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The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America

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Only a poet could produce such a provocative analysis of today's widespread disenchantment with business -- or such a daring prescription for using the classics of poetry to revitalize the soul of corporate America.


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Only a poet could produce such a provocative analysis of today's widespread disenchantment with business -- or such a daring prescription for using the classics of poetry to revitalize the soul of corporate America.

30 review for The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mark Oppenlander

    This is a tough book to review. In part, it's difficult to review because the subject matter and content of the book are themselves hard to describe. And in part, it is hard to review because I don't fully know how to discuss how I feel about this book yet. David Whyte is a poet and an academic but also a corporate consultant. In this book he discusses the meeting place of those two vocations - the intersection between poetry and the corporate office. Whyte argues that we need to rediscover our i This is a tough book to review. In part, it's difficult to review because the subject matter and content of the book are themselves hard to describe. And in part, it is hard to review because I don't fully know how to discuss how I feel about this book yet. David Whyte is a poet and an academic but also a corporate consultant. In this book he discusses the meeting place of those two vocations - the intersection between poetry and the corporate office. Whyte argues that we need to rediscover our imaginative selves in order to find meaning and purpose in the halls of the modern corporation. Work takes up far too much of our lives for us to bring only a portion of our whole person with us to the office. And poetry can help us find our creativity, our authenticity and our voice, even amidst the jungles and deserts of corporate America. In a series of surprisingly fast-moving chapters, Whyte takes us from Beowulf to Coleridge to modern poetry in pursuit of metaphors and images that will help us find out courage, our creativity and ultimately our soul in the corporate office. At first, it might be easy to see his technique of tying poetic ideas to workplace situations as a gimmick. But Whyte is convincing in his knowledge of what troubles the corporate executive and the cubicle drone. He unearths our deepest desires and fears at work and gives us hope that we might be able to pursue the former and stare down the latter. This is a book I will re-read eventually. There were far too many passages that I wanted to read and savor and speak aloud. Too many ideas that I needed to mull over and then come back to later. I found myself consistently wanting to read things out loud to my wife who was, God bless her, trying to read her own book. So I opted for posting quotes on Facebook instead. Some of you reading this need to read this book. I don't know who you are, but you're out there. I can feel you. If anything I've written here piques your interest, give Whyte a shot. I don't think you'll be disappointed. And it might just save your soul.

  2. 5 out of 5

    JoAnn

    This may have been the book that sparked my search for authenticity. While reading it, I came across a poem that I have consistently returned to over the past eight years, entitled, “Lost,” by David Wagoner. Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known. The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you, If you leave it you may come back a This may have been the book that sparked my search for authenticity. While reading it, I came across a poem that I have consistently returned to over the past eight years, entitled, “Lost,” by David Wagoner. Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known. The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you, If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here. No two trees are the same to Raven. No two branches are the same to Wren. If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you, You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows Where you are. You must let it find you. I consider this book an essential resource for students of authenticity. Using poetry and myth, David Whyte speaks soulfully to those of us who have been wandering in the wasteland of corporate America and who, for whatever reasons, have awakened enough to realize something is missing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anima

    “There are bland, faceless, and exploitative corporations, and there are starving, curmudgeonly or academic poets unwilling to come to terms with the greater realities of existence, but both are the vestigial remains of a world that I for one would be glad to see disappear. The poet needs the practicalities of making a living to test and temper the lyricism of insight and observation. The corporation needs the poet’s insight and powers of attention to weave the inner world of soul and creativity “There are bland, faceless, and exploitative corporations, and there are starving, curmudgeonly or academic poets unwilling to come to terms with the greater realities of existence, but both are the vestigial remains of a world that I for one would be glad to see disappear. The poet needs the practicalities of making a living to test and temper the lyricism of insight and observation. The corporation needs the poet’s insight and powers of attention to weave the inner world of soul and creativity with the outer world of form and matter. The meeting of those two worlds forms the very heart of this book.” “Confronted with the difficulty and drama of work, we look into our lives as we look into water. We kneel, as if by the side of a pool, seeing in one moment not only the fleeting and gossamer reflection of our own face, clouded and disturbed by every passing breath and the lives of all the innumerable creatures that live in its waters, but the hidden depths below, beyond our sight, sustaining and holding everything we comprehend.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chad Cecil

    Stupid good. Like a slow sip of great whisky...burns going down but clears you right up. Tons to process.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paula Bramante

    For anyone who wants to explore the connection between their work and life outside of work, this book is pure gold. Whyte helps readers to navigate the stresses and pitfalls of working by using poetry, myth, and metaphorical imagery to build bridges between interior and exterior realities of human experience. If work feels like a stress festival, and if you love poetry, imagination, and myth, you may find this book to be an oasis of solace and wisdom, as well as a very practical guide for feelin For anyone who wants to explore the connection between their work and life outside of work, this book is pure gold. Whyte helps readers to navigate the stresses and pitfalls of working by using poetry, myth, and metaphorical imagery to build bridges between interior and exterior realities of human experience. If work feels like a stress festival, and if you love poetry, imagination, and myth, you may find this book to be an oasis of solace and wisdom, as well as a very practical guide for feeling better about swimming in the land of limited time and endless responsibilities.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Josh Workman

    While there’s much of the book that has dated references to the corporate experience of the late 80s and 90s, I feel that there are still a number of deep and important ideas relevant to the corporate experience of today. Whyte uses helpful metaphors to identify the monoculture of the corporate experience, and how easy it is to lose ourselves in the identify of the larger organizations we are a part of. He offers wonderful poetry, language, and examples on how to deepen in to our personal callin While there’s much of the book that has dated references to the corporate experience of the late 80s and 90s, I feel that there are still a number of deep and important ideas relevant to the corporate experience of today. Whyte uses helpful metaphors to identify the monoculture of the corporate experience, and how easy it is to lose ourselves in the identify of the larger organizations we are a part of. He offers wonderful poetry, language, and examples on how to deepen in to our personal callings and mysteries that expand far beyond our organizational participation as a way to honestly bring our gifts into the world.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I marked so many passages in this book, and it was a very worthwhile read. Something about the flow and how the concepts were all connected could have been a little more focused. I've already recommended it a few times though.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Whyte uses poetry and the concept of “soul” to help guide us through the modern American workplace. The book was written in 1994. While much has changed from a technological standpoint in the past 26 years, I’m not sure the true nature of the American corporation has. If anything, the rapid increase in technology has exacerbated some of the conflict that is described in this book. I found much of the arguments in the book to be quite thought-provoking with the potential to stimulate real self-ref Whyte uses poetry and the concept of “soul” to help guide us through the modern American workplace. The book was written in 1994. While much has changed from a technological standpoint in the past 26 years, I’m not sure the true nature of the American corporation has. If anything, the rapid increase in technology has exacerbated some of the conflict that is described in this book. I found much of the arguments in the book to be quite thought-provoking with the potential to stimulate real self-reflection. Common themes in the book include expressing your “true” self, the internal conflict of working to keep yourself alive vs. spending your time experiencing life on your terms, the internal imagery that guides and inspires you and reconciling your personal identity with your work and your place in the world. I would recommend this book to anyone who has not mastered the balance of your personal identity, your workplace, your family and your community. You will not find any easy answers, but you will be presented with a wide range of ideas to help you down your own path.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    David Whyte's writing reveals that he's a man who's truly explored the depth of his own soul and treaded through the dark to see through to the light. He brings various elements of spiritual life in his prose to bring to light what is corporations today: a desire for control, authoritarianism, desire for certainty and fixation, displacement of human wholeness, cutting off the darkness, lack of creativity and aliveness, lack of honesty and courage, cutting off from the ecology, a campground for o David Whyte's writing reveals that he's a man who's truly explored the depth of his own soul and treaded through the dark to see through to the light. He brings various elements of spiritual life in his prose to bring to light what is corporations today: a desire for control, authoritarianism, desire for certainty and fixation, displacement of human wholeness, cutting off the darkness, lack of creativity and aliveness, lack of honesty and courage, cutting off from the ecology, a campground for one's own abyss, and many more. His writing is poetic and abstract, may be challenging for consumption for those in the corporate environment to reap the benefits.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dan Hartway

    A bit academic and dry if you're not used to this style - the author feels the need to document with too much information. If you can get past this or skip the statistics it hits hard on what I believe to be the truth about the current state of corporate work and why it is largely shit. If you're job searching, by all means, use "Corporate America" as they're using you - to get along in a consumerist culture and earn and invest - but don't buy into the illusion that you are invaluable and your s A bit academic and dry if you're not used to this style - the author feels the need to document with too much information. If you can get past this or skip the statistics it hits hard on what I believe to be the truth about the current state of corporate work and why it is largely shit. If you're job searching, by all means, use "Corporate America" as they're using you - to get along in a consumerist culture and earn and invest - but don't buy into the illusion that you are invaluable and your services appreciated. It's a lie.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hemanth

    “If work is all about doing, then the soul is all about being: the indiscriminate enjoyer of everything that comes our way. If work is the world, then the soul is our home. This book explores the possibility of being at home in the world, melding soul life with work life, the inner ocean of longing and belonging with the outer ground of strategy and organizational control. Its aim is to reconcile the left-hand ledger sheet of the soul with the right-hand ledger sheet of the corporate world, a ki “If work is all about doing, then the soul is all about being: the indiscriminate enjoyer of everything that comes our way. If work is the world, then the soul is our home. This book explores the possibility of being at home in the world, melding soul life with work life, the inner ocean of longing and belonging with the outer ground of strategy and organizational control. Its aim is to reconcile the left-hand ledger sheet of the soul with the right-hand ledger sheet of the corporate world, a kind of double-entry bookkeeping that can bring together two opposing sides of ourselves.”

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Pace

    Poetry and our contemporary working life never had more to say to each other, including those ensconced in corporate life where one would think poetry and lyricism have been relegated to the basement . . . and weekends (if you're lucky). A modern-day prophet of the way the humanities shape, inform and revolutionize our internal lives and the lives we share with others, Whyte invites us to see even the most mundane (life in a shirt and tie) as ecstatic, trans-formative . . . a journey.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Oh there were a lot of WORDS in this book. Some of them quite lyrical. It took me weeks to get through it because of both the font and the wordiness. I loved some of the connections and conclusions that Whyte makes, especially about preserving innocence while valuing experience, about bringing genuine and complex humanity into the workplace. But this could have been half the length and made the same points. (I’m not normally a complainer about length, FWIW.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This book challenged my cynical attitudes about what level of creativity and authenticity can be had in the standard white collar corporate American career. I remain pessimistic on that front overall, but less so after reading this. Loved the application of literary analysis; this book summarizes a number of "life lessons" relevant to just about anybody in most walks of life, regardless of occupation. Sometimes meanders a bit before returning to its main points, but highly thought-provoking.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kyra

    I read parts of this book almost 20 years ago and had a hart time getting into it. I recently reread and found it relevant and powerful. As a CEO of a company, I am interested in how to build a culture and company that will encourage people to bring their whole self, including heart and soul into work. I think that work can provide meaning, creativity, and growth to people. A thought provoking look at work and career as part of pursuing the good life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Didn't finish this because it was a library book but really enjoyed what I did read. This book looks into the soul of corporate life, talks about the real motivations you have and then the tasks you have to do on a job. It talks about Beowulf the story and how you have to go deep into the lake/darkness to really understand yourself and that corporations don't really support this well. I'd love to re-borrow and read more of this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vinod Narayan

    I recommend this read for every one interested in Organizational development and involvement in Work and Life in a very deeper level. https://penpositive.com/2017/09/29/ca... I recommend this read for every one interested in Organizational development and involvement in Work and Life in a very deeper level. https://penpositive.com/2017/09/29/ca...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

    A lovely reminder to awaken your deepest, most authentic self/soul and allow it to guide your life. If you can’t or won’t do that, then at least unhide your essential nature and bring it to work with you.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erin Pretorius

    Genius.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sara Segura

    Life altering

  21. 5 out of 5

    Serenity Bohon

    I put too much pressure on this one. It definitely affirmed my soul struggles with corporate America, but the validation was too frustrating to overcome. The solutions never really sank in. He teaches us to bring our soul with us into the workplace and not leave it at the door, but I'd rather keep body and soul out of it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    While attending a poetry workshop on Iona in June, I learned of this book and was intrigued. When I got back home, I picked up a copy and read it back in August while in North Carolina on a planning leave. I was pleasantly surprised. It was better than I expected. Whyte is a British poet who moved to America and found himself involved with corporations as he attempted to encourage their creativity with the use of poetry. You’d think that management and poets would avoid each other. After all, man While attending a poetry workshop on Iona in June, I learned of this book and was intrigued. When I got back home, I picked up a copy and read it back in August while in North Carolina on a planning leave. I was pleasantly surprised. It was better than I expected. Whyte is a British poet who moved to America and found himself involved with corporations as he attempted to encourage their creativity with the use of poetry. You’d think that management and poets would avoid each other. After all, management is attempting to maximize the productivity of employees and poetry does little for the bottom line. Work is about doing, while poetry is about being (20). However, Whyte suggests that both need each other. Without poetry (and the arts) corporations becomes soulless, and poetry without the corporate world becomes useless. Poetry can help businesses have employees who are better-rounded and who are creative. To tap into the creative process of individuals, souls must be nurtured and emotions understood. Of course, this begs the question as to what is the soul. And there are no easy definitions or ways to understand the soul. It’s not just poetry from which Whyte draws meaning. He draws from all kinds of stories as archetypes of our experiences in life and within organizations. There’s Dante, lost and walking in the dark woods and Beowulf facing not only his fears, but the mother of his fears. He explores the luring passions of fire around which our storytelling and language began, and the Irish myth of Fionn and the need for mentors to teach a new generation to rise even further. He draws from the wisdom of Greek myths that point to our need to become elders, and to the English poet Coleridge observing the chaotic yet orderly flight of starlings. In addition to the above who became major themes within individual chapters, he draws from a host of others throughout this book such as Franz Kafka, St. John of the Cross, Goethe, the Bible, the Gilgamesh, Rainer Maria Rilke, Paulo Neruda, T. S. Eliot, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Chinese mythology, Robert Burns, William Blake, William Butler Yeats, Zen, Native American and African legends, Matt Groening (“Life in Hell” cartoons), among others. This is not a how-to book on saving corporate America. Instead, it is a complex book that invites us to consider stories with ancient truths and how they might help us navigate the complex world in which we find ourselves. Whyte sees poetry as a way that corporate America can foster the well-being of the souls of employees and thereby allow them to bring creativity into the organization as they navigate the path between imposed orderliness and chaos. This book is over twenty years old and I know he has revised a new edition. I wonder if he addressed how poetry might address Enron and the current political nature of our society.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Seifert

    The Heart Aroused reflects attention to the self as soul navigating and struggling in the large organization, viz. the corporation. Whyte speaks as and to a poet (perhaps in most of us), who deeply wants to live and not lose the fullness of human enjoyment and creativity amidst the smothering pressures of an organization. He draws from the story of Beowulf as a way of reinforcing a path downward into the depths of one's self with all the vulnerabilities of the psyche (e.g., anxiety, grief, terro The Heart Aroused reflects attention to the self as soul navigating and struggling in the large organization, viz. the corporation. Whyte speaks as and to a poet (perhaps in most of us), who deeply wants to live and not lose the fullness of human enjoyment and creativity amidst the smothering pressures of an organization. He draws from the story of Beowulf as a way of reinforcing a path downward into the depths of one's self with all the vulnerabilities of the psyche (e.g., anxiety, grief, terror), while recognize the monsters on the surface (in the organization) that seek to destroy one's quest inwardly or downward where real change and life emerge. For this is where fire and combustion forge and try ideas, experiences, and creative meaning into rare and joyful forms of practice, production and performance. In "Fire in the Voice", Whyte contends for an embodied voice from courage from one's "guts", which entails coming to terms with what keeps it closed up (wounds, failure, trauma); thus clearing the inward path of to the mind to wisdom and personal strength, character and virtue. Half way trough the text Whyte enters "The Soul at Midlife" directing the poet-practitioner on a path back home, which is an instinctive strategy that any career coach with any salt would suggest. Staying on one's own road is equivalent to being or knowing oneself verse meddling with someone else's or getting lost with the busyness of business. The poetry of "The Starlngs" reveals to us the reality of complexity and boundaries between chaos and order, and the way of being via instinctive strategies such as simplicity, silence, patience, metaphor and rest or standing still. Whyte ends with an Ecology of Mind, acknowledging that the world too has a mind (geist). Here is a call to pay attention to the other as just that, the other versus a preoccupation with oneself (the customer, colleague, client, constituency, territory). With respect to oneself and other, as in nature, there are cycles that need to be heeded for what they are--times of blossom, loss, failure, growth--the cyclical stages of orientation, disorientation, reorientation. The heart aroused , in short, is one emboldened by one's art to celebrate work with care, courage and "above all, a little more soul."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Martin Blackman

    This book is worthwhile if you're locked into a demanding professional office life and looking for inspiration to break out and survive psychically. What I don't get and what I think makes the book less than it should be is his narrow reference to corporate America as the primary and singular example where the soul does not flourish but can. I think space for the soul and space to be creative is boxed in is the challenge in a good many other work situations than the author addresses directly. S This book is worthwhile if you're locked into a demanding professional office life and looking for inspiration to break out and survive psychically. What I don't get and what I think makes the book less than it should be is his narrow reference to corporate America as the primary and singular example where the soul does not flourish but can. I think space for the soul and space to be creative is boxed in is the challenge in a good many other work situations than the author addresses directly. So that is the peculiar side of the book. On the other hand, David Whyte is an interesting author with both a classical English literary education as well as modern biology/ecology. Both aspects of his education inform his perspective, and the combination serves as a catalyst for his thinking. The literary background is best reflected in his extensive knowledge of myth ranging from well known legends like Beowolf to much lesser know traditional myths like the story of Fionn and the Salmon of Knowledge. This book may be a bit didactic, but it served its purpose for me. It contained something I needed--call that a basis for seeking a new inspiration if not a major inspiration itself.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hundeschlitten

    A great thing about books is how they can sit on your shelf for months, if not years, untouched, until you pick one of them up on a whim and it changes how you look at the world. Such is the case for me with "The Heart Aroused," which I brought home last year from a used bookstore. The subtitle sums up the subject matter: "Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America." Whyte discusses poetry, story, and soul, and how, in a healthy psyche, they are intertwined with our life's work A great thing about books is how they can sit on your shelf for months, if not years, untouched, until you pick one of them up on a whim and it changes how you look at the world. Such is the case for me with "The Heart Aroused," which I brought home last year from a used bookstore. The subtitle sums up the subject matter: "Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America." Whyte discusses poetry, story, and soul, and how, in a healthy psyche, they are intertwined with our life's work. He has an entire section about how our inevitable midlife crisis is actually an opportunity to look at the world with both the wisdom of experience and a renewed idealism. This book has sharpened my thinking about my life and where I am heading. It also has some beautiful passages about the ability of language, myth and story to change our lives. It is a little too blissfully cosmic and optimistic at times, about both the corporate world and individual purpose. And the language sometimes borders on pretense. But even at these moments, I appreciate Whyte's effort to help us all find beauty and meaning in what we do.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Many of you are aware of the SIM RLF (Society of Information Management Regional Leadership Forum) reading list that is updated each year and posted on their site - http://www.simnet.org/?page=5_RLF_Boo.... One book that has consistently appeared on the list is David Whyte's "The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America". David describes preserving the soul as "we come out of hiding at last and bring more of ouselves into the workplace. Especially the parts that Many of you are aware of the SIM RLF (Society of Information Management Regional Leadership Forum) reading list that is updated each year and posted on their site - http://www.simnet.org/?page=5_RLF_Boo.... One book that has consistently appeared on the list is David Whyte's "The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America". David describes preserving the soul as "we come out of hiding at last and bring more of ouselves into the workplace. Especially the parts that do not "belong" to the company. In a sense, the very part of us that doesn't have the least interest in the organization is our greatest offering to it. It is the part that opens the window of imagination and allows fresh air into the meeting room…" David is a poet and is inspired by many poets throughout the book. It is amazing to me that this book was written in 1994, and almost 20 years later remains 100 % relevant. I loved this book and this will definitely go on my "Books to Read Again".

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    This book was first published in 1994. If I had read it twenty years ago, it might had influenced me to take another path in my work life? Or, maybe, I needed the experience acquired during those twenty years to really appreciate the book? It's a wonderful book. David Whyte eloquently addresses the split between our work lives and the part of ourselves (our souls) which are forced underground in the corporate world. This is the split between what is nourishing and what is agonizing at work. Davi This book was first published in 1994. If I had read it twenty years ago, it might had influenced me to take another path in my work life? Or, maybe, I needed the experience acquired during those twenty years to really appreciate the book? It's a wonderful book. David Whyte eloquently addresses the split between our work lives and the part of ourselves (our souls) which are forced underground in the corporate world. This is the split between what is nourishing and what is agonizing at work. David Whyte offers the poet's perspective on this chasm. He writes about inviting the soul to work, power and vulnerability in the workplace, grounded creativity, speaking out, innocence and experience, the soul at midlife, facing what is sweet and terrible, and ecological imagination. His language is colorful and multidimensional, yet strangely precise. It's a very well-written book which arouses the heart! I give it my heartfelt recommendations!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cameron

    My favorite part of this book was Whyte's selection of poetry and stories. As an anthology it is worth looking through. Further, his commentary on corporate life and the depression of the soul is spot on. I wonder, however, if some corporations have taken his advice since 1995. There appears to be some organizations that allow people to bring the the corporately repressed parts of their lives into the workplace. Perhaps they have been listening. If anything, this book nudges the corporate American My favorite part of this book was Whyte's selection of poetry and stories. As an anthology it is worth looking through. Further, his commentary on corporate life and the depression of the soul is spot on. I wonder, however, if some corporations have taken his advice since 1995. There appears to be some organizations that allow people to bring the the corporately repressed parts of their lives into the workplace. Perhaps they have been listening. If anything, this book nudges the corporate American to re-examine the world beyond themselves again. We must not always be creatures of structure. To live in that mode is soul crushing. The soul needs to be attuned to the world--to listen. Our (work) lives depend upon it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I can't remember why I picked this up, but it was pretty good for not having read a review or anything beforehand. Whyte explores traditional story-telling (classic poetry like Beowulf) in the context of the work-a-day world, demonstrating how it is pretty common to stuff the dark parts of our beings down where they can't be seen or accessed for inspiration or creativity. This I think is true in modern culture, not just in the corporate world. Not sure why he limited his audience. It was a diffe I can't remember why I picked this up, but it was pretty good for not having read a review or anything beforehand. Whyte explores traditional story-telling (classic poetry like Beowulf) in the context of the work-a-day world, demonstrating how it is pretty common to stuff the dark parts of our beings down where they can't be seen or accessed for inspiration or creativity. This I think is true in modern culture, not just in the corporate world. Not sure why he limited his audience. It was a different take on Buddhism, sort of; focusing randomly through the lens of old classics and the lessons they offer.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    This book found me, literally and figuratively. David Whyte's amazing talent puts the classic writers and poets into context for modern society. "The question is whether you will give yourself to the great life consciously. The German poet Rilke said: Winning does not tempt that man. This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively by constantly greater beings." "As the Chinese sage Wu Wei Wu admonished: Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9% of what you think, And everything you do, is for your s This book found me, literally and figuratively. David Whyte's amazing talent puts the classic writers and poets into context for modern society. "The question is whether you will give yourself to the great life consciously. The German poet Rilke said: Winning does not tempt that man. This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively by constantly greater beings." "As the Chinese sage Wu Wei Wu admonished: Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9% of what you think, And everything you do, is for your self, and there isn't one." "Poetry is the art of overhearing ourselves say things from which it is impossible to retreat."

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