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Record Type: Review   ID: 1004

The Ways of the Mystic: Seven Paths to God

Borysenko, Joan

Countless books have been written about the spiritual path or paths, but this spirit-packed 118-page volume is surely one of the most down-to-earth, and multi-faceted guides available. It is informed not only by Borysenko’s experience as a physician, but her contact with near-death experiences and the intellectual and experiential knowledge she has accrued in many facets of her life as author, scholar, workshop leader, wife, mother, and her own life as a mystic.

The book is extremely well-organized and presented. She begins with the spiritual significance of the number 7, highlighting the 7 sacred directions of the Native American Medicine wheel and the 7 chakras or transformative energy complexes in humans. Out of her acquaintance with the world’s spiritual traditions, she presents 7 paths to God. Just as Jung pointed out that of the 4 basic ways of human perceiving and organizing knowledge, one function is dominant but a second can serve as an auxiliary function, so she proposes that we all have one primary spiritual path that comes to us or that we gravitate toward easily and naturally, and a secondary path, which serves a supportive and complementary role. One aim of the book is to describe the 7 paths in sufficient detail so the reader can recognize his or her primary and secondary paths. Then she recommends practicing the secondary path first, because it "may help free blocked energies and open up new understanding. Your natural, primary path will then be easier to follow" (p. 16). She names the 7 paths as follows: the Everyday Mystic, Creativity and Abundance, The Passion to Serve, The Way of the Heart, Thy Will, Not Mine, be Done, Contemplation and Transformation, and the Way of Faith. She also associates one of the 7 directions of the Medicine Wheel and one of the 7 chakras to each of the 7 paths. A chapter each is devoted to each path. This original, well constructed and thought-out book, touched by spirit throughout, provides a map that should enable many people to recognize their primary and secondary paths and gain a working knowledge of what is involved in pursuing each.

Publisher Information:Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 1997. Pp. ix + 121. Chapnotes: 115-118
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