Mak­ing Peace with the Uni­verse: Per­son­al Cri­sis and Spir­i­tu­al Healing

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2019

Mak­ing Peace with the Uni­verse tells the ago­niz­ing human back­sto­ries to some of the world’s clas­sic spir­i­tu­al mas­ter­pieces. Nor­mal, suf­fer­ing peo­ple, when fac­ing the doubt and pan­ic com­mon to times of ill­ness, midlife, pat­terns of addic­tion, and oth­er reminders of the human con­di­tion, tried only to fig­ure out their own few next steps for­ward, and end­ed up rein­vig­o­rat­ing whole reli­gious tra­di­tions in the process. Mix­ing schol­ar­ly learn­ing with episodes from his own skep­ti­cal quest, Michael Scott Alexan­der demon­strates how these accounts of pri­vate ter­ror and per­son­al tri­umph offer a mod­el of ther­a­py through spir­i­tu­al adven­ture. In the com­pa­ny of William James; Socrates; Mus­lim legal schol­ar turned mys­tic Hamid al-Ghaz­a­li; Genghis Khan as described by the Daoist monk Qui Chu­ji; and jazz musi­cian and Catholic con­vert Mary Lou Williams, Alexan­der traces the steps from exis­ten­tial cri­sis to psy­cho­log­i­cal health. Expos­ing the shared ter­rain of reli­gion and psy­chol­o­gy, Mak­ing Peace with the Uni­verse reveals what spir­i­tu­al tra­di­tions can teach us about find­ing mean­ing in the mod­ern world.

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