Wisdom and the Senses: The Way of Creativity Paperback

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“A lyrical and informative essay. . . . [Erikson] offers the reader an irresistible invitation to a more holistic vision of what the full range of the imaginative life can include.”
Harvey Cox, Harvard University

“Joan Erikson speaks from her long experience as dancer, psychologist, craftswoman, and close observer of children. . . . She has much to teach us about being young and about growing old. She is one of the wise grandmothers of our tribe.”
Stephen Mitchell

About the Author

Joan Mowat Erikson was born in Canada; she earned her B.A. in Education at Columbia University and an M.A. in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a teacher, writer, and craftsman and has worked with gold, silver, and precious stones. She is the author of a previous book, The Universal Bead. She is married to the noted psychoanalyst Erik H. Erikson.


"In this loving and vivid book, Joan Erikson gives us an artist's retracting of the human life cycle, beginning in the blessings of the senses and fulfilled in wisdom."―Mary Catherine Bateson

Joan Erikson explores the crucial role played by the physical sense at every stage of psychological growth from birth to old age, finding parallels between the creation of art as we usually define it and the creation of self―the most artful act of all. In the experience of making and doing, she located a primary source of human growth and vitality.

Wisdom and the Senses is itself a celebration of art, with the progressive stages in the life cycle revealed through woven charts, reproduced here in full color. The work of artists, much as the words and ideas of Joan Erikson, takes us on a journey of understanding that leads to the meaning of wisdom.

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