Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Life as an Elephant, aka...

review by Mel Mathews

This wonderfully warm, humorous, entertaining and beautifully written book gives an overview of Jungian Psychology. That’s right, warm, humorous, entertaining, beautifully written, and a psychology book. Jungian Psychology Unplugged: My Life as an Elephant is comprised of six chapters. Chapter one addresses Jung’s Basic model of Psychological Types. Chapter two deals with ‘Getting to know Yourself’ and explains the basics of archetypes and complexes, persona, shadow… Chapter three, ‘The Unknown Other’ is about projection and identification, including the challenges involved with intimacy and relationships. Chapter four deals with the ‘Anatomy of a Midlife Crisis’ which is most often fueled by the need to develop a relationship with one’s self, or with the unexpressed aspects of our personalities that have not been honored and given a voice earlier in life. In chapter five Daryl Sharp writes about 'The Analytical Experience,' including his own, which I found most refreshing. All to often, one will pick up a psychology or self-help book in hopes of finding a recipe to improve one’s life. That’s not what happens in Jungian Psychology Unplugged: My life as an Elephant. Instead, in vulnerable fashion, Daryl Sharp shares some of his more personal moments during the period when he was seeking council. The author well knows that another person’s recipe is worthless when it comes to finding one’s self and living an authentic life, and he doesn’t pretend to be an authority and try to prove otherwise. Chapter six is about 'Psychological Development,' the process of becoming more conscious by developing a relationship to one’s soul. Sharp addresses the need to be true to our vocations, our true callings in life, and venerates those who have the courage to do just this—listening and being true to one’s inner voice. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in living an authentic life, not just those who have an interest in Jung or psychology.

Daryl Sharp is the author of 17 books. He is also the General Editor of Inner City Books: Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analyst. 

Mel Mathews' book reviews have been published in USA Today and many other notable publications. Mel is the author of several novels, including the Malcolm Clay Trilogy (Fisher King Press). His books are available from your local bookstore, a host of on-line booksellers, or you can order them directly from his website at:

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