Harry R. Moody, co-founder and executive director of The Brookdale Center on Aging at Hunter College, and David Carroll map out the various stages of spiritual development over a lifetime in this interesting book. At the outset, they state that the goal of this journey is soul realization or enlightenment. It most likely will come during adulthood, and it will definitely involve struggle.

Moody and Carroll provide imaginative and varied illustrative material from all the wisdom traditions as they discuss the five stages of soul — call, search, struggle, breakthrough, and return. Some of the obstacles to soul fulfillment are regret, self-delusion, spiritual pride, discouragement, and misunderstanding. The stalwart individual is able to learn from pain, illness, setbacks, and trouble. Spiritual teachers appear at all stages of life to help us understand effortless effort, limits, and living in the present moment.

The last two chapters on breakthrough and return are especially cogent with insights on mystical consciousness, service, and reshaping one's life after returning from the mountaintop of spiritual renewal. Moody and Carroll's anatomy of soul is presented with wisdom, enthusiasm, and respect for the mysteries of life.