978-0-9752531-0-6 / 9780975253106

Matter of Spirit


Publisher:Spiritual Understanding Network, LLC



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About the book:

Contemporary mystical experiences join with insights from religious classics to offer a balanced approach to spiritual development. Inner life is described in a generic way, helping people from many spiritual traditions to recognize that they have common ground. New metaphores are used and a language bridge is made between Christian and New Age spirituality.

Theological Perspective:
The inward journey is so highly interactive with God that it can be called "the dance of the soul." God responds to prayers for healing and protection and gives guidance through dreams and intuition. Barberi suggests practical approaches and gives interesting advice for using these avenues. Matter of Spirit advocates balanced inner development, avoiding asceticism and self-negation on one hand, and indulgence and self-inflation on the other. Many options for spiritual development are introduced, with the reader left free to make choices. The books message is: "It is possible to connect to God. You might enjoy doing it. Heres how."

Hundreds of metaphors have arisen from interactions people have had with God throughout the ages. Traditional as well as innovative metaphors are presented here, and many of them are illustrated with personal stories. Barberi is not surprised that there are many differing views of God; she finds it reassuring since God is infinite.

This book is a contemporary interpretation of Christianity that facilitates dialogue between religions. Although Jesus, as a man, was Jewish, his divine nature transcends time, culture and religion. Jesus Christ is described as the full interpenetration of Spirit and matter. To live  filled, activated by and dedicated to Spirit (i.e. penetrated with Spirit) - is a possibility available to everyone. Living this pattern of interpenetrated spirit and matter is the doorway into God.

Our souls are influenced by our actions. Faith must be lived as well as conceptualized. Gods activity, the very life within us, empowers all our deeds. The ideals and emotions we cultivate determine largely the resemblance our actions have to the divine source that made them possible. We need firm resolve in order to consistently choose to live in a manner congruent with Gods Spirit. Religious practices offer methods for improving control of the will, putting the will at Gods service, purifying mind and body, and dedicating daily activities to sacred purpose. Methods vary from one religion to another, but the goals are similar.

Theologically sophisticated readers will find much of interest in this short book, and the discussion of paradox is a case in point. We hear that God is within us and beyond us, Gods incarnation is both human and divine, Jesus is master and servant& The many spiritual truths that appear paradoxical are pairs of complimentary opposites. These are aligned with the opposites fundamental to the soul itself: souls capacity to interface Spirit and matter.

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