Contributions to Self Clarity, Wholeness, & Health

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Now Out! A Life That Satisfies: Free Your Self By Choice, Commitment & Cooperation by Will Crichton PhD

Book description

A Life That Satisfies: Creating Your Self by Choice, Commitment, & Cooperation by Will Crichton PhD, Carl Semmelroth PhD, Editor
 
What is the good life? East meets West in search of an answer to this question in this highly engaging psychological/philosophical book. Starting with advice from ancient Buddhist teachings for self discovery, Canadian philosopher, Will Crichton, blends this advice with very Western notions of what it means “to be” and to have a “self.” He reaches a view of self that informs us what we are looking for, how to find it, and why what we find is actually within our control to shape.
Crichton establishes a convincing case for accepting satisfaction as a supreme criterion for a good life. Thus, the good life is A Life That Satisfies. He shows how we can lay claim to satisfaction even in the face of life’s unpleasant exigencies, including losses ordinarily linked to depression. The more typical life goals of pleasure and happiness, although of obvious value, can not serve adequately as the central purpose in our lives.
The book guides us to a life policy that leads to “A Satisfying Life;” a policy that includes individual freedom and commitments along with voluntary social cooperation. He names this policy “Cooperative Individuality.”
 He summarizes Cooperative Individuality as “… living uniquely but not alone. It means being literally, not just metaphorically, a part of a larger individuality. It means grasping the opportunity to share in a creative enterprise in which, far from losing your individuality, you will create it in the shared process of creating those many larger individualities, for there are many levels of community. It means being the design, the shuttle, and the thread in a developing fabric in the creation of which your freedom and your security are the same thing. For, your true security can only consist in making your place in that fabric a sure one. Your place is your individuality as a threefold self, and that is your freedom.”
A life policy of Cooperative Individuality involves a threefold self that includes a balanced presence of:
 Our selves as agents of choice
 Our selves as our commitments
 Our selves made up of externalities that we call parts of us
Of particular interest to psychologically-minded readers will be Crichton’s exhaustive survey of life policies that injure our lives and maim our selves. Using the intact threefold self as a benchmark for healthy functioning as a person, he elaborates the many characteristic ways that lead us to fall short of finding that benchmark.
Numerous alternative but common life policies produce imbalances in our life functioning. No claim is made that this catalogue of misguided life policies forms a taxonomy of personality types or pathologies. However it could easily serve counselors and their clients by pointing out useful directions for healing wounded selves. It shows them the neglected parts of their threefold self that may need their attention.