The Tao of Elvis

By David H. Rosen

Illustrated by Diane Katz

Foreword by Thomas Moore

Afterword by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

The Tao of Elvis


  • ISBN: 9781625644398
  • Pages: 136
  • Publication Date: 11/1/2013
  • Retail Price: $18.00
Web Price: $14.40
Web Price: $14.40

The Tao of Elvis

By David H. Rosen

Illustrated by Diane Katz

Foreword by Thomas Moore

Afterword by Clarissa Pinkola Estes



  • ISBN: 9781625644398
  • Pages: 136
  • Publication Date: 11/1/2013
  • Retail Price: $18.00
Web Price: $14.40


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:
Family and Friends
Spirit, Soul, and Religion
Music and Song
Grace and Gentleness
Darkness, Sorrow, and Sadness
Light, Fire and Passion
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
Nature and Water
Work (Business)
Transcendence and Transformation
Success and Failure
Home (Graceland)
Pain and Suffering
Harmony and Balance
Prisoner and Freedom
Meditation and Health
Madness and Illness
Compassion and Forgiveness
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.

Endorsements & Reviews-

''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

USA Today
"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
Smithsonian Institution
-- 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."


David H. Rosen
Diane Katz
Thomas Moore
Clarissa Pinkola Estes


Dr. David H. Rosen is a physician, psychiatrist, and Jungian analyst. The vast array of his interests include finding meaning in suffering; spirituality as it relates to healing; dreams; all kinds of creativity, especially visual art and haiku; and practicing what he preaches.

Rosen is the author of eight books, including The Tao of Jung: The Way of Integrity; The Healing Spirit of Haiku with co-author Joel Weishaus; Transforming Depression: Healing the Soul through Creativity (now in its third edition) written after interviewing survivors of jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge, and treating many suicidally depressed patients; Medicine as Human Experience with co-author Dr David Reiser, a classic in the field. Rosen's books have been translated into many languages.

The initial holder of the McMillan Professorship in Analytical Psychology at Texas A&M University, Rosen hosts the Fay Lectures and edits the Fay Books in Analytical (Jungian) Psychology. Though retired, he is Affiliate Professor in Psychiatry at the Oregon Health & Science University.

Through Rosenberry Books, Ms Katz's work has been seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, the Chicago Institute of Art, Washington National Cathedral, etc. and recognized by Design Observer of the Winterhouse Institute.

Diane is the author of On All My Holy Mountain: A Modern Fraktur and Apples Dipped in Honey: A Jewish ABC. She has illustrated numerous books including Purple: A Parable, The Stone House, Garden Snippets, and Pieces of History: Quilt Patterns from the North Carolina Museum of History.

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