Review of Healing the Western Soul by David Lorimer of the Scientific & Medical Network

Reviewed by David Lorimer 

Some readers will recall the observation by CG Jung in his Modern Man in Search of a Soul to the effect that the fundamental challenge for his patients in the second half of life was the development of a spiritual outlook. Although Jung wrote about the I Ching and The Secret of the Golden Flower as well as researching yoga and Indian philosophy, he felt that Westerners should look for spiritual resources within their own tradition, advice which he himself applied in his studies of alchemy and Gnosticism. Read more

Spiritual Directors International’s Review

This is by far the most thought-provoking book I have read as a spiritual director in many years. In Healing the Western Soul, Judith S. Miller, psychotherapist, spiritual guide, and a professor of developmental psychology, diagnoses what she terms “the Western spiritual angst” and proposes how persons growing up in a Judeo-Christian tradition, whether or not they presently identify themselves with that tradition, can recover meaning in life. In the process they will experience greater psychological health and spiritual fulfillment. Read more

Journal of Near Death Studies’ Review

We are the authors of over 20 books on psychiatry, trauma psychology, and psycho-spiritual growth. We taught at Rutgers University’s Institute for Alcohol and Drug Studies for 30 years between us and I (Charles) was professor of Internal Medicine and Psychiatry. I am now a visiting researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I (Barbara) am a near-death experiencer (NDEr) who spent six years as research assistant studying the aftereffects of near-death experiences at the University of Connecticut Medical School with psychiatrist Bruce Greyson. Read more

Publisher’s Weekly Review

Psychologist Miller (Direct Connection) sees a mental health system failing those who have religious visions, especially those with Western spiritual figures such as Jesus or angels. Contemporary psychology and psychotherapy recognize neither the psychospiritual aspect of human life nor the Western mystery path. Therapists are stuck in the worldview that only what science can prove is real and anything else should be medicated away; New Age gurus espouse the postmodern view that everything is subjective; and patients discount their own emergent Judeo-Christian imagery due to bad early experiences with organized religion. All these preconceptions get in the way of addressing a Western spiritual crisis. Miller’s entreaty to ground spiritual development within our “spiritual DNA” never falls into cultural stereotyping. She acknowledges a Judeo-Christian path as just one route to the Divine, and her encouragement to allow for the authenticity of mystical experience in the therapeutic process opens up a powerful route toward healing to those whose souls yearn beyond the material world. (Mar.)