Intimacy and Solitude / Edition 1by Stephanie Dowrick
Pub. Date: 02/28/1996
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
A co-founder of the Women's Press in England and a trained psychotherapist explores the paradox of needing to enjoy solitude before one can be truly intimate with another. In this critically acclaimed work, Dowrick moves readers through the realms of solitude, intimacy, and desire, offering spiritual as well aspsychological guidance.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
This book provides this wonderful insight: That `solitude' is desirable and invaluable, that it is not the same as being lonely; that being with one's self is not a transitory phase until one meets the proverbial `Love of One's life'. Instead having a firmly grounded sense of self and a deep love for one's self gives one a companion for a lifetime. This love embraces the `other' thereby allowing one to have authentic, intense moments of intimacy. The author through this book deals with several ideas and questions that have very practical value: Why we do what we do to our most intimate friends and partners? What expectations do we bring to our intimate relationships? How these are related to our expectations from our ownselves? What constitutes emotional maturity? The book develops the basics first. Questions like, 'What is this notion of Self?' are discussed. Also the style is very personal and through several examples and rich dense text, Stephanie Dowrick takes the reader on a journey of new thoughts and realisations. Yet, the author's discussion of intimacy wherein there are two individuals, wherein there is a boundary at which the `other' ends and the `self' begins (even in the most intimate of relationships), raised the following questions within me: What about the complete merging of two lovers that is so much a part of some of the middle eastern and (east) Indian traditions, especially spiritual? In the celebration of Radha and Krishna's mythological love in the folk traditions of (east) India, Radha completely surrenders to Krishna's love. Even the sufi personifies his(no gender bias intended) God as a beloved to Whom he wishes to surrender, with Whom he wishes to merge. Does this mean that with the modern tools of psychoanalysis and therapy one can label Radha or the Sufi as without a sense of Self? I would think not. Though Radha is a mythological figure serving a purpose for a certain culture of a certain ancient time, the Sufis are and have been real people with very high degrees of insight and enlightenment. But one can argue that for most people intimacy is best defined the way it is discussed in this book and that there can exist other traditions of intimacy in other cultures or societies or spiritual traditions. The most important idea is this: In no intimate relationship should we allow ourselves to be smothered or smother the other. I highly recommend this book to all of us. For an understanding of these ideas, which the author takes great pain to explain even at the cost of making them repetitive throughout the book, shall improve the health and quality of one's relationship with one's self and with the `other'.