Dante's Path: A Practical Approach to Achieving Inner Wisdom

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9781592400294: Dante's Path: A Practical Approach to Achieving Inner Wisdom

Two pioneers in holistic psychology show how to heal mind and spirit, using Dante's Divine Comedy as a metaphor for personal growth.

Bringing a unique Western approach to the quest for enlightenment, Dante's Path addresses such struggles as depression, anxiety, and addiction through a brilliant lens called psychosynthesis. Conceived by Italian psychotherapist Roberto Assagioli, who was a student of Sigmund Freud and colleague of Carl Jung, psycho-synthesis embraces spirituality as a key component of mental health. Dante's Path draws on Dante's epic poem The Divine Comedy (of which Assagioli was a devotee) as a rich metaphor for the challenge of escaping from fear-based instincts (Dante's Hell), into a place of personal transformation (Purgatory), then into the confidence of finding life's higher purpose (his Pilgrim's Paradise).

With specific exercises, such as guided imagery and meditations, Dante's Path leads readers on a unique step-by-step journey for building an ongoing relationship with their guiding inner wisdom. The Schaubs have used this holistic method to successfully treat hundreds of patients for over thirty years.

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Review:

Dante's Path: A Practical Approach to Achieving Inner Wisdom is primarily a self-help book. However, it is a self-help book with a difference. Authors Bonney Gulino Schaub and Richard Schaub use their perceptive, though simple reading of Dante's Divine Comedy to guide their readers through a process that allows them to access their internal wisdom, or "wisdom mind," to achieve liberation from their fears and to realize their deeper potential. Psychotherapists for over 30 years, the Schaubs practice psychosynthesis, a holistic method developed by Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli, that recognizes "the importance of integrating spirituality into the paradigm for seeking mental and emotional health." The book provides practical techniques, based on the world's meditative traditions, to assist readers to free themselves from their fear-based patterns and to move closer to their "higher" selves.

Taking the lead from their mentor Assagioli, the authors recognize that the spiritual path traveled by the poet in Dante's masterpiece provides the perfect road map for achieving internal wisdom and peace. Like Dante's poet, the readers are urged to move through their "hellish" impulses (such as envy, addiction, and rage) by "Learning to Witness" and to proceed to self-transformation (Purgatory) by becoming "Lord of Yourself" and ultimately to achieve enlightenment (Paradise) by "developing a relationship with your wisdom mind." In addition to their primary focus on The Divine Comedy as a metaphor for the psychoanalytic process, the authors explore connections to other spiritual world traditions. Thus, they reveal the broader implications of self-healing and discovery. They tell us if we can learn how to deal with our fears and reduce the negative actions that are generated by them, we could increase the amount of peace in our lives and subsequently, the amount of peace in the world. --Silvana Tropea

About the Author:

Bonney Gulino Schaub, M.S., R.N., is one of the country's foremost practitioners of holistic nursing. Richard Schaub, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist and teaches meditation and clinical imagery. They direct the New York Psychosynthesis Institute and lead numerous seminars for both professional and general audiences.

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