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Spirituality and the Awakening Self
The Sacred Journey of Transformation
By David G. Benner
Praise for the Book
"In Spirituality and the Awakening Self David Benner offers deep insight about the sacred journey of transformation of the unfolding self, emphasizing learning from the Christian mystics and the essential nature of contemplative stillness. There are also helpful appendixes on dreamwork, meditation, prayer, and awakening."
—Siang-Yang Tan, professor of psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary; author of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective
"In this book David Benner shows himself to be one of the most mature and needed spiritual elders of our time. He offers us a profound synthesis of the human journey toward ever-widening consciousness and mutual indwelling with God in Christ. He rightly draws on the concrete experience of great Christian mystics as those who provide us with the fullest framework for understanding and nurturing the Spirit-led unfolding self over a lifetime. He also draws on his long experience as a psychologist and on other areas of learning and Scripture that show the integral connections between all the dimensions of our evolving humanness. His personal quest for the deepest awareness and truth of human life as it is lived in relation to the transcendent feeds the authenticity and insights of this book. I could not recommend it more highly as a framework for understanding the transformative levels of our journey into the way, the truth, and the life."
—Tilden Edwards, founder and senior fellow, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
"Benner offers us a highly readable book grounded in historic Christology and developmental psychology in which he develops a psycho-theology of growth. He charts our development from the primitive awakenings of childhood to mystical participation in the Divine Spirit in maturity through repeated awakenings to our authentic selves and to God. Sell your bed and buy this best of Benner's books!"
—J. Harold Ellens, author of numerous books, including The Healing Power of Spirituality and Christian Perspectives on Human Development
"Spirituality and the Awakening Self is a deeply thoughtful book to be kept and savored. Once again David Benner has seamlessly woven together his gifts and skills as psychotherapist and spiritual guide. As one of the wise voices of our time, his words deserve to be kept and savored."
—Margaret Guenther, professor emerita of ascetical theology and former director of the Center for Christian Spirituality, General Theological Seminary
"David Benner is a trusted companion who helps us navigate the complex possibilities of personal awakening, of becoming more than we are, of movement beyond changed behaviors into changed being. This book guides us into life as truer persons and communities immersed in God."
—John Kiemele, founder and executive director, Selah Center, Woodway, Washington
"Threaded through the ever busy life of Western Christian tradition are certain voices that have always had some difficulty in being heard. They are those voices that try to tell us about 'being' rather than 'doing' and they are called sometimes alas dismissed as mystics. We meet them in these pages, men and women remarkably like us yet remarkably different, people rich with the presence of God yet very aware of being as poor in their humanity as the rest of us. The great worth of this book is that it is offered to us at a time in Western Christian experience when we can no longer afford to be cavalier about our rich mystical tradition. Among the many voices in these pages is that of Karl Rahner who tells us 'Tomorrow's devout person will either be a mystic someone who has experienced something or else they will not be devout at all.'"
—Herbert O'Driscoll, Anglican priest, author, preacher