Humanitas

Humanitas #6: The Great Wall of China

The following thoughts, adapted from Ethics and Lao-Tzu and “Building the Great Wall of China,” are set down as a sort of reverie in the aftermath of the recent conference in Chicago

Xuefu Wang and Mark Yang were, with Louis Hoffman, organizers of the First International Conference on Existential Psychology last year in Nanjing. I am fortunate to have spent time with each of them, both at that gathering and in Chicago as well. I count both as colleagues and friends—mindful, committed and ethically attuned individuals who will provide for rich dialogue and cross-fertilization going forward with those of us here in the States. The Jewish-Bulgarian novelist Elias Canetti once referred to Kafka as the West’s “only Chinese poet.” A strange thought, you may think, which is why I have set down this brief reverie on Kafka and Lao-Tzu and paradox—a meditation on the nuances and tensions between worlds and minds...

Editors note: Dr. Mendelowitz's contribution is available as a PDF file to preserve the formatting and graphics that are integral to his work.

The Great Wall of China: A Reverie on Kafka, Lao-Tzu and Paradox (PDF, 50.2KB)


Ed Mendelowitz completed his doctoral studies at the California School of Professional Psychology where he worked closely with Rollo May. He is on the board of editors for the Journal of Humanistic Psychology and a contributor to some of the major compendiums of existential/ /humanistic/depth psychotherapy. He has presented numerous talks on psychology and its myriad interrelationships with the humanities in the USA, Europe and East Asia. His work resides on  the gnostic frontiers of psychology in its eloquent blending of art, literature, music, cinema, religion, philosophy and clinical narrative with the more recognizable fare of theory and scholarship. His collage-like Ethics and Lao-tzu has been called “an extraordinary moral narrative” by Robert Coles and “a remarkable book, a compendium of wisdom from an astonishing variety of sources.