Coming To Our Senses, Morris Berman

Love of life is the uninhibited expression of interest, or curiosity - the cosmological urge/life force. A response to the world that is not driven by fear or even need. It is not the response of the infant to Transitional Objects which is rooted in insecurity (the desire to fill the gap) but a response rooted in trust, which tends to be spontaneous and immediate, not hurried or driven.

The essence of Self is not this or that particular persona or identity, but has the principle of transformation directly within it.

Personality is generally a posture of defense and one learns what one must defend oneself against in the context of what is regular rather than aberrant. What forms the core of the adult personality is that which was in the formative years, not traumatic but daily, repetitive, even boring.

How a nation or culture treats the bodies of its children, may have its echoes in the behavior of the entire national cultural body.

The history of toys is really a history of the body.

How the great teacher works: he speaks directly to the unconscious body.


The real goal of a spiritual tradition should not be ascent, but openness, vulnerability, and this does not require great experiences but, on the contrary, very ordinary ones. Charisma is easy; presence, self-remembering, is terribly difficult, and where the real work lies.

Journeys are for the most part undertaken out of restlessness; some sort of lack, or need, is typically present. Things are "not right" here, there is something better to be found somewhere else.

Modern creativity:

- is heavily fueled by the desire to prove that one exists

- has a strong addictive or compulsive component to it: outdo yourself with each succeeding project

- is heavily characterized by suicide

- quickly loses interest in artists who have nothing 'new' to offer

- involves the sexualization or at least eroticization of the activity: one's work becomes one's lover: one's central and obsessive relationship

- has to be provisional, dissatisfied, restless. you are constantly challenged to create Yourself, and this process never ends.

The search for self-expression actually winds up depleting your Self. You are the agent of your own crucification. You are your own slave driver (Reich)

Create from what you have, not from what you lack.

Don't create the work, you step out of the way and let it happen.

What matters:

how birthing takes place,

how infants are raised,

having a rich and active dream life,


ontological security,

the magic of personal interaction

healthy and passionate sexual expression

What does not matter:



putting a good face on,

the newest fashion in art or science

When you've lost your body, you need an ism.