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Dark Eros: Imagination of Sadism Paperback – May 1991

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Paperback, May 1991
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Product details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Spring Publications,U.S.; Revised edition (May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882143433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882143439
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 854,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Gelisha C. Navana on 19 July 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is gutsy and explores a subject that is at the heart of human existance, that of sexual drives and where that takes us. I think that professional qualification as a therapist should be dependant on reading and absorbing the information in this book. Anyone interested in what creates us as human beings and how we relate to ourselves, others, as well as any God we may believe exists, needs to read this book to have a complete picture of humanity.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Holy vs. Whole 20 Mar. 2007
By Robert D. Onsted - Published on
Format: Paperback
Mention the word "sadism" and the results it produces will vary from an embarrassed Victorian blush to righteous indignation that such things should exist at all, not to mention it being a topic for discussion among proper and civilized human beings. Yet to Thomas Moore, a former monk and Jungian analyst and writer, it is precisely this topic that needs to be explored mentally, even spiritually, in order to prevent it from erupting into anti-social, or even criminal acts in the flesh.

Examining the writings of the infamous Marquis de Sade, Moore delves into the healing role of de Sade that digs deeper than the surface appearance of de Sade as pornographer to find value in what is cursorily dismissed as naught but tasteless perversion. According to Moore's analysis of de Sade's writing, the virgin needs the libertine to complement her chastity, as much as he needs her pristine purity to define who he is.

Yet, a deeper understanding of Moore's treatise on de Sade reveals that wholeness is the object of the soul's journey, and that experiencing the self as holy--at the expense of being whole-- unjustly deprives the psyche of its completion. He believes that every human being should be in touch with his Sadean side-- at least mentally-- for human potential not explored is what cripples the soul. Just as there is no stick that has but one end, human potential and creativity must at least acknowledge, without necessarily favoring, the dark side of the psyche so that it's full complexity can be known and appreciated. For Moore, as well as for de Sade, the perverse side of the personna that is forbidden to manifest itself mentally becomes the powerful driving force for enactment in the psycho-socially mal-adjusted person.

It is perhaps society's denial of our own dark eros that enrages and offends most when we see it demonstrated in others, for that denial surely perverts any attempt at self-knowledge, and forces the soul to assume a posture of balance and completeness that is false,lame, and ultimately unhealthy. Moore hints that without personal aknowledgment of the darker depths of our psyches, as de Sade so blatantly illuminates, we cannot hope to soar to our greatest heights, for what we resist persists, and the chains of denial keep us tethered to terra firma instead of flying the limitless skies of our Divinity.

This book is not a quick read, nor is it for the judgmental or faint of heart. It requires time, and a certain willingness examine our own depths, not favoring the dark, forbidden aspects of our psyche, but rather admitting that a Sadean dark eros lies hale and hearty within us all, waiting to be revealed to honest introspection for spiritual growth through courage of heart.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
An excellent book 8 May 2000
By Tim Warneka - Published on
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be most intriguing. Not as well known as many of Moore's "sweeter" works, I believe that this book is beneficial reading for both clinicians and lay persons alike. Moore's premise is that De Sade serves as a guide to the darker side of humanity, and as such, needs to be listened to. I would highly recommend this book for any clinicians working with sexually aggressive behavior and/or sexual victimization.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Open debate for scientific progress 12 Aug. 2003
By Ricardo Medina Covarrubias - Published on
Format: Paperback
Moore provides a quick tour on Sade's perspective in a very objective and comprehensive tone. The end of the book is devoted to therapeutics: form sadistic behavior to Sadeian perspective.
You have to be familiar either with sadomasochism or Sade's work to take the most of the book, as it doesn't provide easy answers. Though, this is one of the most empathetic works I'd ever read. In a theme commonly catalogued and limited as a sexual perversion, the text enables honest, practical discussion.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars for a retired monk, now married writing about Dark Eros 1 Mar. 2013
By Dan E. Nicholas - Published on
Format: Paperback
Thought I'd lost this book by Thomas Moore, 12 years a monk in the Catholic Church. I think it is out of print now but this week I also went back for a second look at a related book, Desire, by John Eldredge. As to the Eldredge book on desire? Not a perfect book but good enough to revisit. I find it interesting that it was reviewed by a mere 17 readers while his men's movement book on guys being Wild (Wild At Heart-Discovering the Secret Of A Man's Soul, 2011)was reviewed by 900 plus readers and men's movement workshop attenders.

But this title by Moore grips me now, especially in his forward by Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig who speaks of innocence ravaged by a dark side in de Sade's novel Justine and Juliette. "Here, the sexual imagination symbolically represents the necessary ravishing of the innocent pure part of our soul. Innocence is in the final analysis a refusal to come really in touch with this world. The innocent soul has to be initiated and forced into the dark and fascinating reality of life. If the soul remains innocent, it is not really becoming human but is just like a plant." Indeed.

So I'm thinking Wild this morning. But more Dark. Dark Eros this morning. And sad. It seems evident that this topic of Eros is still not popular among Evangelicals. Because it has a sexual side, which we fear. Yet misdirection and dishonest avoidance here continues to wreck so many lives and leaves others simply withered and plant like. Maybe Thomas Moore with Dark Eros has something to teach Eldredge who disappoints for he is not brave as Moore to take on the dark side of desire with it's shadowy side. We pay dearly when we decide to lift up purity at the cost of sweeping the Dark under our sofa before guests arrive.

Dark Eros. At the right on my prayer corner this morning are small newspaper clips, B&W pics of two dead cops from my small coastal town. On the left of my votive oil lamp I have a third small newsprint picture of the killer, the dead shooter. I pray for all three. I have to pray for him, too. He was being investigated, questioned through the door by the cops, for unrequited advances toward a woman at work. Add that to his dark list of habits such as peeping, lurking in the bushes watching what he called "nice girls" through the bathroom window as they showered.

The young man, Jeffrey Goulet, is a darker figure with a name. He was this last Tuesday afternoon being investigated for his inability to master Dark Desire in his inappropriate advances he made at work with a co-worker barista. All this happened at a coffee spot in our seacoast town the day before and led to anger when confronted; and then a killing of both cops on his doorstep. This followed his own equally senseless death in a cop shootout 30 minutes later. This tragedy is a story but three days old here in our town. It is not only a Dark Eros story for me but a first ever event locally where cops were killed here in my city. This is for me sad as I read that his dad when interviewed called his son, a "ticking time bomb". All Dark Eros denied time bomb I'd call it.

We need more books and conversations on desire; dark desire, too. All deadly when we deny the reality of it's power and mystery. The press wants to talk gun control now. Why is nobody talking Dark Eros?

Eldredge quotes Simone Weil in his chapter on disowned desire. "The danger is that the soul should persuade itself that it is not hungry. It can only persuade itself of this by lying." And one can only hide the lie so long before it comes out, often tragically.

In my local paper today I read the words of a father on his dead son. "He's got one problem, peeping in windows," his father said in a halting emotional voice. "I asked him, 'Why don't you just go to a strip club?' He said he wants a good girl that doesn't know she's being spied on, and said he couldn't stop doing it."

An exciting and titillating bad desire for a good girl. How exactly Dark Eros is all that? And sad when this hunger is not named and owned and dealt with. It was glossed over and sadly not addressed as Eldredge says. Moore says this, too. Indeed how often the Dark goes unchecked in men who won't get help or talk with other men about this soul hunger that runs deep; a kink and urge urge that needs acknowledging, naming, owning bridling. Not denying.

Santa Cruz Sentinel reporter Stephen Baxter said this morning (3.1.13)at some point in the 30-minute cop showdown, that the shooter Goulet sent a text to his twin brother: "I'm in big trouble. I love you."

It is trite of course to say that this troubled young man and now deceased cop killer, Jeremy Goulet, had "love trouble" with women. Trouble with desire around women. Dark Eros trouble. He wasn't otherwise stupid. He was a skilled Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot, trained and trusted to control a helicopter warship in a firefight in the sky; but unworthy of trust with a shadow desire spun downward in his own darkly erotic earth life. He had been discharged from the military. He continued with a history of being arrested as a voyeur, a common dark side peeper.

As a dad with sons, I think it doubly sad this morning that one of the two cops he killed this week was a woman and mom. Who had two sons no less. I clearly remember her patrolling the main mall here downtown. When called out by Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and detective Elizabeth Butler who stood as plain clothed investigators on his porch, he would not open the door but rather ambushed them through another entrance before they could react.

I wish I could have gotten this father's son to my men's support group last month. We call it a "men's team". We met several times 50 feet from where he worked at that coffee place, the Kind Grind. Sad. He was a man and a son and a brother with a Dark Eros mastery problem long before he was a killer. My men's team met for dinner next door unknowingly just two hours after this mortal event went down a mile away. We were at the restaurant right next door--I'm talking 50 feet away--from where this Jeremy Goulet worked as a barista; where he'd been fired for not having a successful handle on his shadowy sexual desires last Friday. So what ways the fruit or our communitie's lack of skill in dealing with Dark Eros and his rejected advances toward a woman? Three are dead. Proof of the importance of this Thomas Moore book and this Eldredge book, too. Both are men working in the church. Moore a retired monk, hits an important topic; a topic for men that is too painful for churches and communities and families to continue to ignore on the front end of disaster and hungers denied.

As to Eldredge as a writer on Christian themes, I only wish he had been more honest and brave and included Dark Eros as a chapter in his book. Ignorance here cost us in my town. Ignorance of this power. In Dark Eros Thomas Moore touches all of us, reminds us of the importance of Jung and the shadow stuff. We all need to play and work with it, master it. Or it masters us. And, of course, demons hitch on for the ride as we go down. And we always take others with us when this happens I think. O how the demons love that part of the story.

A quote from Jung on Shadow and Dark seems apropos:

"Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected. -Carl Jung

No surprise then that I picked Moore's book of the shelf for a second read. And a way too long review.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Glimpse at the Dark Side 8 Nov. 2010
By F. Raffaele - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. Moore takes a very measured approach to the "dark-side" in this book.
Although sadism and its perversions is something we typically want to run away from, Moore gives us an opportunity to safely approach it from an existential perspective. The dark side exists in our human nature and having a way of understanding it makes us less likely to become dominated by. The "shadow" will achieve control unless we are aware of it and can subordinate it.
Mr. Moore is a great teacher in addition to being a good writer. One of the most interesting aspects I found about the book is his love of words. You find yourself using the dictionary a lot and enjoying it. You soon realize that his fascination with words has to do with appreciating the fact that within the word is the nature and meaning of whatever it is that you are trying to understand. The word becomes the key by which you can unlock meaning. The historical construct of the word provides perspective into our intellectual history and development. Each word we create and use is a step forward in consciousness and awareness.
The book is a good example of how to use depth psychology for understanding the most difficult aspects of our nature.
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