Identifies the heart as the home of divine within the human being. Beautifully translated and interpreted by the brilliant Juan Marasco.

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The Myth of the Eternal Return: Or, Cosmos and History The Myth of the Eternal Return: Or, Cosmos and History by Mircea Eliade


My review

Eliade illuminates archaic cultures’s conception of the universe as circular rather than linear. He describes that these cultures located a central location and an original time as the representative of the divine, perfect form. The heart is this central location within the self.

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The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (Collected Works 9i) The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious by Carl Gustav Jung


My review

Jung was the great intellectual pioneer who recognized that our heritage of symbol — whether in myth or dream — revealed the universal characteristics of the developing psyche.

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Faust: Pt. 1 (Oxford World's Classics) Faust: Pt. 1 by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


My review

Like no other, Goethe captures the condition of having a lost heart: of what life is like when we are distanced from our essential nature. He was completely tapped into the source of the deepest source of wisdom about the human condition.

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What Men Live By and Other Tales What Men Live By and Other Tales by Leo Tolstoy


My review

The secret of human existence revealed in this greatest short story of all time.


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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz : Great Reads! The Wonderful Wizard of Oz : Great Reads! by L. Frank Baum


My review

This modern classic fairy tale proves that the symbol of the lost heart is timeless and enduring. It is the archetype for the inner journey we must travel to become that which we are meant to be.

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The Varieties of Religious Experience The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James


My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
James relies on countless reports to show that there is a predictable pattern of personality transformation. This book deeply influenced the founders of AA.

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FAIRY TALES

Beauty and the Beast Beauty and the Beast by Marianna Mayer


My review

A story of infinite themes and wisdom.It reveals that the process of self-discovery begins with getting lost, a prince lives within our ugly persona and our healing is dependent on love.
Here is a version of the story.

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The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm


My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Classic tales with the hidden wisdom of the ages. Some favorites include:

Cat-Skin: This story reveals in symbolic language how shame is formed as a result of childhood wounding, and the stages that need to occur to heal those wounds and be freed of the limiting inhibitions of shame.

Here is the complete story.

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Best-Loved Folktales of the World (The Anchor Folktale Library) Best-Loved Folktales of the World by Joanna Cole


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
A great compendium of stories with the common hidden theme which you can find if you read them with your heart.

Some favorites:

Maid Lena: This story reveals that the source of our lack of energy and courage is the result of something being “dead at our center,” and the necessity of completing impossible tasks to win the princess and kingdom, or getting everything we want in life. Here is the story.

The Giant With No Heart In Its Body: This is the great example of a mythic/fairy tale archetype where the thing hidden is the heart itself, understood to be the source of our being. Here is the story.

The Firebird, The Horse of Power and The Princess Vassilisa: The story that teaches us that to live a live of real value we must embrace fear. Here is a version of the story.

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POETRY

Women in Praise of the Sacred Women in Praise of the Sacred by Jane Hirshfield


My review

Among many wonderful poems is this one by Pan Zhao (48-117?), the most famous woman scholar of Chinese history, on the slow, incremental process of restoring one’s connection to our essential nature, on finding the lost heart.

Tempered, annealed, the hard essence of autumn metals
finely forged, subtle, yet perdurable and straight,

By nature penetrating deep yet advancing by inches
to span all things yet stitch them up together,

Only needle-and-thread’s delicate footsteps
are truly broad-ranging yet without beginning!

“Withdrawing elegantly” to mend a loose-thread,
and restore to white silk a lamb’s down purity. . .

How can those who count pennies calculate their worth?
They may carve monuments yet lack all understanding.

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MOVIES

La Strada

La Strada directed by Federico Fellini

Review:

Federico Fellini’s masterwork on the existential condition: the limit of man’s capacity for connection and understanding, and the longing for the stars. Giulietta Masina is heartbreaking, but in the end we cry for Zampano, played to perfection by Anthony Quinn. A surprising turn by Richard Baseheart as The Fool.

La Grande Illusion by Jean Renoir

La Grande Illusion by Jean Renoir

Review:

The title of the film, The Grand Illusion, refers to the illusion that we are made different by culture, language, religion or class which leads to the tragedy of war, and when transcended, the spirituality of love.

Les Enfants

Review:

Les Enfants du Paradis gets my vote for the greatest movie ever. A movie of epic sweep made under the duress of the Nazi occupation, this romantic classic captures the longing for the eternal feminine. There is no greater moment in film than when Jean-Louis Barreault, as Pierrot, busts into mime to save the transfixing Garance from arrest.

Last TangoReview:
Bertolucci’s notorious classic, Last Tango In Paris, portrays a purely existential relationship. In the ultimate trickster guise, Brando finally plays himself and goes so deep emotionally he never comes back. Oh yeah: its pretty sexy to

o, and the music is

amazing.

sullivans 2Review:

Sturges’ post-modern masterpiece breaks all the rules. Bending every genre, it swings from  surreal slapstick to profound pathos. It’s final message is pure wisdom.

An amazingly fortuitous coming together of classic book by Ken Kesey, great director, Milos Forman and Jack Nicholson at his peak. This indictment of mental health treatment is a must see for everyone, especially if you are in, or planning to be in, the helping professions. As Fritz Perls said, a sane person in a crazy world is crazy.

2 Responses to “Inspiring Sources: Books, Poets, Myths, Fairy Tales, Songs, Films”

  1. nancynancy Says:

    yeah but do you watch family guy?

  2. Jeannette Says:

    Can I make a suggestions? I have been very deeply moved by Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. They are full of innocence and wonder, and you can feel the love Kipling has for his daughter when your read them outloud. They are all about how the world came to be, and are delightful and silly and profound all at the same time.

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