- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Atria Books; 1 edition (Jan. 1 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 074325533X
- ISBN-13: 978-0743255332
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 363 g
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Entering the Castle: Finding the Inner Path to God and Your Soul's Purpose Paperback – Jan 1 2008
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"Entering the Castle is...based on St. Teresa's seven interior mansions, which are explained and elaborated here...so beautifully, clearly, compassionately, lightheartedly, wondrously...[as] seven steps...to your own deepest self or soul. Teresa became not only a spiritual woman who had written a brilliant practice manual, but a saint who saved Caroline's life, showed her her soul, awakened her heart, and set her on the never-ending...timelessly fulfilled road of practice. I just know that Teresa would say 'amen' to this luminous book as the fruit of her calling to you, a calling to all of us to be mystics without monasteries in a world sorely in need of a touch of the divine...the true self in each and every one of us."
-- From the foreword by Ken Wilber, author of A Brief History of Everything and Integral Spirituality
"Caroline Myss's brilliant, brave, and profoundly moving book takes us deep into the burning heart of Teresa of Ávila's vision of divine consciousness. Seekers on all parts will find here mature wisdom and deep sacred passion expressed with thrilling directness and a fierce psychological precision worthy of Teresa herself."
-- Andrew Harvey, author of The Direct Path and Son of Man
About the Author
Caroline Myss is the author of the New York Times bestselling books Invisible Acts of Power, Sacred Contracts, Why People Don't Heal and How They Can, and Anatomy of the Spirit, and is a pioneer and international lecturer in human consciousness. In 2003, she founded the CMED Institute, an educational program that specializes in intensive classes on archetypes, personal power, and mysticism. Her audiotapes include Entering the Castle (Hay House) and Why People Don't Heal and How They Can; Spiritual Madness; and Spiritual Power, Spiritual Practice (Sounds True). Her work is featured on her popular website www.myss.com. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois.
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I was taken aback to find that Entering the Castle is an ecumenical reader's guide to St. Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle. If I had known that, I would have read The Interior Castle instead for a deeper Christian reading on St. Teresa's mystical experiences and guidance for the rest of us.
If you aren't a Christian, you may like Entering the Castle because the book is careful not to take a Christian perspective while referencing figures from the faith. Jesus, for instance, is typically described as a spiritual figure rather than the son of God. Although Caroline Myss describes herself as a Catholic, her personal beliefs seem to be that all religions are essentially identical. It's more of a Unitarian view than a Catholic description of religion.
If you are a Christian, why wouldn't you want a purely Christian perspective?
The book is very slow to begin. It takes around a hundred pages before you reach the first part of what St. Teresa of Avila described. I didn't find the writing to be tight and engaging like the writing is in Sacred Contracts.
St. Teresa wrote about her mystical experiences as a kind of roadmap that someone can follow who wants more a more direct relationship with God. As described in Entering the Castle there are seven metaphorical mansions in the castle. Within each mansion, there are rooms that represent stages of mystical experience and development. These rooms are described as exercises for you to do. There's a caution that St. Teresa reported that some nuns couldn't get past the first few mansions, and that progress will take years. Think of this book as describing a life journey rather than a quick fix to improve your life.
Here are the mansions and their main subjects:
1. Prayer, humility, chaos, and Divine seduction
2. Inner vision, spiritual companions, and commitment to God
3. Moving past reason into faith, and surrendering to God
4. Receiving God fully
5. Being led by your soul
6. Channeling grace to dissolve self
7. Carrying your fully developed soul back into the world
The author adds prayers, examples, and directions to make these steps easier to grasp. I found that her personal examples were the most helpful as she pursues a quest that began when St. Teresa spoke to her.
A disappointing aspect of the book is that the three early mansions receive most of the attention, even though where most people want to be is in one of the latter mansions. Perhaps that's because St. Teresa indicated that it was up to God for you to make progress through those last four mansions.
I have been interested in these same subjects for many years, and I used this book to help me get a sense of where I was in my journey. What surprised me was that my roadmap seems to be a lot different than this one. From that I conclude that there's more than one path to mystical connection to God. Now that I realize that lesson, I intend to read more of what Christian mystics have had to say so that I can learn from each of them.
I was particularly surprised to see the emphasis on healing of others in this book. I hadn't thought such an activity would be part of a path to mystical experience. That lesson indicates to me that I have much to learn.
May God bless you, your family, and all you do!
In her book "Entering the Castle", Caroline Myss has liberated St. Teresa from the suffocating Inquisition, and has brought sixteenth-century psychology of the spirit to the twenty-first century. Caroline's book offers courage, methodology and hope about how, independent of religious affiliation, we can enter our own "castle" to navigate our spiritual journey. More importantly however, Caroline very wisely suggests, we must be "mystics out of the monastery" so that we can reach others with the wealth of spirit required to advance global consciousness. As a clinical psychologist who teaches mystics wellness on their arduous journey to find union with the divine, I strongly recommend, "Entering the Castle" for anyone who is seeking spiritual guidance that goes beyond New Age "quick fix".
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