Explores the links between anger, rage, violence, evil, and creativity and describes a dynamic therapeutic approach that can help channel anger and violent impulses into constructive and creative activity.
"An excellent book.... I have always felt that Dr. Diamond's emphasis on the daimonic was extremely timely and important in our day. The myth of the daimonic covers vital, archetypal human experiences, as this work clearly illustrates. I find it very readable, and done like the true scholar." - from the Foreword by Rollo May
"[P]owerful.... [F]ascinating.... Diamond's reach is ambitious: to consider the 'meaning' of human violence and evil....He asks what produces serial killers, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Bobbitt castration case, the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and explores more generally the male response to the rise of feminist anger....[E]njoyable, extremely readable and accessible....[A] sincere, thought-provoking contribution to an important subject." -Journal of Analytical Psychology
"Evocative, very thorough and succinct, Stephen Diamond's superb book will remain the seminal work on this shadowy subject for a long time to come." - Jeremiah Abrams, author of Meeting the Shadow and The Shadow in America
"[A] comprehensive, [very valuable] work detailing the powers for good and evil of which humans are capable....[Diamond] presents disturbing and insightful biographies of Kipling, Melville..., van Gogh, Wright, Beethoven, and Bergman, each wrestling with their personal daimons through the creative process.... His cataloguing of the history of the phenomenology of the unconscious-from medieval beliefs that the voices people heard were demons or angels, to Freud's Id, to Jung's Shadow-is both brilliant and an indispensable resource for every student of human personality." - Ernest Becker Foundation Newsletter
In this single volume, Diamond shows himself to be one of the leaders in contemporary existential thought. This book should be a must read for contemporary students and practitioners of depth psychology.
Diamond writes: "The volatile emotions of anger and rage have been broadly 'demonized,' vilified, maligned, and rejected as purely pathological, negative impulses with no real redeeming qualities. As a result, most 'respectable' Americans habitually suppress, repress, or deny their anger-inadvertently rendering it doubly dangerous." He also clarifies, while developing the ideas of Rollo May, how we therapists collude with our clients and culture, thus depriving ourselves of the value and resources of this normal dimension of our being. He integrates psychoanalytic, Jungian, and existential theory under a new rubric of Existential Depth Psychology. As May states, our job is often "not to still the daimons but to wake them."
In addition, I think this is an important, engaging, and well-written work that I wish all my colleagues would read.