DANTE'S PATH: A Practical Approach to Achieving Inner Wisdom

Bonney Gulino Schaub, Author, Richard Schaub, Joint Author
Bonney Gulino Schaub, Author, Richard Schaub, Joint Author . Gotham $25 (216p) ISBN 978-1-59240-029-4
Reviewed on: 06/30/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-1-59240-083-6
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The authors are practitioners of a form of holistic psychology called "psychosynthesis," which was founded by Roberto Assagioli when he, along with Carl Jung, began developing the field of transpersonal psychology as a way to bring spirituality into the psychoanalytic movement. But you don't have to be a proponent of psychosynthesis to enjoy this book, because it is less a guidebook and more an interpretive reading of Dante's epic poem The Divine Comedy as Assagioli saw it, as a metaphor for his psychoanalytic approach that stressed the process of first dealing with one's fears of mortality (Hell), then developing a sense of the power of one's spirituality (Purgatory), and finally experiencing the "loving force" of the spiritual or "universal energy" in one's daily life through access to one's higher self or "wisdom mind." Throughout, the authors offer helpful sidebars detailing mental exercises, especially forms of applied meditation and imagery, to help people access their higher self—"a creative process in which, through a series of discoveries, your experience of who you are is gradually expanded." The book's real success is in providing a fascinating interpretation of Dante's masterpiece—and the movement of Dante from the "dark wood" to the beatific image of his beloved Beatrice—in a way that is sensitive to the work itself and doesn't use The Divine Comedy merely as an advertisement for the authors' psychoanalytic approach. (Sept.)

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