Human Ground, Spiritual Ground

Paradise Lost and Found

Kess Frey

Out of print

Quick Look

  • Inspired by Thomas Keating's conceptual background for Centering Prayer
  • Describes the primary obstacles to human spiritual growth, and addresses how these can be overcome through the practice of Centering Prayer

Describes the primary obstacles to human spiritual growth and addresses how to overcome them through Centering Prayer.

229 x 152 mm
Portal Books
Religion & Spirituality
184 pages
Publication date:
15 Aug 2012


Inspired by Thomas Keating's conceptual background for Centering Prayer, this book begins by using the biblical story of Adam and Eve to describe four basic parameters that frame the universal human condition: death and change, sex and desire, good and evil choices and our existential aloneness and incompleteness apart from God. Within the framework of these parameters we experience our basic instinctual needs and their distortions into emotional programs for happiness -- which happens when needs are wounded, unmet, or perceived as unmet.

Human Ground, Spiritual Ground identifies our basic inborn needs as security, survival and safety; sensation and pleasure; affection, esteem and approval; power and control; and intimacy and belonging. These needs pertain to both our human and spiritual growth. The book describes them in detail, giving examples of their healthy expressions as well as their pathological distortions into self-centered agendas for happiness that form the basis of the false-self system, the key to all of which is our inner motivation.

In addition to describing the primary obstacles to human spiritual growth, Human Ground, Spiritual Ground addresses how these unconscious obstacles are overcome through the daily practice of Centering Prayer and the divine action working in us and in our life. The ultimate fruit of this inner purification, healing and transformation process is the shifting of our inner center of identity from human ground into spiritual ground and our life in Christ -- which is participation in the divine consciousness.


Kess Frey was born in 1945 and grew up in California. He met Thomas Keating in 1989 and has been involved with the Centering Prayer movement ever since. He lives in Anchorage, Alaska, where he offers introductory Centering Prayer workshops, facilitates prayer groups and retreats, and is active in prison ministry.

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