- Paperback: 318 pages
- Publisher: T A Caldwell Publications; 2 edition (October 21, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0996760016
- ISBN-13: 978-0996760010
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #947,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Adventures in Soulmaking: Stories and Principles of Spiritual Formation and Depth Psychology Paperback – October 21, 2015
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What sets this book apart from other books that offer guidance in spiritual growth is how the writer is able to convey the breadth of his more than thirty years of experience in psychiatry, depth psychology, and spiritual direction, in meaningful, coherent, and colorful ways. For example, Dr. Caldwell illustrates that our souls communicate with us each night when we dream. He offers lucid examples of how dream analysis can help our conscious awareness learn the language of our unconscious which he calls, “Symbolese,” and how knowing and heeding this language can lead to movement through the traditional spiritual stages of the purgative, the illuminative, and the unitive.
Dr. Caldwell draws upon Jungian thought and his training in spiritual direction to create a new map of the soul that illustrates the locations of the conscious, ego, the veil, the higher unconscious (nous), the lower unconscious (sarx), the still point, etc. This drawing helped me contextualize the many concepts that he puts forth. He treats the topic of archetypes in a way that I haven’t seen before as he not only describes them but gives an example of how he actually witnessed an archetype possess a patient of his. This story and the many other stories and examples he provides flesh out the theories behind potentially complicated concepts. One never feels that Dr. Caldwell is leading too far in advance of his students. In fact, one of the charms of the book is that he presents himself in a vulnerable manner. He offers his own dreams to the reader and is not afraid of revealing some of his own shadow.
The second half of the book is particularly useful as he delves deeper into the “how-to’s” of spiritual growth. He offers an excellent treatment of the use of active imagination that allows one to reenter a dream from a relaxed state and engage with the different characters in the dream to learn what the soul wants to say. In my own counseling practice, I have introduced some of these techniques that I learned from this book with my clients to good effect. His chapter on the important topic of discernment is much needed especially as it touches on differentiating spirits, whether internal or external in nature. True spiritual direction not only helps a directee uncover and follow his or her most treasured longings, which come from God, but also includes guidance and knowledge regarding spiritual blockages whose etiology may be innate in the person or from energetics beyond and external to the person that would be threatened by illumination. Dr. Caldwell’s presentation on discernment and throughout the rest of the book is highly Christic and instructs the reader on the efficacy of engaging Christ in new and exciting ways that might not have occurred to us otherwise.
I highly recommend Adventures for anyone who is curious to see what the “next step” is in their faith journey. Dr. Caldwell leads from the three lenses of depth psychology, psychiatry, and spiritual direction and always from a place of deep humility. The reader will be touched by the obvious tenderness and care that he holds his subjects in the book: his former patients and directees. If a guide you can trust is a wounded healer, then Dr. Caldwell is a trustworthy presence and his book is a pathway to spiritual development that you can sink into and spend some time with.
The book got a little dense for me in certain parts, but if I simply slowed down and paid closer attention it was fine. In fact, that is something this book will encourage for LIFE - - slowing down and paying closer attention. This is where and when the soul's cry might be heard and streams of living water for life found. Dr. Caldwell's book is a tool for such a journey.