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Cultivating the 7 Spiritual Instincts for a Fearless Life

by Jeff Golliher

Pub Date: March 17th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58542-838-0
Publisher: Tarcher/Penguin

A faith-based guide to finding freedom from the crippling effects of fear. 

In this sensitive book, Episcopal priest and cultural anthropologist Golliher (A Deeper Faith: A Journey into Spirituality, 2008) offers helpful advice, in the form of personal recollections and stories, to individuals seeking to overcome fear, “one of the greatest obstacles in life.” The author begins by defining this devastating negative emotion and discussing the five insights he sees as necessary for a successful journey through it. Golliher systematically examines what he calls the “seven spiritual instincts”—awe, love, intent, conscience, community, rest and faith—and the relationship each has to fear. Through richly detailed anecdotes, he shows what these instincts are (as well as what they are not) and outlines methods or “spiritual practices” readers can use to cultivate them in their daily lives. He argues that by strengthening and refining these instincts, individuals can move through and beyond fear to experience “the joy that the great body of life” bestows on those who live in the “real world,” rather than the false and needlessly painful one fear can create. While the book is rooted in Christian spirituality, the author never loses sight of his ultimate mission to help all readers regardless of their religious backgrounds.

Through a skillful, balanced blend of sympathetic insights into the human condition and wise observations gleaned from the Bible, Golliher creates satisfying reading for a general—rather than strictly faith-based—audience that neither preaches nor attempts to proselytize.