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Man's Search for Himself

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  1,586 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
"Analyzes life as we are living it, & the analysis is truthful & profound."--New York Times
Loneliness, boredom, emptiness: These are the complaints that Rollo May encountered over & over from his patients. In response, he probes the hidden layers of personality to reveal the core of human integration--a basic & inborn sense of value. Man's Search for Himse
Paperback, 284 pages
Published October 25th 1982 by Souvenir Press Ltd (first published April 1st 1953)
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Mar 18, 2009 Ryan rated it it was amazing
I got this book for 10 cents at a library used book sale. It sat on my book shelf for two years and I picked it up just to flip through it and it couldn't have been a better time. It is exactly what I was looking for, talk about a meaningful coincidence. It was written in the 1950's by the great existential psychologist Rollo May and it is still valid in today’s world. May discusses the importance of becoming your own person and how we find meaning within ourselves. He also talks about the strug ...more
Nov 02, 2011 Alexandria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I found this book at the Salvation Army & purchased it for .99 cents, which is probably the least I've ever paid for a book that I would grow to adore. What made me connect with this book most is how timeless it is, the emotions expressed about that time period resonate completely with modern times. I'd reccomend this book to anyone whose at a cross roads in their life & is looking for lit that can shed some light on our internal conflicts with the world around us & our place in it.
Feb 17, 2016 Maica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

In this book, I noticed parallelisms between Rollo May's insights with those of Erich Fromm, especially on the aspect of freedom and irrational authority. But the difference is, May's style is rather free-flowing and spontaneous as contrasted with Fromm's somewhat repetitive with rigorously referenced writing.

Condemning ourselves is the quickest way to get a substitute sense of worth. People who have almost, but not quite, lost their feeling of worth generally have very strong needs to condemn
Dec 30, 2014 Maryam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
از دیدگاه روان شناسی زمان فقط گذشت دقایق و ساعتها نیست بلکه معنی حالات و تجربه هایی است که برای شخص پیش می آید.
یعنی آنچه زمان را برای فرد مهم می سازد حالات امیدها دلهره ها و رشد و حرکتی است که در آن برای انسان وجود دارد.
خدمة المشورة
Jun 16, 2014 خدمة المشورة rated it it was amazing
قرأت ترجمتيه في العربي، الترجمة التالية هي الأفضل:
Aug 14, 2011 Nana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: فلسفة, نفسي
شدني عنوانه كثيرا فهو من الموضوعات التي تستهويني بشدة ....
بدأت بمطالعته أثناء تواجدي بالكلية بعد انتهائي من العمل ويبدو جيدا .... ولكن بعد أن أنهيته أحسست بإرهاق ربما لأنني لم اعتد قراءة مثل هذه الكتب
المعقدة نوعاً ما
استمتعت ببعض أجزاءه وطبقتها على محيطي فتفاعلت معها لكن أكثرها استصعبت علي ربما كان من المبكر قراءة مثل هذا الكتاب لي ولكنها كانت تجربة غنية استفدت منها كما أنني بدافع الفضول تعلمت أكثر عن عقدة أوديب وعقدة أليكترا وصندوق باندورا الذي أشار إليهم ^^
وهذا بعض ما راق لي من عبارات :
في عص
Matthew Leroy
Sep 30, 2015 Matthew Leroy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: existential
May's words seem timeless, focusing on the way every historic period has a challenge to become who one is, and free oneself from the popular opinion. One thing I consistently struggle with May, and other existentialists, is there focus on individuality, seemingly neglecting that in different historical time periods, it is harder for some people to become who they are. Think about the way homophobia, transphobia, blocks people from honoring their social selves. Still, it is nice to read how searc ...more
May 19, 2009 Jeremiah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1953 outlining mass conformity, threat of nuclear holocaust, absent value system, among other things, cause us to lose touch with who the fuck we are.

Must have been hard to live back then when that was a problem.

The reading of this book coincided with my life changing drastically. But as that guy sings "correlation is not causation."
Jul 31, 2016 yerazness rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Benliğin oluşum problemlerine ışık tutan, kolayca anlaşılan tam bir başucu kitabı.
Jeremy Konstanzer
Jun 18, 2016 Jeremy Konstanzer rated it it was ok
I may be in a minority in my reaction to Man's Search for Himself, but I was rather underwhelmed by May's particular characterization of the process of actualizing and individuating. While all of his assessments appear to be true, and while he does manage to touch on almost all of the points conceivably related to creating selfhood, it seems that other authors dealt with the essential material of human existence with more zeal and pizazz than May could muster. For example, emotional life is bett ...more
Aug 03, 2008 Acid rated it liked it
Recommends it for: someone interested in the search for the self
I learned the function of prophetic religion and its conflict with the dogmatic systems of the institution and the way these collide upon the matrix of the self in ever increasing complexities...I also learned that rebellion is a means and not the end in and of itself to a more ethical relationship with the systems that is quote I found to be interesting...."Difficult as the task is, we must accept ourselves and our society where we are, and find our ethical center through a deeper und ...more
Jan 07, 2016 Hera rated it it was amazing
Βρήκα το Βιβλίο αυτό του Rollo May στα προτεινόμενα από το Goodreads μιάς και τελευταία μου έχει βγεί η ενδόμυχη επιθυμία για αυτόψυχανάλυση. Ίσως να ανταποκρινόταν σε αυτή μου την ανάγκη και ταυτίστηκα τόσο έντονα, ίσως και όχι. Όπως και να έχει το κατάπια το βιβλίο. Αν εξαιρέσω τα σημεία που αναφέρεται στον ενδεχόμενο κίνδυνο ατομικής Βόμβας (μιάς και το βιβλίο γράφτηκε την εποχή του Ψυχρού Πολέμου), το βιβλίο είναι τόσο ζεστό και καθησυχαστικό. Ο συγγραφέας αποπνέει ηρεμία, απαλλαγμένος από τ ...more
Apr 09, 2013 Merih added it
I ve just finished its really amazing sometimes I shocked the comments how unconsciously human being affected . hwr we re blind these in some point..very insightful book and thought Rollo May is really genius very good observer as well very deep understanding . You would read it if u really want to realise how our behaviour affected by daily basis stress.this book precious one for me. HIghly recommended !
Jim Jackson
Jul 13, 2013 Jim Jackson rated it it was amazing
There is no overt theological underpinning to this book. But as I read through the lens of Biblical theology (as best as I could with limited theological training), I was awakened to a new depth of thinking about purpose, motives, sin and selfishness, and self-righteousness. At a critical point in my life this book (required reading at the time) has forever influence how I interact with what I often find to be over-simplified Christian platitudes masking fear, resentment, and ultimately sin.
Fiore Carpino
Apr 10, 2014 Fiore Carpino rated it really liked it
This book was fantastic. It is immediately evident how steeped in the times during which it was written (the aftermath of the 2nd world war), and yet it remains a meaningful and accurate assessment of the person that will be relevant and useful to those who wish to think critically about their own existence and what the duty is of each person to realize what it means to be a self.
Iliyana Parashkevova
Nov 23, 2014 Iliyana Parashkevova rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read in my life. There's something special about the last few century authors - it's very intriguing that the same stuff they've been writing about years and even centuries ago are so actual and real nowadays, as they've predicted the battles that human race will need to go through in 21st century. Simply astonishing book.
Cortland Bell
Nov 25, 2016 Cortland Bell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book simply transcends time. Originally published 60+ years ago it connects the past, present, and future of any time. If you are interested in the physiology of man kind this book would be perfect. I know now that our problems go way deeper than the surface. Know yourself first then I think this world can change. One soul at a time!
Mar 02, 2009 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jeffrey by: My therapist
This book was recommended to me by my therapist. Though it is old, there are still a great number of things that one can learn from it about being the person you mean to be and how one can do that even in the loneliest and most trying of times.

I wrote more extensively about the book and its recommender here:
Ada Cerma
Aug 21, 2016 Ada Cerma rated it really liked it
Written perfectly. It's so useful regarding the psychological and philosophical evaluations of the society's problems but i do think that it lacks a bit offering solutions,meaning palpable ones,more practical. But I found it helpful in finding my personal faults and how to approach myself differently. It was a new experience in reading and it has opened new roads to me.
Sep 05, 2014 Megan rated it it was amazing
This was the first book that came to me in a list of books that have had a profound impact on my life. I was discussing some of my life challenges with my roommate at the time and he pulled this book from his collection and suggested I give it a read. Rollo May's work is very articulate and put on the path to the right questions.
Rebecca Shala
Feb 11, 2009 Rebecca Shala rated it it was amazing
I love Rollo May.
I love how he describes emptiness and aloneness. How he talks about performing for others instead of being a self. Articulate, philosophical AND easy to read.
I feel impassioned and inspired to engage life on an existential level.
Nov 11, 2013 Vivek rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book on the importance of knowing one self. It reassured me that the agonies one is facing is in fact good because that is an indication that one is not comfortable with the present state of being and that would lead to seeking to know yourself more.
May 04, 2010 Todd rated it it was amazing

I am saddened that this sort of thinking and analysis has not emerged more publicly in our society. We could all learn a lot and truly improve the world starting with right here between my own ears.
Jun 28, 2014 Stella rated it it was amazing
a good companion for a couple of days, as I'm living the struggle of "what do I like/want to do in life" it made me feel at least that it's not so strange not to know the answer as we seldom experience and assert ourselves.
Sep 02, 2010 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who realizes a higher consciousness of self
Shelves: 2010, psychology
A great summation on the psychology of self. Highly recommend it, a great mind-blowing thought-provoking book.
Joshua Yoon
Sep 18, 2012 Joshua Yoon rated it it was amazing
This is a great way to look at yourself and improve your own character.
Rollo May is an excellent psychiatrist and really makes good points about some misconceptions and morality.
May 12, 2015 James rated it it was amazing
Very insightful, incredibly well written, in a very straight forward, almost matter-a-fact sort of way.
I would recommend this book to anyone.
Aug 09, 2012 Mo rated it it was amazing
A book to be re-read. I read it first as an undergraduate, once during grad school, and now I think it is time yet again.
Bill Bunn
Jun 30, 2012 Bill Bunn rated it it was amazing
This is a winner. Rollo May shares some profound insight into the problems of our world. Wish he was still alive. I would like to go for coffee with him.
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Rollo May (April 21, 1909 – October 22, 1994) was an American existential psychologist. He authored the influential book Love and Will during 1969.

Although he is often associated with humanistic psychology, his philosophy was influenced strongly by existentialist philosophy. May was a close friend of the theologian Paul Tillich. His works include Love and Will and The Courage to Create, the latter
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“Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don't find themselves at all.” 323 likes
“Finding the center of strength within ourselves is in the long run the best contribution we can make to our fellow men. ... One person with indigenous inner strength exercises a great calming effect on panic among people around him. This is what our society needs — not new ideas and inventions; important as these are, and not geniuses and supermen, but persons who can "be", that is, persons who have a center of strength within themselves.” 104 likes
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