Close to the Bone: LifeThreatening Illness and the Search for Meaning

Close to the Bone: LifeThreatening Illness and the Search for Meaning

by Jean Shinoda Bolen
     
 
A life-threatening illness is a crisis for the soul as well as the body. It can bring the patient "close to the bone", close to the soul's needs. In this profoundly moving new work, Dr. Bolen weaves myth, experience, and story to show that facing one's mortality can be a life-transforming, and even a life-saying, process. Close to the Bone follows patients and their

Overview

A life-threatening illness is a crisis for the soul as well as the body. It can bring the patient "close to the bone", close to the soul's needs. In this profoundly moving new work, Dr. Bolen weaves myth, experience, and story to show that facing one's mortality can be a life-transforming, and even a life-saying, process. Close to the Bone follows patients and their loved ones on a path which brings them into an underworld of experience, a state that has the potential to strip away superfluous concerns and guide us to what is truly important in our lives. Using her skills as a therapist and a storyteller, Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen helps us find our way out of the underworld and back into our lives, forever changed.

Editorial Reviews

Natural Health
"Should be required reading in medical schools and by anyone who wants to understand how illness can be a midwife that helps the soul to emerge."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The crisis brought on by a serious or disastrous illness is the concern of this richly probing essay by a Jungian analyst and medical doctor. Although various diseases are touched on, cancerespecially as it affects womenis Bolen's focus. Yet far from being a grim tract, this book is a kind of metaphysical how-to filled with hope, second chances and sound guidance. But from the very first "initiation story" the author narrates for usthe myth of the abduction to the underworld of Persephone, an ancient Greek emblem of spring, vitality, rebirthBolen makes clear that there are dark and dangerous realms to traverse to learn how to help make oneself well and whole again. In her view, there is no mind/body split, no dichotomy between psyche and soma: the mind is everywhere in the body and affects physiological outcomes. While the book's Jungian tone will keep some readers away (even as it attracts others), and while it's not full of original ideas, it is a skillful assemblage of views on the harrowing experience of physical illness and mental dissociation from which we can and may emerge with a new clarity about who we are and what we want our lives to be. (Oct.)
Library Journal
From a best-selling author (Goddesses in Everywoman, LJ 7/84): advice on making serious illness a chance for growth.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684835303
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
04/28/1998
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are saying about this

Louise L. Hay
This book can be a companion to anyone in physical or mental pain and crisis.
Isabel Allende
"This is the book I needed when my daughter was sick. It would have helped me through it, like a map of the underworld. Myths, stories, prayer, touching, visualization, rituals, and especially love are some of the tools and wisdom that this extraordinary book gives us. Thank you, Jean."
Bernie Siegel
The great teacher is our morality. Let this book be a guide to your feelings and enlightenment. There are no exceptions, we are all mortal. Accept that--read this book and live a fuller, healthier, more meaningful life.

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