To Love and Be Loved is a spirited challenge to a culture obsessed with romance and intimacy but dangerously ignorant of the full range of human love. Like a fresh wind, Sam Keen sweeps away tired self-help nostrums and reams of "bad advice from Dr. Lonelyhearts" to reveal a stunningly new map of love in all its forms.
Love is not something we "fall" into, claims Keen, but a complex art combining many skills and talents that take a lifetime to learn fully. At the center of his book are sixteen distinct "elements of love": ranging from attention--a precious gift we can bestow on co-worker, friend, child, and spouse alike--to more exclusive gifts like desire and sexuality. Combining stories, poems and quotes with insights from modern psychology and spiritual tradition, Keen brilliantly explores the elements of memory and solitude in love, the importance of both enjoyment and commitment, and how we can cultivate the essential qualities of empathy and compassion. Each piece ends with suggestions for strengthening our daily practice of the element, so that we constantly enlarge our ability to love in all our relationships.
The final section of the book is a soaring meditation on the claim that "those who love know God," an invitation to experience our place in the universe through the eyes of love.
From the Hardcover edition.
About Sam Keen
SAM KEEN is a noted author and lecturer, who has written thirteen books on philosophy and religion. He earned graduate degrees from the Harvard Divinity School and Princeton University, and spent twenty years working as an editor of Psychology Today. Keen co-produced the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary Faces of the Enemy, and was the subject of a PBS special with Bill Moyers entitled Your Mythic Journey with Sam Keen. When not writing or traveling around the world lecturing and giving seminars on a wide range of topics, Keen cuts wood, tends to his farm in the hills above Sonoma, takes long hikes, and practices the flying trapeze.