About Broken Ground of the Soul (an excerpt)
Ask six thoughtful people what this book is about and you’ll receive six different answers. The book addresses human complexities and the miraculous ways of the Holy, and such workings have many facets.
Broken Ground of the Soul is about a long journey which begins with betrayal, wrenching loss, and mute incredulity. It is about trying to make sense of the senseless, and grappling with despair’s crippling aftermath.
Through the readily available healing power of ancient, sacred texts and divine importunity, a miracle of transformation occurs. For what is impossible with us, is nonetheless possible with God. Ultimately, the restoration of joy became a wholly unexpected reality.
The book tells how to access a timeless, regenerative power which God is perennially and persistently extending to each of us in every moment.
While I believe in miracles, I do not believe they occur outside the created order of things, thus making them impossible to explain within the natural laws of our universe. I think they’re in perfect resonance with laws which may be outside our awareness.
Our natural world is a supreme purveyor of understanding. In eleven simple words, Albert Einstein issues a compelling invitation and makes a sweeping claim. “Look deep into Nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
Nature gazing enables us to plumb the depths of the quantifiable, while pondering the distant reaches of the ineffable. We are luminous energy and clay of earth, fashioned from the dust of far flung stars, and we’ll someday turn to ash. We are also more than our bodies. We have thoughts, feelings, will, choice and volition. We are spiritual beings.
These intimate reflections began on tear-stained pages in my private journal. Over an extended amount of time, the story moves through unspeakable loss to verdant new life. One day I realized I was a living example of the Hegelian dialectic.
The Thesis is that Life is sacred, beautiful, and eternal. The Antithesis is that Death surrounds us and is inevitable. Ultimately, the Synthesis is that we can choose to receive and rest in that sacred peace which passes all understanding, defies so-called reality, and transcends our circumstances. We can nimbly live with fear and love, dread and hope, suffering and awe, deep knowing and impenetrable mystery.
Our existence lies within the thrill and throe of dueling realities. We seek stillness atop a whirling planet and silence amid the din of days. Sometimes we are out of sync, other times we’re in complete harmony. Contradictions and miracles abound.
Ours is a dialectical existence. We live an amphibious life in a both/and world. Thankfully, we are designed and equipped to live in two worlds. But these worlds are not land and water: they are flesh and spirit.
We are forever navigating between one reality and an equally real, compellingly commensurate opposite. We must find the synthesis, the resolution, the higher perspective, again and again.
We acknowledge that Life’s contradictions, the tensiveness within the Biblical texts, and the Hegelian Dialectic, exemplify the very nature of our existence.
So while contradictions and miracles may be beyond our ability to explain, they are well within our ability to experience. Miracles are not only within reach, we can pursue them with the predictability of the Law of Cause and Effect. Given that, this book is also akin to a multi-dimensional treasure map, which reveals the ever-present, life-transforming, healing power of the Psalms.
What Reviewers Say About Broken Ground of the Soul
Linda Compton has written an inspired, compassionate and wise book. Take this healing journey through the Psalms with her and you might discover the depth of being human.”
Rabbi Lavey Yitzchak Derby Internationally recognized Jewish educator
“Broken Ground of the Soul took my breath away. I’m not a follower of the bible, but the words of the psalms and the writer’s words reached across time and space and really spoke to me. It’s a powerful message for anyone who is grieving and is having difficulty moving through it. This gives anyone reading Linda’s small book hope.”
Gerry Cerf Executive Director, Women Incorporated Santa Fe, NM
“Most contemporary readings of the Psalms are meant to soothe. Not Linda Compton’s. Her compact and intensely meaningful book is about healing, not soothing. Broken Ground of the Soul unlocks the raw, ancient, and elemental power of the Psalms—and offers profound and compassionate insight for all of us.”
Scott Edelstein Author of Sex and the Spiritual Teacher
In a world in which so much seems beyond our personal control, in which the incidence of mental illness is ever growing, and in which we seem to be more isolated and impotent, Linda Compton comes to us with a message she extracts from the Psalms. It is a message of great power and profound truth:
We cannotcontrol the course of our life, but we can control the meaningwe give to it. It is sheer folly to assume that we can escape loss and illness, the chaos aroundus. What the competent psychologist has to offer, what the religious teachings imbue in us, is the recognition thathow we come to know our world, come to label it, how wecome to give it meaning is the way we will then experience it. The incredible power of the Understanding we bring toadversity will change the course of the way we Experience it. Whether it be Cognitive Behavioral Psychology or the Great Religious Teaching, Jungian Analysis or the Psalms, within eachof us is the capacity to find peace and to create wisdom. Linda Compton has taken the brutal murder of her beloved niece and told us that “grief holds within itself the possibility of happiness.” This book illuminates the way.
Frances Salman Koenig, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist
Past President of the New Mexico Psychological Association
Chairman of the New Mexico Board of Psychologist Examiners
In the nearly 30 years I have worked within the criminal justice system, I have never been so impacted by a tragedy as I have this author’s. What was more remarkable is her ability to hold fast to her faith and to use it to defeat the despair and devastation caused by the inhumanity of the perpetrator. Ms. Compton not only shares her loss and grief with the reader, but also her insightful interpretation of the Psalms that brought her peace, in hopes to do the same for us. Having questioned my own faith on more than one occasion during my career, her amazing perspective has not only brought me comfort in the face of everyday sorrow, but also brought me closer to the Father, a true gift indeed!Beth Bailey, Restitution Recovery Specialist,
I have no doubt her interpretation of the Psalms and her application to her own life and losses will provide great inspiration to victims and their families, and like myself, members of the
law enforcement community who struggle with the aftermath of crime every day. This book is a blessing to us all!!
Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office