Joseph Dispenza lived a monastic life for eight years, studying religion and spirituality in the order of the Roman Catholic Congregation of the Holy Cross. He completed postgraduate studies in cinema history in Texas and then took a position with the American Film Institute in Washington, D.C. After working in Hollywood, Dispenza then was asked to establish a film school at a private college in Santa Fe where he spent six years. He is he cofounder of LifePath retreats in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he writes and is in practice as a spiritual counselor.
In this guidebook for spiritual seekers, Dispenza shares his spiritual path outside religious communities. He notes at the outset:
"In the past decade, 14.3 million Americans left organized religions, giving rise to the term 'nones' for people who choose none on surveys of religious affiliation or preference. Of the nearly thirty million nones in total in America, less than one million think of themselves as atheists. This leaves approximately twenty-nine million Americans in search of a personal relationship with God, the Source, the Divinity, the Creator, the Great Spirit, the Supernatural Being, or whatever name they attach to a power higher than themselves, including the Higher Power. They are spiritual seekers."
Dispenza felt a great sense of freedom once he left behind the traditions, rituals, and rules of Roman Catholicism. He defines spirituality as "the awareness of ourselves as beings living in a multidimensional world, in connection with our Source and all other living beings." In chapters organized around seeking, building, and being; he describes many of explorations into past-life regression, dream work, and shamanism. And he presents some of his spiritual practices like the mantras he has developed to ward off tides of cynicism (see the excerpt). Dispenza seems overly harsh on religion but his genuine enthusiasm for openness and hospitality to the movements of Spirit is salutary.