My dear friend Lovey from over at Loveyland lent me this book. I really wanted to write a review for you all but am finding it a bit difficult as it is the kind of book where so many things are profound you want to underline every other sentence and tab the pages and ponder what the authors says. (Okay, I guess that is something of a review right there. )
This book is called “Friends and Lovers: Working Through Relationships” and is written by Julian Sleigh who is a priest in the Christian Community, the renewal of religion that in part accepts the work of Rudolf Steiner and celebrates the traditional seven sacraments in renewed form. Steiner’s work is referred to here and there in this book, but I think even if that is not your worldview you will find much sensitive food for thought in this book.
This is not a huge book, about 191 pages total. There are 24 chapters in this book including: Setting out, Being a complete person, How am I doing?, Openness, The dynamic of affection, Friendship, The wonder of the soul, Helps and hindrances, Soul-mating, Forging bonds, It takes work to be social, Feeling, Not for myself, The way of love, Exploring the feminine, On being a man, Confiding, Sexuality: a very personal matter, Creation or recreation?, The question of marriage, The music of marriage, Difficulties and challenges, From rapture to rupture, The community of the future.
The author begins this book with the description that there are “warm places in every person’s soul” that can be filled with feeling for others, and those others have awareness of these feelings. How then do we become able to master interacting and communicating with others in harmony? How do we relate to ourselves and how do we use this as the basis for relating to others? How do we harness and tame anger and anxiety in our interactions with others?
One of my favorite parts of the book is about friendship. On page 37, the author writes, “A friend is a person who is prepared to suffer in support of you: to suffer for you and sometimes even to suffer because of you. Your friend will give you space within his soul, and carry you in this space.”
Another of my favorite ideas from this book is that relating to one another is a discipline and how feelings are part of our emotional life but feeling (as in willing, feeling, thinking) “is a stream of spiritual force that enters our soul when we are at peace with ourselves and with the world around.”
There are some wonderful lists peppered through this book; the nine things for success in relating to others comes to mind as well as the 22 causes of possible break-down in a marriage.
The author talks about the crisis at age 28 that many people go through, adjusting to the first pregnancy, infidelity and divorce and much more.
All in all a very interesting read! Has anyone out there also read this book and have any comments on it to share?