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Review: The Dance of Ego and Self: One Man's Life

Reviewed Work: Everyday Hopes, Utopian Dreams: Reflections on American Ideals by Don Hanlon Johnson
Review by: Gordon Murray
Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche
Vol. 3, No. 3 (Summer 2009), pp. 69-72
Published by: on behalf of C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco
DOI: 10.1525/jung.2009.3.3.69
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/jung.2009.3.3.69
Page Count: 4
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The Dance of Ego and Self: One Man's Life
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Abstract

The author reviews the memoir of somatic psychologist and former Jesuit Don Johnson, whose family were early pioneers in the development of Sacramento. Johnson chronicles the tension between his family's down-to-earth hopes for a better life and their utopian dreams of radical transformation, against the background of physical and cultural changes that swept over California's Central Valley during the twentieth century. In describing with intelligent candor his own experiences with universal human activities—birth and death, eating and sleeping, reading and worship—we become more aware of how cultural complexes shape our attitudes and how ideals bend to the requirements of practicality. Although Johnson does not write explicitly from a Jungian perspective, his memoir shows us the dance of ego and Self in the well-examined life of a deeply sensitive and insightful man.

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