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Witness to the Fire: Creativity and the Veil of Addiction [Paperback]

Linda Schierse Leonard
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.09
Price: 17.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

Jan 1991
In Witness to the Fire, Linda Schierse Leonard, Ph.D., explores the dark and fiery journey of transformation from the bondage of addiction to the freedom of recovery through creativity. A Jungian analyst, Leonard studies the relationship of creativity and addiction in the lives of writers such as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Eugene O'Neill, Jean Rhys, and Jack London, as well as the experiences of ordinary men and women. Leonard holds out the hope that anyone bound by addiction can reclaim the power that fuels dependency for a life of joy and creativity.

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Witness to the Fire: Creativity and the Veil of Addiction + On the Way to the Wedding: Transforming the Love Relationship + Meeting the Madwoman: Empowering the Feminine Spirit
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Product details

  • Paperback: 390 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; New edition edition (Jan 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877735883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877735885
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.1 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 257,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
ONE NIGHT I AWOKE in darkness to find myself hostage in a hospital ward. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Appreciation 8 July 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is actually an appreciation - not a literary review. I am an alcoholic in recovery and have an immense gratitude to Linda for writing this book. In her book I found answers, or rather experiences I could relate to, so similar and fitting to many issues burning and un-explained within me. My daimon has been enriched and my recovery program enhanced as a result of reading her great work. I have become a survivor (witness) to the road less travelled up the ladder out of the Abyss - I am no longer terrified to visit that void of darkness because I understand the burning issues of Creativity and Addiction parallels and inter-relations all that much better for reading her book. I am able, daily, one step at a time, to unshackle myself as a hostage to my addiction and choose to harness my creativity productively as a result of being a student of "Witness to the Fire". And I am a student of her work still, and always will be, due to my acceptance of my powerlessness over my lifelong disease and my need for every tool I can find to keep me healthy and strong. But I have chosen to let My Higher Power guide my daily existence and can therefore cope and be creative once more. Linda's book is constantly next to my bedside along with my "Big Book" and "My Recovery Book" - in daily use during my prayers and meditations. You helped save my life Linda - Thank You. Colin Tatham
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading 26 April 2012
Format:Paperback
As a therapist who specialised inthe area of creativity and addiction I must say this is one of the most creative imaginative and useful books I have come accross. Ms Leonard captures the imagination and her whole series are just essential reading for any one who is an addict or is living in a relationship with some one. Highly recommended
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be mandatory reading in any drug/alcohol counseling 23 Aug 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Should be mandatory reading in any drug/alcohol counseling course. I've read this book 2x and have savored it completely each and every time. I've gained new insights into myself. I finally understood the reaons for which I drank and how barren and empty my soul was for spirit. How badly I wanted to be "drunk" with spirit. And in my inability to replicate that experience, which fed my frustrations and in turn, lead me to drink. Understood the "voices" in my head that were there to punish me for every imagined infraction. Those harmful "parental voices" mocking approval and throwing tibits of love at me. My need to feel the connection to the spirit and the easy road that I took as a young adult. Every time I have re-read a page or two out of this book has always led me to create some form of art in some way.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 10 Oct 2000
By "tim_farrington" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a unique and courageous book, as heartening to the artist as to the addict in each of us. It is a marvelously distilled meditation on creativity's darkness en route to the light. Leonard has deftly woven literary, spiritual, and psychological treatments of the dark night of the soul into a seamless tapestry, and found precious meaning in some of the most devastating aspects of human experience. For anyone facing their own darkness, this book is a welcome and comforting companion, an inspiring guide, and a very wise friend.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars alcoholism & creativity 12 Jan 2002
By Nilsa Martinez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Never have I seen anything quite like this. This is the definitive book on creativity. & When you don't create, ahhh, the ills that befall us. We fall into an addictive pattern trying desperatedly to recreate that atonement w/God. Failing that, one either drinks, or does whatever to replicate that feeling one more time. Again & again. This book revealed the essence alcoholism. Why certain people drink or create. Simple as that. I've reread this one @ least 2x now. Enjoy your journey.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Appreciation 8 July 2000
By Colin Tatham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is actually an appreciation - not a literary review. I am an alcoholic in recovery and have an immense gratitude to Linda for writing this book. In her book I found answers, or rather experiences I could relate to, so similar and fitting to many issues burning and un-explained within me. My daimon has been enriched and my recovery program enhanced as a result of reading her great work. I have become a survivor (witness) to the road less travelled up the ladder out of the Abyss - I am no longer terrified to visit that void of darkness because I understand the burning issues of Creativity and Addiction parallels and inter-relations all that much better for reading her book. I am able, daily, one step at a time, to unshackle myself as a hostage to my addiction and choose to harness my creativity productively as a result of being a student of "Witness to the Fire". And I am a student of her work still, and always will be, due to my acceptance of my powerlessness over my lifelong disease and my need for every tool I can find to keep me healthy and strong. But I have chosen to let My Higher Power guide my daily existence and can therefore cope and be creative once more. Linda's book is constantly next to my bedside along with my "Big Book" and "My Recovery Book" - in daily use during my prayers and meditations. You helped save my life Linda - Thank You. Colin Tatham
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough look at creativity and psyche. 20 April 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Linda Schierse Leonard provides anyone interested with the resources to look at psyche and archtype in relationship to being a creative person in "Witness to the Fire". For the "artist", this book is extremely helpful in providing a way of looking at onesself with the eye of an informed Jungian. You will come back to this book again and again as new issues come up in the creative process.

In particular, Leonard deals with addictive behaviors as they affect the psyche of the creative person. She outlines the lives of real people -- ranging from Dostoevsky to her own clients -- who have experienced the archtypal roles she describes.

Leonard's descriptions and analyses will assist the reader in understanding the behavior and thinking of anyone experiencing the struggles of creativity. She offers insights and descriptions that can be helpful to any reader who seeks to maximize their ability to truely live and create in a conscious manner.
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