In A Hidden Wholeness, Parker Palmer reveals the samecompassionate intelligence and informed heart that shaped hisbest-selling books Let Your Life Speak and The Courage toTeach. Here he speaks to our yearning to live undividedlives—lives that are congruent with our inner truth—ina world filled with the forces of fragmentation.
Mapping an inner journey that we take in solitude and inthe company of others, Palmer describes a form of community thatfits the limits of our active lives. Defining a “circle oftrust” as “a space between us that honors thesoul,” he shows how people in settings ranging fromfriendship to organizational life can support each other on thejourney 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 forCourage & Renewal (www.CourageRenewal.org). Bringing the Bookto Life, by Caryl Hurtig Casbon and Sally Z. Hare, is a reader'sand leader's guide to exploring the themes in A Hidden Wholeness.The DVD illuminates and illustrates the principles and practicesbehind circles of trust. The guide includes questions that connectthe DVD to the book, offering "a conversation with the author" aswell as an engagement with the text. Together, these features givereaders new ways to internalize the themes of A Hidden Wholenessand share with others this approach to sustaining identity andintegrity in all the venues of our lives.
Inspired by Palmer’s writing and speaking—andchallenged by the conditions of twenty-first centurylife—people across the country, from many walks of life, havebeen coming together in circles of trust to reclaim their integrityand help foster wholeness in their workplaces and their world.
For over a decade, the principles and practices in this bookhave been proven on the ground—by parents and educators,clergy and politicians, community organizers and corporateexecutives, physicians and attorneys, and many others who seek torejoin soul and role in their private and public lives.
A Hidden Wholeness weaves together four themes that itsauthor 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 peoplewho know Parker Palmer’s books will be glad to find thejourney continued
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About the Author
Parker J. Palmer is a highly respected writer, lecturer,teacher, and activist. His work speaks deeply to people from manywalks of life, including public schools, college and universities,religious institutions, corporations, foundations, and grass-rootsorganizations. The Leadership Project, a 1998 survey of 10,000American educators, named him one of the thirty most influentialsenior leaders in higher education and one of ten key"agenda-setters" of the past decade. Author of six previousbooks–including the bestsellers Let Your Life Speakand The Courage to Teach–his writing has beenrecognized with eight honorary doctorates and several nationalawards. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California atBerkeley and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
Table of Contents
Prelude: The Blizzard of the World 1
I Images of Integrity: Living "Divided No More" 3
II Across the Great Divide: Rejoining Soul and Role13
III Explorations in True Self: Intimations of the Soul31
IV Being Alone Together: A Community of Solitudes 51
V Preparing for the Journey: Creating Circles of Trust71
VI The Truth Told Slant: The Power of Metaphor 89
VII Deep Speaks to Deep: Learning to Speak and Listen113
VIII Living the Questions: Experiments with Truth 129
IX On Laughter and Silence: Not-So-Strange Bedfellows151
X The Third Way: Nonviolence in Everyday Life 167
The Author 197
BRINGING THE BOOK TO LIFE: A Reader’s and Group Leader'sGuide to Exploring the Themes in A Hidden Wholeness CarylHurtig Casbon and Sally Z. Hare 207
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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
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.
This book touched me deeply and offered a blueprint to achieving a merge of role and soul.