What Really Matters?: Searching for Wisdom in America

Overview

In 1988, at the height of his career as a journalist, happily married and co-author of a smash number one bestseller, Tony Schwartz hit an unexpected wall. Why did the success he'd sought for so long suddenly feel empty? What was a truly meaningful and complete life, and who could show him how to live it? And how could he explore this wider vision without giving up his life in the "real world"? During the next five years he crisscrossed the country, meeting with mystics, psychologists, philosophers, physicians, ...
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Overview

In 1988, at the height of his career as a journalist, happily married and co-author of a smash number one bestseller, Tony Schwartz hit an unexpected wall. Why did the success he'd sought for so long suddenly feel empty? What was a truly meaningful and complete life, and who could show him how to live it? And how could he explore this wider vision without giving up his life in the "real world"? During the next five years he crisscrossed the country, meeting with mystics, psychologists, philosophers, physicians, and scientists. Blending the hunger of a seeker with a journalist's commitment to hardheaded inquiry, Schwartz interviewed, challenged, worked with, and sometimes befriended the key figures of a new, distinctively American wisdom tradition.

For those readers who loved Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul and Bill Moyers' Healing and the Mind, Tony Schwartz offers a journalist's passionate, absorbing, and exhilarating five-year search for meaning in everyday life--and for wisdom in America.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Schwartz's account of the four years he spent exploring different aspects of the human potential movement. (Apr.)
Ilene Cooper
Schwartz, a reporter for the "New York Times", has a nice wife, good kids, plenty of money. So why does he feel so bummed? In attempting to answer that question, the author set off on what turned out to be a four-year journey in search of the contemporary Holy Grail--peace of mind. As he crisscrossed the U.S., he encountered all aspects of the consciousness movement, from meditation and dream therapy through personality analysis and Eastern spirituality. Naturally, he met a few gurus along the way, including Baba Ram Dass and others less well known to the general public but just as revered among their followers. This is not just the story of a whiner holding out his bowl and asking for more. Schwartz offers a serious, analytical look at the whole phenomenon of self-discovery, appraising what he finds as both a reporter and a searcher. In addition, he brings to the process a liberal dose of humanizing humor. Schwartz's final chapter, in which he ties together what works and what doesn't, will certainly touch readers on their own spiritual journeys. His bottom line is hardly new news, but it bears repeating: "To live a complete life requires drawing deeply on all of one's potentials--mind, body, heart, soul, and spirit."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553093988
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/1995
  • Pages: 480

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Longing in the Heart 1
I Ground: The Pioneers
1 Redefining Reality: Ram Dass, Psychedelics, and the Journey to the East 19
2 Nurturing the Human Potential: Michael Murphy and the Founding of Esalen 73
3 The Yoga of the West: Elmer Green, Biofeedback, and Self-control 117
II Path: Mind-Body Potentials
4 Seeing the Big Picture: Betty Edwards and the Right Side of the Brain 159
5 Connecting the Mind and Body: Can We Make Ourselves Sick - and Well? 193
6 The Ideal Performance State: Flow, Learned Optimism, and the Toughness Model 235
7 Waking Up: Montague Ullman, Jeremy Taylor, and the Wisdom of Dreams 269
III Fruition: The Integrators
8 Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: Where Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein Parted Ways 305
9 Putting Consciousness on the Map: How Ken Wilber Married Freud and the Buddha 339
10 Personality and Essence: Helen Palmer, the Enneagram, and Hameed Ali 375
Conclusion: The Point Is to Be Real 421
Acknowledgments 433
Bibliography 439
Notes 448
Index 463
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