It has been an intense day. We are holding a weekend seminar on themes from the new book. There are about fifteen visitors plus members of the household: a lively group that has engaged in a lot of intelligent discussion, sharing personal experiences, and exploring relevance of the theory for ordinary life, for therapy practice and also for wider application to social questions. Although we have changed the format periodically to assist the process, discussion has flowed fairly continuously all day with occasional inputs from me. This is pretty impressive given that with the book not arriving until Thursday nobody had had the opportunity to read it in advance. I realise in retrospect that I was somewhat nervous how the day would go since this late publication meant that this was the first public airing on the work. It was both a relief and a satisfaction that many people found the day inspiring and spontaneously came to tell me so.
Some themes: # contrasts between 'ideal' and actual love # critique/appreciation of 'mindfulness' methods # the question whether avoidance of disappointment means not loving # the risks of love # the ubiquity of the dilemma: can one love again # the proper attitude toward emotion in spiritual practice # since love involves holding one other more dear than others does it generate conflict and # does it contradict 'democratic' or 'justice' ideals? # loving people one does not like # the dilemma of therapy as a requirement to love on demand for a fee # appreciation/critique of the theories of Carl Rogers