Posted by dr. on 11/20/1999
LOVE AND WILL is probably Rollo May's best book, his magnum opus. It was published in 1969, when May--by then one of the most prominent psychologists on the American scene--was sixty-years old. And, despite its intelligence and psychological sophistication, it became a best-seller. Central to this praiseworthy work are chapters 5 & 6, in which Dr. May introduces (presaging James Hillman) his radical concept of "the daimonic." Any person concerned with the so-called senseless violence so prevalent at the close of the millennium would do well to have a look at these stunning, seminal chapters. Also of interest, especially to psychotherapists, is May's erudite discussion of "intentionality" a little later on. Though May's treatment of some subjects might be slightly dated, there is much here to be strongly recommended, especially for students and other readers who appreciate substantial books such as Ernest Becker's THE DENIAL OF DEATH.
Posted by Virgil Brown on 4/28/2003
I first read Rollo May's _Love and Will_ about 30 years ago and the wisdom of his writing has stayed with me since. May wrote before the time that "self help" became a heading on the shelves of a bookstore, in a time when analytical psychotherapy was still popular. Bearing that in mind, the reader will find that what May had to say then is all too true today. Whereas in the past love and will solved the problems of relationship to others, they have now become the problem. In our schizoid world real communication is rare. (The reader might think that May wrote after the advent of the personal computer.)
Now, there are a couple of reasons why I do not offer May's final analysis of the problem. One is that with the advent of "self help" we have shifted from an analytical to a behavioral form of psychotherapy. More than one writer says just do these ten things and you will be happy. The second reason is that the reader might miss May's concept of the daimonic. In it's simplest terms, it means that a person has to have something going on in his/her life.
Read the book. Learn the lesson. Set your own course of actions.