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INTRODUCTION   by Lenny Lendon
 
 

Leonardo Arena teaches "History of Contemporary Philosophy" and "Religions and Philosophies of Far East Asia" at the university of Urbino, Italy ("Facoltà di lettere e filosofia"). He also teaches "Psychiatry" at the "FacoltÓ di scienze della formazione" of the university of Urbino. He also teaches a kind of meditation which combines Buddhist insight with psychoanalysis.
As for me, I have built this site to talk about Arena's books and activities.
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Arena likes Zen, or better Ch'an, a Chinese Buddhist school from which the Japanese one came. He considers koans to be the highest product of man culture, putting Sufi stories at the second place. In spite of that, he thinks that the average Western man can learn more from the latter than from koans. And he practises a kind of radical Buddhism, which draws on various schools and cultural areas. Zen, Sufism, and Taoism represent the focus of his interests as for the Eastern world.

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Arena is a psychoanalyst. His training introduced him into analytic psychotherapy, by means of a combination of various techniques. He was introduced to Freud's, Reich's, and Milton Erickson's ways of approach. Later on, he conquered an autonomous position for himself. Specially, he likes a psychoanalysts' "Eastern" attitude. He has often been repeated that analytical dialogue represents the best alternative to the socratic one: the former is permissive and not violent, whereas the latter is persuasive and dogmatic. Is there a difficult choice to make between the two methods?

Arena wants everybody to make a choice according to one's own way of life. Is it an easy task to perform with? Not at all. In fact, a lot of people are inclined to refrain themselves from happiness or enjoyment. Otherwise, the great number of persons in therapy all over the world, and suicides, dissatisfaction, and anxiety as well would result to be inexplicable.

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There is an odd thing. Arena seems to prefer Freud rather than Jung, even though he draws on both. Is it not strange, on the part of a person interested in the East? Is it a contradiction or an inconsistence?

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These pages show Arena's universe by means of his books. His principal philosophical issue concerns the meaning of life. Arena gives this problem a particular kind of answer, resorting to nonsensical logic, which is to be found both in the great spiritual traditions and in transpersonal psychology.

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And now, enjoy your reading!
 

You can start surfing from any page, without feeling obliged to follow the sequence suggested in the home page.
 
 


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