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Levy, N.J. (1958). The Self. Edited by Clark E. Moustakas. Harper and Brothers, New York, 284 pp. 1956.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 18(2):199-199.

(1958). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 18(2):199-199

The Self. Edited by Clark E. Moustakas. Harper and Brothers, New York, 284 pp. 1956.

Norman J. Levy, M.D.

This anthology of papers on the self, subtitled “explorations in personal growth,” stresses “the positive, healthy, growing potentials of the individual.” Through exploring the self in the process of being and becoming, the editor, Clark E. Moustakas, psychologist at the Merrill Palmer School in Detroit, has reaffirmed for us the fundamental unity of personality. By focusing on the understanding of the healthy and the creative, the author has done workers in the field of human behavior considerable service. Drawing on the disciplines of the arts, education, philosophy, psychology and psychiatry he has demonstrated that workers in different fields are arriving independently at the same theoretical conclusions.

In a warm and friendly preface the author explains his own personal growth, “exciting, satisfying, and at times painful and exhausting,” as he explored the writings of various searchers into the nature and aspects of the self. He tries to make clear why he chose particular authors and articles. His introductory chapter sets the tone and indicates the direction of the book and his concluding chapter on explorations in essential being and personal growth effectively sums up the variations on his central theme. His principles for recognizing the self and creating human understanding are clear and esthetically satisfying.

The essays presented need not be read in sequence. Stylistically some authors are able to communicate their ideas with greater ease than others.

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