Soul Friends: The Transforming Power of Deep Human Connection

Soul Friends: The Transforming Power of Deep Human Connection

by Stephen Cope


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"Most of us will have many friends throughout our lifetimes—friends of all shapes, sizes, and callings. Many of these are wonderful, meaningful friendships. Some are difficult. But some magic few of these are connections that have gone right to our soul. These five or seven or ten friendships have been powerful keys to determining who we have become and who we will become. . . . These are the people I call Soul Friends." As the Senior Scholar-in-Residence for over 25 years at the renowned Kripalu Center, Stephen Cope has spent decades investigating—and writing about—the integration of body, mind, and spirit and the rich complexity of our relationships with others, and with ourselves. Perhaps the central truth that arises from his work is this: human beings are universally wired for one thing—vital connection with one another.Soul Friends invites us on a compelling journey into the connectivity of the human psyche, the study of which has fascinated scholars, philosophers, and thinkers for centuries. Cope seamlessly blends science, scholarship, and storytelling, drawing on his own life as well as the histories of famous figures—from Eleanor Roosevelt to Charles Darwin to Queen Victoria—whose formative relationships shed light on the nature of friendship itself. In his exploration, he distills human connection into six distinct yet interconnected mechanisms: containment, twinship, adversity, mirroring, identification, and conscious partnership. Then he invites us to reflect on how these forms of connection appear in our own lives, helping us work toward a fuller understanding of "who we have become and who we will become."Without a doubt, the journey to our most fulfilled selves requires us to look within. But in order to truly thrive, we must make the most of who we are in relation to one another as well. Unsparingly honest, deeply wise, and irresistibly readable, Soul Friends gives us a map to find our way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401946524
Publisher: Hay House Inc.
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Pages: 376
Sales rank: 704,659
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Stephen Cope is the Senior Scholar in Residence at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He is a Western-trained psychotherapist who writes and teaches about the relationship between Western psychological paradigms and the Eastern contemplative traditions, and the best-selling author of such books as The Great Work of Your Life and Yoga and the Quest for the True Self. Stephen holds degrees from Amherst College and Boston College. He completed graduate and postgraduate training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the Boston area, where he practiced for many years before joining the staff at Kripalu. In its 25th anniversary edition, Yoga Journal named him one of the most important innovators in the developing field of American yoga. He lives in Albany, New York, and Key West, Florida.

Table of Contents

Prologue xiii

Part 1 Containment

Chapter 1 Safely and Securely Held and Soothed 3

Chapter 2 Eleanor Roosevelt and Marie Souvestre: The Search for Safe Harbor 21

Part 2 Twinship

Chapter 3 The Thrill of Reciprocity 47

Chapter 4 Telling Our Stories, Co-creating Ourselves 63

Chapter 5 Finny and Gene: Doubt, Rivalry, and Intense Contingency 75

Part 3 Adversity

Chapter 6 Wrestling with the Angel 95

Chapter 7 Survivability! 113

Chapter 8 Charles Darwin and Robert Fitzroy: The Dilemma of the Noble Adversary 127

Chapter 9 Adversarial Intelligence: Flexibility, Fluidity, Collaboration, and Good Will 143

Part 4 Mirroring

Chapter 10 The Self behind the Self, Concealed 173

Chapter 11 Ghosts of the Past 183

Chapter 12 The Wish to See and the Wish Not to See 193

Chapter 13 Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Fliess, and the Urge to Truth 201

Chapter 14 The Puzzle Solved: Unwinding the Mystery of "Annabel Lee" 213

Part 5 Mystic Resonance

Chapter 15 Annie Dillard, Henry David Thoreau, and William Gilpin: The Discovery of a Like-Minded Soul 235

Chapter 16 The Mystic Friend as Transitional Space 253

Part 6 Conscious Partnership

Chapter 17 The "Found Object" 277

Chapter 18 The Upward Spiral: Joy, Contentment, Interest, and Love 289

Chapter 19 Victoria and Albert: The Noble Ally 303

Epilogue 325

Endnotes 332

Permissions 344

Acknowledgments 345

About the Author 347

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