book review: Soul Trilogy by Curt Thomspon
As someone who is enthralled with the human brain and passionate about mental health but also sensing a need for some personal soul work, Curt Thompson's book Anatomy of the Soul intrigued me with its descriptive subtitle: Surprising connections between neuroscience and spiritual practices that can transform your life and relationships. With fleshed-out explanations of attachment theory and an emphasis on integration and even storytelling!!, there was a lot of really foundational information in this first book.
The second in the series, Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves, is one of the most important books I've read in my adult life. I was concerned it might be heavy and hard but instead it was heart strengthening and infused with hopefulness. And it perfectly set up the progression out of shame and into desire.
Soul of Desire: Discovering the Neuroscience of Longing, Beauty and Community had its neuro-geek moments but they were worth trudging through. Very much in keeping with the concepts of Makoto Fujimura's Culture Care (and in fact including some of his art as well as a foreword by him), there is a call toward confessional community and creativity. I believe the most valuable contributions of this work come near the end of the book in the unpacking of three questions asked by a member of the Godhead: Where are you?, What do you want?, and Do you love Me?
Throughout the set, there is a recurrence of the realized human need to feel "seen, soothed, safe and secure" with the goal of living fully integrated lives that are connected with others and engaged in creating beauty in the midst of the rubble of our painful experiences. These are at the heart of what it means to be human.
Overall: Highly recommend.
If you only have time for one, I'd suggest bravely diving into the middle with Soul of Shame. In this work, Dr. Curt Thompson helpfully recaps portions of the first and foreshadows where he's going as he works through the shame that is so prevalent in our wounded souls. And it takes this work of drafting and editing your own story to awaken a personal understanding not only of where you've been but where you're going and what you're intended to create here in this time and place before Eternity.
Still I heartily recommend this full set. And for the record, no one asked me to say any of this. I just really believe this is a timely trilogy for all of us right now.