The Tao of Elvis
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
136 Pages, 8.50 x 7.00 x 0.27 in
- Published: November 2013
- Published: November 2013
The Inner Man vs The Mythical King With a scholar's mind and an Elvis-fan's heart, eminent psychiatrist and Jungian analyst Dr David H. Rosen illuminates both the inner Elvis and the myth of Elvis in popular culture. An inspirational, perceptive, personal and truly innovative exploration of Elvis, a rock and roll idol who was a deeply spiritual being, well beyond his well-known gospel and blues singing. The Tao of Elvis includes essays by two New York Times Best-Selling Authors: Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life, contributes a foreword in which he asks pivotal questions about the parallel destinies of Elvis and America. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, has contributed a free-wheeling afterword passionately expressing how Elvis's "beautiful flame of life" rocked the post-war world, and rocks her still. Forty-two chapters representing the forty-two years of Elvis's life contain perceptive and inspiring quotations from the world's most perceptive thinkers, as well as from the people who knew Elvis best. In a most readable fashion, Rosen unites the varied voices into each chapter's theme: Tao Opposites Child Mother Father Family and Friends Spirit, Soul, and Religion Love Music and Song Grace and Gentleness Darkness, Sorrow, and Sadness Light, Fire and Passion Dreams Giving and Generosity Alone and Loneliness Twinning and Pairing Man of Tao Innocence and Play Knowledge and Wisdom Image (Persona and Shadow) Truth and Truth of Character Happiness and Joy Virtue Beauty Nature and Water Work (Business) Transcendence and Transformation Success and Failure Home (Graceland) King Pain and Suffering Harmony and Balance Prisoner and Freedom Destiny Meditation and Health Madness and Illness Compassion and Forgiveness Mirror Purpose and Meaning Prayer and Sacrifice Death and Rebirth Spiritual Wholeness The Tao of Elvis is fully illustrated with Chinese papercut-inspired artwork by Diane Katz and includes a the artist's annotations for each chapter, and thorough Notes and Bibliography.
''Magnificent. . . truly a work of art . . . it brings to mind the inspired illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages.''
-- Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees
"A psychiatrist, Jungian analyst and a professor at Texas A&M, Rosen does not fit the usual Presley fan profile. Yet in 1989, he found himself weeping at the foot of Presley's grave at Graceland because of an academic setback. He decided then to explore Presley's struggle to balance the conflicting forces -- the yin and yang -- of his life: Born in poverty, he became rich. A symbol of sexual frenzy, he loved and recorded gospel music. A loner, he could not escape fame's gleam. Intelligent and well read in often-arcane spiritual texts, he was dismissed as a Southern hick. Says Rosen, 'He is a symbol of America, a mirror in which we see ourselves.'"
Face to Face: A blog from the National Portrait Gallery
-- Warren Perry
"The post-Elvis fascination first manifested itself in the form of sympathetic and not-so-sympathetic biographies. Since 1977 the canon of printed literature invoking the name of Elvis has grown larger ... including scholarly contributions like Erika Doss's Elvis Culture (1999), philosophical works such as David Rosen's The Tao of Elvis" ...."
Los Angeles Times
"The point of the book is: We don't have to go the way he did, but we can learn from his life. ... He's a mirror for us to look into and draw projections from. Instead of using Elvis to make that link to the divine -- a lot of people approach a sort of worship of him today -- instead we can use him to find our own link to the divine."
1000 Reviewervine Voice,
Sir Charles Panther
"This book is really two books in one, and where they meet is literally in the mind of the reader. The first is the highly refined, imminently informed Taoist meditation, with some truly stunning quotations and through them, editorial injection on the part of author David Rosen. I'm no Taoist scholar, but you can sure tell that Rosen is, a highly accomplished and traveled one at that... this is not a deep, thick scholarly tome crammed tight with big words on dry subjects, not even close. Rosen is definitely in his element with this subject matter, ... respectful and positive throughout, even while admitting The King's flaws and human failings. If you're an Elvis fan, you'll enjoy this."
National Elvis Presley Conference
"Rosen, in The Tao of Elvis, illustrates Elvis's Taoist nature and interprets his never-ending search for purpose and meaning. The book highlights Elvis's journey from light into dark, focussing mainly on the double-edged quality of the king archetype -- how it can function either as a channel to the divine or a destructive mechanism for the one who tries to live it out in human form. While Elvis may not have achieved transformation or "wholeness" (in the Jungian sense) in his lifetime, there is a possibility of redemption for Elvis and for us."