Book – Wyrd Allies: Contents

As with Positively Wyrd, rather more than half of the English edition of the book is included on this site. The complete structure of the book is listed below: where links are shown, they lead to the respective chapter of the book.

Intro section

This section provides the lead-in to the book.

  • IntroductionIn which the purpose and aims of the book are introduced, including suggestions on how best to use the book as a practical tool for interpersonal development.
  • A hint of weirdness
    In which the narrator, Chris Kelley, is introduced, and in turn introduces, through personal experience, some of the main themes of the book.
  • Weird is a noun
    In which concept of ‘wyrd’ is introduced, and linked to some common themes of personal development – in particular, the centrality of fear as a personal issue, and the importance of personal choice and personal responsibility.

Background section

This section looks at the pressures and issues which apply in all kinds of relationship, and at learned habits of relationship which cause interpersonal difficulties.

  • Round and round the garden
    In which is explored the common experience of life and relationships forming themselves into repetitive patterns and weird loops; by re-viewing these as the results of lack of awareness of feedback from ‘the wyrd’, a way out of the loops can be found.
  • Fear and power
    In which the weird relationship between fear and power is examined; by understanding the weird nature of fear, and creating a practical new meaning of power, both can become constructive aspects of relationship.
  • Danger – children at play
    In which the focus is placed on the subtle distinction between ‘childlike’ and childish’ – leading to the recognition that childishness is common in all relationships, and that it is, in essence, an evasion of personal responsibility which helps no-one.
  • I and We and I
    In which is explored the weird notion of ‘I’, and the even weirder experience of ‘We’ that occurs in every relationship.
  • Boundaries
    In which are examined the weird interactions between the boundaries we construct to protect our sense of ‘I’, and the boundaries others construct to protect theirs.
  • A problem of fate
    In which there is a recognition that some issues are indeed our ‘fate’, our wyrd – and that by working with them, rather than fighting against them, we can use them to learn more about ourselves and our relationship with others.

Tools section

This section examines some tools and perspectives which can be applied to particular issues in relationships.

  • Subject and object
    In which are examined that problems that arise from viewing others as ‘subjects’ – extensions of oneself – or ‘objects’; with awareness of their weird nature, though, these viewpoints can become constructive tools within relationship.
  • Blame and responsibility
    In which are explored the subtle distinctions between responsibility and blame – leading to new possibilities for constructive action.
  • Use and abuse
    In which are examined the weird ways relationships can so easily descend into abuse; by understanding the fear of wyrd that so often underlies abuse of self or others, relationships can once more become based on ‘use’ through mutual respect.
  • Asserting ‘I’
    In which it is demonstrated that the only way to avoid the twin traps of passivity – ‘fatalism’ – and aggression is to fully understand the weirdness involved in asserting ‘I’.
  • Sympathy and empathy
    In which it is shown that sympathy is not the same as empathy – and that only with genuine empathy is true relationship possible.

Context section

This section explores ways in which the awareness developed in the ‘Background’ section, and the practical tools examined in the ‘Tools’ section, can be applied in the everyday context of relationships.

  • Allies in wyrdness
    In which the usual notions of ‘friends’ and ‘enemies’ is quietly replaced by a more useful, if wyrd, concept of ‘allies’.
  • Soul-mates and cell-mates
    In which it is shown that, by a weird twist, the desire for ‘soul-mates’ can easily lead to being trapped with ‘cell-mates’; yet there is another wyrd twist through which we can, instead, accept everyone as our true soul-mates.
  • Wyrd sex
    In which the spotlight is placed on the weirdness of sex and sexual relationships; it is suggested that whilst many seem to clamour for ‘weird sex’, few fully understand its wyrd possibilities!
  • Girls and boys
    In which it is demonstrated that, with awareness, social constructs of gender and the genuine differences between the sexes can be changed from weird problems into wyrd yet practical tools.
  • Trust and commitment
    In which, by understanding their weird nature, we come to a realistic understanding of what trust and commitment mean – and what they truly ask of us in relationships.
  • A wyrd world of allies
    In which the previous explorations of ‘wyrdness’ are extended into all kinds of relationships with the wider world – creating the awareness that everywhere we go, we have a wyrd world of allies to help us.

Tailpiece section

This section provides a short coda in which Chris Kelley sums up the difference in experience that has come from applying the concepts and tools explored in the book.

Related pages