The modern reader searching for new techniques of spiritual “self-discovery” will largely be disappointed in the desert tradition of the apophatic way. Classical writers in this habitus could not be more indifferent to the modern search for “experiences of the sacred” that enhance self-realization. They would never, in the private, psychologizing way so familiar to contemporary spirituality, be anxious to add an encounter-with-God-through-contemplative-prayer to their collection of previous meditative accomplishments. As if one could then say, “Been there, done that!” to yet another personal success achieved through Zen attentiveness, transcendental meditation, or even centering prayer. — Belden Lane