David J. Bookbinder
My path to wholeness began with a brush with death that altered, physically, emotionally, and intellectually, who I am. In this book, I worked hard to distill the best of what I’ve learned on the two-decade quest since then, from my career as a psychotherapist, and in the many years I have been on the planet.
Most of my major shifts in perspective began in a single moment, but it has taken a lifetime to turn insights into lasting alterations of thought, feeling, and action. This process is reflected in the structure of Paths to Wholeness. The instantaneity of clicking a shutter, represented here by the Flower Mandala images, reflects the felt experience of insight. The linear flow of reading and writing, represented here by the quotations and essays, reflects the necessity of walking through time in order to fully enact new ways of being.
As a therapist, I accompany my clients on the sometimes smooth, sometimes rocky journeys of their own paths to wholeness. We form a bond, and I serve as both companion and guide. They trust me because they know, as the late Leonard Cohen put it, “I’ve been where you’re hanging, I think I can see where you’re pinned.”
In this book, I hope to engender a similar sense of accompaniment. Many of the people who have most influenced me I encountered in the pages of their books or in exhibitions of their work, but as I took in their thoughts, ideas, experiences, and imaginings, my interactions with them felt like a personal relationship. Here you will find the outline of my own path to wholeness, the teachings that have guided me, and insights I’ve gained along the way. I offer them to you in the same spirit that authors and artists from the past have shared their teachings and experiences with me.