Shame and Guilt

ISBN-10: 0595454925
ISBN-13: 9780595454921
Edition: N/A
Authors: Ernest Kurtz
List price: $10.95 Buy it from $9.01
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Description: Shame & Guiltexplores the differences between these two painful but inevitable experiences. Both guilt and shame involve feeling badfeeling bad about ones actions (or omissions) in the case of guilt; feeling bad about ones self in shame. The deep  More...

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Book details

List price: $10.95
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 80
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.286
Language: English

Shame & Guiltexplores the differences between these two painful but inevitable experiences. Both guilt and shame involve feeling badfeeling bad about ones actions (or omissions) in the case of guilt; feeling bad about ones self in shame. The deep meaning of the word bad is unable to fit: unable to fit into some external context in the case of guilt, unable to fit into ones own being in the case of shame. Human experience offers two different ways of discovering that one does not fit, of feeling bad. Each has to do with the boundaries of the human condition. But there are two kinds of boundaries, and it is important to recognize their difference, the difference between rules and goals. For though the human condition is bounded, recognizing that reality can be either a choking, tightening experience or it can lead to the discovery of a new freedom. True, shames negative side points up failure and falling short, but shame also entails something positive: insight into the reality of the human condition. The experience of shame lays bare the essential paradox that inheres in being human: to be human is to be caught in a contradictory tension between the pull to the unlimited, the more-than-human, and the drag of the merely limited, the less-than-human. Shames healing is to be found in the discovery of how that paradox can be lived creatively in ways that find other human beings to be not the problem in shame, but its solution.

ERNEST KURTZ is the author ofNot-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous,A.A.: The Story, andShame and Guilt. He holds a Ph.D. in the history of American civilization from Harvard and is currently affiliated with the Center for Self-Help Research at the University of Michigan. KATHERINE KETCHAM is the co-author of five previous nonfiction books, including the bestsellerUnder the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism(Bantam) andWitness for the Defense: The Accused, The Eyewitness, and the Expert Who Puts Memory on Trial, which was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

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