Healing the Western Soul: A Spiritual Homecoming for Today's Seeker

Healing the Western Soul: A Spiritual Homecoming for Today's Seeker

by Judith S. Miller


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The search for meaning, which is so crucial for psychological health, has lost its traditional anchors. As a result, millions of individuals are creating their own belief systems. This shift began back in the Sixties, as people left traditional religion and began exploring other forms of spirituality.Social contradictions demonstrate the complex factors around the topic of the spiritual life in the West. We have reached a pivotal moment where many negative forces seem to be pulling us apart, even while powerful forces for the good, especially seen through rapidly growing global communication, are bringing people around the world ever closer together. Today’s meaning will be found through reclaiming and transforming our traditional spiritual anchors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781557789174
Publisher: Paragon House Publishers
Publication date: 03/01/2015
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Judith Miller Ph.D. is a professor of developmental psychology at Columbia University where she repeatedly receives the "Outstanding Teacher" award from students for her course "Spiritual Development Across the Lifespan." She is also on the faculty of the International Institute for Consciousness Exploration and Psychotherapy in Wittnau, Germany. As part of her teaching responsibilities over the years, Miller has provided clinical supervision to hundreds of psychotherapists and graduate psychology students in both America and Europe. She also is a highly regarded spiritual guide, a popular speaker for lay and professional audiences alike, and a sought-after presenter at national and international conferences.

Table of Contents

Praise for Healing the Western Soul ii

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: Why the Western Soul Needs Healing xv

Contacting the Soul xvi

Our Spiritual Contradiction xviii

The Hunger for Spiritual Guidance xx

Lost Moorings xxiii

Part 1 Our Western Spiritual Angst

Chapter 1 Two Ways of Knowing 3

Why Do-It-Yourself Spirituality Doesn't Work 5

Craig's Experience Was About Healing 7

The Other Voice Within 9

Why Spiritual Experiences Cannot be Ignored 11

Providing "Treatment" versus Supporting a Process 13

Chapter 2 A Crack Between the Worlds 17

"Epiphenomena" 21

Discovering Why Psychology Needs Spirituality 24

Working Therapeutically With Different States of Consciousness 26

Mysticism is the Wellspring 28

The Mystical Experience of Eckhart Tolle 29

Marks Premature State of Union 32

The Spiritual Crisis 35

Our Cultures "Lazy Assumption" 39

Chapter 3 Worldviews and Support Systems 41

Our Three Dominant Worldviews 44

Our Support Systems Based on Our Worldviews 45

Worldviews on Demand 47

Religion, Our First Support System 48

Our Second Support System: Psychology and Its Multiple Theories and Worldviews 51

Why Psychology Avoids Spirituality 54

Janine and the Incurable Brain 56

The Diagnostic Category "Religious or Spiritual Problem" 60

The New Age Movement and the Spiritual-But-Not-Religious 62

Part 2 Our Western Spiritual Roots

Chapter 4 God Experience 69

God, an Experience of Divine Love 71

The Three Faces of God 75

Our Challenge and Blessing 86

Chapter 5 Our Mystical Ground 89

Our Western Spiritual DNA 90

The Transformative Power of Jesus 91

Rejecting the Sacred Marriage 92

The Shame of a Religious Past 96

The Dominance of Eastern Religions in Psychology 98

Why I Encourage Western Seekers to "Come Home" 98

Bob's Impossible Search 100

Our Spiritual Identity 101

Why the Western Path is Active 102

The One God 104

The Ever Important Question 106

The Kabbalah and the Duality of Good and Evil 107

Madly in Love with the Same God 108

Chapter 6 Light and Darkness 111

Sybille 112

The Reality of Evil 115

Western Dualism 116

What if Inner Darkness Prevails? 117

The Power of Intention 118

About Choice, Commitment and Partnership with God 119

When People Cannot Accept Their Inner Light 121

What Exactly are The Voices? 124

The Problem of Living Without Commitment 126

A Case in Point-Mental Illness or Mental Neglect? 127

What if the Darkness Seems too Strong? 129

Creativity Through a Struggle with Darkness 131

Part 3 Our Western Spiritual Path

Chapter 7 Stage One: Spiritual Awakening 139

The self versus the Self 141

The Stages of Life and the Spiritual Journey 142

The Three Stages of the Western Spiritual Path 143

A Glimpse of the Transcendent-The First Characteristic 146

Dreams as a Glimpse of the "Really Real" 147

A Multidimensional Reality 149

Asking Big Questions-The Second Characteristic 150

Three Tattooed Pilgrims 151

Challenges in Spiritual Awakening 154

Resolving the Challenges' in Awakening 159

Kinds of Psycho-Spiritual Work: Two Examples 160

Chapter 8 Stage Two: Illumination 167

Characteristics of Spiritual Illumination 169

Jewish and Christian Perspectives about Illumination 173

Challenges of Spiritual Illumination 174

A Modern Seeker's Thoughts about the Western Spiritual Path 187

Chapter 9 Stage Three: Union 189

Union: the final stage 189

Become Ayin to Live in God 191

Psychology's Problem with Union 193

Different Ways to Experience Union 196

The Unique Challenge of Intimate and Personal Union with Jesus 200

Christ Consciousness and the Power of Love, Compassion, and Forgiveness 202

Chapter 10 A New Psycho-Spiritual Worldview 205

A New Psycho-Spiritual Worldview 209

Some Final Thoughts about Mental Illness in the West 210

End Notes 215

Index 225

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Healing the Western Soul: A Spiritual Homecoming for Today's Seeker 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very important book. Though small in size, it speaks to some of the most important issues in Western society today. I usually don';t buy books dealing with spirituality because they seem superficial and not very relevant. But Judith Miller makes the topic meaningful. She writes in a very easy to understand way and uses many examples from her many years of thinking, living, and working with people as a psychotherapist and spiritual teacher. I'm hoping many people read this book. Our culture and country are falling apart. People are falling apart. Miller has much to say that may help -- a little at a time. And this is the necessary time for her book to come into the world.nd
D_Donovan More than 1 year ago
Healing the Western Soul: A Spiritual Homecoming for Today's Seeker considers how social and political tensions are slowly pulling people away from Judeo-Christian roots and spiritual beliefs, creating what is ultimately a confusing and difficult spiritual journey for many. It analyzes how millions of people from Judeo-Christian backgrounds experience spiritual emptiness and how these seekers often eschew the spiritual intuitions and mystical visions that come to them through prayer, dreams and daily living; and it considers why the religious, psychological and social systems of modern society and even the New Age movement have failed to address these problems. A description of the three stages of the Western Spiritual Path and how these might lead to a more spiritually-fulfilling life contributes to a discussion designed for modern seekers of all faiths who want to get a handle on their lives and purpose.