Truth And Reality Paperback – Mar 27 2008
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From the Back Cover
Rank's development of will psychology led him to a philosophy of the psychological, outlined in Truth and Reality. Here he explores the psychological determinants of the relationship of inner world to outer reality.
About the Author
Otto Rank (1884-1939), one of the most important figures in psychoanalysis, wrote several influential works on the mind, art, literature, and religion, including The Incest Theme in Literature and Legend and Psychology and the Soul, both published by Johns Hopkins. Gregory C. Richter, Ph.D., is a professor of German and linguistics at Truman State University. E. James Lieberman, M.D., is a practicing psychiatrist and a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University. Richter and Lieberman previously translated Rank's Psychology and the Soul. Robert A. Segal, Ph.D., is a professor of religious studies at Lancaster University, and a renowned authority on mythology.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I'm glad to know there is someone else out there who wants to understand Otto Rank.
Though I cannot fault the reviewer.
Otto Rank is notoriously difficult to summarize. (And I think he wanted it that way.)
But, if I may presume to summarize Rank, anyway, what Rank is saying is this:
We necessarily obtain self-knowledge, not from within, but from without.. by way of projecting our identities into that which is, for example, scientifically verifyable, or by way of what attracts us or repels us, or keeps us safe, or simply alive, etc.
But why this projecting, why is it necessary? Otto Rank took issue with Socrates... To "know thyself" is simply too big a job, and way too scary... and besides, it generally goes against the grain of the culture in which we are raised.
This puts us all in a fix. On balance, the best we do is trick ourselves into self-knowledge. As individuals and as social groups.
Hence, the necessity of our personal and social delusions. Without our delusions, we could not create culture, and individually we would, generally speaking, go crazy.
In spite of this human quandary something inside tells us there is more. More to understand, more to experience who we are...
This something has two primary aspects: "will" and its intimate companion, "conscious awareness".
This is not the will of Nietzsche, nor of Schopenhauer.
Not the will to power, not the will to no will.
This is, at bottom, the will to awareness, a theme that runs indirectly through the works of Otto Rank beginning with his first, "The Artist" to his last "Beyond Psychology"
And from this early point of closure--which reflects perhaps the initial quarter of what Rank is saying--I point the way to his works... beginning with his last, and then moving on to "Psychology and Soul," and then Robert Kramer's excellent compilation and clarifying of Rank's American Lectures. And then this one, "Truth and Reality," and then "Will Therapy."
But only after you have read Rank's biography by E James Lieberman, MD, and then Jessie Taft's biography of Rank. Taft was Rank's therapy client, student, translator, advisor, job finder, intellectual challenger... she sponsored his entry into the US, and they were dear friends.
That's my hesitantly comprised summary of the essential thinking of Otto Rank.
It could change.
Nevertheless, like all Rank, worth reading: he was a genius, horribly treated by the establishment (the way he was vindictively blackballed in the 1930s by the Psychoanalytic Mafia is astonishing to read about), and under acknowledged. "Art and Artists" is perhaps the best of his writings.