Confronting the Ultimate Questions
Author: Avery D. Weisman
Publisher: Insight Books Incorporated
We are often inclined to seek the assistance of professional authorities during a time of crisis, such as a conflict of conscience, anxiety and impaired self-esteem, inability to feel part of a complex and confusing world, or the troubling insecurity engendered by our own fallible coping strategies. Finding easy answers to challenging questions and problems is not an effective way to alleviate physical, spiritual, or psychological distress. The Vulnerable Self: Confronting the Ultimate Questions is a courageous book about the quality of human existence as it relates to the significance of suffering and the value of being alive. Dr. Avery Weisman, an esteemed psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, compassionately articulates our courageous and sometimes skeptical search for an authentic self. He contends that a major obstacle is a person's propensity to suffer needlessly, caused by a failure to recognize and deal objectively with underlying fundamental questions, which Dr. Weisman labels "metaproblems". These include, in particular, the meaning of meaning; the justification of physical and spiritual deterioration; the need for morale and courage; and the motivations behind inevitable negotiations with our mortality. Dr. Weisman empathetically points out the universality of vulnerability, and how we can confront and understand the problems that haunt and undermine our existence. With rare wisdom and awareness of the traumas of the human condition, he thoughtfully characterizes the reader as a "pilgrim" whose existential search is likely to bring about isolation from the conventional values of society. The pilgrim's solitary journey begins when he or she is ready to take the initial steps ofsurrendering entrenched patterns of denial and self-deception by realizing that despair and the inability to cope are not inevitable but submerged motivations. The Vulnerable Self is a unique and inspiring work which offers true and authentic insight to lay readers of all spiritual persuasions, as well as to psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, nurses, members of the clergy, and gerontologists.