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Benjamin Sells is a lawyer, psychotherapist, and former mayor of Riverside, Illinois. He is also a sailing captain and owner of Chicago’s oldest sailing school. He has written seven books, including The Soul of the Law, one of the most important work-life balance books in the history of the legal profession, that was recently reissued in a special 20th anniversary edition. His latest book is A History of the Chicago Portage: The Crossroads that Made Chicago and Helped Make America. For many years he wrote a widely praised syndicated column on psychological issues in the legal profession and has published many articles and essays on psychology, history, and cultural affairs. His collaboration with famed psychologist James Hillman on America: A Conversation with James Hillman and Ben Sells was honored with a Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. Sells has lectured extensively both in the United States and abroad and is a repeat lecturer at the prestigious Eranos Roundtable in Ascona, Switzerland. He lives in Riverside, Illinois.
cover of Love's Desire with Art by Margot McLean
Beauty, Love, Soul, and the Search for the Meaningless Life
Paperback original, 218 pages, $22
ISBN: 978-0-88214-145-9
Kindle/Apple Books edition, $9.99
ISBN: 978-0-88214-144-2

The goal of Love’s Desire, the third and final volume of Benjamin Sells’s trilogy on beauty, love, and soul is to give the ancient souls their due by acknowledging that we each have our special share of soul, and it is this fact that binds us irrevocably with one another and the ensouled cosmos of which we are a part. To make his way toward his goal, Sells turns to beauty, love, and soul, but most of all—love. Beauty, love, and soul all precede meaning, and they do not rely on meaning. Their innate sensibility is given by myth, which also provides the coherence and integrity of images. At the end of his book, Sells makes a passionate plea for the “meaningless life,” taking a clue from a comment made by James Hillman on a line from Jung’s Red Book: “The goal is somehow if one can live the meaningless life.” When we forgo meaning in favor of myth’s inherent sensibility, life retains its vital mystery.
cover of Beauty Matters with Art by Margot McLean
Civics Lessons from an Olmsted Village
Paperback original, 240 pages, $25
ISBN: 978-0-88214-989-9
Kindle/Apple Books edition, $9.99
ISBN: 978-0-88214-992-9

Benjamin Sells’s premise is straight-forward: beauty is a civic necessity. Beauty inspires and sustains community and is essential to politics and governing. Beauty gives rise to love, and without love, there would be no community, no society, and no culture. It is the binding and ordering powers of beauty that draw humans together to achieve things that they could never achieve as individuals. And so, in the beating heart of every village, town, and city lies the foundational presence of beauty.
   This book tells the story of how as village president of Riverside, Illinois, a small suburb just west of Chicago designed by the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in 1869, Sells attempted to put the idea of beauty as a civic necessity into practice. To tell this story, Sells looks at beauty in relation to politics, ethics, and nature. These ideas lie at the beginning of our Western minds and are inextricably bound together.
cover of Return to Beauty with Art by Margot McLean
Restoring the Ecology of Imagination
Paperback original, 228 pages, $24
ISBN: 978-0-88214-970-7
Kindle/Apple Books edition, $9.99
ISBN: 978-0-88214-976-9

Return to Beauty: Restoring the Ecology of Imagination explores how we have repressed beauty, and how this repression has left us estranged from our proper place in the world. Without the ordering power of beauty, individuals, society, and the environment all suffer. Return to Beauty is both a history of ideas and a call to action. It explores religious, philosophical, and scientific traditions that separate us from nature, that claim non-human animals are not conscious beings, and that reduce beauty to a handmaiden of natural selection within evolutionary thought. Return to Beauty challenges these ideas and proposes ways to reconnect with nature through our aesthetic sensibilities. It breathes new life into old ideas like imagination, love, soul, and myth. But foremost is beauty. The beauty of this book cannot be reduced to prettiness or pleasure but is instead understood as foundational to our very existence. We are Homo aestheticus before we are Homo sapiens.
cover of Working with Images with Art by Margot McLean
The Theoretical Base of Archetypal Psychology
Edited and with an introduction
Second, revised edition
Paperback original, 210 pages, $22
ISBN: 978-0-88214-972-1
Kindle/Apple Books edition, $9.99
ISBN: 978-0-88214-975-2

Working with Images is an indispensable volume for all those who are drawn to the mystery of soul and imagination. For the student of psychology, these essays sketch many of the formative ideas behind one of the most exciting and challenging psychological movements of our day. Benjamin Sells introduces readers to some of the essential essays that formed the theoretical basis of archetypal psychology, the radical post-Jungian movement initiated by James Hillman in the 1970s and later elaborated by Thomas Moore. Sells provides an overview of the field and then introduces each essay providing its context and significance. With essays by PATRICIA BERRY, HENRY CORBIN, GILBERT DURAND, WOLFGANG GIEGERICH, JAMES HILLMAN, THOMAS MOORE, and MARY WATKINS.
cover of The Essentials fo Style with Art by Margot McLean
A Handbook for Seeing and Being Seen
Second, revised edition
Paperback original, 138 pages, $20
ISBN: 978-0-88214-971-4
Kindle/Apple Books edition, $9.99
ISBN: 978-0-88214-977-6

Sells encourages a radical departure from the usual introspection and self-centeredness of psychology in our time. By placing style first, Sells argues that we must turn our eyes and minds outward to the greater world. Emphasizing beauty over emotion and appreciation over feeling, he attempts to break the stranglehold of the self so as to reconstitute our proper place among the many things of the world.