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Love is Stronger Than Death: The Mystical Union of Two Souls Paperback – 26 Apr 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Paperback, 26 Apr 2002
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Lindisfarne Books (26 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584200022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584200024
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.9 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,440,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'This powerful and beautifully written story adds a new dimension to our understanding of human love and the possibility of survival beyond the grave. For those who feel called to the path of conscious love, this book will serve as an astonishing guide book.' -- Edward Collins, Light

About the Author

Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault lives in British Columbia where she divides her time between solitude and her role as resident teacher for the Contemplative Society. Over the past two decades she has lived variously as a college professor, medievalist, editor and parish priest.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a lot to think about in this book, even if (as I do) you are not entirely convinced by it. I couldn't get over the idea that Cynthia's concept of a loving relationship continuing after death *in that particular way* is just wishful thinking on her part. It is all very subjective even though she does find backup for her ideas from a number of scholarly sources. I would love for it all to be true. Maybe it is. What I found more affirming and encouraging than the idea of a continuing relationship with a beloved after death, is her understanding of the Body of Christ or the Body of Hope: the notion of the Cosmic Christ is one I can relate to. I would call this the Communion of Saints - a communion of EVERYBODY, including me. But other writers have written more about that: it is not really what this book is about. I cannot help wondering: if the circumstances of Cynthia and Rafe's meeting had been different - if he had not been a celibate monk etc, and they had married and settled down together and got a mortgage and had sex and got bored with having sex and he had lived longer and got Alzheimer's - the usual dull stuff, whether the emotional intensity they experienced, the high-flying meeting of souls, wouldn't just have petered out and been replaced with ordinariness in the way things usually do. And if it had been ordinary, would this book have been written?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating book about the possibility that spiritual friendship can continue to benefit one's spiritual progress even after the death of the body. Cynthia Bourgeault is a beacon of light for those of us on the contemplative path. I love everything that she gives us!
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Format: Paperback
The deep intelligence and refined sensitivity of the author shines through each page. This book is one to read and re-read. It's a tale of two evolving people, committed to truth and growth on the deepest possible levels. Rafe has twinkling blue eyes and is a rugged hermit, Cynthia is endlessly open, genuine, and in love. It's a romance. What adds to the fascination of the human story, so beautifully told, is the metaphysical unraveling that Cynthia shares with us, her realisation, or gnosis, of what the spiritual connection between her and Rafe is ultimately meant for. She presents her case with great clarity and her voice rings with authentic candour. I've never read a book like this before, Cynthia goes deeper. Her and Rafe went very deep,into the subtle realms, beyond the physical.I'm in great admiration and grateful for the fact that she shared this rare reality that she had and is living. Thankyou Cynthia.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the book, re-read it straight away and am now reading a third time. I have never done that before.That should say something in itself. It's a fascinating read. There are some parts that I still don't understand but those are the theoretical/ theological parts.\i am now reading another of her books -Centering prayer" An excellent writer.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must reading for serious contemplatives 19 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The startling story of the mystical marriage between the contemplative Cynthia Bourgeault (hermit, Episcopal priest, scholar) and the contemplative Brother Raphael Robin (hermit, Trappist monk)is must reading for serious contemplatives. Whether or not you are convinced that Rafe and Cynthia's souls are currently one "abler soul", although he has died and she is alive, Bourgeault's thought, study, and prayer on the mystical journey are rich in insights. A practitioner of centering prayer, her scholarship in this book focuses on the esoteric tradition, unfamiliar to most mainstream Christians, and she has done her readers the courtesy of providing helpful notes and an annotated bibliography which you may well be inspired to make use of after reading the remarkable quotations throughout the book. Don't be put off by my mention of her scholarship -- this book is short and written in a lively, engaging fashion. Rare indeed is the person who can do much more than stutter when talking about her/his experiences of contemplative prayer, especially at the higher levels, but Rev. Bourgeault is gifted with a clear mind, lyrical prose, and a heart full of God, all of which she puts at the reader's service. As one who stutters about these matters, I can only urge you to buy this book and see for yourself.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Evolution of Relationship/Beyond Being Comfortable 22 Nov. 1999
By Debbie Marriette - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This love story of eternal beauty guides us in the natural evolution of our loving relationships. We are encouraged to consider the boundless possibilities of 'love' and 'relationship'. With that comes the profound responsibility to recognize how vastly important each individual is in the grand scheme of life. The combination of the scholarly and spiritual delving in this story is such a workout that I would suggest reading the book once for the love story, and again and again for an ever-deepening exploration of our relationship to one another, to the earth, and to whatever lies beyond. Of paramount importance we must learn to listen and open our hearts. Cynthia Bourgeault offers a way to follow this simple yet challenging path.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A guide for living, loving, and dying 30 Jan. 2002
By William Jensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There are few books to compare with this one. The nature of death and the power of love are explored from so many directions that, in the end, we are given a spiritual guide through life and beyond. Ms. Bourgeault shows us that we do not need to be limited by the generally accepted truths of the major spiritual traditions, nor by those of various esoteric teachings. Her personal experience speaks in every word so that, instead of an abstract treatise on inner work, we are shown a road map marked out by someone who has been there. This is the perfect book for anyone who has recently lost a life partner. It is also the perfect book for anyone who has just found a life partner.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling book to expand our spiritual edges. 23 Oct. 1999
By Joseph A. Burkart, Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The poet, Rilke, once said; "The two greatest gifts given in life are love and death, neither often opened"! This is a story about how two people, from a serendipitous and chance meeting, learned to open love and death and to keep both open in the process of spritual transformation and their own eternal connection. This is a beautiful and compelling story, poetically told of not falling in love but being given love for much higher purposes. And it is about a love relationship that embarks on new and uncharted territory in which the two partners muster their considerable spiritual experience and instincts to negotiate life's circumstances as the process involves. The reference points, guideposts, exist in the realm of Esoteric Christianity, long studied by both, independent of each other and before their chance meeting. Jung once commented that there are three kinds of relationships, "those of destruction, those of well being and those of transfomation". This is a story of a marriage of transformation. And although a poignant and life changing story it is not some remote love story set in an esoteric setting familiar to a few and of interest to slightly more. It is a story that may well be the most generic of tales. Unknown lands and lesser known people grow and evolve amdist their courage and shame, advances and regressions to forge a tale that drives like a lasar beam to the deepest fathoms of the yearnings of the collective human heart; To be loved and known unconditionally by another and to return that love. And in the living of this in life and in death, experience the incredible transformation that emerges for higher purposes.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that mesmerizes into theTranscendence of 2 Worlds! 11 Jan. 2005
By Fred W Hood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Who could resist reading this book after seeing that awesome subtitle of "The Mystical Union of Two Souls?" Especially when it is told from a perspective of such compelling Theology as this intimacy of love between two persons! From the beginning of the "Preface to the Second Edition" by Cynthia Bourgeault and the Introduction by David Steindl-Rast, OSB, I became aware of her depth of this "Mystical Union of Two Souls!"

Nothing said by friends who recommended and loaned me their book even slightly prepared me for the powerful building blocks of this book! It kept me leaping from one level to another, almost as thrilling as shooting the rapids or going from low altitudes in a Jet Fighter Plane up to 35,000 feet level, without getting the bends! I ran through several examples of descriptions:

Chapter 3 on the "Mystical Completion of Souls": "These building blocks come mostly from the Christian esoteric (inner) tradition-- The Fourth Way of G.I. Gurdjieff--plus Christian hermeticism coming further from Jacob Boehme. The four building blocks are: 1) The union of souls 2) The idea of second body 3) The vow, or promise 4) "The wonders."

Later in the same chapter she describes "the time of bodily life the soul has earnestly pledged itself [to another] but has not forsworn that promise." During the last few weeks of Rafe's life before his death, he began "his crash course in enhancing his second body-- primarily through practice of "true resignation!" Although she describes theirs as a Physical Love story, it is totally without maudlin, syrupy-sweet, love scenes or the usual sexuality.

My understanding was a bit illuminated from reading from both Jacob Boehme and G.I.Gurdjieff. It came again from, "the laying down of one's personal will, in order to be unconditionally present to the will of God. [Not all-together new!]

After three short chapters in "Wrestling with an Angel" she uses a profound quote from a distinguished Psychaitrist, Helen Luke, saying, "Wholeness is born of the acceptance of the conflict of human and divine in the individual psyche." Immediately, she quotes Dylan Thomas: If the principal office of "love in this life is to unbolt the dark," to release its prisoners of shame, it seems that our wedding garments in eternity are spun... Here I glimpsed her hazy picture of that second body as a spiritual body close to the description of St Paul in I Corinthians!

Cynthia stretches us into her own understanding of "The Mystical Union of Two Souls," from her deepening spiritual love for her Hermit Monk, Raphael Robin. Joyfully, Retired Chaplain Fred W Hood
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