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Book Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


To Love and Be Loved
Sam Keen
Bantam 05/99 Paperback $13.95
ISBN: 0-5533-7528-8

Sam Keen, author of the bestselling Fire in the Belly and 11 other books, believes that the most important question in life is, "How can I become a more loving human being?" In this paperback he explores this human faculty as an art that needs to be developed and practiced over the course of a lifetime. Keen opens up our imaginations to consider love as "both a pathway to and a revelation of what is most real."

Using stories, poems, and reflective exercises, the author explores 16 different elements of love from attention to enchantment. The spiritual practice of compassion, for example, opens up love so we can feel connections with those outside our intimate circle. Keen sheds light on the challenges that come in all love relationships (marital, parental, friendship) as we deal with the "gnarled beauty of the self and the other." And he celebrates the co-creative vitalities of love relationships where fertility and fruition are the result. In the final section of the book, "Meditation on Faith, Hope, and Love," Keen muses on the cosmic context of our evolution as loving beings.


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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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