Teresa pictured the soul as a beautiful mansion in which God resides in the centermost place. This interior castle contains seven dwelling places. We start our spiritual journey in the most exterior dwelling (the first) and, God willing, move toward the seventh. Each of the various rooms of the castle represent the degrees of purgation and continual strife that a person must pass through before entering this seventh dwelling—one’s own center—only when God allows it. In the innermost dwelling, the person becomes united with God in continuous, conscious love.