"From this standpoint, disease-proneness begins when we cut off parts of ourselves that did not fit — those selves that spoke too loudly, moved too clumsily, shone too brightly, desired too ardently. But there is a law of conservation in the psyche — energies are never destroyed, only transformed. If these shadow parts cannot grow with us, they may grow against us — or, if given a chance, may emerge from the shadows to help make us well. . . . To come alive is to meet selves we do not yet know, selves we cannot yet love. Disease may bring them clamoring to the surface, for each part of our personality, each 'soul,' seeks its own authentic being. In crisis, dissociated parts of ourselves may struggle to be born again, to be accepted for what they are, to fulfill their own deferred dreams and destinies.

"Job's story is perhaps the most archetypal of all Western disease narratives. It is usually interpreted as a fable of stoic faith in the face of the incomprehensible Divine, a case of bad things happening to good people. But closer examination reveals a deeper structure, the classic, sequenced ordeal of the shaman, the saint, or the mythic hero: a grave crisis leading to a terrifying departure from ordinary life, a forced confrontation with the profoundest aspects of the psyche, and then, in Joseph Campbell's words, 'a penetration to some source of power and a life-enhancing return.' Job's odyssey, in the formulation of poet William Blake, describes a series of progressive stages: 'Innocence, Experience, Revolution, the Dark Night, and the New Life.' "