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Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche

Bill Plotkin's work has been recommended to me by a few friends over the past couple years. A friend recently recommended I start with Wild Mind, which is a fairly short book about a psychological model Bill developed that represents the "four dimensions of our innate human wholeness". I appreciated that he begins with a disclaimer that the map is not the territory, and he's making no specific claims about reality. Rather, this model seems to really help people.

One thing I like about his "wholeness" model is that he's created handles of various aspects of human psychology that are meaningful, allowing people to intentionally embrace these aspects. The model uses the four cardinal directions, so may lead someone to realize they're over-weighting the East facet, and intentionally balance it out.

Overall, interesting and gave me a lot to think about. It's not hyper-tactical, because it's oriented around an entire perspective of human flourishing than a self-help book of techniques. I consumed it fairly quickly, and think there's a lot embedded in several of the practices. I'll either read it again, or try another of his books.


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

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