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Angels or Demons? Engaging Affliction and Suffering
Sandra Lee Dennis, author of Embrace of the Daimon
Original Date: Thursday, January 23, 2014

Download MP3 Audio File Here (15.4 MB)

"Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence something helpless that wants our love."—Rainer M. Rilke

For the past four decades, in trying to live Rilke's seemingly tender suggestion, Sandra Dennis has turned to face many demons. She has gone into the trenches of spiritual warfare, triggered primarily by relationship losses through death and betrayal. The result has been the birth of many questions she still finds herself unqualified to answer, but determined to explore, including the following: How can one love something without getting to know it? Following an encounter of great trauma, suffering or loss, how wise or dangerous is it to engage the dark forces of the psyche that often pour forth—for instance: violence, bestiality, sado-masochistic urges, erotic fixations, terror, hatred and other compulsions to do harm; or despair, meaninglessness and bottomless grief. What about the dictum to say to the devil, "get thee behind me?" Or the popular Law of Attraction advice that you attract more of whatever you focus upon? And how are we to relate to people who have traumatized or otherwise harmed us or those we love? Can we balance the instinct for retributive justice with a compassionate heart that recognizes that we are all fighting a hard battle in coming to terms with the dilemmas of being human? Come join in the conversation.

Sandra Lee Dennis holds an MA in Counseling Psychology and a PhD in Integral Studies, specializing in Psychology and ReligionHer background includes training in and teaching a number of spiritual disciplines and approaches to the spirit/mind/body connection—including Gurdjieff, Diamond Heart, Vipassana Meditation and Centering Prayer. She is the author of Embrace of the Daimon and the forthcoming Love and the Mystery of Betrayal—Initiation of the Heart.

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