2021 new arrival The sale Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores lowest the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth outlet online sale

2021 new arrival The sale Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores lowest the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth outlet online sale

2021 new arrival The sale Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores lowest the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth outlet online sale
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Now in paperback: a distinguished psychiatrist, spiritual counsellor and bestselling author shows how the dark sides of the spiritual life are a vital ingredient in deep, authentic, healthy spirituality.

Gerald G. May, MD, one of the great spiritual teachers and writers of our time, argues that the dark ''shadow'' side of the true spiritual life has been trivialised and neglected to our serious detriment. Superficial and naively upbeat spirituality does not heal and enrich the soul. Nor does the other tendency to relegate deep spiritual growth to only mystics and saints. Only the honest, sometimes difficult encounters with what Christian spirituality has called and described in helpful detail as ''the dark night of the soul'' can lead to true spiritual wholeness.

May emphasises that the dark night is not necessarily a time of suffering and near despair, but a time of deep transition, a search for new orientation when things are clouded and full of mystery. The dark gives depth, dimension and fullness to the spiritual life.

Review

“May’s book uses the same title in an attempt to both clarify and amplify St. John of the Cross’s original work, and to place it in a modern setting.... A vivid picture of a young man with a deep love for God and brilliant intellect.” -- Conversations Journal

About the Author

Gerald G. May, M.D. (1940-2005), practiced medicine and psychiatry for twenty-five years before becoming a senior fellow in contemplative theology and psychology at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Bethesda, Maryland. He was the author of many books and articles blending spirituality and psychology, including Addiction and Grace, Care of Mind/Care of Spirit, Will and Spirit, and The Dark Night of the Soul.

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4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
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SM0oth0perator
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Difficult to absorb and get on board with
Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2019
This is a difficult review to write, because It is not really a critique of the author, but the deeper overarching subject of St John''s personal truth. Unfortunately, the two works cannot be separated in this case and overall St John leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Raised... See more
This is a difficult review to write, because It is not really a critique of the author, but the deeper overarching subject of St John''s personal truth. Unfortunately, the two works cannot be separated in this case and overall St John leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Raised as a Catholic, I quickly jumped ship as soon as my childhood was over. I remember keeping blind faith as a child as I was instructed to do so, yet there was always this persistent unease, almost like a not fully conscious sense of dread that accompanied those years. It was like, when you know something is off, but just can''t put your finger on it. As soon as I became a young man I quickly started to understand why.

For the past approximately 25 years, I have studied in depth almost all of the worlds current as well as dead religions. I have studied DEEP into ancient history''s cultural, spiritual, mythical and scientific understandings. I have studied so far back that the average person has no idea what I am even referring to at the slightest degree. Out of every spiritual understanding I have researched there is one particular thing about Christianity that is unique and sticks out like a sore thumb. Christianity is the only one that vilifies reason, discourages deeper understanding and requires above all else that you become willfully blind as a literal flock of sheep. It is so pervasive, that it is rare I meet a Christian who has actually even read their Bible in its entirety, often making ludicrous statements which are not even actually in the scripture itself. I have read the Bible 3 times in 3 different translations to fully understand it and I can say without a doubt, I KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS and what it does not say. Yet to my surprise, almost every single Christian I know has a very poor understanding of their book and perpetuate blatant falsehoods that linger by word of mouth and never die. The same people who go through their motions of verbally saying their prayers, without even actually reflecting upon the words. I have seen more hypocrisy in Christianity than any other religion I have studied. Not only do the numerous contradictions in the Bible itself lead to a very fragile framework, but the very contradicting nature of Christians themselves significantly eclipse even those glaring inconsistencies. Now as far as Jesus himself, I find him quite fantastic, so my problem is not Christ himself, my problem is with Christians. Christians are so unlike their Christ it blows my mind. Amongst all the masses of "Fake Christians" today, I am sure there are a very small handful of genuine Christians, but I have never met one in person.

My purpose in saying this, is not to bash Christianity believe it or not. As a matter of fact, I would very much love to believe, but no matter how much I lie to myself, I would always feel the entire thing was a lie. The Bible is not the word of god, it is the word of man. Not just one man, but a whole gaggle of men spread out across time ,who cannot even agree enough to keep their own Bible consistent. The real word of the Bible is Constantine''s word, a terrible man who lived so unlike Christ and his elite group of corrupt Nicaean aristocrats. The entire religion is nothing but, Hypocrisy, persecution, war, violence, megalomania, ignorance, sexism, racism, subjugation, torture and to put it quite plainly indoctrination. To deny all of the higher faculties of human thought, for blind faith in subservience, or elst forever burn in hell. Sounds like a loving tolerant religion to me, with a loving tolerant God.

So as far as the "Dark night" is concerned, I still see frequent self contradiction on the part of St John. Now, possibly its due to poor translation, but I doubt it, as the entire religion follows the same pattern. One thing I know for sure, is as I read read this, I feel the same increasing dread, foolishness and hopelessness that I felt back when I was in the clutches of the church.

The book itself, ehh! I could not get on board with it. I wanted to believe in it, to take something from it useful, but nothing, nada. I cannot follow any author or religion that is so prevalent with self contradiction. I really do feel that if Christ did exist, not much of if any of his words survived Constantine. The Gnostic Christian groups were the most likely to hold the truth, Rome made darn sure they all died while their books were burned. They died, because of Gnosis, they died because they held actual wisdom, wisdom that if exposed would destroy the false church of Rome.

Whether in respects to St John or any other Christian for that matter, getting on the same page and putting an end to the contradictions will be the greatest service that can be done for the cause. I really don''t see much in this book other than, surrender all free will, give up, don''t try, don''t reason, blind faith, your just Gods puppet, your always wrong no matter what, nothing can be done, God loves you so much that you will suffer eternally in darkness for your own good. It almost seems like Nihilism in a way.

Some see a man who is a saint, I just see a man who threw his entire life away and gave up on pretty much everything. At least true Nihilists call it what it is and don''t try to dress it up in a pretty package. He professes the greatest gamble ever conceived, to throw away ones own free will, gouge out ones own eyes and jump into an ocean of spirituality naked and hope a divine current brings you back to God. My final thought is, what is the purpose of God even making us then, his own entertainment?! I refuse to believe God is so Daft and shortsighted as St John posits.
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bruce calbreath
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
soul-search
Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2015
this has become my early morning "read" on many days...i can handle only several pages worth though...what he says and the way he says it has really brought me to having quite a thoughtful look back over my life...what i''ve done...what i''ve chosen...the way i''ve... See more
this has become my early morning "read" on many days...i can handle only several pages worth though...what he says and the way he says it has really brought me to having quite a thoughtful look back over my life...what i''ve done...what i''ve chosen...the way i''ve been...it''s been a little unnerving at times...i have a lot to look back over...for me, it is a very important book to be reading right now...i''m drawn back to it again and again as the days pass by...often, i re-read sections to hear it again...get it more clearly...take it in...it''s proving to be quite the source of therapy for my soul, which is very important at age 79 and a fella is wondering a bit, did i do ok? and more deeply still, what was it all about?.......and maybe deeper still, who am i now.......really? i highly recommend this little volume if your soul needs some searching too!
38 people found this helpful
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jdb
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A fabulous exploration in the soul and psyche of spiritual formation in the "dark night"
Reviewed in the United States on May 3, 2013
It is too bad that many folks will discount this book because it is (was) written by a psychiatrist. It is equally bad that many Protestants will avoid the book because of its Catholic heritage. I believe that even worse still, there will be those who miss the wisdom... See more
It is too bad that many folks will discount this book because it is (was) written by a psychiatrist. It is equally bad that many Protestants will avoid the book because of its Catholic heritage. I believe that even worse still, there will be those who miss the wisdom inside the pages of this book, who could benefit from the guidance and spiritual insight during their seasons of the dark night.

"At the outset I must confess that I am no longer very good at telling the difference between good things and bad things." -The Dark Night of the Soul; Gerald May, M.D.

I rather wish the title of this book had been different. I think it gives a false impression of what the subject really explores; although, it does address the dark night of the soul. May uses the backdrop of the writings from St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross to lay his foundation for his exploration of the phenomenon of the "dark night" or spiritual darkness (which might also be known as spiritual awakening or enlightenment). I have read quite extensively from both Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. Their writings can be something of a bit archaic depending on the translation and they can be somewhat romanticized within the context of their poetic settings. I say this to make a point that they can sometimes be difficult to completely understand. Despite his academic and clinical background, Dr. May writes clearly and in a very personal voice that I find very easy to grasp. His writing is warm, friendly, and very down-to-earth. He takes complex ideas and difficult situations and makes easy conversation with them. Not only was I enlightened by what I read, I was also comforted by someone whom I believe shared understanding of my circumstances and experiences.

What might be the greatest contribution of this book in my opinion is the synergy that Dr. May creates between the spirit and the psyche... perhaps another way of saying this is the convergence of the soul and the spirit. While some voices would discount the science of psychology, I believe it is helpful for us to understand the workings of the mind and soul. God instructs us to love Him with all our "heart, soul, mind, and strength." It is obvious then, we should pay attention to these various facets that make up the essence of human beings. It is my opinion that Gerald May handles this material with humility and reverence, which helps in bringing attention to the work of God in the process of the dark night. It might be for this reason that I most liked chapter five, Three Signs and Three Spirits, where May teaches at length about the psychology of the dark night... very, very good instruction here.

"As John makes clear, it is not God who disappears, but only our concepts, images, and sensations of God." -The Dark Night of the Soul; Gerald May (p.146)

Another very helpful chapter to me was chapter six, The Dark Night Today, where May discusses the dark night in modern contexts. While there is no substitute for reading the translated original writings from John and Teresa, Dr. May''s exploration is arguably one of the best companion guides I have read to date and I have several expositions on the writings of Teresa and John in my personal library.

The book includes a very well annotated notes section and an exhaustive index at the end of the book. Personally, I think this is a book every Christian should read and I am very glad I did.
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Anthony
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderfully deep!
Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2021
I have been in a 12-step recovery program for over 30 years. I was skeptical about this book, having been written by a psychiatrist, because of not so good experiences with psychiatry in my early recovery years. I took a chance because of ratings and I am glad I did. I am... See more
I have been in a 12-step recovery program for over 30 years. I was skeptical about this book, having been written by a psychiatrist, because of not so good experiences with psychiatry in my early recovery years. I took a chance because of ratings and I am glad I did. I am blown away by the depth of the book. I do not consider myself a deep person but I may have to reconsider. I love it when I see a man like Dr. May with a deep commitment and understanding of the spiritual way of life instead of just relying on totally synthetic knowledge learned in a classroom. In a way Dr. May reminds me of Dr. Carl Jung. This truly is some heavy reading so if you are in a recovery program but are not committed to working steps 10-11-12 as a way of life you may want to pass on this book.
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Edith Best
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Of interest for anybody who is a practitioner of theistic meditation
Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2017
This overview of John and Theresa''s experiences and teachings on meditation, contemplation, and the inner processes of spiritual understanding are valuable both to practitioners and those who want to understand the process from outside objectively. It is well written,... See more
This overview of John and Theresa''s experiences and teachings on meditation, contemplation, and the inner processes of spiritual understanding are valuable both to practitioners and those who want to understand the process from outside objectively. It is well written, engaging, and very useful in all respects.
13 people found this helpful
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Wendy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A blossoming of spirit awaits you
Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2018
A deeply insightful book. Mr. May illuminates the concept of "Dark Night of the Soul" as defined in classic Christian literature. Even more important and valuable though, at least to me, is that he makes the core concept and inherent confusion about these times in... See more
A deeply insightful book. Mr. May illuminates the concept of "Dark Night of the Soul" as defined in classic Christian literature. Even more important and valuable though, at least to me, is that he makes the core concept and inherent confusion about these times in our lives simpler to grasp, and thus easier to accept. This was one of those books that made me stop every few pages, wipe off a few tears, take a few deep breaths, and burrow into it again. His gentle, conscious writing style is much appreciated, as is the logic and heart with which he makes the case. I bought two copies for friends already!
4 people found this helpful
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Peter Spung
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Illuminating school of thought for our spiritual journeys
Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2016
The dark night and related soul transformation was an unfamiliar school of thought to me. Through his experience with psychiatric practices and psychological therapy, Dr May discusses meditation and contemplation and it''s role in our spiritual journeys from darkness into... See more
The dark night and related soul transformation was an unfamiliar school of thought to me. Through his experience with psychiatric practices and psychological therapy, Dr May discusses meditation and contemplation and it''s role in our spiritual journeys from darkness into light. This book draws from many rich sources of research, writings, and spiritual oracles and leaders. I highly recommend this to anyone unfamiliar with the dark night, or Teresa or John, or who desire to know more about related spiritual contemplation and healing.
11 people found this helpful
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Matthew French
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderful Book
Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2020
This book brings the classic teaching about the dark night that everyone experiences to the light of modern understandings. I also really appreciate the dialog the author provides between St John of the Cross and Teresa of Avilia. I had not connected the way that not only... See more
This book brings the classic teaching about the dark night that everyone experiences to the light of modern understandings. I also really appreciate the dialog the author provides between St John of the Cross and Teresa of Avilia. I had not connected the way that not only were they contemporaries, but how God used these spiritual giants to work together for the legacy that still offers wisdom to the world today.
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Top reviews from other countries

Sue B, NW England
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Engaging and easy to read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 9, 2021
Really enjoyed this book. Gerald May''s writing style is conversational and easily comprehensible, despite the subject matter. Having already read Addiction and Grace, I was hoping for similar accessibility on Dark Night of the Soul - and have not been disappointed. You do...See more
Really enjoyed this book. Gerald May''s writing style is conversational and easily comprehensible, despite the subject matter. Having already read Addiction and Grace, I was hoping for similar accessibility on Dark Night of the Soul - and have not been disappointed. You do not have to share his faith persepctive for this book (or Addiction and Grace) to be of use.
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RFS
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 14, 2018
Quick delivery book in excellent condition. Love this book thank you
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good insights in to dark nights
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 2, 2017
Good insights in to dark nights.. Although hoped for some actual science in the comparative analysis given that the author is a psychiatrist.
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Mrs R A Adams
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 28, 2015
What a wonderful book. It is a heart opener
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patricia smith
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 26, 2017
very good
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