I rate Soulful Spirituality an “only ok” rating. That’s not to say that I didn’t learn something. My big take away was the comparison of “soul” to “spirit” in Benner’s work. Soul is the grounding of who we are; Spirit is the expression or energy or passion we express. I thought that was a neat way to look at things – that we need health in both our grounding, in who we are, as well as in the way we express life.
Another part I appreciated about Benner’s work was the concept and reminder that we are constantly becoming. We’re not static and this present moment is the moment of life and becoming alive. Very psychologically true.
I rate it the way I have because I believe a true and healthy spirituality is driven by God’s Spirit as it courses through us. To me, Benner’s work seemed more about an individual realizing him/herself toward awareness and seemed, by the writing, to be possible without the Spirit or much needed involvement of God at all – as if God were out somewhere in space just waiting for us to realize ourselves toward him as our end-goal destination.
While I appreciate the mention of spiritual vibrancy and find much of Benner’s writing to be very psychologically helpful and good, I’m left wondering at the end of the book what, in the author’s words, is a true and living spirituality and what does Jesus have to do with it? How does life come to us from God and course through us? Or, is it like Benner writes, that our lives are about a coming awake to an already present, yet strangely unknowable (my take on Benner’s book) God?