March 04, 2003

It's Only Too Late if you Don't Start Now, Sher

The main burden is a sociobioFreudian one, that we are driven by the terrors of infancy until we're eight, and by mating drives from twelve to forty, and that midlife crises are not caused by the view forward into the abyss of death, but by the hollowness of the view backward across our driven youth. She improves on sociobioFreudianism in a stroke by cheerfully announcing that once our reproductive capacity starts to fade, the hormonal imperatives fade with it and we become freely human and can live according to reason or the higher passions.

The book was longer than its argument, helped out with quotes from clients-and-assorted-reading. (At least one quote is from an airline magazine, and another is X-as-quoted-in-pop-Y, and a third has Nelson Mandela using the word "fabulous" of people, which doesn't sound probable to me but what do I know.) She also has many free-associate-on-paper exercises, which I didn't do.

Her descriptions of what one might like to do in one's second life are stereotypically Balsamic Dreams retire-to-a-vineyard, in most cases, but she does defend a lot of just hanging out, gives examples of work that rewards worldly altruism with happiness, & tries to deflate the more imaginary or commercial idylls. I was surprised that she didn't mention moral imperatives much in deciding what true dream would define a life's work; contrarily, at least a chapter is devoted to detaching people from unnecessary obligations. I think a guideline as to how to decide which obligations really are necessary to you would have fit well into the rest of the self-inquiries, and would have balanced out the vineyards.

ISBN: 0-385-31505-8 So wrote clew in Philosophy.

And thus wrote others:
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