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Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole

af Susan Cain

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
6011140,246 (3.73)12
"With her mega-bestseller Quiet, Susan Cain urged our society to cultivate space for the undervalued, indispensable introverts among us, thereby revealing an untapped power hidden in plain sight. Now, she employs the same mix of research, storytelling, and memoir to explore why we experience sorrow and longing, and the surprising lessons these states of mind teach us about creativity, compassion, leadership, spirituality, mortality and love. Bittersweetness is a tendency to states of longing, poignancy, and sorrow; an acute awareness of passing time; and a curiously piercing joy when beholding beauty. It recognizes that light and dark, birth and death-bitter and sweet-are forever paired. A song in a minor key, an elegiac poem, or even a touching television commercial all can bring us to this sublime, even holy, state of mind-and, ultimately, to greater kinship with our fellow humans. But bittersweetness is not, as we tend to think, just a momentary feeling or event. It's also a way of being, a storied heritage. Our artistic and spiritual traditions - amplified by recent scientific and management research - teach us its power. Cain shows how a bittersweet state of mind is the quiet force that helps us transcend our personal and collective pain. If we don't acknowledge our own sorrows and longings, she says, we can end up inflicting them on others via abuse, domination, or neglect. But if we realize that all humans know - or will know - loss and suffering, we can turn toward each other. And we can learn to transform our own pain into creativity, transcendence, and connection. At a time of profound discord and personal anxiety, Bittersweet brings us together in deep and unexpected ways"--… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 11 (næste | vis alle)
This book did not resonate with me. I resorted to skimming to get through it. The last chapter was better, and almost caused me to rate it 4 stars.

‘The term [positive psychology] was coined in1954 by Abraham Maslow in 1954, and later championed and popularized by psychologist Martin Seligman, as an antidote to what both men believed was psychology’s excessive focus on mentall illness rather than strength.” (Page 18)

“The countless articles you’ve likely read urging you to start a gratitude journal or take up mindfulness mediation can be traced to his movement, and to the vast army of practitioners inspired by it.” (Page 18-19)

The benefits of bowing. (Page 21-22)

“People whose favorite songs are happy listen to them about 157 times on average. But those who favor ‘bittersweet’ songs listen almost 800 times according to a study …” (Page 33-34)

The last chapter of part 1 tells of her rebellion against her mother and the ensuing decades of estrangement followed by reconciliation as her mother suffered from Alzheimer’s. In the middle of that drama various forms of meditation are described, including ACT and Meta.

Calvinism seemed to loosen its grip on American culture during the 19th century, the era of commercial expansion. (Page 124)

But Calvinism was replaced by the new national religion of business, in which you were predestined not for heaven or hell but for earthly success or failure. (Page 124)

The word – loser – has been part of the English language for hundreds of years but now it carried new meaning. In the 16th century, it’s simply meant “one who suffers loss.“ But by the 19 century America, according to Sandage, the loser acquired a steak. It became something you were, while others were not. (Page 124)

New thought
William James, who had the skepticism of a scientist and regarded the movement as “Moonstruck with optimism,“ still noted it “healthy mindedness“ and explained, in his similar 1902 book, the variety of religious experience, that because of new thought, “cheerfulness has been restored to countless homes.“ (Page 126)

“There were always more bad actors, more mutilated bodies, more indifferent onlookers. Despite good intentions, no heroic organizations, no noble countries, no individuals with pure motives; things could turn brutal anywhere anytime.” (Page 240)

“ and for all of us, no matter our domain, there’s the simple exhortation to turn in the direction of beauty. You don’t have to follow any particular faith or wisdom tradition to realize that the sacred and miraculous are everywhere - “ (Page 241) ( )
  bread2u | May 15, 2024 |
A good beginning examination but perhaps too hastily researched without thorough attribution to people like Ernest Becker and Viktor Frankl, the originators of some of the ideas mentioned. The corporate "self-help" sections were off putting and perhaps the least well thought out. The book leaves me wondering about the author's central thesis: Is the enjoyment of "bittersweet" a disorder that needs to be fixed? Or is the enjoyment of "bittersweet" itself the cure? ( )
  vwinsloe | Apr 17, 2024 |
This was disappointing for me since I enjoyed her previous book, Quiet. While it started out interesting enough for me, it quickly to veered off into assorted anecdotes that felt like they were ripped out of corporate motivational speeches. Random study after random study was mentioned to make a point but since I was listening to the audio version, I have no idea how large the studies were or who sponsored them etc. I felt like it went from one sad story to the next ... I guess it just didn't grab me the way it did for many others. ( )
1 stem ellink | Jan 22, 2024 |
This book is a lot like Quiet, albeit a different subject. But the general idea is the same. Cain identifies a part of her personality that seems in conflict with the world and creates a lawyer's argument about why society is wrong, and that the personality trait is better than most people acknowledge.

In this case it is what she most often refers to as longing. As such, this book has a bit more of a spiritual feeling to it than did Quiet. But anyone who loved Quiet will probably love this book as well. ( )
  rumbledethumps | Nov 25, 2023 |
A very nice read. Basically the book version of the Pixar movie, “Inside Out” ( )
  Santhosh_Guru | Oct 19, 2023 |
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"With her mega-bestseller Quiet, Susan Cain urged our society to cultivate space for the undervalued, indispensable introverts among us, thereby revealing an untapped power hidden in plain sight. Now, she employs the same mix of research, storytelling, and memoir to explore why we experience sorrow and longing, and the surprising lessons these states of mind teach us about creativity, compassion, leadership, spirituality, mortality and love. Bittersweetness is a tendency to states of longing, poignancy, and sorrow; an acute awareness of passing time; and a curiously piercing joy when beholding beauty. It recognizes that light and dark, birth and death-bitter and sweet-are forever paired. A song in a minor key, an elegiac poem, or even a touching television commercial all can bring us to this sublime, even holy, state of mind-and, ultimately, to greater kinship with our fellow humans. But bittersweetness is not, as we tend to think, just a momentary feeling or event. It's also a way of being, a storied heritage. Our artistic and spiritual traditions - amplified by recent scientific and management research - teach us its power. Cain shows how a bittersweet state of mind is the quiet force that helps us transcend our personal and collective pain. If we don't acknowledge our own sorrows and longings, she says, we can end up inflicting them on others via abuse, domination, or neglect. But if we realize that all humans know - or will know - loss and suffering, we can turn toward each other. And we can learn to transform our own pain into creativity, transcendence, and connection. At a time of profound discord and personal anxiety, Bittersweet brings us together in deep and unexpected ways"--

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