A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life

( 4 )

Overview

In A Hidden Wholeness, Parker Palmer reveals the same compassionate intelligence and informed heart that shaped his best-selling books Let Your Life Speak and The Courage to Teach. Here he speaks to our yearning to live undivided lives—lives that are congruent with our inner truth—in a world filled with the forces of fragmentation.

Mapping an inner journey that we take in solitude and in the company of others, Palmer describes a form of community that fits the limits of our ...

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Overview

In A Hidden Wholeness, Parker Palmer reveals the same compassionate intelligence and informed heart that shaped his best-selling books Let Your Life Speak and The Courage to Teach. Here he speaks to our yearning to live undivided lives—lives that are congruent with our inner truth—in a world filled with the forces of fragmentation.

Mapping an inner journey that we take in solitude and in the company of others, Palmer describes a form of community that fits the limits of our active lives. Defining a “circle of trust” as “a space between us that honors the soul,” he shows how people in settings ranging from friendship to organizational life can support each other on the journey toward living “divided no more.”

This paperback edition includes two new and useful features. Circles of Trust is a DVD containing interviews with Parker J. Palmer and footage from retreats he facilitated for the Center for Courage & Renewal (www.CourageRenewal.org). Bringing the Book to Life, by Caryl Hurtig Casbon and Sally Z. Hare, is a reader's and leader's guide to exploring the themes in A Hidden Wholeness. The DVD illuminates and illustrates the principles and practices behind circles of trust. The guide includes questions that connect the DVD to the book, offering "a conversation with the author" as well as an engagement with the text. Together, these features give readers new ways to internalize the themes of A Hidden Wholeness and share with others this approach to sustaining identity and integrity in all the venues of our lives.

Inspired by Palmer’s writing and speaking—and challenged by the conditions of twenty-first century life—people across the country, from many walks of life, have been coming together in circles of trust to reclaim their integrity and help foster wholeness in their workplaces and their world.

For over a decade, the principles and practices in this book have been proven on the ground—by parents and educators, clergy and politicians, community organizers and corporate executives, physicians and attorneys, and many others who seek to rejoin soul and role in their private and public lives.

A Hidden Wholeness weaves together four themes that its author has pursued for forty years: the shape of an integral life, the meaning of community, teaching and learning for transformation, and nonviolent social change. The hundreds of thousands of people who know Parker Palmer’s books will be glad to find the journey continued

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
How do we nurture our souls in solitude and in community? In this measured exposition, the author of Let Your Life Speak and The Courage to Speak explains what it means to live an undivided life where our inner truth can find expression and value in our daily activities. Dr. Palmer is not afraid to tackle contemporary issues. He contends, for instance, that recent scandals in business, religion, and politics have less to do with a "failure of ethics" than with a lack of integrity and wholeness.
From the Publisher
“NEW TO THIS EDITION: Circles of Trust DVD containing interviews with Parker J. Palmer and Bringing the Book to Life, by Caryl Hurtig Casbon and Sally Z. Hare, a reader's and leader's guide.”
Publishers Weekly
Palmer (The Courage to Teach) seeks to help us "rejoin soul and role," so that individuals and communities can be healed from the ravages of consumerism, injustice and violence. No small task, yet in classic Palmer style, this mission is fleshed out with stories, poems, personal confessions and a plan-concrete steps for creating "circles of trust" where honest, open sharing allows each person's "inner teacher" to show up. (Ground rules: "no fixing, no saving, no advising, no setting each other straight.") Palmer's concern is that too many people have "divided lives," with personal values that don't match what they are asked to do in the world to succeed. He argues that "the soul is real and powerful" and is "safe only in relationships with certain qualities," ones that "protect, border and salute" the time it takes to hear our "inner teacher." Never na ve, Palmer warns that these "circles of trust" are not management tools that organizations can force on employees for some grand motive, such as crisis control or increased productivity. They are the opposite of quick fixes-places where we sit and wait for our souls to tell the truth. This book is a treasure-an inspiring, useful blueprint for building safe places where people can commit to "act in every situation in ways that honor the soul." 50,000 first printing. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470453766
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/2/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 90,572
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Parker J. Palmer is a highly respected writer, lecturer, teacher, and activist. His work speaks deeply to people from many walks of life, including public schools, college and universities, religious institutions, corporations, foundations, and grass-roots organizations. The Leadership Project, a 1998 survey of 10,000 American educators, named him one of the thirty most influential senior leaders in higher education and one of ten key "agenda-setters" of the past decade. Author of six previous books–including the bestsellers Let Your Life Speak and The Courage to Teach–his writing has been recognized with eight honorary doctorates and several national awards. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
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Table of Contents

Gratitudes vii

Prelude: The Blizzard of the World 1

I Images of Integrity: Living "Divided No More" 3

II Across the Great Divide: Rejoining Soul and Role 13

III Explorations in True Self: Intimations of the Soul 31

IV Being Alone Together: A Community of Solitudes 51

V Preparing for the Journey: Creating Circles of Trust 71

VI The Truth Told Slant: The Power of Metaphor 89

VII Deep Speaks to Deep: Learning to Speak and Listen 113

VIII Living the Questions: Experiments with Truth 129

IX On Laughter and Silence: Not-So-Strange Bedfellows 151

X The Third Way: Nonviolence in Everyday Life 167

Notes 187

The Author 197

Index 199

BRINGING THE BOOK TO LIFE: A Reader’s and Group Leader's Guide to Exploring the Themes in A Hidden Wholeness Caryl Hurtig Casbon and Sally Z. Hare 207

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2005

    Compassionate Intelligence

    In A HIDDEN WHOLENESS, the highly respected writer, lecturer, teacher and activist, Parker J. Palmer describes the creation of a 'circle of trust'--a specific kind of community that welcomes the soul and helps those involved to hear its voice. Over the last several years, Palmer and his colleagues at the Center for Courage and Renewal have forged, tested, and re-worked the practices and principles of creating such circles. This book reflects both Palmer's own transformation from living a divided life to finding the courage to live 'divided no more.' He reflects on his own and others experience as they have moved into circles of trust to live lives of deep integrity. 'Circles of Trust' are not easy things to create. Individuals, communities, or congregations looking for ways to work with long-standing problems of isolation, fear, and soul-forgetfulness will find reason for optimism in this writing, but readers looking for 'seven easy steps' will not find them here. Parker Palmer is a sharp and witty writer who invites the rest of us into a practice that is messy, countercultural, and deceptively complex. For those willing to take the journey, this book, like the circles of trust it speaks of, offers lessons on the power of trust and acceptance as 'soul and role' are reunited. --Dr. Jennifer L. Manlowe

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2011

    Maybe, maybe not

    I bought the book because it is required for a class. Basically, it's a description of a group process that can create a container, called a "circle of trust," which will allow participants to feel safe enough to speak their "truth." If you've no intention of doing this, there's little point in reading the book. The psychological understanding of what an absence of a sense of "wholeness" amounts to is overly simple. "Soul versus role" doesn't begin to convey the extraordinary complexity of the human psyche.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An insightful look at tapping our inner teacher

    This book touched me deeply and offered a blueprint to achieving a merge of role and soul.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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