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Entering the Castle: An Inner Path to God…
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Entering the Castle: An Inner Path to God and Your Soul

by Caroline Myss

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Caroline Myss takes as her main template for this modern spiritual journey the revered writings of The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila. Adapting Teresa’s vision of the soul as a beautiful crystal castle with many chambers, she 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. Entering the Castle is a comprehensive guidebook for the journey of your life - a journey into the centre of your soul. There, peace, God and a fearless bliss wait for you to discover them... and claim them for your own. ( )
  saraswati_library_mm | Mar 15, 2010 |
Caroline Myss takes as her main template for this modern spiritual journey the revered writings of The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila. Adapting Teresa’s vision of the soul as a beautiful crystal castle with many chambers, she 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. Entering the Castle is a comprehensive guidebook for the journey of your life - a journey into the centre of your soul. There, peace, God and a fearless bliss wait for you to discover them... and claim them for your own. ( )
1 vote Saraswati_Library | Feb 23, 2010 |
A companion guidebook to St. Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle.
  chersbookitlist | Aug 8, 2008 |
It takes 100 pages before you enter the first mansion. Some of the material in the beginning is important, but I'm sorry, I just could not connect with the author's own personal experiences. Some of them just sounded to "new age" to me. Superficial is the word that comes to mind although I do not want to to discredit the author's experiences.

The author brings up a good point about the need for deeply spiritual people in the world. The author uses the term "monks without monasteries". It is a catchy phrase, but it confuses the purposes of different vocations. Both vocations call for personal sacrifices (a word not much used in this book), but they are directed toward different goals. The author belittles, or does not recognize the secondary function of monasteries as a conveyor belt to drive and supplement, to support and re-energize the spirituality of those working in the world. (The primary function of monasteries is beyond the book and this book review.)

It seems like the author is specifically looking for some kind of extraordinary experience of God. We all are. But St. John of the Cross and even St. Teresa of Avila herself, along with many other genuine mystics, urge not to seek, or even hope for, these kinds of *extraordinary* experiences. Although they can and do reinforce faith, they become distractions and obstacles for "the one thing necessary"--to love God for God, not for God's consolations and gifts.

There was also an alarming tone of lack of poverty of spirit throughout the book. The author waits too late to address humility in the book, and then it was a bit shallow. The author treats it almost as a drawback or turnoff to reading any further in the book. In too many places I wrote in the margin, "What about grace?" (One definition of grace, avoiding much Christian connotation, is the gift to see old things in a new way. It is a gift and not something that can be self-manufactured.) The author makes it sound like *you* yourself are responsible for working your way through all the mansions of the castle. Yes, the first couple mansions require *work* on your part, but even through these, God is still doing the *real work*. You have to show up and choose to cooperate. Yes, you have to do your homework, but only grace (energy, power, or whatever term one uses) from God will empower you to do so, not your own volition. Without sincere, deep, and total humility, St. Teresa said that it is impossible to progress through the mansions regardless of how much one wants. (Read Johannes Baptist Metz's small book, [[ASIN:0809137992 Poverty of Spirit]] if you really want to understand humility and realize/live true poverty of spirit.)

In a spirit of ecumenical/all-faiths dialog, the author has sacrificed the beauty and depth of St. Teresa's original, albeit Christian, metaphors and symbols. The author decides to use the word "reptiles" instead of St. Teresa's word "snakes" for evils and worldly temptations. The word "love", although loaded with connotations, seems to be used very sparingly by the author. St. Teresa's word for God, the object of her total desire and commitment, was her "Beloved". This one missing word makes entering the Interior Castle more of an abstraction or exercise of improving ones self-esteem instead of the infinitely more personal and real seeking union with God.

The questions the author asks within each mansions do assist one along the proper path as outlined by St. Teresa. One should be aware that there are many other questions (and rooms) within each mansion that have not *yet* been explored by the book. It is also important to remember that it is not a sequential, linear progression as the author notes.

The detailed imagery the author uses to describe each room and mansion may help many people, but remember the whole idea of the Interior Castle was to be a metaphor/symbol for the *real* journey. Each room and mansion is just a signpost to where you are suppose to go, to some place to visit within. Do not get attached to the signposts, to the imagery of symbols and metaphors. Since St. Teresa was an apophatic mystic, all of the words and imagery themselves will eventually have to be left behind any way in order to seek union with the God above all concepts.

If this book gives you some insight, great. But I recommend reading the original from St. Teresa. Although this author adds much helpful psychology (which is different in many ways than spirituality), too much is lost and sacrificed in the translation. ( )
  CowPi | Jul 29, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743255321, Hardcover)

Internationally renowned motivational teacher, spiritual instructor, and popular theologian Caroline Myss presents her most important transformational work yet with Entering the Castle. It is a comprehensive inner guide to caring for your soul and finding a deep, true mysticism and a connection with the Divine, without having to give up the everyday world. Taking inspiration from the revered writings of 16th-century mystic Teresa of Avila, Myss adapts Teresa's vision of the soul as a beautiful crystal castle with many facets and rooms, each of which represents a stage of spiritual development and of coming to know God. The book presents an entirely new, seamless synthesis of ancient Eastern and Western insights, reinterpreted for today. Readers will learn how to build an interior castle sustained by prayer and the practices of silence, healing, channelling grace and forming circles of soul companions.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:26 -0400)

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Draws on the mystical writings of St. Teresa of Avila to explore how to maintain a connection with the divine, in a guide that compares the human soul to a crystal castle with rooms representing various stages of spiritual development.

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