Voyages of the Heart: Living an Emotionally Creative Life

Free Press, 1992 - 370 ページ
For most of human history emotion has been the province of artists, shamans, and our latter-day shamans--therapists. Recently it has become the province of scientists as well. In Voyages of the Heart, James Averill and Elma Nunley draw on a decade of research on emotion and on creativity by psychologists, biologists, sociologists, and anthropologists, as well as on clinical experience, to construct a new model of emotional experience. Just as we develop our repertoires of intellectual skills through learning and maturation, the authors argue, so can we develop our repertoires of emotional skills to achieve our full human potential. Emotional creativity demands commitment to seek excellence in the affective as well as the intellectual domain. We can change and improve our emotional lives by acquiring knowledge about emotions--for example, recognizing and dispelling deeply ingrained myths about emotion, such as that we are "gripped", "seized", and "overcome" by feelings. According to the authors, we are not the victims of our emotions as these descriptions suggest. Rather, we actively construct our emotions, although on a preconscious level. We must seek then to become consciously aware of our own emotional lives. Research suggests that emotionally creative people are not only deeply involved in exploring the meaning of their own emotional experience, they also pay close attention to how their behavior affects others, while less emotionally creative people tend to focus on themselves. There is much to be gained from a better understanding of what exactly feelings are and where they come from. Our attitudes toward expression of emotion reveal high ambivalence: On the one hand, a persondevoid of emotion is seen as cold and calculating; on the other, a person who becomes too readily emotional is regarded as childish. Some people feel empty on the inside, while others feel as though they are about to explode from the force of uncontrollable feelings. Even for those who lead more satisfactory emotional lives, a deeper understanding will enable us to manage our emotions in a simultaneously creative and disciplined way. Averill and Nunley explore differences in emotional experience between men and women, as well as fascinating historical and cross-cultural variations in the rules governing the display and management of emotion. Richly illustrated with examples from everyday life, Voyages of the Heart shows us how we can become more aware of our own thoughts and feelings, manage our emotions in a creative yet disciplined way, and live to the full extent of our human potential.


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VOYAGES OF THE HEART: Living an Emotionally Creative Life

ユーザー レビュー  - Kirkus

A deep, wide-ranging, and scholarly exploration of emotion by two psychologists who assert that this area of human nature is much more subject to our control and creative transformation than is ... レビュー全文を読む


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