Thursday, December 15, 2011

Required Reading for all Travelers on Life's Journey

Review by Dr. Arieh Friedler of

The Cycle of Life: Themes and Tales of the Journey

(Amazon, Dec. 12, 2011)

Required Reading for all Traveler's on Life's Journey

From the Bible to Shakespeare, to Carl Jung and to Erik Erikson, Erel Shalit's book, THE CYCLE OF LIFE poetically and informatively presents "the themes and tales of the journey". Shalit cites Jung who assured us that the journey entails BOTH the road we take and HOW we take that road, our conscious attitude. Likewise, as one sets out on the book's journey, s/he is aware of Shalit's profound understanding of the cycle of life. His expertise in Jungian psychology coupled with his vast personal experience in treating clients is apparent on nearly every page. It is HOW he presents the journey that makes this book both very enjoyable and very readable. Just as one feels that perhaps s/he is getting a bit lost in the psychological description of one of the stages in the life cycle, Shalit presents the reader with a poignant example from literature, Greek mythology, Eastern Philosophy, or from Jewish philosophy which illustrates and clarifies the issue for the layman.
As one of these laymen who is on the threshold of the last stage in the journey, I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who wants to understand his or her own life as an individual or as part of the universe. The book should be required reading for all those starting out on "the journey", for those who deal with people who are somewhere on the path, and for those of us who are at the last station but who still have the strength and the curiosity to understand how s/he has arrived at this point. All in all THE CYCLE OF LIFE is an outstanding publication by a brilliant writer.

Dr. Arieh Friedler
Israel Adult Education Association

In old age, we often search our way back, recalling childhood memories, reconnecting with family background, a religion or a country left behind. We tend to return to where we came from. While the tasks of youth and young adulthood require breaking away from one’s roots, and to establish a separate and individual identity, now comes the time of return - though sometimes the road Home, "to whence I come, was a much longer and more painful road than the departure…" An interest in one’s family genealogy is a common expression of this. We return to our ancestors in order to heal our neurosis. As Jung says, if “man was still linked by myth with the world of the ancestors, and thus with nature truly experienced and not merely seen from the outside, [the neurotics] would have been spared this division with themselves.” Our deceased parents have become part of a lost world, which we explore in order to find our ancestral roots and the often lost voices of wisdom from the past. (From The Cycle of Life, p. 174)

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