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February 1961

Living Consciously: The Science of Self

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(2):310-311. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620020160021

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The ancient Greek admonition, "know thyself," is a beacon which every wise man must use. It should be a personal guide for his struggles to make sense out of an existence which, though fascinating, is frequently chaotic. Even the wisest person can understand it only in part. The theme for this book, an amalgam of soliloquy and autobiography, is a quotation from Tennyson:

Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control, These three alone lead life to sovereign power.

The outstanding medical work of both authors, historical, scientific, technical and nontechnical, is well known. Their purpose is to be revealed in nontechnical language. In this they have succeeded very well. But the difficulty, indeed the impossibility, of conveying to anyone else his deepest perceptions and feelings or his intimate intellectual life is illustrated by this book. Much of it is obscure to me. I feel that by a form of intellectual transference some of the

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