Home/Main Menu     Site Map

Working With EEs/EHEs
Record Type: Review   ID: 357

Chaos and Order in the World of the Psyche

Wieland-Burston, Joanne

 This is an important book. The author, who is a Jungian psychotherapist, draws on scientific models of chaos as well as the lore of indigenous people, who practiced many ways of responding to chaos, as well as her own practice to show how it is erroneous to assume that because chaos is first experienced as negative and frightening it should be avoided or even repressed, but rather it should not only be confronted, but it should be viewed in a positive light as the seed of new growth. What comes out of chaos confrontation, according to Wieland-Burston, is being able to live from a more organic and life-potentiating order. In the course of living in this new way, order itself is no longer viewed as of overriding importance. Certainly this book has much to say to persons who have had an exceptional experience. These experiences are prototypically chaotic because they not only upturn a single domain of one’s life, such as one’s home, one’s job, one’s significant other, one’s children, but one’s entire worldview. A worldview that is threatened means a person’s whole lifeview, the way he/she relates to the world, is at issue. No wonder people try to laugh off such experiences and deny having them. But they too are seeds and can lead to a more fulfilling life that creatively incorporates a sense of process that can allow for chaos. Eventually it becomes a process shot through with meaning, and out of it grows a new worldview and a sense of joining the creative flow of life itself. Wieland-Burston points out that Chaos confrontation enables people to realize that the problem was not the chaotic confrontation but "the inflexibility of the prevailing order which created the difficulties in the first place" (p. 2). Perhaps more people are having UFO encounters, NDEs, apparitional experiences and other EEs because the worldview that has formed since the Enlightenment is entirely too restricting. It does not promote the flow of life but in countless ways seals it off at the first gush. EEs are the leaks in the old paradigm. If we tend each trickle that opens up for us, we will have a new ocean in which we can all play—a global worldview that includes everyone and every life form. The ocean we require and that we are getting in touch with is life itself, or as Wieland-Burston puts it, an organic order, a term used by Ira Progoff in the same sense back in the 1950s. Wieland-Burston draws on scientific findings that indicate that those organisms, including people, who do well are those that respond to the exigencies of life in a sensitive and flexible way. Several case histories, real and fictional, are used to illustrate her points throughout the book. More people are becoming conscious of the need to include chaos, in their worldview. This new worldview is bound to affect how we view exceptional experiences. This should create a situation in which more people will succeed in transforming them into exceptional human experiences, in which case the next millennium will be all that we dreamed.
Publisher Information:New York: Routledge, 1992. Bibl: 137-138; 8 figs; Name Ind: 141; Subject Ind: 142-144; Readings on chaos: 139-140; 2 tables
Previous Record Previous
in this

List All Titles in This Category (23)

Book Reviews Menu
in this

Click a section below to move around the EHEN website.
Home/Menu       About EHEs      EHE Autobiographies      EHE Book Reviews      EHE FAQ      EHE Network      Email Talk      Experiences Library      Info/Contact      Join Us!      Living EHEs      Parapsychology      Rhea White      Web Links      Web Talk      What's New     

All website graphics, materials and content copyright © 1997-2003
by EHE Network. All rights reserved. For permissions
please contact EHEN's Executive Director, Rhea A. White.

Web Media Management by Palyne Gaenir of ScienceHorizon.

Exceptional Human Experience Network
Exceptional Human Experience Network