Cover image for Freeing the soul from fear
Freeing the soul from fear
Sardello, Robert J., 1942-
Personal Author:
First Riverhead trade paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Riverhead Books, 2001.

Physical Description:
xxiv, 278 pages ; 21 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF575.F2 S37 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Fear comes at us from politics, war, work, relationships, strangers, movies, and television. It keeps us from behaving intelligently, since the mind's first reaction to fear is to ignore danger, hoping it will go away. When fear takes over, it drives us to extremes of manic happiness or fits of rage; it pushes us to destroy relationships instead of letting relationships help us defeat it. When fear wins the battle, viciousness sets in, and we have miserable lives in a miserable world. Most important, fear keeps us from the one thing that could stop its taking over: becoming present.

Robert Sardello, an exceptionally powerful writer who Larry Dossey deems "one of the few modern thinkers who genuinely senses how to deal with the barrenness of modern life," argues that the soul's greatest enemy is fear. It is only when we can look honestly at every fear -- from insecurity at work to existential angst -- that we may fulfill its potential for kindness, love, and compassion.

This book is at once an inspiring manual for dealing with fear and a call to arms to change our situation and thereby change the world. It is a rich combination of theory, anecdote, exercises for strengthening the soul, and the wisdom of a great student of the soul.

Author Notes

Robert Sardello is a pioneer figure in the study of the soul. He is the author of two previous books, and the cofounder of the School for Spiritual Psychology, which conducts programs worldwide. Sardello is a frequent lecturer at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Sciences, and across the United States. He lives in Massachusetts.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In contrast to most popular self-help books, such as Gerald Jampolsky in Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Sardello counsels that the challenge is not to escape fear but to confront, embrace and transform it. A psychologist and co-founder of the School for Spiritual Psychology, Sardello (Love and the Soul) offers a largely philosophical treatise on the soul's relationship to fear, supplemented with visualization exercises geared toward improving the use of the imagination in understanding the soul and its dilemmas. Whereas most current writing on the soul is based on Jung's depth psychology, Sardello favors the work of Jung's contemporary Rudolph Steiner, who went further in acknowledging the effects of the outer world of relationships and culture on the soul. In Sardello's view, fear is not a transitory feeling or experience but a permanent, objective presence. Among the topics he explores are the effects of fear on the body; "perennial fears," such as money worries; fearful relationships; and the fear of suffering and death. A former colleague of Thomas Moore and James Hillman, Sardello presents some innovative ideas, such as his view that the practice of therapy has been a cultural testing ground for a new empathy-centered way of human relating. However, these notions are rendered less interesting than they might have been by his penchant for abstraction and his occasionally pedantic tone. Agent, Katie Boyle, Veritas Literary Agency. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
Chapter 1. Stepping Into the Perils of Fearp. 1
Chapter 2. The Body in Fearp. 31
Chapter 3. Terrorism, Time Collapse, and Anger: New Appearances of Fear in the Worldp. 56
Chapter 4. Perennial Fears with a New Sting: Money, Relationships, Suffering, and Deathp. 89
Chapter 5. The Ecology of Fearp. 119
Chapter 6. The Doublep. 145
Chapter 7. Love Casts Out Fearp. 175
Chapter 8. Artistic Livingp. 208
Chapter 9. Fear and Consciousnessp. 240
Notesp. 273
Acknowledgmentsp. 279