Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom


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Legacy of Wisdom - Mary Catherine Bateson - Lifestyle

Willing to Learn: Passages of Personal Discovery Steerforth Press, September ISBN: distributed by Random House This collection of Bateson's work can be read as a memoir of unfolding curiosity, for it brings together essays and occasional pieces, many of them previously unpublished or unknown to readers who know the author only from her books, written in the course of an unconventional career. Bateson is a singular thinker whose work enriches lives by bringing fresh, original ideas to subjects that affect all of our lives.

Willing to Learn is at once an articulation and an exemplar of the composition of Bateson's own life's work. Paperback, ISBN: Ballantine Books. New York: AddisonWesley. The Hague: Mouton, Maybe I'll return to this book in 30 years but, for now, I'm mo This book bored the hell out of me and I had to stop after pages.

Maybe I'll return to this book in 30 years but, for now, I'm moving on. I was disappointed.

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The people interviewed were from a different world--highly educated in prestigious schools, patrons of culture, administrators of non-profit organizations. Quite different from my life. I didn't find much information or encouragement for someone like me to compose my further life. As in Composing a Life, Mary Catherine Bateson daughter of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson interviews individuals who have actively resolved challenges to create a life in in their second stage of adult hood.

Her intent in this book is to place another stage of life into Eric Erikson's life stages. Calling the years between 55 and 75 Adulthood II a period when we are still healthy enough to make life a fruitful life and make a contribution to future generations. I sometimes wondered where sh As in Composing a Life, Mary Catherine Bateson daughter of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson interviews individuals who have actively resolved challenges to create a life in in their second stage of adult hood.

I sometimes wondered where she was going with the book as the themes were interspersed in her discussion of the lives of those involved. But in the end she drew it all together and it make a lot of sense and is definitely worth reading for those of us who are in that stage or headed towards it.

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Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom by Mary Catherine Bateson

Her titles Composing a Life and Composing a Further Life, hit home for me as I challenge myself to think creatively about the years ahead. Apr 16, Jennifer rated it it was ok. This is a book about life between the ages of or more. I kept on waiting for this book to get more interesting or provide more guidance than it did. Her basic conclusion is that because people live longer, we have more time to resolve issues and become better people--as long as we keep learning.

Nov 29, Sally rated it it was amazing.

Active wisdom

Not new, but for me in , perfectly timed. There is a lot of wisdom in this book. Oct 16, Sally Ember rated it liked it Shelves: self-help , female-author , non-fiction , psychological. I read the first part of this "series," "Composing a Life," when it first came out a couple of decades ago and really appreciated it.

I heard an interview with Dr. However, I found it somewhat disappointing. Some of her ideas are great and the premise is good. She concludes that, since humans live longer, now, than ever before, human development once again I read the first part of this "series," "Composing a Life," when it first came out a couple of decades ago and really appreciated it.

She concludes that, since humans live longer, now, than ever before, human development once again has to alter its "sections. Erik Erikson someone she studied with , has therefore added another developmental phase which she calls "Adulthood II," whose psychological crisis is "Engagement vs. Withdrawal," whose basic strength is "Active Wisdom," and whose basic pathology is "Indifference.

I particularly appreciated her recommendation that we adults, especially we in Adulthood II around "retirement" age but not "elderly," yet , be more forthcoming and honest about our mistakes, shortcomings, wrong turns, etc. She writes: One thing that young people need to know These are the very stories the next generation may not have the privilege of hearing. Inspiring and good advice, I think. However, what disappointed me about this book is how repetitive it is.

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That might explain how much is repeated across chapters. But, I still found it jarring and odd to read the same information about interview subjects or topics multiple times.


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I also didn't like the way she removed herself so thoroughly as an anthropologist would, but not as a participant-observer would, which she certainly IS for these topics from the conversations with all but one or two of her subjects. I wasn't all that interested in reading what were simply unedited transcripts of her conversations with little analysis or commentary from her. I wanted to hear from her more, not them.

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Maybe that's just my preference. In any case, if you are approaching the age of 50 or already between 50 - 70, living in a Western type of lifestyle, this book may appeal to you. Not good for most others, I imagine. Others will probably never pick it up or find it boring or irrelevant. Jun 03, Connie rated it really liked it. Memory is precious, but it is not always clear how to use it or what obligations one has to what has gone before.

Looking back over a lifetime takes different forms. A body of professionals has evolved who help individuals through a partially formalized process of 'life review,' which has always in some sense been one of the preoccupations of old age, taking many forms and often focusing on one aspect of a life, rather than the whole. There are always surprises, as the remembering and retelling flow into the present and toward the future. Sometimes the answer to 'What next? Some people return to a childhood home or seek out old friends long out of touch.

Some people return to a skill that has been neglected, dusting off the grand piano or digging out an old set of watercolors. Dec 08, Melissa rated it liked it. This was actually my second time reading this book, though I had forgotten that until I started reading and spotted my distinctive annotations. There is good stuff here, but I find the style kind of dense, and the stories she tells here were not as compelling to me as in her Composing a Life, which I adored. The book is organized by individuals and their stories rather than by the themes that those stories share, which is fine, but when it is time for synthesis, it feels thin.

Still, glad I read it. Jul 18, Deb cambria rated it it was amazing. Lots of good information. Nov 25, Carol rated it liked it. I heard an interview of her on On Being which prompted me to get the book. Interesting yet the people she profiles seem to inhabit a slim rarified section of society. Aug 19, Peter Reczek rated it liked it.

Too anecdotal for such an important topic. Some interesting ideas. Mar 20, Hollis Fishelson-holstine rated it liked it.

The Age of Active Wisdom

Sep 12, Kari rated it it was amazing. I love Mary Catherine Bateson and she is truly ahead of her time with her content and insights. I mostly read and partly listened to this. The reader was good, and it helped me find enough time to finish it, but it's harder to focus on the content when my eyes are free to take in other things.

Some of the writing is very worthy and thought provoking, but our book club mostly enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on the issues she raises. The chapters feature various successful, interesting professionals who have had rewarding lives with many opportunities to be mentored and to mentor others. The use of recorded conversations for most of the content made it a little disorganized and probably longer than necessary. It's a little about vital aging, a little about spirituality and wisdom, a little about the importance of relationships, a little about psychology, a little about social justice and civic engagement, but not really a lot about any of those things.

Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom
Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom
Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom
Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom
Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom
Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom
Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom
Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom

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