Psychology / Spirituality
Reduced to a simple explanation, this book advocates the Greek Delphic Oracle's admonition to "Know thyself", and Jesus' revelation that "The kingdom of God is within you" -- in this case primarily through the use of Jungian psychoanalysis and dream analysis.
And the title? Fire = sexuality; Rose = spirituality -- so, in the context of the material presented, sexuality is the 'shadow self' of spirituality.
For centuries, Christianity and other religions have declared that these two powerful forces are diametrically opposed, that in order to achieve spirituality and close communion with God, then we need to deny and subjugate sexuality.
Not so, suggests author Harris. Such a proclamation has caused great frustration and consternation with many people. Rather, like the Taoist yin-yang principle, these two should be working together to transform our lives into a state of wholeness (holiness) through meeting and responding to whatever joys and sorrows, pain and healing, triumphs and tragedies that life brings our way.
Harris continues -- life becomes a journey "where desire doesn't stagnate, spirituality doesn't rigidify, and love doesn't become buried in sentimentality".
At the end of some chapters, Harris includes some soul-searching questions such as: "What were your first experiences of love, lust, infatuation, and death?"; "What early life experiences shaped your relationship to spirituality?"; and "What were some of the creative potentials you cut off [in order] to fit in as you grew up?".
The appendix includes a guide to "befriending" your dreams through paying attention to them, listening to them, questioning them, and reflecting on them. In addition, there are suggestions for journaling.
"One of the lessons we've learned in modern times is that the only constant in life is change. If we seek to learn how to face change and how spirituality can help form and guide our sexual relationships, the great religions tell us to approach these challenges from a position of love."
If you feel your life has been stagnant, stuck in a rut, or lacking in purpose, then perhaps The Fire and the Rose can help you find direction, and set you on a path to wholeness, self-knowledge and, ultimately, Love.