Heart, Head and Hands

An Interpretation of Swedenborg’s Writings in Relation to Psychological and Spiritual Well-being

by Stephen Russell-Lacy.  Seminar Books, 2008. 978 0 907295 36 5. (paperback) 180pp.  £10.

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“A fine little work … that will warm the hearts of the general public and all practicing Swedenborgians who are of a non-technical bent. …We find ourselves understanding a text while feeling that, at the same time, we are liberated by just reading it. This happens in many places in the narrative.

Traditionalists will love the book, as it preaches the straight and narrow with regard to doctrine, but in places it almost unconsciously breaks out into a kind of semi-restrained wildness that reminds us of Swedenborg’s own mind – rational but also inward, intuitive, deep, creative, and as our British cousins are wont to say, spot on.”

Eugine Taylor, The Messenger, Oct 2008.

 

“It’s a pretty comprehensive attempt to offer aid in meeting life’s many challenges. On Time Magazine’s ‘read, skim or toss’, scale for books, this is definitely a read – and keep handy for future reference.”

Allan Bula, Things Heard and Seen, Summer 2008

“The psychology is readable and understandable; the theology is mixed and far-reaching….There is plenty that is enlightening to read about here…The author…has presented a worth-while contribution to the library of thought and personal investigation…The reader should find a fulfilling and inspiring path towards wholeness and spiritual well-being among the pages of this book. It is an additional and worthwhile contribution to the literature in its field and establishes a unique place through its presentation.”

Gerald Bishop, Outlook No.61, 2008

“A long overdue and useful contribution. This book is well written and easy to read, not things that often are to be found in a work that deals with the work of the 18th century philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg. The author draws on his wide experience as a cognitive behavioural therapist and draws links between the ideas and modern thinking on these topics, but always in a clear and sensible way.

Self help books and more so spiritual ones are ten a penny, this one is in it’s own class and ought to be a model for it’s clarity and down to earth helpfulness. I am not a believer myself but found this book to be the most sane I have read in all my wide readings and studies of Theology and Therapy. I wish that I and many who suffered from imposed ‘Religious Guilt’ had the benefit of this small book when growing up.”
E. M. Preston, amazon.co.uk 4 Jul 2008.

“As a clinical psychologist Russell-Lacy has spent a lifetime helping to alleviate the distress and suffering of emotionally and psychologically disturbed individuals. Unusually, he draws in his work upon the psycho-spiritual insights and ideas of the religious philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg, and in this book he relates these to the theory and practice of cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy.

The book is eminently practical and is divided into chapters concerned with many of the emotional problems that can and do afflict us. The author also offers an intriguing, spiritually based approach to solving such problems.”
Published in the Autumn 2009 issue of The Christian Parapsychologist

“The author demonstrates a wide understanding of the various approaches to psychotherapy and schools of psychology, as well as a range of religions and spiritual disciplines. He also effortlessly integrates these with the writings of Swedenborg in a way that is enjoyable and practical. Far from being a narrow approach to life and spirituality this is a remarkable book in its ability to cover so much territory in such a short space of time.

The book is also by no means for the narrow academic audience and while it is written with an erudite and knowledgeable style, the author tackles a range of real life issues in a direct and matter of fact way. … In the brevity of each chapter he covers a surprising range of territory and in a very practical way. … The author … obviously has read wide and far himself and is able to distil this knowledge and understanding into a very readable and useful collection of ideas and comments. … I thoroughly recommend this book, whether you are a lay person, a person interested in psychology or spirituality or all these together.”

Brian O’Neill, Candela Sept 2009 Issue 57

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