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Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual optimism Paperback – July 1, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Difficult and tragic events, stresses Borysenko ( Minding the Body, Mending the Mind ), need not ruin our lives. They often bear the seeds of transformational healing and spiritual awakening--if we are willing to receive them and shed old beliefs. In a collection that draws on anecdotes, therapeutic practice, ancient parables, myths and Bible stories, Borysenko guides the reader through "dark nights when our souls are on fire" and toward optimism, affirming the conviction that pain can be a catalyst for growth. Inspirational verse, quotations and biblical passages comprise a final chapter, "Night Lights," and a list of resources is also provided. Practical and contemplative, and giving psychology and spirituality due concern, this book should be a welcome addition to New Age psychology.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
More well-meaning New Age psychopop from the author of Guilt is the Teacher, Love is the Lesson (1990), etc. According to psychologist Borysenko, who tends to gush, her ``soul has burned with the question why''--specifically, why does God allow suffering? The answer is found in this, as she puts it, ``extraordinarily special'' book that offers a ``new and much needed psychology'' of healing--new, that is, if one has never cracked open a self-help book or watched Oprah, Phil, or Sally. Borysenko's basic premise is, in fact, as old as the hills: that suffering is ``an opportunity for soul growth.'' She tries valiantly to situate this idea in world religious thought, but she constantly mangles her sources--for instance, repeatedly misreading John of the Cross's ``dark night of the soul,''which refers to an aridity that comes in advanced stages of contemplation, as equivalent to psychological disorders (in Borysenko's own case, a childhood bout with compulsive-obsessive disorder). On the other hand, Borysenko does know her transpersonal psychology, and the book teems with condensations of the ideas of Larry Dossey, John Bradshaw, Stanislav Grof, et al., as well as innumerable plugs for Borysenko's earlier volumes. Despite minor differences, all these writers broadcast the same idea: that spiritual growth is possible but takes effort, including the overcoming of fear, addiction, and other deep-seated traumas. As for methodology, Borysenko seems fond of women's confessional groups, men's drumming groups, and, above all, past-life therapy (we travel back to medieval Britain, among other locales). She's keen on meditation as well, and offers a watered-down, de-Christian-ized version of centering prayer, and a watered-down, de-Buddhist-ized version of walking meditation. This fire in the soul may warm already converted New Agers, but most others will find it wan comfort indeed. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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