This illuminating and captivating book by psychologist Mariana Caplan explores the practice of discernment on the spiritual path. Through interviewing thousands of spiritual teachers and practitioners Caplan has uncovered the common traps of modern spirituality and the methods to avoid them. This honest look at the challenges of the spiritual path encourages the reader to carefully examine their spiritual practice as well as their psyche. Caplan’s main message is that psychological transformation and spiritual awakening are inseparably one process, and when this process becomes fragmented problems arise. She illustrates this most clearly through the stories of fallen teachers and guru scandals, but she is insistent that we all have the same weaknesses to overcome and the same dark places to befriend.
I found the most illuminating, interesting and helpful chapters to be:
Spiritually Transmitted Diseases (what they are, how to test for and
remedy them), Psychology of the Ego (healthy ego development and the
nature of projection), and Demystifying the Shadow (overcoming our fear
of the shadow and how to work with it). While there is an overwhelming
amount of information given, the book ends a simple and sweet call to
action: “The Divine has sent you a love letter, written in the form of
your life. Will you receive it? How will you respond?”
Vira Bhava Yoga at Brevard Yoga Center
A radical recalibration of your life and experience in the world.