Certainly Teresa of Avila is wonderful. The problem is the "translation" by Mirabai Starr! She puts her own spin on "Catholic" terms instead of being true to the spirit of Teresa of Avila! "Sin" becomes "unconsciousness".. I thought "unconsciousness" was when you were in a coma... It is unfortunate that new age terms have been inserted into this beautiful work by Teresa of Avila. I am very disappointed in this translation of this work. I certainly will never purchase anything with Mirabai Starr's translation on it ever again.
In "The Interior Castle," St. Teresa of Avila discusses dwelling places of the soul, divided into two sections. The first three groups are achievable by human effort and the ordinary help of grace. The remaining four groups deal with the passive or mystical elements of the spiritual life. In prayerfully pondering how to communicate the nature of the soul's spiritual journey toward God, an illustration came to her mind. "It is that we consider our soul to be like a castle made entirely out of a diamond or of very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms, just as in heaven there are many dwelling places." Her point is that in the center and middle of this seven layered soul is where "the very secret exchanges between God and the soul take place." Her plan is to map out each of the seven dwelling places, describing what they are, how one arrives there, and what one experiences there. Modern readers expecting an easy-to-digest recipe for spiritual nourishment will likely starve or be turned off by the richness of the food and the depth of the imagery. Though a classic, "The Interior Castle" will not be the best choice, and certainly not the first choice, for most people in the beginning stages of their spiritual journey. Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Soul Physicians" and "Spiritual Friends."