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The Art of Being Human

The Art of Being Human

Deborah Ravetz


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Deborah Ravetz explores the territory of our inner landscape by showing us that it is only through embracing and working with all aspects of our selves, including our vulnerability and pain, that we give meaning and experience joy. Through telling her own story and those of others who have faced their demons and worked through their struggles, she helps us to embark on the journey that all of us need to make in order to become fully ourselves. Packed with applicable strategies for spiritual development and practice, this book serves to empower and cultivate holistic wellbeing.

Deborah Ravetz has studied art, philosophy, and literature as part of her quest to understand what it means to be human. She sees the whole realm of art and ideas in this light; they embody our attempt to live deeply.
She works as a lecturer specialising in Art and the Development of Consciousness, and also as a painter and a Social Sculpture practitioner. Deborah is married and lives with her husband in East Sussex.

The writing of Deborah Ravetz, like her art, weaves the reader into deeper patterns of the human for our times.
Alastair McIntosh, author of Soil and Soul
Evocative, intimate and utterly compelling from start to finish.
Jimmy Stephen-Cran, Head of Department – Fashion and Textiles, The Glasgow School of Art.
It takes great courage to stay with pain and difficulty, and especially to ask about our own part. Ravetz emboldens us to do so, and in doing so encourages us that we can live deeply enough to die and be born into a new awakening of what life is asking of each of us.
Revd Dr Harriet Harris, University Chaplain, University of Edinburgh
A rich exploration of what it means to be human. Deborah Ravetz deftly weaves a fascinating tapestry drawing widely from art, literature and life-writing.
Les McMinn, MA, PhD, Artist and Psychotherapist, University of Oxford

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
The Art of Being Human by Deborah Ravetz 1
Foreword 7
Chapter 1 – Finding the Form 9
Chapter 2 – An Archaeology of the Soul 15
Chapter 3 – Dark Clouds Gather 25
Chapter 4 – Breakdown 31
Chapter 5 – Boarding School and England 37
Chapter 6 – The Power of Books 43
Chapter 7 – University Years 53
Chapter 8 – Finding Community 61
Chapter 9 – Dying and Becoming 69
Chapter 10 – The Conversation 77
Chapter 11 – Embracing Vulnerability 83
Chapter 12 – Love and Power 91
Chapter 13 – Truth and Reconciliation 99
Chapter 14 – Questioning the Good Life 103
Chapter 15 – Auschwitz 107
Chapter 16 – Social Sculpture: The Self as a Work of Art 115
Chapter 17 – Final Pieces Fall into Place 123
Chapter 18 – Widening Circles 129
Acknowledgements 137
Appendix: The Search for the Deep Self 139
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