O Books, 2008
Reviewed by Ian Mowll
This book is brilliant! I read it twice and both times I was unable to put it down and read it from cover to cover.
Healing, at least in part, can come through making sense of suffering and learning from it. So, for those who have suffered from mental ill-health or those who meet people who do, this book is particularly helpful.
The basic premise of the book is that our minds are made up of two sub-systems, the ‘propositional’ and the ‘relational.’ The propositional is the logical, conscious part of one’s mind and deals with either/or logic. The relational has all of the rest and deals with both/and ‘logic’. A connection is made between the relational and what is called ‘the transliminal’ which is similar to (but not the same as) the subconscious.
We can ‘know’ the propositional either/or logic. But we can only experience the relational part of our minds. This distinction shows how some writers unhelpfully try to apply either/or logic to this relational area, which is inappropriate.
So there is the basic model. What the book does so well is to apply this model to many areas of life: creativity, the psychiatric system, spirituality, religion, science, psychology, why we give our power away and more. There are lots of useful insights.
The book draws from history, people’s personal experiences and current scientific understanding (both neurological and psychological) so it feels very grounded and current. The author is also careful to explain where currently accepted scientific theories end and where her speculation begins.
For GreenSpirit readers in particular, there is a touching part in the book about the protestors at Twyford Down, how this affected the author, and how the experience relates to the ideas put forward in the book.