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We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love Paperback – Jul 28 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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  • We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love
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  • She: Understanding Feminine Psychology (Revised Edition)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (July 28 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062504363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062504364
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 118 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"WE retells the myth of Tristan and Iseult, one of the earliest romance tales, and uses it as a reference point to explain the essence and meaning of romantic love. Employing Jungian philosophy, Robert A. Johnson uncovers many of the unconscious beliefs about love shared by both sexes and shows how these attitudes are expressed symbolically in the Tristan myth. lie then breaks down the illusions we often have of love myths in themselves and beautifully redefines what love should and can be. An elegantly constructed, superior inquiry into the psychology of love." -- AKA Booklist

"For admirers of Jungian interpretation, Johnson's WE is a valuable contribution, a companion piece to Erich Neumann's Amor and Psyche, the classic examination of the role love plays in the psychological growth -- if women. If you are unfamiliar with Jungian thought, you will find this book an interesting, clear, and accessible introduction to a model of the mind and culture that can be more personally sustaining than Freud's If you have ever been in love or wished to be, WE is a revealing account of the protound meaning of the experience; it is an exciting map for the journey to greater consciousness." ( Best Sellers

About the Author

Robert A. Johnson, a noted lecturer and Jungian analyst, is also the author of He, She, We, Inner Work, Ecstasy, Transformation, and Owning Your Own Shadow.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have spent many years reading books, talking to counselors, and talking to friends about relationships. Reading Johnson's book was a real eye opener, to put it very mildly. I have enjoyed the author's style in his other books where he presents a myth and discusses it's psychological meaning. This book is no exception, except that it's relevance is way off the charts. Before reading "We" I had all but thrown my hands in the air in frustration regarding relationships. The author's beautiful style drills deep and answers the many questions I had. Johnson's use of the Tristan myth told me what I did not want to hear, but the pain I have experience in relationship told me that Johnson was right on the money. The author's analysis of romantic love and the distinction he makes between passion and true love (which is more low key and may even come across as boring sometimes) spoke loud and clear. He made me realize that I have been searching out there in vain for so many years for lady soul, because lady soul lurked within my unconscious mind. Since reading this book I was able to connect with lady soul and have that symbolic marriage that Johnson talks about.
I highly recommend this book to each person who has a lot of questions about why relationships in our cultures are in a state of epidepic crisis. The author's answers may not be what you want to hear if you are a "zealous" romantic. If you are willing to stretch yourself and change, then Johnson's words are an excellent catalyst for changing your ways and heading in the right direction.
I consider "We" among the most relevant books by Robert Johnson, and among the most relevantt books by any author!
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Format: Paperback
just some reflections on the introduction -- the part of the book i've read -- that i sent to a friend and then thought i'd go ahead and paste here:
i looked up that "we" book. you know it is funny because xxxxxx always listened to "parsifal" and we tooked pictures together as "tristan and isolde"! it looks like a good book. i have some things that i would change in the framing of his argument. for instance, just the other day i was talking to my friend xxxxx from mongolia and she, (out of the blue) said, "you know what really pisses me off is this idea that romantic love only exists in the west!" i think romantic love (which i am addicted to of course) is actually one of those intoxicating things that exist naturally everywhere, but that within a capitalist society it is elevated to the level of a commodity that you cannot be happy without. then, reified as such, it is used to create a false-lack in the psyche of the individual. you think "something's missing" if you aren't experiencing that intoxication. then the reified absence is used to sell other commodities like breath fresheners, cars, --anything that will make you "more worthy" of finding and experiencing the reciprocal romantic love that you are currently missing. you must get rid of cellulite and wear armani and use herbal essences and invest in bp etc. then you will be worthy. as such representations of love in capitalist societies cannot focus on contented couples because the lack is not there requiring products to fill it.
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Format: Paperback
One question I've always wanted answered: Why do men run off with other women? Finally, I've got my answer.
Why? He is looking for his soul. As simple as that. Johnson explains this behavior through the myth of Tristan and Iseult, which sprang up in the Middle Ages as a response to a collective culture-wide problem, a longing: Western man had lost touch with his inner world of soul, symbol, archetype, and divine inspiration, and found himself looking to the physical world to supply everything he needed - every challenge, every drama, every satisfaction. But ultimately the world fails to provide what it is man really hungers for, which is a connection to the greater Being, the juicy part of himself that belongs in "the flow of the ages," and the feeling that his life is an "individual manifestation of what has always been and will always be."
The outer world of possessions, people, and simple acts of existence cannot supply a man with this profound connection, but he believes it can, particularly in his relationships. He sees the woman in his life as his missing part, his vanquished soul, and his passion is set ablaze by her. He sees not a real woman, but a beatific image of his own unrealized potential. When his fantasy of her is trampled by the reality of everyday life, he goes on to the next woman. What he tragically fails to see is that his loving, caring, loyal, flesh and blood wife is a full and complete person in her own right, and it is not her job to fulfill his inner longings - he is the only one who can do that. But in his confusion, he sees each new female acquaintance as his Holy Grail, and to pursue her, he is willing to literally choke to death his real, living opportunities to love and be loved.
We see this scenario played out so often in our culture, and it is clear that we need to learn what's going on. Johnson's book is a must-read for those interested in being in conscious loving relationship. A real eye-opener.
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