The Five Longings – What We’ve Always Wanted and Already Have – A Guide to Love, Meaning, Freedom, Happiness, and Growth
Sometimes, I’m sure we all agree, life can be a bit “meh”. Unfulfilling. Uninspiring Eastern originating philosophies like Yoga and Buddhism, unsurprisingly, have thoughts on this, as indeed, albeit slightly differently does the Judeo-Christian philosophy thats dominant in our society,
From the Eastern perspective such issues tend to boil down to “discontent”. Language and culture doesn’t help us here; we tend to automatically associate discontent with “put up and shut up”; but the Eastern approach is more to understand the roots of discontent, and to ask how our outlook can be changed? Sometimes this requires hard, critical, work; anything other than that and we risk falling into the trap of spiritual bypassing.
Into this arena comes this book. The cover describes the author as “combining Jungian, Buddhist and mythic perspectives in his work”. His thrust is to look at some of the common longings we all have – Love, Meaning, Freedom, Happiness and Growth in his analysis – and to understand what we are seeking, and what prevents us from enjoying it.
The work runs to some 170 pages – mercifully shorter than some other authors – and has an accessible approach which avoids being dictatorial or confrontational, but instead takes the reader through a process of analysis and consideration.
From my perspective there was little new in this book. But thats no bad thing, sometimes we need to re-emphasise the basics and re-consider our perspectives.
For anyone who is looking at opportunities for personal growth, or to shake off malaise, then although this book won’t be a quick fix, and indeed doesn’t claim to be, certainly its thought provoking and worth a few hours reading.