Mad and Divine  - Spirit and Psyche in the Modern World

Mad and Divine - Spirit and Psyche in the Modern World

Product ID: 24877

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Author: Sudhir Kakar
Publisher: Penguin/Viking
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 178
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780670081608


Sudhir Kakar, India’s foremost psychoanalyst has for long tried to infuse the pre-eminently Western discipline of psychoanalysis with ideas and views from the East in both his practice and his best-selling books. In Mad and Divine, he takes on the separation of the spirit and the body favoured by psychoanalysis, as he cautions that a focus on the body, to the exclusion of the spirit, is a denial of a person’s wholeness. Similarly, to focus on the spirit alone is to hold in contempt the body that makes us human.

Ever respectful of and sympathetic to a person’s spiritual life and strivings, Kakar takes us on a tour through the many rooms of the mansion of spirituality. He looks at the interplay, at times playful, at others deadly serious, between spirit and psyche, and the moments of creativity and transformation when the spirit cools the fire of desire or thaws the ice of self-centeredness. He looks at this interplay and these moments in religious ritual and in healing traditions, both Eastern and Western, as also in the lives of some extraordinary men. The first peek is into the well-documented childhood of Rajneesh, ‘a pioneer in the globalization of spirituality’, but the focus here is on the vision of the spirit’s soaring and not the oft-repeated tragedy of its fall. In his elucidation of the part played by sexuality in the making of a saint, Kakar examines the life of Drukpa Kunley, who through overtly scandalous parables, songs and actions vigorously pushes against the boundary of all that is tabooed. And to rethink the role of the spiritual in collective life, Kakar examines Gandhi’s practical spirituality—his vision of how we need to engage ourselves in our political and social worlds.

Enriched with a novelist’s felicity of language and an analyst’s piercing insight and startling interpretation, Mad and Divine is a valuable addition to the literature on the integration of the spirit and psyche in the evolving psychology of an individual, showing as it does that when the spirit soars it pulls up the psyche in its wake


Childhood of a Spiritually Incorrect Guru: Osho
Seduction and the Saint: The Legend of Drukpa Kunley
Desire and the Spiritual Quest: The Legend of Drukpa Kunley
Gandhi and the Art of Practical Spirituality
Empathy in Psychoanalysis and Spirituality
Empathy in Psychoanalysis and Spiritual Healing
The Uses of Ritual
Religion and Psyche: Reading Freud’s ‘The Future of an Illusion’ in Goa
Afterword: Spirit and Psyche
Notes and References