Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Love & Will” as Want to Read:
Love & Will
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Love & Will

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  2,014 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
The heart of man's dilemma, according to Rollo May, is the failure to understand the real meaning of love and will, their source and interrelation. Bringing fresh insight to these concepts, May shows how we can attain a deeper consciousness.
ebook, 352 pages
Published March 7th 2011 by W. W. Norton Company (first published January 1st 1969)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Love & Will, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
My father used to tell a story about growing obsessed with an author as a young man. The name of the author escapes me, but imagine some early-70s Cormac McCarthy: a gifted craftsman of language whose oeuvre spoke so specifically to his admirers that he could do no wrong. My father, living in LA at the time, discovered that this author did not live so far away.

I can't be sure of the mechanics of stalking in the pre-Google era, but somehow the man's address was acquired. My father broke into his
Not my favorite existential psychologist, but Rollo May includes some stellar quotes in Love and Will about sex, ardor, and what it means to truly care about someone or something. I felt that the first two-thirds of the book drifted off into history (e.g. the Victorian era and its implications, Plato's philosophy) and the foundations of psychology (e.g. the Daimonic, lots and lots of Freud) without offering new or relevant ideas. While May does a great job of discussing the strengths and weaknes ...more
Erik Graff
Dec 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Hank Kupjack
Shelves: psychology
In 1971 I dropped out of college and returned home to await prosecution for draft resistance. The return was not all bad. I had felt uncomfortable at Grinnell, initially insecure because of my presumably exceptional virginity and general immaturity (I really was a late bloomer, physically--hadn't yet even shaved), torn between study and political work and social desires. Going home was comfortable, a chance to spend time with old friends.

One of them, the oldest friend going back to Junior High,
Mar 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clinical-work
I like Rollo May, I think. I know, damning with faint praise. Credit where credit is admirably due, however, for parsing good from bad with regard to Freud's legacy, and making an impassioned (and excellent) argument against indiscriminate use of medication ("It is the failure of therapy, rather than its success, when it drugs the daimonic, tranquilizes it, or in other ways fails to confront it head on."). But, at the end of the day, he's just not my favorite existentialist. It took me a long ti ...more
David Kirkpatrick
The heart of man's dilemma, according to Rollo May, is the failure to understand the real meaning of love and will, their source and interrelation. Bringing fresh insight to these concepts, May shows how we can attain a deeper consciousness.An extraordinary book on sex and civilization....An important contribution to contemporary morality. I first read it as a kid when it first came out and I find it as relevant today as it was then....probably May's with meaning.
Dec 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Rollo May was an existential psychologist - this book provides some great insights. Below are some of my favorites:

"The individual completes the creative work vastly relieved and more a person that before - but also maimed. It is the hurt after the struggle, the imminence of a neurotic break, though the person may simultaneously be more a person aft the wrestling. Van Gogh was maimed; Nietzsche was maimed; Kierkegaard was maimed. It is the paradox of consciousness. Assertion and dedication are n
همه آنچه هست، دلانگیز است. آفتاب از فراز کوه سر بر میآورد و سبزی شگفت انگیز با پرمایگی وافرش از دره ژرف سرازیر میشود. گویی درختان در طول شب اندکی قد کشیدهاند و علفزار با میلیونها سوسن وحشی سیاهچشم از هم شکفته است.
این رفت و آمد بیپایان، بازگشت ابدی: روییدن، جفت گیری، مردن و دوباره روییدن را باز حس میکنم. و میدانم آدمیزاد هم بخشی از این رفت و بازگشت ابدی است، بخشی از اندوهش و بخشی از آهنگش.
ولی شعور انسانِ جستوجوگر فرامیخوانَدش تا از این بازگشت ابدی برگذرَد. من نیز مانند دیگرانم جز آنکه جستوجویی مت
Aug 31, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My friend calls it the Existentialist Bible. I like stories and flawed characters. This is one of the only books on psychology I've read. But it got me excited about connecting with the world around my. To reach out and combat apathy. Every page opened me up to positive existentialism. There are also great insights to the psyche of artists. Good stuff.

Rollo May seems to be writing predominantly from the perspective of New Yorkers. Even though it was written in the sixties I found everything to b
Apr 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you ever wanted to read about the banalization of sex in modern society, this is the book for you! While the opening chapters are about the ubiquity of sex, the other chapters explain how this is a counter to old victorianism, and how this affects people (it gives them existential crises! GREAT). The latter chapters deal more with love and will, and they were kind of complicated, so I might have to revisit this book.
Maria Menozzi
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Rollo May. He tells it like it is, psychologically speaking. He gets to the heart of our emotions on both of these subjects and our behavior in turn. Really good stuff.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
کتاب به سه بخش عمده تقسیم شده
عشق _ اراده _ عشق و اراده
برای من ، جذابت ترین بخشْ عشق بود ، بخش اراده وارد مباحث نسبتا تخصصی روانشناسی و رابطه درمانی با بیمار شد که من دنبالش نبودم ولی مباحث جالبی داشت ، بخش سوم نیز حالت جمع بندی و نتیجه گیری داشت .
چرا باید برای این کتاب وقت بگذارید؟
دیدگاه صادق و خشن ، پخته و نوین به عشق و مطالب پیرامونی آن از جمله اراده بود که من را مبهوت کرد . برای نمونه ایشان بدون هیچگونه تعارف یا ابهامی معتقد است عشق غیرعقلانی است و معارض با اراده ی انسان است و بعد دلایل آن را
Jeffrey Howard
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is one of those rare books that enlightens your heart and mind. Rollo May exhibits the power of existential thought as he blends literature, philosophy, linguistics, mythology and history to inform psychotherapy. He provides insights into how meaning-making and myth are central to human thriving.

He elaborates on essential and fundamental concepts to the human condition: eros, daimonic forces, sex, intentionality, free will, integration, authenticity, and creativity.

This book asserts intenti
Khalil James
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absurdly poetic for a book on human psychology, perhaps in accordance with the powerful and enigmatic meanings of the words in the title.

Believing great artists (and psychotics) to be accurate psychological surveyors of society, May litters with the works of influential poets, and references various other art forms, to get his points across.

Questions arise about the motive of such a book: if May intended to create a new paradigm with his conceptulization - which it kinda feels like he did - he
Nov 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
May gives a very impassioned cultural critique of our postmodern times, amazingly, right at the start of it (1969). I value many of his insights, however find some of them a bit dated in the sense that they are limited by his generational outlook, which lacks the cultural broadness of the repertoire of cultural understanding available to us today. Sometimes he ascribes problematic cultural issues to the times we live in, while some of it is more the culmination of the age-old egoic make-up of Ma ...more
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, Mr. May. Thank you for this.

Love and Will, as necessary human emotions, have become almost indecipherable in our age of technology. Love and WIll showcases that all is not lost. Though the human experience has been confounded in our era of transition, Rollo May helps delineate the interconnectedness of both love and will. Without love, we cannot will. Without will, there is no love. It's a heavy read, but well worth the struggle... which may just epiomize the main point of the novel: both l
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this back in 2010 and reread this month because it is easily the most seminal work on psychotherapy I have come across. I was lucky to have read it before beginning grad school, as it gave me invaluable perspective. I cant believe I haven't written a review for it. I'll try and update when I have it handy but the gist is that it's a must read: gorgeous writing, big ideas, timeless, and refreshing. It's a gorgeous read.
recommended by another author--it's a series of essays written in the 1960s and before by Rollo May who was/is a psychologist or something--some of his ideas are really lovely, many seem very out of touch with current reality. The parts of the book about love were lovely--the parts about will rather difficult for me to follow.
David Santa cruz
This is one of my favorite books, a very enjoyable read. However due to the time period the book was published there was an obvious debilitation in my youthful love life. In peace with the old i don't regret coming across the beauty and knowledge of this book.
Garrett Dunnington
The is the most fundamental introduction to May and maybe also an original introduction to Existentialism, Phenomenology and Experiential Psychology.
Jay H. Hahn
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most challenging books that I have read in a long while.
The work can best be described as an extended paper addressed to the field of psychoanalysis, focusing on the suite of 'positive' emotions, labeled as love (eros), and theoretical underpinnings of action and change. The action and change he calls 'will,' and the chief of the underpinnings he refers to as 'intentionality.' He puts forth a case for his perspectives on these subjects, love and will, and then seeks to describ
Aug 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. I didn't get a lot out of this one. The Hungry Mind list of 100 best books of the 20th century has been more encompassing--fewer dead white guys, more voices, a decent focus on the end of the century. But I don't know why this book is on there. Maybe it was more influential than I realize--many of the things he discusses felt like stuff I already knew. The psychologizing of everyday life means that many of his insights are already known to people, because we have been taught to understand " ...more
Mary Karpel-Jergic
I started reading this book ages ago, found it less interesting than expected so put it down and subsequently let it gather dust on my book shelf. I decided to revisit and finish and to attempt to articulate what I learned from Rollo May's perspective on love and will.

The book's first copyright was 1969 and the content reflects this era. However it was reprinted in 2007 so there must be relevance remaining today. It is deeply psychoanalytical and philosophical and is littered with literary refer

I wish I remembered more of the specific content, but I found much of Love and Will difficult to absorb, and my reading was stretched over several months. M. Scott Peck’s book The Road Less Traveled, which led me to Love and Will, contains some similar ideas and is more accessible to a mainstream audience. Both books are—to use Peck’s language—concerned with the importance of facing life’s problems and extending ourselves (practicing love) for our own good and for the good of others.

May’s book
Noor Alhuda
Couldn't get past page 200. I loved what he had to say about the Victorian era and how we aren't exactly "liberated" from the puritanical notions of that time, rather there's been a superficial flip in the direction of sex-obsession. Other interesting things... Describes our world to be characteristically "schizoid," which I am so feeling right now. He mentions the dehumanizing effects of technology and the rise in neurosis/anxiety, that anxiety is no longer considered a symptom of pathology but ...more
William Berry
I started reading this book in June, along with a couple of others. I want to learn as much about love as I can, and considering I teach some of May’s thoughts on it, I figured this was a good choice. It was definitely the tougher of the reads I’ve done lately. I’ve found books by great thinkers of era’s ago are difficult for me. Maybe writing has been watered down to a point where even with a graduate degree more eloquently written arguments seem cumbersome.

Whatever the case may be, May’s book
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Η αλληλεξάρτηση έρωτα και θέλησης έγκειται στο ότι και οι δυο λέξεις περιγράφουν το άτομο καθως τείνει το χέρι, καθώς κινείται προς τον κόσμο, καθώς προσπαθεί να επιδράσει σε άλλους ανθρώπους ή στα άψυχα όντα, καθώς ανοίγεται για να επηρεαστεί το ίδιο. Πλάθει, διαμορφώνει, σχετίζεται με τον κόσμο ή διεκδικεί τη σχέση του κόσμου μαζί του. ... Η απάθεια, το μη πάθος, είναι απόσυρση του συναισθήματος-μπορεί να ξεκινάει από το cool, την επιτηδευμένη πρακτική να μένεις αδιάφορος και ανεπηρέαστος...έ ...more
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
May's insight in to the usefulness of anxiety is a powerful rebuke to today's "positive thinking" cult. And his claim that true love requires volition and intention is a relief in our current culture of "let's see what happens" romance.

On the other hand, May's insistence on defining what constitutes true love between people as a love that is higher than mere sexual love can be deservedly lampooned as Victorian, but is really as old as the Greeks. It is the idea that we should shun passions and e
a bit too much apparently post-victorian shit for my hard working girl's post-industrial money. despite the fact that the author does make a good point from time to time (he is quite observant and precise, i must give him that). i actually spent several evenings arguing with him in kindle notes (it somehow made up for the fact that he is long dead by now and can not actively participate in a dialogue). i am sad to conclide that this book is worth reading only as a source for reseach on a history ...more
Pascal Christeller
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, love
I absolutely love this book. Goes great with Lacan, Arendt and Nietzsche. The beginning is a little bit outdated but the themes are ultimately human in the Western world and he touches on many of the problems which couples face today! I could use this book as reference as the sources are extremely rich, and satisfying. Plus he uses such a wide variety of sources it is insightful in other people's connections and theories. The daemonic, the mythos of care and intentionality. Excellent!
Okşan Tavaslıoğlu
"İlgi önemlidir çünkü günümüzde eksik olan şey odur. Üniversite kampüslerindeki ayaklanmalarda ve ülkenin her tarafına yayılan isyanlarda, genç insanların savaştığı şey, o sızan, yavaşça ilerleyen hiçbigr şeyin önemli olmadığı kanaatidir; üstün gelen o, kişinin hiçbir şey yapamayacağı hissidir. Tehdit, kayıtsızlıktır, katılmamadır, dış uyaranlara sarılmadır. Aldırış bunun panzehiridir."
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics
  • Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis
  • The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
  • Toward a Psychology of Being
  • Gestalt Therapy Verbatim
  • Existential Psychotherapy
  • On Being a Therapist
  • Identity: Youth and Crisis
  • The Birth and Death of Meaning: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Problem of Man
  • The Politics of Experience/The Bird of Paradise
  • The Problem of the Puer Aeternus (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 87)
  • A Way of Being
  • Psyche and Symbol: A Selection from the Writings of C.G. Jung
  • The Science of Living
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
More about Rollo May...

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“The poet, like the lover, is a menace on the assembly line.” 35 likes
“It is dangerous to know, but it is more dangerous not to know.” 28 likes
More quotes…