Archives de catégorie : Des livres en anglais



The Path to Love: Spiritual Strategies for Healing, by Deepak Chopra, explores the topic of love from a left-hand, spiritual, green perspective, with its basic premise that we ARE love and that we are lovable the way we are. In essence, Chopra—like so many other spiritual teachers—makes a convincing case that our capacity for human love is a direct reflection of the depth and embodiment of our psychological health, spiritual realization, and level of ego transcendence—the three areas that support us in removing blocks to love such as anger, fear, egotism, insecurity, and mistrust (page 14). His book is a wonderful complement to this rather technical Integral relationship manual, as it addresses the idealistic and
spiritual dimension with emotional insight, depth, and many heartwarming stories, for example when he states that “A man and a woman can reflect divine love in their love for each other.” He offers a path that unites (or equates) spirit with romantic love by outlining the benefits of giving and receiving of affection, the psychosomatic stressors in the absence of love (pages 29-50), the four states of love (attraction, infatuation, courtship, and intimacy—page 64), positive thinking, realistic expectations, avoiding projections, equality, surrender that fosters (sexual) intimacy, non-
attachment, allowing, passion (for life), and cultivating inspiration/ecstasy.
As always when ignoring certain quadrants and vertical levels, we get a limited view, and this book is no exception, as it downplays or ignores perspectives of the right-hand quadrants and worldviews of orange and below (even though he mentions lower and higher levels of the seven chakras on pages 316-321). It is however a wonderful guide for lovers in green and above who see partnership predominantly as a spiritual path.

Undefended Love, by Jett Psaris and Marlena Lyons, may be the most radical book to address the upper left-hand quadrant from a GREEN altitude. This book for committed couples was inspired by the work of A. H. Almaas and other spiritual psychologists. The focus throughout is to uncover the essential self by transcending any emotional defenses that may prevent unconditional (or undefended) love. By claiming that our essential capacity to love lies within and does not depend on a loving, compatible, or perfect partner, the authors outline various false identities and defenses that we have developed to avoid re-experiencing the psychological wounds that were inflicted upon us during childhood. The book offers many useful practical exercises (see pages 55, 68, 76, 89, and 155) that support readers in owning their emotional reactions to their partner’s reality and to effectively uncover, release, and heal old pain. This allows for ever-increasing healthy closeness (intimacy) that the book clearlydifferentiates from unhealthy codependency. By learning how to stop reacting to a partner’s reality and moving from needs (or neediness) into “no-preference,” (pages 139-150), the authors suggest that we can co-create partnerships that don’t require any agreements (page 97) or certain agreeable behaviors from our partner (pages 18-20).
The premise of this book is highly challenging, especially for women, as it takes an ascending approach (being present) and requires healthy descending (surrender) in a partnership. Since it ignores all other quadrants and addresses couples instead of singles, it gets lost on many GREEN women who avoid partnerships with men for the very reasons that are outlined in the book, such as “I love myself too much to endure any more pain in a partnership,” “it is on men to become more conscious,” “a man needs to have status and money to be worthy of me,” etc. Undefended Love is
the perfect guide to support couples in second-tier to heal their remaining UL psychological wounds.

How to Be an Adult in Relationship: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving, by David Richo, starts with the premise that “all the love in the world will not bring us happiness or make a relationship work. That requires skill [and practice], and this skill is quite attainable” (page 1). According to him, most people feel loved when they receive the five A’s: (1) attention, (2) acceptance, (3) appreciation, (4) affection, and (5) are allowed the freedom to live in accord with their deepest needs and wishes. The ability to bestow these five elements unconditionally onto a partner—and ultimately the world—requires working through childhood and personal conundrums, and the practice of compassionate mindfulness and ego transcendence,
which transforms relationships into a path of psychological healing and spiritual growth. The book discusses each of the five A’s and how they apply to childhood wounds, relationships, and spiritual maturity—with the goal that the reader becomes a more loving person, with the world as his or her beneficiary. After the obligatory chapters on healing psychological wounds in part one of the book, part two provides advice on (1) choosing a partner who meets a list of criteria (page 85), 488 (2) providing “full disclosure” of positive and negative character traits, (3) rising in love (instead of falling into addictive behaviors) during the romance phase, with a helpful list to identify the difference between the two on pages 118-119, (4)
dealing with conflicts (if need be with the help of a therapist), (5) introverted and extroverted types, (6) healthy conflict versus stressful drama, (7) neediness versus needs, (8) fear of abandonment and engulfment (see list on pages 165-166), (9) jealousy, (10) infidelity, (11) letting go of ego, and (12) ending a relationship—with a list on pages 203-204 that can help to make this often difficult choice. Part three of the book is dedicated to
the spiritual potentials of committed partnerships between soul mates who support each other in their healing and growth.
As many other authors who address singles and couples at the green level, Richo calls them to balance and harmonize the four drives in the interior quadrants through psychosocial healing and a spiritual practice that will allow them to move into second-tier consciousness, where healthy committed partnerships between opposites and equals can become a reality. Unlike others, he has a talent to interweave spiritual and therapeutic aspects with pragmatic advice on how to choose a partner and make a relationship work.

Love and Awakening: Discovering the Sacred Path of Intimate Relationship, by John Welwood, presents a “psychospiritual” approach to relationships that focuses largely on the upper left-hand quadrant. He believes that we can know another, and be known, only as deeply as we know ourselves. To create a sacred relationship that reaches beyond amber duty and orange pleasure requires coming into a deeper connection with our true essential nature—both psychological and spiritual. Seen in this light, love becomes a path of awakening—rousing us from a sleep of old,
unconscious patterns into the freshness and immediacy of living more fully in the present, in accord with who we really are (introduction, page XIII).
Defining love as “be-ing fully present” in the moment (page 3) without having or doing, he notes that most couples are not really there with each other. What separates them are outer pressures of life and inner obstacles such as old beliefs, emotional reactions, fears, and patterns of denial and avoidance (page 6). By confronting these obstacles, they can regain their capacity for compassion, which is the antidote to human suffering (page 13). According to Welwood, there is no time to lose, because only between one person and another can the renewal of our world begin (introduction, page XVI). The chapters that follow outline how humans develop a false self and unconscious identity (ego) during childhood that becomes defensive when a romantic partner brings them up against the prison walls of their personality structure—which needs to be pushed against before it can be broken through (Sartre—hell is other people—page 32). In Chapter four, Welwood distinguishes between a universal kind of love that we can feel towards many human beings and the unique connection that soul mates (which he calls worthy opponents—page 54)
experience as “the opening of a further dimension—seeing and loving each other for who they could become under each other’s influence” (page 50). Overcoming the inner enemy that is all too often projected outwardly onto our partner is the topic of chapter five, which opens with a Hermann Hesse quote: “Whenever we hate someone, we are hating some part of ourselves that we see in that person. We don’t get worked up about anything that is not in ourselves.” As soul mates bring out the best and worst in each other (see chapter six, co-emergence, pages 95-99) they can use their partnership for transformation once they realize that their conflicts are rooted in a “fourfold truth” (page 103)—each partner’s objective
behavior and distorted emotional reaction. Working with the chaos of conflict by bringing the shadow into the open (page 126) through truth–telling (pages 131-138), exposing the raw edges (pages 138-139), and no-fault listening (pages 139-142) will lead to a new birth of consciousness, which is the topic of chapters seven, eight, and nine. Chapter ten outlines the inner marriage of the feminine yin and masculine yang—the balancing and harmonizing of agency, communion, ascending, and descending. 489 The next chapter is dedicated to men in relationship because “despite all their
expertise in worldly affairs, they are still primitives in their relationships with women—because fully engaging with a woman means probing the uncharted depths of their own inner life. “This is the new frontier for men today” (pages 181-182). In “the dialectic of male (animus) development,” Welwood calls for “a different brand of heroism” that overcomes men’s fear of women and to meet them “with an open heart and mind, to be receptive to what they have to teach or to hold their own ground in the face of their emotional intensity or earthy strength” (page 184). Seeing the feminine as activator (the anima that animates ), balancing his strength and softness, and channeling his forcefulness (anger and potency) in a
conscious and mindful way, can be used in the service of his sacred vision and purpose (page 199). In the final two short chapters, “Suchness and magic” and “The broken-hearted warrior and the renewal of the world” Welwood reminds us that the deeper meaning of love is not to get our needs met by an object of our desire, but a longing for the sacred presence that lies at the heart of our being and at the heart of the world. Intimate relationship is therefore the outer reflection of this sacred love affair (page 231), and “broken hearts” are actually “hearts that are broken open” to
this deeper reality (page 236). Like most other green books, Love and Awakening ignores aspects of the right-hand quadrants, but is a wonderful book for green and second-tier couples who want to explore and deepen the sacred dimension of their partnership.

The Heart’s Wisdom: A Practical Guide to Growing through Love, by Joyce and Barry Vissell, is the latest book by this couple that has walked their talk since they met in 1964, married in 1968, and started to teach relationship seminars in 1972. Interlacing many personal stories from their own journey, workshop participants, and clients, the Vissells introduce their readers to the importance of a committed love relationship as a soul mirror that allows the couple to see parts of themselves that would otherwise remain invisible (page 3). At the heart of their book are three upper-left RED/ GREEN beliefs: (1) that love continuously brings us back to ourselves, (2) that each of us is ultimately in relationship with ourselves, and (3) that this inner relationship is the spiritual path that most of us in Western culture are following (page 20). Hence their teaching embraces the idea that we cannot open to the fullness of love until we stop pointing the finger at our partner and see ourselves as the source of all our feelings, includingour reactions, independent of what he or she did to cause them (page 24). They follow the masculine logic that a deeper view of ourselves provides a deeper view of everyone else (page 22) and that who we are attracted to or repelled by represents aspects of our psyche that we need to cultivate or deal with in a better way (page 23) in ourselves. While they acknowledge that a deep connection with another soul is one of life’s most precious treasures (page 26), they frequently return to the importance of agency and the connection to the self, which can be contradictory and confusing at times, as they don’t seem to make the leap to see the relationship as a new whole. The book, which is not very linear in its approach and sometimes mixes pre-conventional believes with post-conventional experiences, has 23 chapters that cover topics such as gratitude and appreciation, constructive criticism, unspiritual and spiritual partners, overcoming fears and doubts, codependence and interdependence, learning from the mirror, anger management, saying “no,” passion and compassion, dealing with jealousy and disappointment, relationship transitions, being of service, and making love last. Each chapter closes with questions and suggestions for practices that allow motivated couples to deepen
their heart connection by strengthening their ego (sense of self, self-esteem, self-love, boundaries etc.) instead of transcending it, while making their partnership central to their life. This book seems most suitable for green and above couples with her on an ascending ego-strengthening, and him on a descending ego-transcending path.


If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love On a Spiritual Path, by Charlotte Kasl, provides a short and easy read for singles who seek a vibrant human relationship based on authenticity, equality, spirituality, and joy (page xiv). Drawing from Buddhism, Sufism, and Christianity, part one focuses on grounding through spiritual wisdom, such as awareness, compassion, and loving kindness, that leads to transcendence of needy desires or fears to be in a relationship, which she describes as manifestations of the egoic mind. Chapters six and fourteen cover the dance of oneness (communion) and separateness (agency), followed by her insight on page 44 that dating and relationship advice for red and amber
singles focuses on understanding and accepting the differences between men and women, that orange experts encourage the sexes to express themselves authentically, and that green teachers do not differentiate between the two. Part two of the book is dedicated to attracting a partner who is an equal on the level of: physical/material, intellect, interests, values/lifestyle, psychological/emotional, creativity/passion, spiritual, essence, and
sexuality (pages 62-68 and 120-127),, with chapters containing practical examples to formulate what we want and have to give in these areas (pages 7581), when to trust our attraction to another person (pages 81-84), how to free the heart from unfinished business of the past (pages 85-93), and how to open up wholeheartedly to a love relationship without reservations (pages 94-96.) Part three covers the actual dating process with chapters on staying conscious and going slow, how to overcome fears, first dates, children and dating, sexuality, and giving and receiving. Part four dives into the process of choosing a mate who will join us on a spiritual path, covering how to deal with fear and ambivalence, tonglin (often spelled tonglen) meditation for healing and compassion, four lists to set a bottom line (1) unacceptable behavior of others, (2) unacceptable behavior of our own, (3) rationalizations and stories we use to disregard our bottom line, and (4) consequences of disregarding our bottom line or not taking care
of ourselves), handling obsessions, astrology, and graphology. The penultimate chapter instructs the reader how to go deeper with a partner to create a “durable fire” and how to deal with the bittersweet moments of love, before the final chapter reminds us of the universe’s gift of a lover, with a 14-point list to rate the doubts, fears, and joys that partners may experience in their love relationship. Written from a feminine left-hand perspective, the book also addresses practical lower right-hand strategies and how to balance agency and communion. It is highly recommended for green singles of both sexes who want to attract/find a partner to join them on a spiritual Buddhist path.

Calling In “The One”: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life, by Katherine Woodward Thomas, starts with her confession that—despite her longings to be in partnership—she was “unconsciously” unavailable to good available men until a friend asked her what she was avoiding by choosing to be alone in life (page xvi). In her early forties, childless and never married, she started to take responsibility for her attitude and hidden agendas that made her avoid love, material abundance, and commitment. A few weeks after this decision she reconnected with an old lover that she had turned down twice before, soon after got married to him, had a child, and has been doing the “happily ever after thing” for several years now.
From her own experience and work as a psychotherapist, she realized that there is a huge chasm between wanting to find an ideal partner and being truly available for that partner when he appears (page xxi). Based on this insight she developed a seven-week course with 7 x 7 = 49 lessons that instruct women to take the less-traveled intimidating and frightening path that leads to freedom from the past and love in the future, instead of repeating the same old safe patterns that ultimately lead to more of the same disappointments.
Week one, “Preparing For Love,” is dedicated to honoring the human need for others and making the space for love.
Week two, “Completions,” contains lessons on how to let go of the past and relinquish unconscious patterns.
Week three, “Healing Core Wounds,” provides suggestions for healing old childhood wounds, releasing old beliefs, and reclaiming the disowned self.
Week four, “Setting Your Course,” outlines how to set clear intentions, clarify the soul’s purpose, receive inner guidance, and make wise choices.
Week five “First Things First,” focuses on making commitments, body acceptance, a woman’s sense of self-esteem, sexual healing, and cultivating solitude.
Week six “A Life Worth Living,” makes suggestions on being happy, listening with an open heart, and speaking up.
Week seven “Living Love Fulfilled,” teaches how to move from “me” to “we,” and to live a loving enchanted life.
The book provides an upper left-hand spiritual, idealistic, “law of attraction” path to love that will speak to attractive new-age RED and GREEN women, as well as Sensitive New Age Guys (SNAGs).


The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire, by David Deida, is one of several books by this author that focus on the spiritual and sexual dimensions of the feminine and masculine polarity between men and women (for his other books see the Bibliography below). It challenges men to grow beyond the macho-jerk, “all spine but no heart,” and the sensitive New-Age wimp “all heart but no spine” ideals by mastering the second-tier challenges of living an authentic masculine life while embracing the feminine in themselves and in women. Although written for heterosexual men with a masculine essence (page 10), this controversial book is mostly read by women who are either outraged by Deida’s suggestions that women want to be sexually taken, fucked, and ravished by a man with an unabashed masculinity, or yearn to be with a partner as described by him. In the introduction, Deida outlines how society has moved from clearly divided feminine/masculine gender roles that are found up to amber, into a 50/50 sameness—with a disappearance of sexual attraction/polarity—in orange, and a complete role reversal in green. The 52 short chapters that follow are divided into 8 parts that cover (1) A Man’s Way—how to live fearlessly on the edge of your authentic purpose NOW, (2) Dealing with Women—that her words usually express momentary “nonlinear” feelings/emotions instead of logical finite positions, and how to stay present and love her in the NOW, (3) Working with Polarity and Energy–outlining the masculine desire for pleasurable oneness with the feminine, (4) What Women Really Want—the committed, unwavering man of her
choosing with a directed divine masculine presence and integrity that she can trust, (5) Your Dark Side—a man’s drive towards freedom and to “fuck it or kill it” that attracts the feminine, (6) Feminine Attractiveness—the masculine desire for the union of its consciousness with the fullness of life in general, and a woman’s body in particular, (7) Body Practices—how to control and “redirect” ejaculation up the spine through conscious breathing, and (8) Men’s and Women’s Yoga of Intimacy—how to balance the masculine life mission/purpose with the feminine need for connection/flow that fosters love between couples and their capacity to be of service to others.
The Way of the Superior Man will elude or annoy most men in ORANGE and below, and provoke, frustrate, or disturb men in GREEN, as it challenges them to evolve into second-tier consciousness. If your partner reads or suggests this book to you, it is a clear sign that she yearns for you to lead with your masculine while deeply connecting with her through your feminine.


In their essence, all relationship self-help books give advice to singles and/or couples on how to effectively balance and harmonize agency and communion at a particular Kosmic Address. Picking the book that best addresses the quadrant and level of consciousness/ pathology at which the relationship problem occurs is therefore crucial for its effectiveness.
Visit for additional book reviews.

Martin Ucik



Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, by Helen Fisher, provides an in-depth analysis of the upper right-hand chemical processes in our bodies and brains that are experienced when we feel attracted, fall in love, commit ourselves, or get left by a partner. As an anthropologist, she identifies our deep-seated desire to have our Primary Fantasy met (to experience chemistry and to fall in love) as hardwired into our brains through millions of years of evolution. Through brain scans and chemical analysis she was able to link the states of sexual lust, infatuation, romance, commitment, and heartbreak to specific hormones and brain activities. Even though (or because) it grossly reduces love to
the upper right-hand quadrant, it is a perfect, fascinating, and contemporary companion to all other relationship books.

Real Love: The Truth About Finding Unconditional Love & Fulfilling Relationships, by Greg Baer, addresses orange and below that is
engaging in what he calls “imitation love” of getting (demanding what makes us happy—or else) and protecting (emotional wounds) versus “real love” or “unconditional love.” His rational right-hand approach suggests making our partner happy by swallowing any kind of behavior by him or her without having expectations, emotionally reacting, blaming, fixing, or criticizing—unless a promise is broken (pages 54-55). According to Baer, we will attract a partner who sees, accepts, and loves us for who we are if we are truthful about ourselves without protecting our childhood wounds. In
an interesting section about choice (pages 37-40) he outlines that we can either live with our relationship and like it, live with it and hate it, or leave it (for example if our partner is physically abusive—see page 233). As the title suggests, Baer often talks about “The Truth” and therefore gets frequently stuck in “performative contradictions,” as he assumes that happiness is derived from doing (behavior) instead of being, and does not recognize vertical development or the interior (unconscious, healing, and growth). However, the book is certainly useful for angry people (a major
theme) who suffer and cause suffering to others by living in constant opposition to life and their partner.

Getting The Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, by Harville Hendrix, addresses unconscious childhood wounds that either lead to what he calls “unconscious marriages” that are codependent and full of power struggles or a “conscious marriage” in which the couple learns to heal and grow by (1) closing the exits (dedicating themselves to healing and growth instead of leaving), (2) creating a zone of safety, (3) engaging in pleasurable activities (creating intimacy), (4) increasing knowledge of themselves and their partner through better communication (active listening, mirroring, validation, and empathy), 485 and (5) containing rage. His BLUE/ORANGE approach covers all four quadrants by drawing from a number of disciplines, including the behavioral sciences, depth psychology, cognitive therapy, and Gestalt therapy, but ignores vertical development. Out of his own experiences in a failed marriage and his work with thousands of singles and couples, he and his current wife developed Imago Couples Therapy which is outlined in 10 steps and 16 exercises in Part III of the book. Hendrix’s classic book (not to be confused with pop psychology
authors Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks’s 25+ books, and academic researchers Clyde and Susan Handrick’s work—see Bibliography below) is profound and practical, with many stories and examples. The advice and exercises are helpful for modern and postmodern couples who truly want to enter the challenging path of mutual healing and growth inside their partnership, instead of choosing the easy way out through divorce.

The New Rules Of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work, by Terrence Real, is yet another book that recognizes how the
liberation of modern women at the end of the twentieth century challenged men who want to be in a partnership not to only be successful protectors and providers, but also to be emotionally available (pages 6-9). It provides “a new set of rules that can help men become more responsible and more emotionally available while helping women become less resentful and more effective.” Real defines intimacy as “a process of connection [receiving and transmitting] in the five areas of human experience: intellectual, emotional, physical [social], sexual, and spiritual” (pages 21-24)
which essentially covers the four quadrants. He advises men to take an inventory in these five areas and to start practicing their intimacy skills (pages 2532). Chapter two focuses on five losing strategies that prevent intimacy: (1) needing to be right, (2) controlling your partner, (3) unbridled self-expression, (4) retaliation, and (5) withdrawal. By learning to stop projecting their childhood related CNI’s (Core Negative Images) onto their partner, couples can break the vicious cycle of losing strategies by addressing psychological boundary violations such as yelling and screaming, name-calling, shaming or humiliating, telling what the other should do, breaking agreements/contracts, lying, and manipulating—if need be through individual psychotherapy (page 104). Developing good boundaries (staying protected AND connected) and healthy self-esteem (your intrinsic worth and value as a human being) become the foundation for the level of intimacy that the reader hopes to generate (pages 120-157). The failure
to do so is illustrated by a grid on page 147 (resembling the four unhealthy feminine/masculine polarities) with grandiosity ascending), shame (descending), boundaryless (communion), and walled-off (agency) as their coordinates. The ability to balance and harmonize the four polarities in a healthy way leads to the five winning strategies of (1) shifting from complaint to request, (2) speaking out with love, (3) responding with generosity, (4) empowering each other, and (5) cherishing [what you have] that are outlined in detail and with practices on pages 163-279. The New Rules Of Marriage will work best for ORANGE couples with a willingness to rescue and improve their partnership by learning how to (1) identify their wants and needs, (2) listen well and respond generously, (3) set limits and stand up for themselves, (4) know when to back off, (5) know when to get help, (6) know when to embrace what they have with appreciation and gratitude, (7) share themselves and receive their partner, and (8) actively cherish
each other (page 18) by becoming more emotionally available.
Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships, by David Schnarch, has become a classic of the genre, integrating for the first time sex therapy (body) and couples counseling (mind). Starting out with the question “If sex is a natural function, why are some people not responding or not willing to respond?” (page 41), he found the answer in misconceptions about sexual behavior and emotional blocks which prevent deeper intimacy between couples, to which his answer is—you guessed it—ongoing healing and personal development.
According to Schnarch, this healing and development can be accomplished by focusing on the present without unearthing childhood wounds. Hence, the book is about resilience rather than damage, health rather than old wounds, and human potential rather than trauma (page 43). In a process he calls “differentiation” (pages 53-74), which balances and harmonizes individuality (agency) and togetherness (communion)—or to be simultaneously a whole and a part—he establishes the importance of self-validated (versus other-validated) emotional intimacy through sharing of feelings and thoughts independent of our partner’s “validation” (pages 106-111), which leads to a more satisfying sex life and fulfilling marriage. At
the end of part one of the book we learn that “the brain/heart is our largest sex organ” (page 134) that generates sexual desire, and about its role in experiencing erections, sexual joy, and orgasm.
Part two of Passionate Marriage focuses on practical strategies for emotional and sexual connection, with chapters on hugging till relaxed, kissing and love making with open eyes, eyes-open orgasm, the mental dimensions of sexual experience (such as staying present in your body or with your partner during sex), and finally “fucking, doing, and being done”—a chapter on uninhibited wet sex.Part three of the book is titled “Observations on the Process,” with chapters on the dilemma of choice between agency and communion, 486 holding on to yourself during conflict (self-mastery, self-control, learning about yourself, confronting yourself, self-validated intimacy, taking care of yourself—page 324), couples in the crucible of growth (balancing growth and stability—page 355), and the last chapter on sex, love, and death in which—surprise—he discovers Wilber’s book Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality . From it he picks the four drives of a holon (and ignores everything
else) which resemble his model of differentiation and “explains” hy couples who continuously differentiate and integrate grow in consciousness towards more spiritual and Integral awareness and hence Integral Relationships. WOW!
In his conclusion, Schnarch outlines that partners who share underlying values (level of consciousness) can change their behavior without losing their individual identity. This allows them to want for their partner what he or she wants, instead of changing each other to get their own way. Even though this lengthy 432-page book looks at relationships from a left-hand perspective and only differentiates between pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional stages, it may be the most Integral relationship book and speaks to sex-positive and radical growth-oriented ORANGE and above couples.

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, by Sue Johnson (hardcover edition) is a new bestseller and concludes that “A sense of secure [emotional] connection between romantic partners is key in positive loving relationships and a huge source of strength for the individuals in those relationships” (page 22). Inspired by the findings of British psychiatrist John Bowlby, Johnson developed Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT), which has a simple message: “Forget about learning how to argue better, analyze your early childhood, making grand romantic gestures, or experimenting with new sexual positions. Instead, recognize and admit that you are emotionally attached to and dependent on your partner in much the same way that a child is on a parent for nurturing, soothing, and protection” (page 7). Her therapy—which claims a 70-75 % success rate (page 7) for her self-selecting clients—is based on three components that encourage emotional connection: (1) Accessibility: Can I reach you? (2) Responsiveness: Can I rely on you to respond to me emotionally? (3) Engagement: Do I know you will value me and stay close? (pages 49-50). These components are exemplified in “Seven Transformative Conversations” (pages 63-203) that are titled (1) Recognizing the Demon Dialogs, (2) Finding the Raw Spots, (3) Revisiting a Rocky Moment, (4) Hold Me Tight, (5) Forgiving Injuries, (6) Bonding Through Sex andTouch, and (7) Keeping Your Love Alive. The process is similar to non-violent communication, which teaches owning and sharing of feelings, and asking partners to meet emotional needs for connection. Unlike Passionate Marriage (which suggests using relationship-conflict for healing and personal growth by balancing and harmonizing healthy agency and communion), and How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It (which advises couples to break the fear/shame cycle by taking responsibility for their own feelings and behavior), Hold Me Tight advocates for undifferentiated dependence (communion) and requires reciprocity to work. Written from a feminine perspective of need for emotional safety (page
22) and fear if it is lost (page 30), Hold Me Tight claims that “healthy dependence is the essence of romantic love” (page 253) and that men, in addition to being providers and protectors, need to learn that to “cuddle and connect emotionally is vital for a healthy love relationship” (page 255).
It is therefore best suited for orange couples who transition into green and want to rescue their marriage, and women who are in relationship with emotionally needy green men. People in second-tier will most likely find the attachment- and need-driven approach to be unbalanced and counterproductive to their healing and growth, while it is unlikely that amber and below will be able to master the required “interior” emotional work.


Is He Mr. Right?: Everything You Need to Know Before You Commit by Mira Kirshenbaum (hardcover edition) is the typical book for attractive and affluent single orange women who seek the elusive good-looking, successful, and entertaining “hot guy” who also makes them feel secure by being able to control his negative emotions (anger) and commits himself exclusively to give her his time and money (see cover with the man on his knees holding a diamond ring and pages 74-95, “Hot Guy/Safe Guy Ping Pong” ).
As we know there is a big discrepancy in our modern society between the many attractive and successful orange women who look for such men, and the few available bachelors who fit both, the “Hot” and “Safe” criteria. Since there is no shortage of so called duds (loser men—pages 95-108) who compete for attractive orange women, Is He Mr. Right focuses on getting rid of the ones who don’t fit both criteria as quickly as possible.
According to Kirshenbaum, the criterion for Mr. Right is NOT compatibility, but how he feels in five dimensions of what she calls chemistry (pages 11-38); (1) comfortable and close, (2) safe, (3) fun to be with, (4) sexually attractive, (5) respectable by being smart, powerful, and successful—and respectful of her ambition and accomplishments. If any of these areas do not feel 100% right, dump the dud and move on (pages 61-72 “Can You Dump The Duds” )—otherwise he is a keeper and everything else will work itself out (pages 132-135 “Chemistry trumps lifestyle differences” ). If this strategy does not work for a woman, it may be that she is not ready for a partnership because of unresolved issues from past relationships (pages 139-152), lack of self love (pages 153-159), inability to deal with his emotional baggage and financial obligations (pages 160-166), her insecurity (pages 167-181), and/or negative family and peer pressures (pages 182-186).
The final part of the book focuses on “stages” (states) of relationships and what to do: (1) on a first date, interview him about how he spends his time, how he feels about women, how he likes his job, if he has roommates, how his previous relationships ended, how available he is, and any other questions that are important to her (pages 194-195), (2) not to fall in love before it is clear that there is chemistry and that he is hot AND safe —otherwise dump the dud (page 213), (3) not to make a commitment during the love struck-phase, (4) only to have sex when it feels right for her,
not to confuse “horniness” with love, and to see great sex as an important microcosm of the relationship, (5) not to try to work on the relationship if things get worse after the six-month love-struck phase and to say good-bye to the guy (page 235), (6) not to negotiate with him once she is ready to break up and move on (page 246), (7) how to get him on his knees, to offer her a ring, and to drag him to the altar (pages 247-252), and last but not least (8) how to say good bye to Mr. Maybe (page 253). This genre of books (of which there are many—e.g., Barbara DeAnglis’ Are You the One
for Me , Dr. Phil McGraw’s Love Smart: Find the One You Want—Fix the One You Got, or Dale Koppel’s book below) works well for highly attractive career women who are relationship- and sex-positive. They are also a good read for “loser men” who get constantly rejected by attractive women and don’t understand why.
The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Online Dating, by Dale Koppel is an inspiring book for orange career women and men who seek an affluent“fuck buddy” or “friend with benefits” (the author’s words’ pages 89 and 95). It provides very useful tips for a rational and efficient right-hand approach to proactive Internet dating. Its central message is: Don’t sit around and grieve after a breakup, life is too short (the author posted her profile 12 days after her husband of 25 years left her). Get into shape (she is very slender/sexy and had cosmetic surgery), make dating your
second job, take great pictures, make a list of what you want, write a witty profile (consider lying about your age, marital status, drinking habits, and location—pages 24-25), cast a wide net, actively contact all men that look even remotely interesting, quickly eliminate the losers (her favorite wordis “Next!”), learn from your mistakes, meet as soon as possible for a short interview, play the numbers game as efficiently as possible, and stay open to possibilities. The book is well written, contains many pragmatic tips for Internet dating, is succinct, comes to the point, and has some fun little stories. It is recommended for driven single orange women and men, and also serves all men who want to identify women like her before paying for dates, wasting their time, and being humiliated.


Relationship Roulette: Improve Your Odds at Lasting Love by Carol Diamond (hardcover edition) traces “unhealthy” partner choices back to unconscious childhood memories that created a lack of love that later attract adults to a partner with a mutually compatible pathology (chapters 1 and 2). Once smitten, these couples struggle with creating healthy closeness (balancing agency and communion) because they either fear to become engulfed or abandoned (pages 21-23). Page 24 provides a list of early indicators for emotionally unavailable individuals that can’t commit to becoming interdependent. In order to “undo the damage” (page 33), singles are asked if they are fully available to do the healing work and create the necessary space in their life to overcome their ambivalence towards being in a healthy partnership. If the answer is yes, then chapter four provides some basic dating advice, before the author touches on the definition of the word “love” in a historical context in chapter 5, covering the Greek notions of eros, agape, philia, and storge, 487 as well as the opinions of Freud, Jung, and Adler about romance. The following chapters focus on partners that are wrong for each other (page 63) with examples of various (dysfunctional) relationships and living-arrangements that they form.
Chapter 9 covers communication problems between the sexes, followed by some basic advice on how to overcome them (reflective listening, validation, honesty, responding (instead of reacting), showing respect, avoiding projections (called transference and displacement), making “I” statements, negotiation and compromise, and, last but not least, non-verbal behaviors). The final chapter 11 outlines an action plan with examples to (1) recognize your relationship patterns, (2) dentify the changes you want to make, (3) set your goals, (4) develop a plan of action, and (5)
implement your plan. This short and easy to read book focuses on unconscious conditioning in the interior quadrants and provides many stories of dysfunctional couples to illustrate its left-hand approach to finding lasting love.


Stumbling Naked In the Dark: Overcoming Mistakes That Men Make with Women, by Bradley Fenton, is a short book that promises men more sexual success by learning how to be more confident and how to break out of the adversarial game-like patterns that are often created when they approach women in an aggressive way that feels pushy. Instead of using the self-centered red PUA’s techniques (see above) of deception and persuasion, Fenton suggests changing the old behavior patterns of men (who do anything to get sex) and women (who protect themselves from being hurt) that make dating difficult (pages 8-10) by trading the win-lose game for a more assertive, direct, and honest approach. By recognizing the evolutionary condition of women to choose successful providers as mates (pages 21-23), he teaches men to lead by following women’s cues.
Concept one is to develop an “I can take it or leave it” or “selectively indifferent” attitude, the middle path between being a jerk who does not give a shit about her and the desperate neediness of an insecure man (pages 24-47). Concept two covers building trust by making her feel comfortable through skillful conversation techniques that focus on her needs instead of his sexual desires, and by applying NLP techniques such as mirroring of
her body language and communication style (pages 48-60). Concept three involves opening a conversation with a “No” agreement, which puts you at ease to accept her rejection and gets her to say yes more often by putting her in control of her choices (pages 61-66). Concept four teaches how to ask good questions and to listen actively (pages 67-97). Concept five advises to ask her at the end of a first date how interested she is in you on a scale from 1 (not interested) to 10 (very interested and wants to see you again). If the answer is between 7 and 9, he suggests to ask what it
would take to get you to a 10, and to assume that she is ready for physical contact such as kissing—which will lead to sex if you express your desire AND that you want to respect her pace (and you are ready whenever she is). The final concept addresses the removal of roadblocks to success such as fear of approaching women and striking up a natural conversation, negative self-images, need for approval, and sexual neediness. This is a useful little guidebook for men who seek basic advice on how to be more successful with orange women by applying techniques that focus on the lower quadrants.

Martin Ucik



The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm (which sold over 6,000,000 copies worldwide) was written in 1956 and opens with the question of whether love is an art that requires knowledge and effort, or if it is a pleasant sensation that people fall into by chance. In the following pages he advocates for the former, while thinking that most people believe in the latter—wanting to be loved, but not knowing how to love (which seems to be even truer today than it was in 1956). He outlines that any mastery of art requires theory and practice (page 5). According to Fromm, our need for love (return to oneness—versus fusion—or to find at-one-ment) is the most fundamental passion of humans (page 17) that stems from our awareness of separation, which—without reunion by love—is the source of shame, guilt, and anxiety (page 9). The following pages outline developmental stages up into orange, in which “the polarities of the sexes disappear and with them erotic love” and “men and women become the same without opposite poles” (page 15). He then goes on to touch on codependence, ascending (sadism) and descending (masochism), agency and communion, giving and receiving, care, responsibility, respect and knowledge, and the feminine and masculine (pages 18-35). Five objects of love (brotherly, motherly, erotic, self, and God) distinguish between love among equals, love for the helpless (compassion), love for one other person (fusion), self-love and selflessness (love is an active striving for the growth and happiness of the loved person, rooted in one’s own capacity to love, page 55), and various forms of love for God. 484 A chapter on real love and its disintegration in contemporary Western society is followed by a guide for the practice of love, which, according to Fromm, requires qualities such as discipline, presence, patience, faith, humility, concern for others, ability to listen, sensitivity, overcoming one’s narcissism, reason, courage, and fairness.

Writing mainly from a lower quadrant perspective, Fromm is critical of the rogue capitalist ORANGE and New Age narcissistic green worldviews and decries a loss of amber values in relationships and Western societies at large. However, most of his observations in this visionary book are relevant to this day, and have provided the basis for many modern relationship books. It provides a great foundation for singles and couples who want to take an Integral perspective on love relationships and is highly recommended.
The Exceptional Seven Percent: The Nine Secrets of the World’s Happiest Couples by Gregory K. Popcak, covers the two lower quadrants in an exceptional way. Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, he identifies five major categories of marriages (page 24) that vaguely resemble the stages of consciousness from magenta to green. He calls them (1) deadly marriages, (2) shipwrecked marriages, (3) storybook marriages, (4) partnership marriages, and (5) spiritual peer marriages. The latter display exceptional qualities in nine areas: shared vision, fidelity (not only sexual), love, service, rapport, negotiation, gratitude, joy, and sexuality. Through worksheets and quizzes, couples can create what he calls “a
marital imperative” (a shared vision statement) and determine the stage of their marriage for each of the nine crucial areas (pages 7-21). What follows are chapters to sharpen the partnership skills that he identified as crucial for the sustainability of an exceptional marriage. Since Maslow’s hierarchy of needs represents a horizontal translation for each stage of vertical consciousness development (you can be self-actualized at each level), Popcak’s book can serve couples at almost any altitude, including second-tier partnerships. It is highly recommended.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman and Nan Silver, has become a classic among couples and therapists. This amber book opens with a strong argument for the benefits of traditional marriages and the liabilities that result from divorce. After closely monitoring 49 couples for a weekend each in an apartment-like setting called The Seattle Love Lab, Gottman was able to predict with 91 percent accuracy if his clients would soon divorce or stay together, after watching and listening to them for just five minutes (pages 2-3). He found that happy marriages don’t depend on good communication skills, effective conflict resolution, or shared interests, but rather thrive on intimacy and friendship (shared lifestyle, personality, and values, page 23) that are based in seven principles: (1) Enhance your love maps—know about your
spouse’s everyday life, priorities, interests, desires, dreams, goals, etc., (2) nurture your fondness and admiration—remember and appreciate positive qualities in your spouse, (3) turn toward each other instead of away—fill the emotional bank account through active listening, empathy, affection, and validation, (4) let your partner influence you—husbands should listen to their wives, yield, and share power and the decision-making process with them, (5) solve your solvable problems—communicate, be tolerant, and compromise—and accept the irresolvable ones, (6) overcome gridlock—accept and support each spouse’s individual goals and dreams, and (7) create shared meaning—through similar spiritual
values and life purposes.
The overall message of this lower-quadrants focused book is that husbands can make their marriage work if they become less dominant andmore understanding, supportive, emotionally available, and compromising. This is certainly good advice for most conventional couples, but will not prevent most modern and postmodern wives from leaving their relationships.
For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn (hardcover edition) is the perfect little book for conventional men who NEVER read or learned anything about gender differences between the sexes. Written from an amber Christian perspective (page 19) it suggests that “husbands need to love their wives just as Jesus does us—which means to love, serve, and be willing to sacrifice everything for her good, even above our own.” In seven short and to-the-point chapters, the authors explain (1) that even after the wedding
a man needs to constantly reassure his wife of his love and to continually pursue (romance) her, (2) how her painful emotions from the past and nonlinear thinking often prevent her from being rational and that it is not his fault if she suffers, (3) that 70% of [amber] women would choose emotional over financial security and prefer their husbands to work less/make less money in order to spend more time with them, (4) how her feelings about a problem are more important than the problem itself and that a man should not try to offer solutions but simply listen to her and show
empathy (unless it is a technical versus an emotional problem, like a flat tire), (5) that most women want sex less often than men do, and need more warm-up time, (6) that she needs ongoing affirmation that she is the most beautiful woman to him, and (7) that [amber] women see their husbands as heroes who make them happy, even if they don’t tell him that. If none of this common lower right-hand advice is news to you, or if your orange (or above) partner is more complex and demanding, then you may save your time/money for a more advanced relationship book.

For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn (hardcover edition) is the companion to the book above, but geared towards women. The book suggests that men (1) would rather be alone and unloved than to feel disrespected and inadequate, which leads them to anger and withdrawal, (2) are imposters who hide a deep inner insecurity behind their confident mask, (3) feel obligated to be the provider even if their wives have enough income to support them both, (4) feel affirmed through sex from their wife, (5) like to look at sexy
women—even if they are married, (6) want romance as much as women do but are sometimes not sure how she wants to be romanced, (7) want their partner to stay fit and healthy, and (8) want her to know how much they love her. This little book with its lower right-hand focus is great to be given to your conventional partner if you would like her to be informed about and follow its advice, and you don’t know how to convey it to her otherwise.
Why Mars and Venus Collide: Improving Relationships by Understanding How Men and Women Cope Differently with Stress by John Gray (hardcover edition) is the latest contribution to his famous Mars and Venus series of books (see Bibliography below) that traditionally focus on gender differences in the lower right-hand quadrants of conventional and modern singles and couples. It is based on new upper right-hand scientific findings of hormonal and brain differences in males and females that lead to different causes and coping mechanisms for stress. As usual, the book starts out with a list of typical complaints from men and women about each other that result from evolutionary differences (men are single-focused hunters, women are multitasking gatherers/ caregivers) and the shifting gender roles in the past forty years (modern working women expect men to be more like wives, while men expect women to be more like their care-giving mothers), followed by a “he says–she says” chart. According to Gray, a first step to solving these problems is for women to be more realistic, ask for what they need, and appreciate men for what they contribute—while men should be more sensitive to her needs instead of becoming green Sensitive New Age Guys (SNAGs). Next the book addresses why many successful orange and above women leave their partners and remain single rather than be in a love relationship, before explaining different behavior (e.g., women talk more) with questionable differences in male and female brain structures.
Chapters three to five dive into the nitty-gritty of hormones that cause stress (e.g., adrenalin and cortisol), and those which alleviate it (e.g., oxytocin) and how women can increase their production of the latter (see lists on pages 98-101 and 109-112). Chapters six to nine are dedicated to fights between Mars and Venus, outlining the causes of conflict, the common mistakes during arguments that women (page 140-143) and men (page 144-146) make, and how to take a time-out to cool off. As the typical advice for amber and orange goes, he suggests that men should listen to and validate her feelings, while they should process their own with someone other than their romantic partner (e.g., a therapist or coach–see
page 196), as women otherwise swing over to their masculine side and feel that they have to take care of him, which is a huge “sexual” turnoff for her. In the conclusion to his book, Gray observes that successful modern women still need attention, love, romance, and sex (pages 221-222), which all produce oxytocin—the antidote to stress—and how to keep romance alive (pages 223 and 226-227).
Like most books that address amber and below from a right-hand perspective, Why Mars And Venus Collide does not create deeper levels of intimacy by healing childhood wounds and transcending gender differences, but teaches couples how to cope with their conflicts and to get what they want on a surface level, which is usually sex and appreciation for men, and money, status, and support for women.

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It , by Patricia Love and Steven Stosny, makes an interesting connection between the evolutionary differences of the sexes in the upper right-hand quadrant and the resulting left-hand experiences of fear in women and shame in men.
They conclude that improving communication skills does not address the underlying conflicts that many couples experience. Instead, the authors suggest to accept the different views and needs of each partner (taking a second person perspective) and to connect with him or her emotionally and sexually instead of stonewalling or trying to fix the other. Through compassion and taking action (the root of emotion is motion that motivates
behavior), couples can learn to act lovingly towards each other without having to address the root of painful feelings and dysfunctional behavior.
While the insights about the fear/shame dynamic seem to be helpful for couples at any altitude that are entangled in it, the suggested solutionsseem to be most suitable for partners in BLUE and ORANGE


Making Sense of Men: A Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Love, Care and Attention from All Men, by Alison Armstrong is an overpriced
summary of, and advertisement for her similarly overpriced (but entertaining) Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women® weekend workshops that teach women how to “turn frogs into princes—instead of the other way around” (page 5). She teaches that a man’s romantic behavior is a direct response to a woman’s skillful means (pages 7-10), that men are not hairy women—who are multitasking gatherers—but single focused hunters (pages 11-17), and that four qualities in women (shiny hair, shapely body, sensuality, and sexual energy) will attract men who will want to have sex with them (pages 18-33). Once a woman has charmed and enchanted him with her self-confidence, authenticity, passion, and receptivity (pages 35-46), he will fall in love with her and make her happy by spending time, taking care, protecting, and contributing (pages 47-61). This is the perfect right-hand quadrant book for attractive “sex-positive” amber women who have never heard of gender-specific differences and want to manipulate men to satisfy their right-hand needs.

Martin Ucik

Les livres recommandés par Martin (anglais)


Every reader finds himself. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.
~ Marcel Proust ~

In this appendix we evaluate selected relationship books from an Integral perspective. The reviewed authors support singles and/or couples with a certain Kosmic Address (altitude + perspective) with advice for getting the love they want, either by manipulating the opposite sex, effectively dealing with gender differences, better translation (balancing and harmonizing the four polarities) at their current altitude, and/or transformation to the next higher level of consciousness.

For example, books for red take an upper right-hand perspective, objectify the opposite sex, and outline how to “exploit her psyche,” “catch a millionaire,” “apply manipulative rules,” or see “men as scum and women as stupid.”

Advice for amber singles and couples usually focuses on acceptance (versus transcendence) of gender differences in the lower right-hand quadrant, such as John Gray’s Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus series of books or Alison Armstrong’s Making Sense of Men , or focus on secrets and principles that make marriages last, such as Gregory K. Popcak’s The Exceptional Seven Percent: The Nine Secrets of the World’s Happiest Couples or John Gottman’s The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.

Authors in orange either rationalize love with brain-activities and hormonal processes in the upper right, such as Helen Fisher’s Why We Love, or favor psychological and behavioral measures in the two lower quadrants to overcome relationship conflicts—typically by instructing workaholic men to become more emotionally available, and women to heal their emotional scars and support their partner to give them what they want, e.g., Harville Hendrix’s Getting the Love You Want or David Schnarch’s classic Passionate Marriage .
Green writers tend to address the unconscious and spiritual dimensions in the upper left-hand quadrant to empower singles and couples to use their relationship conflicts for deeper psychological healing and spiritual insights that allow them to move towards unconditional love (e.g., John Welwood’s Love and Awakening , Jett Psaris and Marlena Lyons’ Undefended Love , or Joyce and Barry Vissell’s The Heart’s Wisdom ).

Most self-help relationship books are written by therapists and coaches who view committed partnerships as essential for healthy personality development and promise that their particular approach will have a high success rate in resolving relationship problems. 482 As long as we keep in mind that everybody is right from their own view, and put the advice of each book into an Integral context, we can appreciate its content as a contribution to our deeper understanding of the entire territory of love relationships, and choose the material that best supports us in our own
healing and growth work, and understanding of our partner.
Please note that the page numbers that are specified in the reviews below refer to the American paperback editions of the books, unless otherwise noted. If you have a different edition, the page numbers may slightly vary.


The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, is the infamous bestseller (2,000,000 copies sold) that teaches women how to manipulate “Mr. Right” to become obsessed with her by playing hard to get (page 6). The first suggested step in the plot is for women to do everything they can to look their best, by eating right, getting into shape, wearing sexy clothes, growing long hair, undergoing plastic surgery, and being feminine (pages 15-21). What follows are 35 rules, 483 such as #4 don’t meet him halfway or go Dutch on a date, #5 don’t call him and rarely return his calls, #6 always end phone calls first, #7 don’t accept a Saturday night date after Wednesday, #11 always end the date first, #13 don’t see him more than once or twice a week, #16 don’t tell him what to do, #18 don’t expect a man to change or try to change him, #30 Next!—how to deal with being dumped, #31 don’t discuss the rules with your therapist, #34 love only those who love you, and #35 be easy to live with. The Rules assumes that men want to pursue women and will become bored and eventually lose interest if she is too
available or seems to pursue him. By following The Rules , the authors (one of them got divorced in 2001) promise marriage in the shortest time possible to a man whom they love and who loves them back even more. This right-hand approach objectifies men and manipulates them in an egocentric manner.

The Pickup Artist: The New and Improved Art of Seduction is the playbook of the infamous living-large playboy and pickup/seduction artist Mystery, who is portrait in Neil Strauss’s New York Times bestseller The Game (see below). Pickup artists generally strive for better short-term sexual and romantic success with as many attractive women (who are rated by their looks from 1-10) as possible through self-improvement and exploitation of their selfish psyche. The general assumption is that women like to be approached and seduced by relaxed, carefree, confident, happy, smiling, playful, and entertaining alpha males. By making seduction of women into an art—which requires knowledge, skill, and practice—an AFC (Average Frustrated Chump) can become a successful PUA (Pick-Up Artist). The book features an extensive glossary (page 239) that explains many of the PUA’s acronyms.
The basic strategy is “find, meet, attract, and close” or FMAC (page xviii). Step one is to identify places with lots of beautiful women (clubs, bars, malls, museums, concerts, etc.). Step two requires men to overcome natural nervousness and to approach as many targets as possible, from a 45-degree angle within three seconds of seeing them, and to strike up a situational conversation or use a prepared pickup line. Step three involves conveying a personality that provides added value to the target (see list on page 179) by doing 80% of the talking (page 184) and performing certain magic and ESP tricks. Since 9s and 10s—the PUA’s goal—get hit on by men all the time, they are initially ignored or slightly insulted (Are these nails real or fake? Have you noticed that your nose wiggles in a funny way when you talk? Is she always that demanding? – see list on page 201), while 8s and below get positive attention (see summary pages 152-153). This supposedly motivates the “bombshell” to pursue the PUA through some reverse psychology, sometimes called “the negative close.” Objects who respond negatively are abandoned as quickly as possible(even PUA’s get rejected 90% of the time—so it is a numbers game), women who send positive signals (smile, touch their hair, respond to physical
touch) get touched and are asked for a kiss to test their willingness. Step four involves isolating the target if she was in a group of friends, striking up a more intimate conversation with her, and asking for her number and a date.

The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss, who is a book author and contributing writer for the New York Times and Rolling Stone, describes his adventures with Mystery (see above) into the seduction community to become a pickup artist. This entertaining book covers 12 steps: Select a Target, Approach and Open, Demonstrate Value, Disarm the Obstacles, Isolate the Target, Create an Emotional Connection, Extract to a Seduction Location, Pump Buying Temperature, Make a Physical Connection, Blast Last-Minute Resistance, Manage Expectations.

The Pickup Artist and The Game are similar in their content and try to be entertaining in their story telling style—with The Game providing more self-critical insights into the psyche of PUA’s and the women they attract. Despite the sad objectification of females and the hard-to-pull-off manipulative techniques to get sex, only naive and unassuming female targets would be at risk of falling for the true narcissists, while mature women would quickly see through the plot, set their own healthy boundaries, and reward more authentic and truthful men with their attention. Since many men with integrity and good intentions are often nervous and at a loss how to approach attractive women in public, the advice given (taken with the necessary grain of salt) can support them in building more self-confidence and skills around women—who generally appreciate this quality in men if it is authentic.

The Potency Principles: Transforming Sexual Energy Into Spiritual Power by Victor Gold, tells the author’s story of how he learned to pleasure women through focusing on them instead of himself, especially by providing erotic vulva and G-spot massages, and delaying or avoiding ejaculation by squeezing his PC muscle. According to Gold, this leads to physical health and fulfilling relationships as well as spiritual transformation and growth in consciousness. Mr. Gold is certainly well-meaning, but grossly reduces relationships to the upper quadrants “I/it” realm by focusing on the physical body, sex, and his and her interior experience without a deeper emotional connection. Written from a first-person amber perspective, it can support red men to move from the “fucking” into the “having sex” stage. For lovers in higher stages, more in-depth books about sexuality and Tantra, such as Margo Anand’s classic The Art of Sexual Ecstasy or John Maxwell Taylor’s Eros Ascending are recommended.

Martin Ucik