Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


The Interior Castle: With a Foundation

posted by Beyond Blue

Medical intuitive and renowned author Caroline Myss and I have a few things in common: we both have studied theology, and we were both taught by nuns. But when it comes to interpreting sacred texts, like Teresa of Avila’s classic “Interior Castle,” we must have been in two different classrooms.

Because our two castles have some major structural variations. And I’d like to think mine would be the one standing after a hurricane.

I applaud Myss’s efforts in the field of human consciousness and holistic health, even if I do have a few issues with her philosophies. But I’m feeling a bit defensive and protective with Teresa of Avila (and the other Carmelite mysticsJohn of the Cross and Therese of Lisieux) since they are key players in my faith and in my recovery from depression. And because one of my dearest friends and mentors, Keith Egan, is one of the country’s most prominent Carmelite scholars.

When I read parts of Myss’s book “Entering the Castle” (inspired by Teresa of Avila’s “Interior Castle“), I shook my head wondering if I had dozed off back in theology class, or if she was trying to advertise a banana-split without the banana, offer a burger without the meat, or sell a mansion with no foundation.

The Spanish mystic’s message is poignant and powerful. One of the most celebrated books on mystical theology, her “Interior Castle” is an important text. Which is why it needs to be understood properly.

The “Interior Castle” and all Carmelite spirituality is about God transforming the human heart and soul in love. As my mentor Egan explained to me in an e-mail yesterday: “Teresa focuses on God, who is the center of our existence. He calls us into that center where we can meet God in love.”

Nothing in Teresa’s “Interior Castle” suggests that the transformation of heart and soul is of our own doing. We aren’t divine. No. No. No. Only God is divine. All of the blessings we receive are received through grace, are God’s doing. That’s what keeps us humble, and that’s where Myss is missing a few (essential) pillars.

“[The soul] waits impatiently for the opportunity and avenue to unveil itself to you–your own divinity, the God within you,” writes Myss in “Entering the Castle.” “What does ‘unveiling your own divinity’ really mean?… In the Castle you will connect to your divinity–and give your soul an opportunity to stretch out a bit.”

Major crack in the foundation there! Everything I have read about Carmelite prayer suggests the opposite: that union with God comes when we begin to comprehend our nothingness, when we completely empty ourselves before the Creator, when we acknowledge that God alone is Love, Truth, Wisdom, and Peace.

It’s the virtue of humility that I believe is at stake here, and humility is central to Teresa’s spirituality, as she writes:

“I was wondering once why Our Lord so dearly loved this virtue of humility; and all of a sudden…the following reason came to mind: that it is because God is Sovereign Truth and to be humble is to walk in truth, for it is absolutely true to say that we have no good thing in ourselves, but only misery and nothingness; and anyone who fails to understand this is walking in falsehood. He who understands it is most pleasing to Sovereign Truth because he is walking in truth.”

According to Teresa, we are nothing next to God, but have great potential because of God. Says Egan: “Teresa does have a positive notion of the human person despite her call for humility. We are a castle, a pearl, and much besides. But we are created and we do fail to accept God’s love. Teresa speaks of our nothingness because she knows the difference between ourselves and God–she sees the wide chasm.”

Recognizing this wide chasm and separateness allows the union between our souls and God to happen. Deification–an Eastern theological theme taken up by Thomas Aquinas, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and others–means that God created us in God’s image and likeness and by our baptism calls us to become, through grace, God-like. Not God–God-like, and only by grace, another principal concept missing in Myss’s castle. “We impoverished humans are called to union with God and that union makes us like God but we remain always the human that God created us to be, created to love God with all our hearts,” explains Egan.

Without grace, without the clear distinction between creation and Creator, we get dangerously close to pantheism–where there’s little or no separation between God and the world.

So, while it’s wonderful that Myss is introducing the world to the Carmelite nun and Spanish mystic who offers us some clear directions toward a deeper union with God, I believe that she’d better get an architect in her castle asap, because some serious renovations are needed.



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Daria

posted April 21, 2007 at 7:30 am


You said: “One of the most celebrated books on mystical theology, her ‘Interior Castle’ is an important text. Which is why it needs to be understood properly”.Well, I suppose that because you are writing a blog, you can say it this way, but if you were arguing in a more formal venue, you would be cited for this line of argument. Because no one really has the “goods” on any subject enough to be able to say that it can be “understood properly” as you set out to prove. Understood “differently” yes. But “properly”? All we have in life is our God-given perspective, be that of Ms. Myss’s view of the same reading. Or yours. Or another’s or another’s. One thing that I have come to learn about God is this-that He loves diversity–animal, vegetable and mineral – and of people–be it how we look and act and oh yes, in how we think and speak and perceive things and how we state our opinions.To say that your opinion is more proper an interpretation of “Interior Castle” than the other’s would be like saying that you somehow had an inside line into the author’s mind, something no one can ever claim. If I recall correctly, you have mentioned in other entries, that you suffer from depression. Well, I do as well. One of the things that I know about that disorder is that our perspective about things can either help our depression or actually hurt it. In fact, our thoughts are so powerful in the management or perhaps even etiology of the disorder, that there is a whole school of therapy that is focused just on that-our cognitions (Cognitive Therapy). So, what I’m getting to here is that perhaps your blog today was a bit on the “stinking thinking” side of things–you, in your attempt to show us about the “proper” interpretation of things, is really something altogether different. No one – no one – sees into another’s mind. Especially into a holy person’s. And definitely not God’s. What Ms. Myss was saying wasn’t that she or you or I are divine. Yes, she used the term our “divinity” but then followed with the term “that of God within”. For one thing, your blog mentioned that you only read “parts” of her book and not the whole book, if I read it correctly, and that also would not fly on the outside of a blog. You cannot judge a book by its cover or by reading only bits and pieces. To know it fully, you must read it fully – this is also an error on your part, one that keeps you from making as “proper” interpretation as one could. And then, as you spoke about your view of things, I got this very depressed view of things. Ms. Myss’s view was energetic, open, optimistic. I did not interpret it to be pantheistic–It drew me in and wanted me to draw closer to God, to want to know Him more. Your view was –well, depressing. Listen to your self: “that union with God comes when we begin to comprehend our nothingness, when we completely empty ourselves before the Creator, when we acknowledge that God alone is Love, Truth, Wisdom, and Peace.” The whole notion of emptying oneself is the depressing idea–my view of God is that of fullness–with light and love and yes, the divine–mine, which does ultimately come from Him. Ms. Myss never disputes this. All she says is that we have this opportunity to experience this daily–if we are open to it–and we don’t have to empty ourselves to do it in the depressing sense. We can be like the ecstatics and be full of life and love–we just have to have an open heart and mind and soul. Well, it is late, and I will sign off. I wrote to you because I, as a former Catholic and “fellow” depressed individual, wanted to share my experience of reading your ideas. You in a way remind me of me when I was younger–and still of me now in some ways, as you can see in the intensity of my writing. One thing is for sure–we live in a great time and place where we are free to express our beliefs, and for that I am grateful. I enjoy your blog and will continue reading it!



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Patricia

posted April 22, 2007 at 1:50 pm


I must whole-heartedly second the above comment. I too am a depressive and saw the sad willingness to embrace the “nothingness” concept — I am tempted as well, but for me, it will only feed my gloom. I like Myss’ interpretation and think it’s healthy to have more than just what has reigned “proper” Catholic understanding for centuries. It’s not that either is right or wrong; and of course, you have been honest about your Myss bias.It is a forum for your opinion after all, but I would gently point out how strongly you are defending something that may only feed a negative world view for you. For my depression, I would ask, what could I do about it if I were divine? My, oh my . . .



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Daria

posted April 23, 2007 at 12:05 am


Patricia-I think a more helpful question, at least for me and my depression, has been, “what question can my life be an answer to?” For me, depression has fed on a lack of purpose and meaning, of not making a difference in peoples’ lives. And on negativity. And when things would go badly-as they inevitably do, since loss and grief are a part of life, instead of looking for answers, I try to do what a columnist in “O” has suggested (See the May 07 edition–the columnist is a female Rabbi-I don’t recall the title but it is about asking the right questions…)–I have tried and continue to try to focus on finding meaning and purpose. None of this new-Viktor Frankel in “Man’s Search for Meaning” has discussed this as have others. Cognitive therapists talk about focusing on reframing negative thoughts or “cognitive distortions”–I have many of them and continue to strive to achieve some semblance of progress, which of course I have. As for being divine–I have never thought about it really. Perhaps in my depression I saw it as too overwhelmingly awesome in scope and duties for me to wrap my small brain around!!:)The small approaches to the divine, however, something that Myss addressed, is attractive to me. It is what I think Therese missed. To me, approaching the divine is like approaching the Sun-flying too close burns one up into a crispy critter. Zap! Or melts one’s wings, as with Daedalus. But being close enough – in ways that invites the positives into one’s life — to approximate it — gives us the warmth and sustenance to give us an idea of what it is like to be “there”. And that’s good enough for me. As for my depression, I have tried to view it as a gift. This is very difficult to do. But the gift of it is that it brings to me a perspective that makes me appreciate the positives and beauty–that of God within and around me and in others. It has taken me years to get to this point of view–and like any good gift, I am trying to cherish it. Some days are more difficult than others. Today actually is one that is mixed. I push on…Daria



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Patricia

posted April 23, 2007 at 2:36 am


Daria — Thank you for your thoughtful response. I will ponder a great deal about your view of depression as a gift. I don’t know that I will ever get there. However, there are some aspects, like being able to empathize, being able to pick up on danger quickly, etc. that I suppose are gifts of depression. I think I was trying to address Therese’s “No, no no — only God is divine!” declaration. If that is true, what does that make me? A worthless nothing. That’s so easy for me to believe. It’s what I’ve tried so hard to overcome. Instead, I’ve tried so hard to believe Wayne Dyer’s analogy that I’ll butcher here: imagine the source (God) as a cherry pie. We come from that source; we are created from that source. We are a slice of it — apart but made of the same thing. So, if you define what you are, you wouldn’t say you are apple pie. You are cherry pie, you are God, you are divine.



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Shekah

posted April 23, 2007 at 4:15 pm


Ms. Borchard, I respect your column, having fought and lost much to severe depression since I was 13. I am now 38, wiser than I was when I was 13. My healing started when I left Christianity, believe it or not. The version I was taught was so poison that it poisoned the rest of the faith for me. To leave all of my inner well-being to a benevolent Christian God who never forgave me for the serpent and the apple is counterproductive. May as well leave my lunch money with the school bully. I am happy that your Christian faith is what is helping you. If it is helping you, stay with it. It is a glorious and wonderful thing. Please do not assume that we are all going to be healed by such things. And yes, we do have a hand in healing our own depression… and yes, we are all divine. Even your Bible says we are divine, that we were made in God’s image. We do have power over our own lives. For instance, I can sit at home today and feel sorry for myself or I can get up and exercise and help myself. Exercise has been proven to help depression. I am not saying it is easy. Climbing your way out of a deep hole with slick sides never is. I am just saying that we do need to take responsibility for ourselves. If God is part of the equation, then it is a partnership between yourself and God, not just a “go do this for me” to God.



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Bruce

posted April 23, 2007 at 10:32 pm


In defense of Ms. Borchard: When it comes to defining absolute truth, we should (of course) be careful about trying to claim too much. But if I base an argument on a work of someone else’s, then I have an obligation to represent that person’s work “properly.” That is, I may be “properly” taken to task if I have misunderstood my source. An essential element of the Carmelite approach of Teresa and of John of the Cross is a focus on our interior poverty. That is, I am poor, and God’s grace comes to me as a wonderful gift and blessing. God comes to us in our interior castles or in our dark nights, and God’s loving presence brings us redemption and joy. If my “true self” is somehow divine, however, then my sadness and my mistakes become like torture to me. the idea of finding my divine self is not a blessing but an invitation to disappointment. I have not suffered from clinical depression, but I have had times of tragedy and times when I have been bitterly disappointed with myself. If I embrace my dark night, I find God there and a way to peace and joy. If I think I’m somehow divine, then I would have to ask, “What is wrong with me?” It is counter-intuitive but nevertheless true. Embracing my own poverty frees me to accept God’s love and grace. Understanding myself to be somehow divine makes me wonder why I can’t live up to God’s expectations.



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Suzanne

posted April 23, 2007 at 11:06 pm


I suffer from manic-depression (bipolar disorder), and the first manifestation of it was in 1968, when I had, essentially, conquered all there was in my life; a dream job in D.C., engagement to a pre-med, my own apartment, didn’t need a car, etc. I began to feel “divine:” i.e., I was Christ as a woman. I had somehow brought all this goodness on myself, without acknowledging the “inner God.” But – I was more aware of God’s nature in ALL things, in ALL people. I spread joy wherever I went. I was blessed. Of course, all of the above was delusional and I didn’t recognize it as such at that time. The blog above that says “we are cherry pie,” sounds closer to Truth. It took three hospitalizations (the last one in 1977), for me to see the whole picture. Stress induced the delusions, as well as pernicious anemia and paranoid schizophrenia in my maternal grandfather. Now, I react like “normal” people do when good things happen (and even when they don’t). It’s not ME who’s making them happen – it’s God’s grace. I, too, was wracked with clinical depression for a year, so know full well the “wall with slippery sides.” Chemicals “cured” the depression, and I am on meds for the long term. The doctors have finally found the formula for me to lead a fairly “normal” life, though I am on Social Security disability. It IS a trap to believe one is “God” or “divine.” Like flying too close to the sun, there is a price to pay. So I have proceeded to acknowledge myself as a “blessed soul” whose gift of empathy has made me many friends. To tell people they must embrace “nothingness” could have triggered the shooter at Virginia Tech…



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Shekah

posted April 24, 2007 at 12:05 am


Suzanne, Blaming the Virginia Tech shootings on the New Age movement, or on Buddhism, is as mean spirited and far off the mark as blaming the 9-11 attacks on feminism. The man who was responsible for the Virginia Tech shootings had a medical problem. He needed medication, not to become a good Christian. It seems that so many people are looking for someone who, as the Christmas song says, “Turns tears to laughter, war to peace, and everyone to everyone’s neighbor.” Unfortunately, most of us need look no further than the mirror. Unfortunately, I believe that the Buddhists, the Christians, the New Age movement might be talking about the same thing but different symbols are given, different stories are told. It is possible that in looking inside, the Buddhists and the New Age folk are mistaking an external, divine force for something inside. It is also possible that many people of faith consider the force inside of them to be of external divine origin. I can not tell you which is true.



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Shekah

posted April 24, 2007 at 12:07 am


Some of the great humility of the mystic is knowing that we cannot know.



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Gabriella

posted April 24, 2007 at 12:34 am


Hello, I enjoyed your column immensely and couldnt agree more that Ms. Myss has taken license with Teresa of Avila’s mystical text. One cannot interpret anyway one chooses and Teresa makes it clear in her book that it is only by Gods blessing that she has as much clarity as He has allowed her. Ms. Myss’s murky ” the divine will reveal itself” is a far cry from the practicality Teresa practiced. I applaud your commentary and am in full agreement. Sincerely Gabriella



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Shekah

posted April 24, 2007 at 12:57 am


One Bible, many Christianities. Which interpretation is right?



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Judith

posted April 24, 2007 at 1:36 am


I believe that God is within each of us, that sin distances us from from God, that through God’s grace, He continues to reveal Himself to us, through us, through others and all of His creation. He does “Abide in Us”. I was raised within a theological belief system that made me very “aware” of my unworthiness and guilt. I am aware of my sinful nature and propensities towards sin. I am humble before the Enormous nature of God. Christ brought a message of worthiness before God, of salvation, of loving God with all our hearts, souls and minds, our neighbors as ourselves. I embrace humility but it is no longer the self-flagilating idea of nothingness, unworthiness, emptiness. I am not God-forsaken. I am made whole through God’s Grace through Jesus Christ. Self=loathing is not the message I find in the Scripture or through the spiritual dialogue I have with God. I am of a separate “identity” from God. But I am a part of God as surely as I carry the DNA of my parents. He is within me as His creation and by my invitation through His mystery of Grace.I also agree with statements made here before, NO ONE has the definitive, interpretive powers to fully understand this great mystery. Having a new way to look at these things is not wrong, or a bad thing. And yes, we are called to love God, ourselves and our neighbors and I would also add, all of God’s creation.I have not read Myss but have read Therese D’Avila although I am not a theologian nor scholar. I will not argue if Myss interpretations of Therese D’Avila’s Interior Castles.I will embrace my Creator, endeavor to do His work and be a conduit of His love and continue to believe that God reveals Himself even yet today through His creations and even me.



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Ruth Eileen

posted April 24, 2007 at 8:55 am


Thanks to Daria and Shekah for comments much better spoken than I might write. Divine indeed is all life, even in moments of abject darkness. Altho’ exposed to numerous philosophies growing up, from Catholicism to Unity to the extreme esoteric, it is indeed something inborn that has allowed me to accept, without judgement my anger, my rage, my light, my “knowing” of “the universe”, my human-ness and that which I am before, during and after this Ruth Eileen. From my perspective of the universe, in Truth, there is no hierarchy in all that is. The dirt-digger and the doctor are equal. They simply act upon different aspects of knowledge and capacity of action. May all beings know Peace. Namaste. Ruth Eileen



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Michael

posted April 24, 2007 at 2:36 pm


Although not diagnosed, I am sure I have suffered from depression in multiple phases of my life. And I am very appreciative of your blog. This article has struck me. Although I am not Catholic, I have studied theology. And this discussion very much reminds me of the great debate between Karl Barth and Paul Tillich -theologians of the same era, who very eloquently debated God as “in-dwelling”, “relevant” and the very “Ground of Being” according to Tillich. “Ground of Being” here is a kind of synonym for “essence”. God as our “essence”. Whereas Karl Barth’s argument follows from the idea that God is the “object of God s own self-knowledge”, and revelation in the Bible means the “self-unveiling to humanity of the God who cannot be discovered by humanity simply through its own efforts”. Wikipedia offers a little more detail, if you are interested, on both men and their theology. But I love this sort of paradox. Both of these are so true! And yet most of us relate to one side MORE than the other, just as readers likely relate either more to you Ms Borchard, or Caroline Myss, in your contrasting views of the Interior Castle. Our views are necessarily “affected” by our personal life experiences. One will “feel more right” to us maybe because it is “more familiar” to us. But I believe the beauty of paradoxes is that if you can come to see the beauty and truth of BOTH sides of the paradox, it brings growth. And the more we grow, the more we can learn of God’s nature, and of God’s “Being”. So your blog has provided that arena, for grappling with paradox. And I personally am helped by that! Thank you!!



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Lisa B.

posted April 24, 2007 at 3:38 pm


I have a question for those who see us as God’s creations… Does this mean we are merely sophisticated robots? I am stuck in the gloom of this horrifying and probable possibility.



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Cully

posted April 24, 2007 at 5:35 pm


What a very revealing and sad piece. The more I have read of Beyond Blue/Therese J. Borchard s writings the more depressed and saddened I feel. At first I had thought that Mrs. Borchard would be inspirational but as it turns out she is simply feeding other s depression and lack of self-respect and self-confidence. Mrs. Borchard writes that when she reads parts of Myss s book she (Borchard) shakes her head in wonderment. I ll bet she does Mrs. Borchard has no faith she has a religion, and she has no recovery to speak of how could she when she believes that her creator thinks so little of her that she was created to be nothing! She doesn t believe that we have free will that it is up to us to choose either to accept or reject the gifts that are showered upon us every day. She doesn t believe that anyone can grow and join in God except by accepting that they are nothing and can never be anything unless it is decided by a God that wants all of us to know our place (completely separate and lowly) and keep it. I was raised in the Catholic religion but left when I was rebuked for asking, Why if God is Love doesn t God love us? The reaction of the nuns and priests spoke clearly that religion is not Faith, and that Faith is knowing God s love. Myss s book was Inspired by Avila s Interior Castle it is NOT an Interpretation. Inspiration comes from God. I believe this because I believe that God loves what has been created and expects us to grow into everything Not that we were created by a God that does not love what has been created not that we are nothing and should remain as nothing. And to Lisa… No honey, we are not robots. We are wonderous and free willed creations. We are God’s dream of Love made flesh. The choice is ours – to sink into the darkness or be lifted into Love.



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tanji

posted April 24, 2007 at 9:12 pm


In the king James Version of the Holy bible, there is a scripture in the book of John that says “The kingdom of God is within you” You may take that as you wish>I take it as GOD is within us all. From the very first breathe we take until the very last breathe we take, We are not nothing we are very much something and someone. Because we are create in his image. Jesus teaches us that whatsoever a man thinketh so is he, and whatsoever you believe it is so, yes i believe that i am a child of the king, and i believe that i am a part of the king, I believe he and I are one… Not after i accept that, even if i never accept that. it is the way it is, it is the way GOD set it up to be. Seperateness is what came after the fall of man kind/the First adam/ living under the law. But now because of the Second Adam/Jesus we now live under GRACE. and Jesus came to show us how. by being GOD and the SON of god through the birth of a woman. He could have easily just appeared and lived among us, but he choose to come through a woman, and grow unto manhood like the rest of us. why? that is the question we all should be asking! Why would God choose to come here as a man, live , love ,laugh and die a horrible death. I have never read interior castle, So i cannot make a comment on the book. But i feel i am inclined to agree with ms. myss’s perspective. And as he gave us free will (which i believe is becasue he wanted us to seek the truth for our selves, and not be lazy and accept some one else’s version of the truth.) It is our god given right to seek the answers whereever, however, whenever we can.



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Jim Gillmon

posted April 24, 2007 at 10:03 pm


We are all created by God for loving relationship with God. We are not robots; we have free will. That is both our blessing and our curse. Our free will led to the Fall (for which God has forgiven us — that is Jesus’ message to us). Those who are criticizing Ms. Borchard are generally failing to understand her position and, in some cases, are deceived in the same way as Ms. Myss. Emerson, whom I consider the father of the American “New Age” (i.e. Eastern influenced) religious views, turned from Christianity and founded the ironically named Trancendentalism, which rejects the transcendant Diety in favor of “The God Within” not because the latter view was true, but because the former view made him uncomfortable (or in Emerson’s own words, “a wart or a wen” [birthmark]) ignoring the fact that (as C. S. Lewis pointed out) even angels, who are so much less than God, must preface their encounters with mere mortals with an admonition to not be afraid. However, because God became human as Jesus, He is much more approachable than the angels, and we do not need to fear being burnt. If we fall into the trap of thinking that we can be divine by means of “God inside us” without believing on the one He sent to save us, we may still be able to win the battle with our depression, but we will ultimately be destroyed by our pride, self-centeredness, and our failure to face reality. Our freedom to love God more than anything else has been and is seriously impaired. It is only when we are willing (in the words of John the baptist)to “decrease so that [Jesus) may increase,” that we have the spirit of God within us, and even that only comes about through God’s grace (unmerited favor) which He in His mercy will give to anyone who asks. If, therefore, we are able through the power of God working in us to empty ourselves (no easy task) there would , obviously, be much more room for God in us. It is not a work we with our penchant for self-deception can hope to approach alone. That is why Jesus and his early followers give @ 500 “one another” exhortations and admonitions (e.g. “Love one another,” “confess your faults to one another and pray for one another so that you might be healed,” etc.) I hope and pray for everyone who reads this, that they be open to Jesus, our only hope of salvation. There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved, not by “The God Within,” not by Catholicism, not even by Christianity. Too many so-called Christians (myself included at times) try to earn God’s favor by what they do and fall into the trap of thinking they’re doing fairly well when we will never do well enough in this life to earn God’s favor by any efforts of our own. We have to be humble enough to admit that we must receive it as a gift we could never deserve, and let our gratitude for His lavish love fill us with the desire to please Him more than we desire anything else. Then we need to practice listening regularly and carefully to Him and check what we think we hear to assure that it is in keeping with the spirit of what He has already told us in the Bible.



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Jim Gillmon

posted April 24, 2007 at 10:22 pm


P.s. In response to Daria, While it is true we each have different perspectives, I would not agree that all of ny of our perspectives is “God-given.” I would assert that our perspective can be more closely aligned with God’s by relating intimately with Him and others who genuinely seek to please Him regularly. Also, if, as you assert, anyones interpretation of a text is as valid as anyone elses, there would be no validity to grades, degrees, or even to the authorial intent. It is posible, even likely, that some readings of a text show a clearer understanding of the author’s intent than others, a clearer grasp of ultimate realities, and may even glean true insights the author (when it is other than God) didn’t consciously intend.



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Linda

posted April 25, 2007 at 12:44 am


I have again been enjoying your blog…and have come to a couple of conclusions. One, it sure seems a lot of the folks reading hear have a difficult time telling the difference between self-pity inducing whining and the slightly dark humor and sarcasm that your blog often expresses. As a woman who has dealt with depression, addiction, and life in general I find your blog a refreshing primer on how to not take ones self too seriously. My other comment is in regard to Teresa of Avila. I, too, think that Ms. Myss has missed the boat. St. Teresa works are dealing with growing in faith and understanding of Jesus Christ and are based in orthodox Christian teachings about his divinity and our need for transformation, not some self actualized rendition of generic spirituality that many want to embrace, because, gosh darn it, the truth of the gospel is just a little hard going down. To sugar coat or bastardize the writings of St. Teresa is a great diservice to her and the intimacy with Jesus Christ she developed through her times of prayer and study. Of course, from what I know of her, she would probably have a sense of humor about the whole thing since she does seem to be a woman of spunk as well as a very devout Christian. Understand her writings as they are and follow them to the foot of the cross. Don’t try and look for an alternative path in her writings, because it’s not there.



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sue

posted April 25, 2007 at 5:45 am


It is interesting to me how Fundamental Christians are so concerned about keeping things the same, and so afraid of what others call God. I used to call that inner spiritual energy only God, that is until I knew better. That knowing better came from many experiences that I meyself had, not something that someone “taught” me. Yes there were profits, mystics, etc. throughout the course of history. But only in ignorance do we assume that there are none walking, talking, and teaching on the earth now. My thoughts regarding your thoughts are that if your beliefs were enough for you, you wouldn’t at all be worried about what someone else belived.



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Lisa B.

posted April 25, 2007 at 5:25 pm


Nothing that anyone has written here negates the idea that humans are sophisticated robots. Robots have creators, and are programmed in particular ways. Having free will makes us sophisticated robots. Free will is part of our programming. Our free will is confined to our thoughts and our actions. It doesn’t extend to what we are, and is therefore no argument against our status as robots.



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Gerry Tucker

posted April 26, 2007 at 5:09 pm


The issue of whether we are separate or a part of God is an important one. For me, the union from God comes when we recognize our humanness and its limitations. I wouldn’t use the term “nothingness” because we are all something (human) made in the image of God. When we completely emply ourselves before the Creator and our spirit becomes one with the Spirit of God that operates in the universe, and we operate out of that spirit, our union with God is complete. Some days we are totaly in alignment and other days we are not. God works through us to help us create his vision of the world filled with love, truth and peach. Each of us needs renovation to keep us groung and developing into the perosn that God can use for his purpose. Gerry Tucker, SpiritWorks



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theresa

posted April 26, 2007 at 7:36 pm


When & how will we express our “God-likeness”? In St. Teresa’s description in the Interior Castle, I, too, visited the darkness of the soul. However, Carolyn Myss is helping us see the light in that darkness, which is “Divinity”, not only of God, but that which resides in us; otherwise, we could not perceive of such a concept. It takes divinity to recognize divinity; and, although St Teresa & other Saints of other times & places may have followed a humble path, it only lays the foundation for a greater possiblily. The very quality of our god-likeness offers the greater capacity to forge an uncharted Divine life & path in unlimited expressions, whether humble or bold, it is all Godly & all through our human frailty.



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suzanne

posted May 20, 2007 at 4:01 am


I suggest you get the CD and listen to it more carefully. This is a very personal experence that C. Myss writes about and if you take things out of context you miss the whole point. This book was writen out of C. Myss exprence with the divine and one should view it as such. It has been such a wonderful expreince to do the practices, have you tried them? If you have not than you really are missing out. Do not be disturbed. Suzanne



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Diane

posted November 1, 2008 at 12:59 pm


The comments of the author are quite interesting to me. The position taken by the author contends to be in stark contrast to the interpretation by Myss. After having studied Entering the Castle and through a continued Spiritual practice, the works as presented by Myss seem to parallel what this author is saying the works are intended to cultivate in our Spirituality.
There are several points the book makes (as I interpret them):
1. Enter into self-examination to determine what aspects of our human-ness separate us from God.
2. Determine where we have alienated people from our lives through our inability to fully forgive and then, move into foregiveness (this is not foregiveness lite – it’s the real deal that frees us from self-imposed bondage.)
3. Remember the rich attributes of humility.
4. Become one with and remember our soul; each of us is a gem in the eyes of our creator – realize this.
5. Sprituality is to be practiced each day and should not be rote.
6. Observe and act on opportunities to be a channel for grace.
Interesting. . . What’s wrong with that? Thanks for listening.



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