Question Authority: Carolyn Myss

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Remember that 70s button "Question Authority?" My perverse mind has always wondered, "Who made you question authority?" Believe it or not, after almost forty years, I think I've found her.

I recently read Caroline Myss' new book, Defy Gravity. In it she asks the most authoritative questions I've considered in a long time. Caroline Myss has made herself into the question authority; we ought to take her questions quite seriously.

Caroline Myss has worked in the field of medical intuition for over two decades. In that time, she became known for her trenchant, intuitive diagnostic ability. She was not and has not ever been or considered herself a healer. She is, however, quite a remarkable mystic and has been since the beginning of her career.

Thus we find that, at long last, Caroline Myss has, through prayer, begun to facilitate the healings of others. Welcome to the ranks of the healers, Caroline! We've been waiting for you for a long time.

Her latest book, loosely based on the seven deadly sins and the seven cardinal virtues of Catholic notoriety, goes direct to the heart of healing territory--as she says, beyond reason. Healing is not reasonable. There are no genuine formulae to guarantee healing, but there are creatable environments that allow for healing.

Ms. Myss confirms what healers the worlds over have known for centuries: healing comes from the soul, the interior self. "Grace," she says, "is what heals." She's right. The soul calls for particular actions to set the stage for healing:

Forgive the past;
Accept what cannot be changed in your life;
Relinquish any personal agenda for how your healing should unfold;
Be present to your life as it is right now.

This is the path to "the fewest obstacles."

Her jabbing queries begin as Ms. Myss exhorts us to let go of reason. Here's one: How often do you betray your intuition because of unreasonable reasons? Ouch. I did just that this week!

Here's another: How much of my life is organized around my fears? I had to put the book down when I read that one--and I've been on a conscious spiritual path for more than half my life!

As Ms. Myss takes us through what she dubs "the dark passions," her questions become even more pointed. Consider this under Pride.

"What does it take to get back in your "good graces" once your pride has been offended or you have been humiliated?"

Or, under Anger.

"How often and in what ways have you harmed others with your anger?"

The thing is, Carolyn Myss is a mystic who has done her work, her own personal soul work. As I read her book, I became more and more convinced that had she not, she would not have been able to ask these, and other, painful questions.

From the dark passions we are led to the power of our graces. Ms. Myss writes, "Grace is not just an emergency substance, a kind of divine Rescue Remedy." I laughed in delight at this because this is exactly how grace is so often perceived, by both believers and nonbelievers. "Grace highlights qualities in you, enhances your strengths, heightens your inner senses, and sometimes gives you a craving for silence so that you can listen deeply." Yeah, that's grace.

Then, Ms. Myss draws the perfect map to grace. "To know grace fully and directly, you must turn inward." She's right, no exceptions. How we run from this piece of advice! "You can't 'go after grace'; it pursues you. Grace emerges out of your own inner work and the healing of the dark passions. It comes through prayer and through discovering that you thrive more on truth than on fear. Grace comes to you as you learn to rely on it." Yes, oh yes.

The more we live as if we live in grace, the more grace we are, do and have. Ms. Myss delineates seven graces, and her Cosmic Two-By-Four Questions continue solidly through them.

Dear One, the questions are more than worth the price of the book. Long live Caroline Myss--the Question Authority.

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