A generous mélange of pantheism, panentheism, mysticism, the human consciousness movement, personal empowerment and other New Age elements, Entering the Castle offers Christians a view of how New Age writers pick and choose parts of many traditions (without affirming any of them specifically), including the Bible (either as verses quoted out of context or as characters held up as paragons of a sterilized spirituality). Myss' understanding of truth, heaven, hell, and the soul are are all textbook versions of New Age thinking, as are most of the other terms she uses or defines. Ostensibly about the soul-journey an individual can make based on the mystical text The Interior Castle by Teresa of Àvila, the application of it would put the practitioner in contact with concepts like divine chaos, Jungian psychology, silence as the language of God, the divinity of the individual, and the 'mystical trinity' of matter, the soul, and enlightened consciousness.
Internationally renowned motivational teacher, spiritual instructor, and popular theologian Caroline Myss has created a transcendent work of unique insight and revelation in Entering the Castle. This exciting new teaching of contemporary mysticism is also a brilliant synthesis of the psychology of consciousness and of Eastern and Western mystical traditions. Myss provides a highly original inner path to self-knowledge -- which is also the road into a spiritual knowledge of God and your own soul -- as she reveals a necessary external path, one that takes you out into the world to serve God and others as a mystic without a monastery -- without having to retreat into total silence, self-denial, or isolation.
As her main template for this extraordinary, modern spiritual journey, Myss uses the beloved, revered writings of The Interior Castle by Teresa of Ávila. Adapting Teresa's vision of the soul as a beautiful crystal castle with many floors, or mansions, and many rooms within those mansions, Myss guides us from room to room, helping us meet different aspects of our self, our soul, and our spirit -- preparing us for the ultimate encounter with God and our own divinity. Through intense practices and methods of spiritual inquiry adapted for contemporary life, she helps us to develop our personal powers of prayer, contemplation, and intuition and to ascend the seven levels of soul knowledge that build an ever stronger interior castle of our own -- a soul of strength and stamina.
As in all her books, Myss also recounts stories of profoundly moving real-life experiences -- of her own, as well as of her students and of renowned spiritual figures -- that bring home the universal truth of her insights. Presiding over the entire book and journey are the great mystics, ancient and contemporary, of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism with their inspiring lives and discerning spirits. And over all, the benevolence, truth, and gentle and tough love of Teresa of Ávila shine through.
Doubtless Myss's most deeply personal, revealing, compassionate, and transforming book yet, Entering the Castle is a comprehensive guidebook for the journey of your life -- a journey into the center of your soul. There, peace, God, and a fearless bliss wait for you to discover them...and claim them for your own.
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.
Fans of Myss's earlier books (Sacred Contracts, etc.), which drew inspiration from such diverse traditions as Indian medicine and ancient divination methods, may be surprised at how thoroughly entrenched her new book is in the Western religious tradition. In the preface, she discusses how an out-of-the blue seizure and a midlife hunger for an authentic spiritual practice set her exploring the mystical tradition of her childhood Catholic faith. Using St. Teresa of Avila's metaphor of the "interior castle" as a template, Myss challenges readers to get in touch with their own souls and shows how they can then lead deeper, more joyous lives. Every chapter is packed with meditations that help to either clean out the detritus that prevents spiritual growth or prepare for a mystical meeting with God. Interspersed are supportive stories of those who have gone before on the path. While Myss explicitly states that readers need not become Catholic or even Christian to enter the castle, some may be turned off by how little she incorporates other traditions. Even so, the material clearly springs from a deeply personal place and every page rings with the passion and intensity of someone who has finally found what she was seeking. Copyright 2007 Publishers Weekly.
"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