Sunday, January 23, 2011

Eros and the Shattering Gaze: Transcending Narcissism

This timely and innovative expose by contemporary Jungian psychoanalyst, Ken Kimmel, reveals a culturally and historically embedded narcissism underlying men’s endlessly driven romantic projections and erotic fantasies, that has appropriated their understanding of what love is. Men enveloped in narcissism fear their interiority and all relationships with emotional depth that prove too overwhelming and penetrating to bear—so much so that the other must either be colonized or devalued. This wide-ranging work offers them hope for transcendence.

"A skilful and articulate interweave of the best of traditional views on 'relationality' and more contemporary critique. The vivid clinical vignettes bring the arguments alive and the result is a stimulating and fresh take on this ever-timely topic. The sections on the 'split feminine' in contemporary men are especially fine, eschewing sentimentality without abandoning hope."
—Professor Andrew Samuels, 
Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex.

"The author is an extremely sensitive and experienced specialist who possesses a broad perspective and profound historical psychological knowledge. The content is carefully observed and conveyed with great precision. The contemplative and self-reflective reader who seeks to grasp the full measure of this rich manuscript, can expect to gain substantially in both knowledge and inner maturation."
—Mario Jacoby, PhD, senior Jungian Analyst, Zurich, author of 

"This is the book for those who fear that Jungian efforts to gaze deeply into the Self are simply carrying coals to the Newcastle of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Its author, Ken Kimmel, certainly shows us the egoistic pitfalls that can attend such an enterprise, but he also makes us see why he believes that inner work really does hold the power to shake the foundations of someone’s inability to see the face of the Other. One comes away from reading Eros and the Shattering Gaze with renewed understanding as to why brave patients have subjected themselves to this very deep form of scrutiny and why fine therapists like Kimmel have been willing to see them through it. Attempting the rescue of authentic eros from its fear-driven shadow of predation is a work that will engage most of us at some point in our relational lives. We should be grateful for the insights with which this book is studded, for they can enlighten the labors of learning to love."
—John Beebe, Jungian analyst, author of Integrity in Depth