Person to person - PDF by Carl R. Rogers

Person to person: the problem of being human 

Person to person: the problem of being human



This is an unusual book, put together by a unique person, and built around some papers which present an all too uncommon point of view. Let me explain. In the first place each paper — some of my own, others by Drs. Gendlin, Shlien, and Van Dusen — are set in a context of warm human reaction to the paper. Barry Stevens regards each of these papers as a sort of oasis in the current professional literature and has lovingly placed each of them in a setting composed of her own very personal associations to the theme of the writer. Her comments are not comments on the paper.

 They are not a review of the paper. They are the highly personal feelings and thoughts which the paper triggered off in her. It is as though a friend told you of many responses set off in himself by something he had read. So you are stimulated to read the material yourself to see what you can get out of it. This seems like a natural approach, but it is certainly not a conventional one. It is simply not the way books are written or compiled. But this is not so surprising when we consider Barry Stevens. She is not a person easily categorized. 

Though she knows and is in correspondence with, many of the great and near-great in our Western culture she has no position, no status, no professional classification except the vague term, "writer." (I think she would prefer the term "amateur," because she deeply believes that the "amateur" and the "professional" complement each other.) She is independent in her thought and in her life, continually striving to break out of the bonds which tend to hold all of us. She wrote much of the material for this book while a guest of the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, and in her quiet, effortless way ix x • Rogers became, during that period, an important figure in the lives of many of the individuals who work there. She has somehow achieved in her life a pearl of wisdom which seems all too rare in these days when knowledge has become so all-important. 

Many readers may find her personal statements more valuable and more rewarding than the writings they were intended to frame. She often sees through to the heart of the matter in a most perceptive way. But I believe the uniqueness of her personality shows through in her writing, so I will let the reader discover her for himself. The book is built around seven papers which start from an assumption unusual in psychology today. The assumption is that the subjective human being has an importance and a value which is basic: that no matter how he may be labelled or evaluated he is a human person first of all, and most deeply. He is not only a machine, not only a collection of stimulus-response bonds, not an object, not a pawn. So while the papers cover a variety of topics, and in at least three instances deal with individuals labelled "abnormal," they are all basically about persons. 

For this reason, it is felt that they may appeal to persons — persons who, like the authors, are seeking a way in which life can best be chosen, and most rewardingly lived. It will be obvious that the papers appealed to one person, Barry Stevens, and her reactions — sometimes charming, sometimes moving, sometimes critical, sometimes profound — form the links between the themes of the authors.

Author: Carl R. Rogers,
Publication Date: 1967
Company: [New York] : Pocket Books


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