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While I Am Not Afraid:
Secrets of a Man's Heart

by Peter Clothier

Book review Copyright © 1998 by Bert H. Hoff


Peter Clothier, While I Am Not Afraid: Secrets of a Man's Heart. (Santa Fe, NM: Inword Press, 1998). Order on-line


While I Am Not Afraid
by Peter Clothier
Order on-line

Peter Clothierís life changed dramatically when his daughter came home from college with life-threatening anorexia. He asked professionals, "What can I do?" and the answer was, "The best way to help your daughter is to work on yourself." This book describes Peter Clothierís still-uncompleted journey into himself.

Iíve written elsewhere about James Hillmanís message in The Soulís Code that what we call "dysfunction" or "mental health issues" are frequently daimons calling us into our calling. Peter demonstrates this beautifully and convincingly as his work "to help his daughter" calls him to get clear about a calling heíd avoided for 50 years.

In the process, Peterís journey is the journey of "Everyman" as he grapples with issues with his father, his mother, his career, his relationship and the shadow side of himself.

There are many ways to take this path, to do this work. For Peter, this involved learning chanting mantras and participating in the New Warriors program. Thatís not the point. Many are skeptical of "New Age" approaches, and some have questioned the New Warriors program as "the only path." A lot of men will tell you that the New Warriors program has been a pivotal, breakthrough experience in their lives. Others have had similar epiphanies in the Sterling Menís Program, other programs and retreats, or through their own work and other life experiences. You may raise your eyebrows at one or two points. But the point is that Peter has had the courage to be vulnerable, to "let it all hang out" as he describes with refreshing candor and openness a very troubled period in his life and what worked or didnít work in dealing with it.

He does so with a gripping and engaging narrative that invites you into his story, his life. Itís a fascinating and well-told story. Itís also a story in which Peterís glimpses into his own soul, his own "shadow side" invite, inspire and encourage you to take the risk of looking into your own. In that sense, itís a personally engaging story. Itís well worth the read.


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