An Intelligent Life proposes that our inner emotional life revolves around two primitive essentials of survival: belonging to a herd and holding our own territory. With belonging come warmth, peace and love; with territory come pride, dignity and a sense of creativity. Meeting these fundamental needs translates into being loved and preserving our individuality. Finding the ideal balance between love and power in relationships is the ultimate aim of an emotionally healthy person. Short suggests there is no relationship problem that isn’t formed by a sense of rejection or belittlement, and that emotions often spring from a primal fear of death.
At times quite confronting, the book explores the interrelationship between thoughts, actions and feelings. Simple, everyday language keeps the themes accessible, and a grounded approach communicates the ideas in a practical and matter-of-fact way rather than the spiritual approach often associated with self-help books. The book would benefit from reader-friendly formatting, but it’s nevertheless a compelling and thought-provoking read.
**** (highly recommended)
Random House $24.95
Reviewed by Mark Parry
There is a number of lengthy reviews and articles based on An Intelligent Life.
goodreading: the magazine for book lovers.
• "A Little Respect" Sunday Telegraph, Body+Soul, July 10th 2005
• "Grace Under Pressure Essential for a Happy Life" Men's Health, Australian Financial Review, August 11th 2005
• "An Intelligent Life" Newsletter of Australian College of Psychological Medicine, issue 33, August 2005
• "The Strange Heart of the Modern Relationship" Australian Financial Review, Perspective, October 1st 2005
An Intelligent Life has also been quoted in Marie-Claire and Boss Magazine.