Century of Insight: The Twentieth Century Enlightenment of the Mind

Author(s) : Derry Macdiarmid, Editor : Sue Macdiarmid

Century of Insight: The Twentieth Century Enlightenment of the Mind

Book Details

Reviews and Endorsements

You ought to be able to imagine anything, and to confront anything you imagine.

Love is insatiably greedy as well as generous ...

When we shrink from becoming what we could be, we build up a debt not only to ourselves, but to others close to us.

- Derry Macdiarmid

‘Thoughtful and profound. An intellectual pleasure to read.’
- Prof. Sir Bernard Crick

‘Striking is the deep and humane understanding of the human condition
that runs through every page.’
- Dr Desmond Biddulph, The Buddhist Society

Century of Insight is the story of the discovery of the unconscious mind, based on the author's teaching of psychotherapy throughout his career. Beginning with the ideas of Freud and Jung, it is a journey that describes, through case histories, explanation and humour, how successive ideas have created a body of knowledge that the author calls the "Psychodynamic Enlightenment" of the 20th century. Whilst essentially it is a story of the 20th century, it includes a backdrop from tribal societies, and also ideas from 19th century Europe, including existentialism.

The ideas of Freud, Jung, and Adler are explained, their points of difference, and then how they disagreed so violently that they had to break with each other. Their individual theories and their personal conflict are understood from the story of their personalities and background. Why could Freud not tolerate the expansive Jung, and why did Jung clash so badly with his 'father'? The unfolding story continues with other major theorists of the 20th century: Anna Freud, Klein, Winnicott, and others. Links are made between ideas, and concepts are explained using case history from the author’s professional practice as a psychiatrist and Jungian psychotherapist.

Subsequently, the author leaves the world of therapy, and invites us to engage head-on with how anxiety can rule us, the value of hate, why we become depressed and how we can use dreams to understand ourselves. Finally, we learn that the Psychodynamic Enlightenment is our personal quest to find our own capacity to love. The author offers some directions about how to love well, ('love is insatiably greedy') which gives the meaning to life.

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