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Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life's Ordeals Paperback – Jun 16 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Avery; Reprint edition (June 16 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592401333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592401338
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Almost every believer feels forgotten by God sometimes. Even Christ cried out on the cross, "Oh God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Dark Night of the Soul, a 16th-century mystical text written by the Carmelite monk St. John of the Cross, ranks among Christianity’s most helpful answers to this enduring question. In St. John’s vision of spiritual life, the pain of separation from God is to be embraced, not avoided. "The dark night is about being fully present in the tender, wounded emptiness of our own souls," explains translator Mirabai Starr--although she grants that modern culture makes such acceptance hard to attain. "We tend to see difficult feelings as a form of illness, which we hope to conquer, cure, and expel. [St. John of the Cross] has a far greater imagination of human life: his goal is not health but union with the divine." Several fine English translations of Dark Night already exist; Starr’s, however, is distinguished by its ecumenism. Minimizing the explicit scriptural references of the original text, she makes the treasures of Dark Night more accessible to readers of all religious traditions. --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

"Hello darkness my old friend, I've come to talk with you again." These lyrics from Simon and Garfunkel's famous song could be the guiding theme of this excellent offering by psychiatrist and spiritual counselor May. As May delves into the meaning and purpose of "the dark night of the soul," we come to see it as a comforting and necessary friend, ushering in a time of transformation, rather than a gloomy blackness to avoid. In order to illuminate the dark night, May draws upon the lives of the Carmelite mystics, John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, as well as psychiatric research and scripture. Like the contemporary scholars of psychiatry, both Teresa and John had early insights into the unconscious dimension of life that goes on beneath our awareness-an obscure and mysterious arena that they both called "the dark." Since humans are so skilled at denial-especially denying the power of their compulsions and attachments-they would never enter into this spiritual night of reckoning if they could see in advance what it would entail. This is why we need the darkness in front of us. May, who also wrote Addiction and Grace, eventually moves into a strong discussion about depression and addiction, showing why the dark night is necessary to overcome both. Ultimately, he becomes a messenger of hope, reminding readers that every dark night brings the sweet dawn of awakening. With its clear writing and strong psychological foundation, this is a relevant resource for readers of all spiritual persuasions.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By los desaparecidos on Aug. 8 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
St. John of the Cross is unique in the history of Western mysticism. Before St. John of the Cross, at least ten centuries witness the development of ascetical and mystical theology without attaining the totality for which St. John of the Cross is justly celebrated. He achieves this wholeness because in his own life he manifests the ascent of Mount Carmel of which he speaks, the journey of the soul from departure to purgation to union with God in the perfection that precedes the immediate entry of the soul into eternal beatitude. Only too well does the Catholic Church assign St. John of the Cross the title of Mystical Doctor, "Doctor Mysticis." In the centuries that follow, the Church may honor great mystics--we may note, for example, the contemporary friar, Padre Pio, who has been graced with the sublime epithet of the "second St. Francis"--yet it must be argued that no one since St. John of the Cross has united to the same extent such a holy life with lofty theology.
What I would like to do is to highlight this work as a watershed in ascetical and mystical theology. There are important antecedents. The pattern of spiritual life as a journey toward God in progressively higher stages of perfection is found in the writings of the early Orthodox Church, for example, St. Isaac the Syrian. The Greek Fathers in particular are significant in developing the theology of negation or apophatic theology to which St. John of the Cross is indebted. As the High Middle Ages approaches, there takes place a flowering in individual mysticism, notably, beginning with the ardent intimations of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, then culminating in the charming, to some extent legendary accounts of St. Francis of Assisi. In the second Founder of the Franciscans, St.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 5 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
"Every human life is made up of the light and the dark, the happy and the sad, the vital and the deadening. How you think about this rhythm of moods makes all the difference. Are you going to hide out in self-delusion and distracting entertainments? Are you going to become cynical or depressed? Or are you going to open your heart to a mystery that is as natural as the sun and the moon, day and night, and summer and winter?"
The above quotation is the crucial question in Thomas Moore's sequel to his best-selling and ultimately helpful "Care of the Soul." Read in his soothing, contemplative voice it is a challenge to all for everyone of us experiences times of grief, suffering, disappointment, and failure. Rather than reject these experiences, try to avoid them or get through them as quickly as possible, Moore, a former Catholic monk who became a therapist, suggests that we see them as opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.
Not an easy task you say. I quite agree. Yet, as Moore speaks from his personal life, cites case studies, and presents stories from art, literature, and mythology, listeners may find both encouragement and strength.
- Gail Cooke
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Ferle on May 31 2004
Format: Hardcover
Thomas Moore never disapoints. His previous works, including CARE OF THE SOUL, somehow manage to transcend pop culture, yet remain accessible and practical to the general reader with a yearning to grow. If only everyone could take the time to read his work, or listen to his tapes, we'd all be better people.
DARK NIGHTS OF THE SOUL is especially needed in these times of quick-fix therapy and entertainment as anti-depressant. We need to accept the fact that tough times and dark episodes in our lives must be dealt with and honored, not medicated or pushed under the rug. Dark nights offer potential for growth, for soul expansion, and Thomas Moore is the one to lead us on this important journey.
If you enjoyed his earlier work, you will appreciate his latest effort, and no doubt, will notice that he too is growing as a writer and giving us more to think about. Don't overlook this one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By The Good Crone on Oct. 30 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Yes, John of the Cross is hard to read. I have not read all translations, and have it in mind as a project, but I don't expect ever to take a book by him to the beach for a quick, entertaining read.
What John is, and the reason he is still read and studied and, in fact, treasured, is a scientist of prayer. If you are genuinely determined to climb Mt. Carmel, to pray and live your way into God, you need to read and re-read John. Like the Gospels, his work is dense and allusive, and full of layer upon layer of meaning. It is well to read present day authors who write about his work, too. But by no means should you leave him aside in your search for information and inspiration. There is no one else like him. He is the real thing.
review by Janet Knori, author of Awakening in God
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Richard William Ray on May 18 2004
Format: Hardcover
There should be a section in the book stores called intelligent and thoughtful reflection. You can find books like these but they are scattered in the hundreds of awful releases in "Self Help", "New Age" or "Philosophy".
Moore is intelligent, thoughtful and has spent years in reflection. He's also a good writer who doesn't offer easy answers. I've loved all his books. This is no exception.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "xerxes70" on Feb. 23 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
St. John of the Cross is truly a superb Saint and Mystic. Through his writings You can see how your own spiritual journey may not always be easy. If you are looking for a book that will not only inform you of the dark night, but also give you a self evaluation of your own life, then this is the book for you. In parts it may seem that St. John is peering into your soul and speaking directly to you. The wonderful thing about this book is that no one will have the same experence of it. Everyone who reads it will read it in light of where they are in their own lives. the reflection and thoughts of this Holy man will force you to look inside yourself to find what you need to do to reach the Ultimate union with God. St John of the Cross...Pray For Us!
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