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
     
 

In this beautifully written and profoundly affecting new book, Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen explores what it means when serious illness brings one "close to the bone": close to the soul's needs. As in her critically acclaimed best-seller Goddesses in Everywoman, the author weaves myth, experience, and story to produce a book which at once illuminates the experience of the… See more details below

Overview

In this beautifully written and profoundly affecting new book, Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen explores what it means when serious illness brings one "close to the bone": close to the soul's needs. As in her critically acclaimed best-seller Goddesses in Everywoman, the author weaves myth, experience, and story to produce a book which at once illuminates the experience of the seriously ill patient and shows that facing one's mortality can be a life-transforming, and even a life-saving, process. Close to the Bone follows the patients and their loved ones on a path which, soon after diagnosis, brings them into a kind of underworld of experience, a state of emotional trauma that has the potential to strip away what become merely superfluous concerns, focusing the individual on what is truly important. This process can be enhanced by prayer, meditation, participation in rituals, the sharing of stories, and a deeper and more honest level of communication with those we love and with ourselves.

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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)

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