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Record Type: Review   ID: 586

Inevitable Grace: Breakthroughs in the Lives of Great Men and Women: Guides to Your Self-Realization

Ferrucci, Piero

Psychotherapist Ferrucci examines over 500 of "the greatest artists, scientists, sages, philosophers, educators, mystics, men and women of action, pioneers, political leaders, actors, and athletes" (p. 1) in order "to identify their moments and periods of greatest happiness--the states of grace they felt to be supremely significant and beautiful" (p. 2). From the exceptional human experiences described in the book he attempts to "extract principles about human nature and indications of possible behaviors and practices" (p. 3). He feels these high moments are all characterized by a sense of the Self, by which he means a transpersonal self. He views these exceptional human experiences atypical random events "but expressions of future stages in human evolution" (p. 5). He thinks these experiences are "the most realistic pattern of what we are" (p. 6). He adds that in this book although people's lives will be viewed in motion, "their god is the Self" (p. 6). Everyone moves on a different path, and he classifies the various experiences as occurring to those on the following 7 paths: the way of Beauty, the way of action, the way of illumination, the way of dance and ritual, the way of science, the way of devotion, and the way of the will. He does not conceive of these ways as set courses--on the contrary, "it is a process that engages us in ever new situations" (p. 7). Each individual, in proceeding along a way to the Self, "comes into contact with an entirely new realm that transcends the confines of individuality--the transpersonal level" (pp. 8-9). In seven chapters, each devoted to one of the above ways, he describes that way and provides many published examples to illustrate it. At first glance, these tantalizing quotations annoyingly are not referenced, but the citations are listed by page number at the end of the book.

It is the aim of this worthwhile book to change our image of ourselves and others through the study of these transpersonal experiences. Moreover, "transpersonal states . . . are communicated and resonate in those who are exposed to them, even in written form" (p. 11). Finally, "descriptions of higher states evoke in many the desire to experience them. This desire is not a passing whim, but a deep aspiration that may take the shape of a Way to the Self" (p. 11).

Publisher Information:Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1990. 387p. Bibl: 368-381; Chap.bibl: 349-367; Name Index: 382-387
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