Jack Haas, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus, sociologist, speaker, publisher

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Book Reviews

"Grounded in a first-person's account of his addiction and recovery process, Jack Haas' new book, Seeking Bliss, is an epic of courage. This autobiographical study provides an intimate glimpse into the process of how one man managed to counter a life of self-abuse and eventually seek, and find, his "bliss" on the other side of addiction.

As he narrates his story, Haas provides valuable insights into the what, why and how of his journey. Haas takes the reader on his personal voyage and, in the process, we learn of the first-hand accounts of shame, rage, pain and despair that coloured his life previous to and within his addictive career. We learn of the "wounded self," and the alienation of his true self in the pre-addictive stage, along with the phenomena of "hitting bottom" in his addictive career.

We discover how "healing the child within" is a necessary precursor to finding one's wholeness in order to lead a useful and blissful life free of alcohol and/or other drugs. Using not only his personal story, but also those of others, Haas provides a holistic and wide-ranging overview of significant experiences that all former addicts seem to undergo.

My research with women in recovery from addiction to substances these past few years in both Canada and the United States mirrors and resonates with the content of this book. Their stories are also ones of pain and suffering, coupled with their courage of resourcefulness as they process their recovery for themselves, their children and their partners. This is a valuable book and not just for former sufferers of addiction to substances and/or other types of addiction (i.e., sex, food, work).

Haas provides the reader with the necessary tools for a blissful life as he concludes with how meditation can assist the reader with important strategies for change leading to a sense or vision of "oneness" in their lives. Overall, the book encapsulates many important issues in our modern day society. Haas argues that, in the final analysis, we all need to integrate our awareness of our true selves to our spiritual selves, thus managing our "universal human quest for eternal life and satisfaction."

Judith Grant, Visiting Assistant Professor,
Department of Sociology and Anthropology,
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA

"Jack Haas has written an extraordinarily open, honest and insightful book about the genesis and development of maladaptive and self-destructive behaviour. He courageously shares the painful details of his own life experiences and in so doing sheds light on a constructive path to self-understanding, self-esteem, maturity and happiness.

He stresses the importance of self-acceptance and love to the healing process. His book provides an inspirational message and a practical guide to a healthier and more productive way of life for anyone who is suffering from the destructiveness of addictions."

Rudy Heinzl,
Former Dean of Student Affairs, McMaster University

"I have just finished my second reading of your book and enjoyed every page of it, you capture very well the loneliness and abandonment we all experience as children and your insights on addiction are spot on. Anyone reading it could not fail to understand how we experience the world from day one and why we resort to "stuff" for relief.

I am going to loan your book to a few of the ones that are taking the journey and I am sure you won't mind that I do. They will find it most helpful and identify with all aspects of it. I know, I will also in time loan it to some of the ones who are "settling" mode to help them understand what they are missing. It may well be the butt they need to get them moving again."

Rose Taylor,
Member of Alcoholics Anonymous