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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very highly recommended
Friends have been telling me for years that I am entirely too pessimistic. With an eye toward changing, I searched the local bookstore shelves a book that presents a balanced spiritual optimism. FIRE IN THE SOUL by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D seemed to meet my needs exactly. Certainly the concept that every difficult experience provides an opportunity for soul growth is not new...
Published on July 9, 2004 by C. Penn

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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lukewarm . . .
Joan Borysenko's book, Fire in the Soul, is a fairly decent book, but on which I feel is redundant of some of her previous books.
There's more meditations in this one, and even more psychological background and information. What's more, she tries to expand a bit on the spiritual theme. I like the fact that she mixes psychology with spirituality, and this would...
Published on July 11, 1999


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lukewarm . . ., July 11, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism (Paperback)
Joan Borysenko's book, Fire in the Soul, is a fairly decent book, but on which I feel is redundant of some of her previous books.
There's more meditations in this one, and even more psychological background and information. What's more, she tries to expand a bit on the spiritual theme. I like the fact that she mixes psychology with spirituality, and this would be a fine book if she didn't write it already. This book is more or less, Guilt Is The Teacher, Love Is The Lesson, all over again. She restates many stories and themes from that book in this one, and she even touches upon her other book, Minding the Body, Mending the Mind. She goes a bit further in the spiritual vein by exploring the idea of reincarnation, and her own personal experiences with this subject. Besides that, much of this was read before if you have read her other books.
If you haven't read her other books, you may very well enjoy this one. However, for me, one of the shining points in this book was the sections titled: Night Lights. This is a section on some ancient sayings and lyrical prose, and I found many of these saying quite inspirational.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very highly recommended, July 9, 2004
This review is from: Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism (Paperback)
Friends have been telling me for years that I am entirely too pessimistic. With an eye toward changing, I searched the local bookstore shelves a book that presents a balanced spiritual optimism. FIRE IN THE SOUL by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D seemed to meet my needs exactly. Certainly the concept that every difficult experience provides an opportunity for soul growth is not new to me. But Borysenko has a gift for presenting familiar material in a way that is refreshing and revitalizing as she points to the paths that allow the pain of soul making to lead to deep healing.
One of the most profound concepts of FIRE IN THE SOUL is that it is the stories that we tell ourselves that determine how we recover from painful experiences. Pessimism, believing that we have done bad things for bad things to happen, leads to depression and powerlessness. Optimism, accepting that bad things happen to good people but present an opportunity for growth, leads to deep healing. Like one woman in the book states, "This is the role I've been given to play. I'm going to do it as consciously and gracefully as I can."
Personal anecdotes, case histories, and various spiritual readings combine in a powerful tool for healing in FIRE IN THE SOUL. I began working my way through the book several months ago as I underwent a terrible spiritual crisis. As the fires of transformation have burned their ways through my life, Borysenko's confirmation of spiritual truths that I have long held has provided the lifeline needed to endure and even flourish despite profound challenges. Certainly it is an imperfect book, with an over abundance of references aimed to encourage the reader to buy Borysenko's previous book. And many of the concepts are quite familiar. Yet Borysenko's gift for weaving text that speaks to the soul and inspires transformation makes FIRE IN THE SOUL a powerful spiritual tool. FIRE IN THE SOUL comes very highly recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book helped during a very difficult time, December 1, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism (Paperback)
I read this book during the recent hospitalization and subsequent passing of my wife. In the course of dealing with death and dying, I experienced what I would call a spiritual awakening. This book helped provide a context for some of what I was experiencing and was actually a source of incredible comfort. I'm in the process of re-reading this book now & again find it helpful and affirming for the spiritual path I now find myself to be on.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unbiased Educated Journey of Spirituality, March 12, 2000
This review is from: Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism (Paperback)
Joan's extensive spiritual studies pour out on every page, and not once does she promote or condem one type of spiritual choice or another. She offers options, opinions, facts, and reality to lead her readers to answering their own questions of spirituality and artfully guiding them to a higher awareness for themselves and of themselves. I've had the book nearly 7 years, and I still refer to it on occasion. She outdid herself with this one!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing and uplifting perspective., June 3, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism (Paperback)
Finally, a book that addresses spirituality, without trying to force it into a particular religion! This book stresses that anyone can find optimism in their religion/spirituality. Many powerful stories are relayed, as well as actual techniques for becoming a happier, more accepting person. Every time I started to think the author was getting a little too "out there" for me, she brought me back to something I could relate to. My only criticism of the book is there were a few too many references to her other books, which I found distracting. I think this information could have been left to the reference section
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insights into spiritual healing, May 26, 2011
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This review is from: Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism (Paperback)
I buy this book for friends who are suffering grief or who are spiritually lost. I had to read it twice to fully grasp all that can be learned from this excellent book. It is for persons of all religions and also for atheists. The author writes from personal experiences. If you are searching for answers, this book is for you. Thank you Dr. Borysenko!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL!, November 23, 2010
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M. Gonzalezvidela (PONCE, PUERTO RICO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism (Paperback)
This book has given me so much, there's so much information, so much clarification of ideas that are there for all of us to share, really understanding God and our universe.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important book for any spiritual counselor, October 7, 2010
This review is from: Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism (Paperback)
Fire in the Soul reveals how the hardest thing you have ever experienced can actually be a doorway for your soul to step into its greatness. It is an eye opener showing us how the bad choices we make actually influence us to make future bad choices by setting up a chemical imbalance in our brains. We actually become addicted to the chemical high of that bad choice, thereby, repeating the behavior over and over again. The wonderful thing about this book is it reveals that the misunderstandings we have come to accept with past erroneous choices can be corrected through transpersonal psychology and spiritual awareness of "the Self". The negative events that shape us from childhood can be challenged and transformed in adulthood through an innate desire to improve one's outlook on life. This is the literal interpretation of that old saying, "change your thoughts and change your reality" but with instructions you can actually use in your day to day life.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meditation, July 25, 2000
By 
LG "LG" (Sunnyvale, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism (Paperback)
Insightful book which does an excellent job of teaching spiritual optimism. I particularly enjoyed the chaper on meditation and the mind. Book also contains an excellent resource list as well.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for those looking for hope, January 6, 2000
By 
Frances (Venezuela and USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism (Paperback)
I read this book several years ago and it has been very importan not only in my personal growth as well as being a book I highly recommend for my clients. Borysenko's ability to write in a profound meaning manner, while not resorting to technical language.. makes this and other books by her accessible for laymen. If you would like to find a light out of the "dark nights of the soul", this is the book to read.
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Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism
Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism by Joan Borysenko (Paperback - July 1, 1994)
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