PART ONE: MOVING FROM IDOLS Abandonment and Attachment
1. Ornaments and Astrology
A man is suffering the loss of a woman he had used as an idol. Simultaneously, he begins to give up on "astrology", that is, looking for answers in signs in order to remain self-sufficient, to feel superior and all-knowing. In his wandering and through authentic mourning, he gets instructed by an old man and then a mother on the relation of trauma/enmeshment within family dysfunction to the Fall. The mother shares with him three ways (formulated in my previous two books and summarized here) that parents "possess" their children and use them as "protective devices" to keep from their own emptiness and despair.
Poems describing various aspects of the hole that the man (all of us) falls into when no longer using idols but not yet knowing God.
PART TWO: HYBRID Hole - Holy of Holies
The couple (the mother of the previous section and her husband) discuss with the man how the family pattern into which the child is born repeats dysfunctionally until one gives up idols and power drives. This entails going through the "hole" of one's flaws/inferiority. It is in this void, the desert of the soul, that one experiences the confrontation of good and evil. One can surrender then to Christ (the Holy of Holies able to withstand the emotion in the void and thereby heal divisions within oneself resulting in peace). The man learns, with the help of this family, to go through sins, despair, torrents of emotion, and profound emptiness with and through Christ.
PART THREE: TABERNACLEOuter to Inner and then Out Bearing Fruit
The tabernacle (of the Old Testament) is used as a metaphor for the transition through body to soul to spirit to a fruitful life in the world. Elements of the Tabernacle (Ark, Incense, Table of Bread, Lampstand, Altar of Holocausts, Laver, Veil) are explored to discover how the Tabernacle is a "copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary" (Hebrews 8:5) as well as a psychological sanctuary - a model of how we can journey through body to the place in soul where God dwells. Here is the conjunction of soul and spirit and corresponds to what psychologists call the "true self".
PART FOUR: WHERE THE HEART BREAKS GOD WRITES THE NEW COVENANT
1. The man gets to know a woman who also walks in Christ and they marry. In the process, they discuss in more detail giving up repetitious and unhealthy familial patterns by letting Christ negotiate demon forces. They discuss why we persist in these patterns. They help one another not yield to temptations to return to old enmeshments or "possessions" and continue with the Holy Spirit as guide. They deepen in their understanding of the covenant of marriage and the covenant with God.
2. This section gives an overview of living within the redeemed-Redeemer relationship of which a good and fruitful marriage is the result.
Angelyn Spignesi Arden, Ph.D., is a psychologist and teacher who lives in New Haven, CT. She is the author of Starving Women: A Psychology of Anorexia Nervosa; Lyrical-Analysis: The Unconscious through Jane Eyre; The Articulate Silence of God; and Clara and Marcus. Through all her work, she has studied the interpenetration of psychological and sacred reality. She had a private practice for over two decades and teaches middle school at St. Mary’s School in Branford, CT. She is married to Kenneth Kopylec Arden who did the artwork on the cover.