Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tom Rapsas shares favourite passages in Matthew

For his Wake Up Call blog on Thursday, Tom Rapsas shares his nine favourite passages from Thomas Moore's GOSPEL The Book of Matthew: A New Translation with Commentary, Jesus Spirituality for Everyone: "Rewriting Jesus: A New Take on the Gospel of Matthew".

The introduction to his selection includes:
"Moore was more than up to the task. He has Masters degrees in both religion and philosophy. And while he may be best known for his beautiful series of books on the soul (and his recent classic on creating our own spiritual path [A Religion of One's Own]), for 13 years he served as a member of a Roman Catholic lay order, leaving just months before becoming an ordained priest.

Thomas Moore has a unique take on Jesus, who he sees as 'a spiritual poet' who uses narrative and imagery to get his ideas across. He sees him as more than just a teacher of wisdom but 'a social mystic, like a shaman who can heal, and lead people to appreciate multiple layers of reality'."
Click through Rapsas' top nine while contemplating the accompanying images.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Our nightmares connect to planetary destruction

In May this year Jungian psychotherapist Douglas Thomas writes "Eco-sadism: Why are we Torturing the Planet?" using Thomas Moore's book Dark Eros: The Imagination of Sadism (1990) to explore global destruction of our home.
"As I contemplate the relationship we humans have negotiated with the planet, this shadowy aspect of our collective sadism seems quite apparent. Certainly the images of strip mining, slashing the rain forests, dumping barges filled with garbage into the oceans all seem readily available for sadeian commentary.

Perhaps we are at our most sadistic when we are at our most unconscious, denying the perverse and repugnant cruelty of our collective actions against the planet. First denial, and then rationalization, two common defense mechanisms that regularly appear in the therapy room, also serve as the preferred mechanisms to permit and justify the torture and corruption of the planet. If we re-imagine the Earth as one of de Sade’s literary protagonists, the victimized damsel Justine for example, the libertine zeal of our collective insistence to strip, cut, penetrate, immobilize, neutralize, slash, burn, seize, corrupt and devastate quickly comes into focus."
Thomas concludes, "Once we become conscious of the psychological connection between the devastation of the planet and the torturous sadeian images of our own nightmares, an opportunity becomes available to engage the imagination in a contemplative exploration of how the root images of eco-sadism might transform through tending them as living images rather than literally enacting them."

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Study the Gospel of Matthew at Old Ship Church

If you live near Hingham, Massachusetts, you have an opportunity to attend a course about Thomas Moore's translation of GOSPEL The Book of Matthew at Old Ship Church (First Parish) with the minister Kenneth Read-Brown. The congregation is Unitarian Universalist and is a Welcoming Congregation.

A New Look at the Gospel of Matthew – three sessions on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.:
November 30, December 7, December 14
"These gatherings for conversation will be based on Thomas Moore’s fresh new translation of Matthew.  The class will follow the weekly 6:30 vespers services that are a December tradition at Old Ship. For more information, contact Ken."
Office telephone: 781-749-1679;
Office email:
Fee: "We ask participants to contribute $35 for the first course they attend each year (sliding scale according to need). There is no fee for the drop-in ongoing groups, or if otherwise noted."

Friday, August 26, 2016

Portrayal of Jesus is "artful, layered and intelligent"

In his blog post "A new way of translating Matthew: 5:13-16", Bill Tammeus writes about Thomas Moore's new book GOSPEL The Book of Matthew: A New Translation with Commentary, Jesus Spirituality for Everyone.
"One of Moore's translation choices that I found challenging and, at first, off-putting, was to use "Sky Father" for God. I thought it played into the annoying practice of some of the more aggressive atheists these days to dismiss God as an imaginary "Sky Daddy," as they sometimes write.
But Moore says he prefers 'to use the word 'sky' instead of 'heaven' because it is a concrete image. I do not mean a literal father in the clouds but rather the sky as an image for spirit... Our usual anthropomorphic human-like language is only an approximation of the sublime mystery of this father.'
Still, most readers, I'm guessing, will find it strange, if not difficult, to begin Matthew's version of the Lord's Prayer in chapter 6 the way Moore translates it: 'Our father in the sky...'
Moore notes that Matthew's portrayal of Jesus is 'artful, layered and intelligent,' but, he says, "you have to think in layers and metaphors and cannot be simplistic when you read him.' Exactly right."
Tammeus also comments on Moore's associations with resurrection. He writes:
"In a footnote, Moore quotes Donald Spoto's book, The Hidden Jesus: A New Life, as saying that "When we say Jesus has risen from the dead, we do not mean that his corpse was resuscitated and that he came back to the same kind of life as we know it; that, after all, would be only a return to impermanence and an orientation to death. ... Jesus has entered into a new and permanent manner of existence immortal, deathless, no longer limited by our categories of space and time."

Read more here:
... Then Moore expands that thinking by adding this: 'We are all resurrected when we 'get up' from the darkness and stupor of our unconsciousness and acting-out. We live an entirely new kind of existence.' Which, while not disputing the resurrection of Jesus, tends to diminish the eternal nature of resurrection that many people have in mind when they refer to the term."
Timmeaus has no argument when Moore points out "Jesus describes God as 'not the God of the dead, but of the living.'"

Earlier this month for The Presbyterian Outlook, Roy Howard's review of GOSPEL The Book of Matthew: A New Translation with Commentary, Jesus Spirituality for Everyone includes:
"In this book [Moore] declares, 'My intention is to release the Gospels from their narrow confinements and show how valuable they are today to anyone at all looking for insight into how to live deeply and lovingly.
... That intention – 'to help people live deeply and lovingly' – guides Moore’s translation at several points including his use of the phrase 'tragic mistake' for 'sin.' There are other choices that may offend some readers and lead others to dismiss him altogether. Yet, for those who are not threatened by a fresh conversation with Matthew and Moore about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in our time, this is a book worth pondering."
Howard concludes, "One does not have to agree with Moore at every point to gather the fruit of his new effort."

Barque coverage
15 May 2016 "Translation and commentary may be challenging"

Monday, July 18, 2016

Move away from being a follower to being a creator

Celia Hales reviews Thomas Moore's A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating aPersonal Spirituality in a Secular World under the headline "Developing a Religion", relating it to A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

Hales writes, "I suspect that Moore has read A Course in Miracles, as have most religious leaders of today, but he does not lean on its philosophy to any real extent. The similarities to ACIM and A Course of Love are, instead, perennial wisdom with Moore’s particular take on today’s plight. The thesis of A Religion of One’s Own is that we have been living too much of a secular life, a life that has failed us, and it is mandatory that we overturn this tendency by sampling the rich heritage in religion, mythology, psychology that is available to us. Throughout this book, he gives hints of how to incorporate this heritage into our modern day life."

She concludes, "A Religion of One’s Own is an important book, fully promising an enthusiastic following in line with Moore’s earlier Care of the Soul. A wholehearted recommendation."

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Translation and commentary may be challenging

Bill Tammeus, author and former Faith columnist for The Kansas City Star, writes "A new way of translating Matthew", referencing Thomas Moore's GOSPEL The Book of Matthew: A New Translation with Commentary, Jesus Spirituality for Everyone. Tammeus includes, "It's an engaging work, made more so by the various ways in which the translation choices surprised and at times even bothered me. But here's a pretty good rule: If a new translation of the Bible doesn't in some way challenge your thinking, it's probably not worth the effort."

Tammeus also states, "What Moore brings to the effort that is different is his commentary, done in the form of footnotes that appear one page to the left of the text. It seems an odd way to offer footnotes, but if my experience is typical, the reader pretty quickly gets used to it and eventually finds that having the footnotes directly across from the text instead of below it is an advantage."

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Transformed spirituality enhances better politics

In yesterday's Huffington Post interview, Rick Heller talks with author Mark Satin about "The New Age 40 Years Later". Satin posits in his book New Age Politics (1976) that "the best political change is inspired by a transformed consciousness." The book is "re-released and updated in a 40th anniversary edition". In their email exchange, Satin shares:
 "... I suspect most Americans now have a personal interpretation of God. It may be informed by the Bible, by what we hear at church, and so on, but it’s also informed by our own life experiences, by revelations we may have had, by our encounters with other faiths and with healers and teachers whose faiths may not be easily classifiable. And that was the essence of New Age spirituality, was it not — to take responsibility for our own pathway to the divine? The religious writer Thomas Moore captures the spirit of what I’m saying in the title of one of his recent books, A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World."
 Satin includes, "Without dominant mediating institutions, our relationship to God is more personal than it’s ever been, and we are more vulnerable and naked before God. Hopefully that will help us make more inspired political choices."

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A stately chestnut tree reminds of family gatherings

Lucy Thomas, Montezuma Historical Society member and wife of Bill who is one of the many cousins Thomas Moore visited during childhood trips to the area, writes "Author, Thomas Moore, family roots remain here in Montezuma" on 11 April 2016 to commemorate Moore's appearance at Willard Memorial Chapel in Auburn, New York on 15 April, 2016.

In her piece, Lucy Thomas includes, "Thomas’ great-grandfather, William Nugent and wife, Catherine, emigrated to America in the mid 1850’s and settled in Auburn, NY, with four sons and one daughter. Their son, William married Mary O’Brien and built a farm on land they purchased on Fuller Road in Montezuma. They raised eight children: five sons and three daughters. Daughter, Agnes Nugent-Owens, is Thomas’ grandmother. The farm is where Thomas spent many of his childhood summers, arriving with his parents Mary and Ben, brother Jim, his grandparents, aunts and uncles from Detroit, Michigan. The rest of the family would return to Detroit, but Thomas chose to stay on the farm the rest of the summer spending time with his three great-uncles, Joseph, Thomas and John. His Uncle Tom became his mentor while working in the fields, caring for a team of horses and other daily farm chores."

Echoing Moore's own focus on natural, soulful locations, Thomas writes, "Thomas returned each summer until his entry to the Seminary and studying in Ireland. Today, the farm house and barns are long gone with only one majestic Chestnut tree remaining as the sacred marker of special family times."

Friday, March 18, 2016

Artist finds practical wisdom in Moore's classic

Because the Martha's Vineyard Times is interested in creativity, under the headline "We asked artists: What books are you reading?" it says:
"This week, The MV Times Calendar section continues prying into the lives of local artists and writers. We think you can learn a lot about creative types by knowing what kind of art they like — especially which books they read. So we asked: "Who are you reading this winter? What’s kept you up late so you could finish? What books are stacked on your night table?" 
Nancy Aronie's response includes "I’m rereading Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul (so much practical wisdom) and also rereading my Bible..."

Friday, March 11, 2016

Let's explore the presence of soul in all of the arts

On 17 February 2016 Tom Rapsas writes "Thomas Moore, Aretha Franklin and the Meaning of Soul" for his Patheos blog Wake Up Call: Insights & Musings to Stir Your Soul.

He includes, "No one has written about the soul more ably or poetically than Thomas Moore. Starting with Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life, he has written close to a dozen books on various aspects of the soul, including the soul at work, the soul and sex and the soul in medicine."

Rapsas then writes about soul music and includes a short 2015 video clip of Aretha Franklin.

The 25th edition of Care of the Soul is now available.

Friday, March 04, 2016

10 suggestions for soul care from Moore's work

Terri Gerber, a New York State licensed clinical social worker (LCSW-R), offers a 2-page guide for care of the soul based on Thomas Moore's writings. She stresses observance and ritual as features of soul work.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Monadnock resident praises Moore's soul choices

For the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, under the headline "Honoring the spirit in nature", Camilla Sanderson writes about moving to the Monadnock region of New Hampshire:
"A couple of years ago, after we moved to this area full time, I attended a talk at the Milford Unitarian Universalist church by local author Thomas Moore, who wrote the New York Times bestseller Care of the Soul, which has just been republished in its 25th anniversary edition. In that talk, Moore discussed two essential elements in caring for the soul. One was home. Are you living in the right country, the right region, the right neighborhood, the right community, the right home? I love the idea of making sure your soul feels at home.
And I was tickled to hear him say that the second most important element in caring for our souls is food. How are you nourishing yourself with love? What foods are meaningful for you? He talked about how chopping vegetables is such a meditative practice. And the deep pleasure of sharing food with loved ones."
She describes the restorative nature of the area.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

New Hampshire author Tom Paine reads Moore

New Hampshire Public Radio's The Bookshelf talks with "Portsmouth Author Tom Paine on Fiction, Teaching Creative Writing, and Nature". His new collection of short stories, A Boy’s Book of Nervous Breakdowns, features people on the verge of losing their minds ..." "Paine teaches in the MFA program of the University of New Hampshire and his stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, Glimmer Train, and other publications." Thomas Moore tops Paine's recommendation of 5 books on his bookshelf.
"1. Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. 'There are some books one keeps by the bedside table, and this is one of them. Finding an author who speaks to you is as hard as finding a good friend. But Moore finds the soul in everyday life. He made it okay to be an everyday mystic, jaw agape, and allowed me to think I am okay as I am in this hustling, chilly, mercantile world. He's a genius.'"
Listen to Paine's conversation with Peter Biello, or read the transcript.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Gospel: The Book of Matthew is a fresh view of life

In "Religion Publishing Preview: 2016 " for Publishers Weekly Lynn Garrett writes, " At the beginning of 2016, PW asked a range of publishers in the segment about ongoing issues, evolving points of view, and the big books they expect to affect the business this year. One topic for many is dealing with the rising number of Americans (especially young Americans) who have no religious affiliation and are wary of organized religion. Many publishers in the category have made reaching out to the disconnected and disenchanted a priority."

In her coverage of publishers "focusing on connecting with readers who have no religious affiliation," Garrett quotes Stuart Matlins of Jewish Lights/ SkyLight Paths:

"In this 25th anniversary year of Jewish Lights, we’ll be continuing our focus on the relevance of religious traditions to everyday life and on reaching out to the growing number of ‘spiritual-but-not-religious’ readers'. Thomas Moore’s Gospel: The Book of Matthew, A New Translation with Commentary, the first in a four-book series, 'strips the Gospels of their theological agendas and reclaims them as a radically new way of imagining human life,' Matlins says."

Spirituality & Practice shares this view of Moore's approach, evident in his Lent 2016 e-course: "This is a spiritual vision in and about the world," [Moore] notes. "It's a spirituality that does not have to be tied to a particular tradition and is accessible to anyone — people lovingly involved in the Christian tradition, lovingly involved in another tradition, not interested in religion, or somewhere in the gray areas of this spectrum."

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Faith in life's spirit, hope for earth's community

Unitarian Universalist minister Rev. Josh Pawelek shares his sermon "When Seeing isn't Believing" that focuses on the depth of living rather than the strength of believing. He writes:
"I’ve been forming some new ideas about what religious living means. It started when I decided to teach a course on Thomas Moore’s 2014 book A Religion of One’s Own. Thomas Moore is a former Catholic monk, a psychotherapist, and a popular spiritual writer, perhaps most famous for his 1992 book, Care of the Soul. It took me a while to decide to teach this book, mainly because, as a parish minister who wants people to participate in the life of the congregation, promoting the idea that one doesn’t need organized religion to be religious, that one can simply have a religion of and on one’s own, well, that doesn’t seem consistent with growing a congregation. But Moore doesn’t devalue church, synagogue, mosque, temple or sangha."
Pawelek shares examples of soulful living from his own experiences and suggests how the distinctions between spirit and soul may help others.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

List of 2015 top books includes Moore's offering

For The Irish Catholic Ron Rolheiser describes his "Top books of 2015": "These are the books that most touched me this past year." His list of six non-fiction titles includes Thomas Moore's A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World.

Rolheiser comments, "This book will upset a lot of people for its rather existential concept of community and ecclesiology, but Thomas Moore writes, as always, with a freshness, insight, and depth that brings a healthy challenge to everyone."

Thursday, November 26, 2015

What leads to eudaimonia (human flourishing)?

Philosophy Now shares Philip Cafaro's "The Virtues of Self-Help" from its March-April 2004 issue. The article examines five self-help bestsellers for "virtue ethics," including Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul. The other selections are Wayne Dyer, Your Erroneous Zones (1976); Robert Ringer, Looking Out for #1 (1977); Leo Buscaglia, Love (1972); M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled (1978).

Cafaro suggests, "[A] benefit of looking at the self-help literature is that it focuses our attention on popular, current conceptions of human excellence and flourishing. Early in the virtue ethics revival, many proponents called for an increased empiricism in ethics, but more recently this goal seems to have been forgotten. In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle considers popular conceptions of eudaimonia, or human flourishing, partly because such popular beliefs are likely to contain some truth and because they are necessarily in competition with any doctrines that philosophers may propound."

Cafaro states, "Of the five authors surveyed here, only one, Thomas Moore, consistently uses the word ‘virtue’ to denote those character traits or personal qualities he praises. ‘Virtue’ is my word for such qualities. Interestingly, these authors get by without any single general term for the traits they are praising, but those of us who want to analyze and compare their views need such a term and ‘virtue’ is the natural and traditional choice."

He includes a chart sharing each author's list of desirable virtues with selected quotes from their books. For Care of the Soul, Cafaro shows: "Imagination, attentiveness, intelligence, self-knowledge, ‘capacity to be affected’, devotion, intensity (passion), creativity, forcefulness, individuality, courage, strength, depth, insight, self-acceptance, wisdom, reverence."

His quotes from Moore's Introduction are:
“We know intuitively that soul has to do with genuineness and depth … it is tied to life in all its particulars – good food, satisfying conversation, genuine friends, and experiences that stay in the memory and touch the heart. Soul is revealed in attachment, love, and community, as well as in retreat on behalf of inner communing and intimacy.” (pp.xi-xii)

“Fulfilling work, rewarding relationships, personal power, and relief from symptoms are all gifts of the soul.” (p.xiii)

“The goal is a richly elaborated life, connected to society and nature, woven into the culture of family, nation, and globe.” (p.xviii)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Columnist vows to try harder to live in the moment

". . . And he told me he thought people who sought ways to see their own religious traditions with fresh eyes and new perspective were doing a good work. 'But it does take imagination,' he said, handing my book to me." 
Owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deseret News publishes Jerry Earl Johnston's piece about attending Thomas Moore's book signing for A Religion of One's Own, "A man for all seasons of the heart".

Johnston writes: "I heard him speak about the book in a West Coast bookstore not long ago. I liked what he had to say that night. I also liked the way he said it. Moore has mastered the art of living in the present moment. His mind doesn’t race ahead or drift off. He listens attentively, monitors his emotions and remains open to any and all spontaneous impressions that come his way. That ability, often associated with Buddhism, is the polar opposite of a performance. A performance is canned, prepackaged. Living in the moment is about being aware."

After receiving his signed book, Johnston concludes, "In that moment, I vowed to try harder to live in the moment. In fact, in my moment with Thomas Moore, it seemed like the only way to live."

Monday, November 09, 2015

Christ Church opens inclusive center in Houston

The Houston Chronicle publishes "Church will offer options for 'spiritual, not religious' generation" by Kyrie O'Connor who describes a new center that will "focus on community over doctrine."
"In January, The Bishop John E. Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer will open in a repurposed printing plant at 500 Fannin, just across the street from Christ Church. The new space — harnessing a countervailing force in spirituality that has taken root nationwide — will incorporate elements from Eastern religions and emphasize community over doctrine, offering yoga classes and a labyrinth where visitors can walk and meditate."
"A recent Pew Research Center Study showed that 35 percent of millennials list their religious affiliation as "none" — but that doesn't mean they're all atheists. The Hines Center hopes to reconnect to those millennials who fall into the category of "spiritual, not religious," [Rev. Barkley] Thompson said." 
The article quotes Thomas Moore, author of A Religion of One's Own:
"I travel quite a bit, and I hear this all over," he said.  Young people's needs are often not being met.
"They are not fed by traditional Christian and Jewish religion. They want something, but they can't go back." While he sees plenty of people who are soothed and strengthened by tradition, it's not for everyone.
"It's a tougher world, and you have to think for yourself more," Moore said."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

May we bring depth to our everyday experiences

“A soulful personality is complicated, multifaceted, and shaped by both pain and pleasure, success and failure. Life lived soulfully is not without its moments of darkness and periods of foolishness.” — Thomas Moore
Registered Nurse and Spiritual Director Kathleen Morrissey Irr writes "Soul-Making" at the beginning of October while referring to Thomas Moore's book Care of the Soul. In her following "weekly reflections" she continues with quotations from Moore's book and responds with her own ideas and thoughts.

Oct 05 "Soul-Making"
Oct 12 "Make Wider the Path to the Soul"
Oct 19 "Beauty and Brokenness"
Oct 26 "Soul-Making Begins in the Family"

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Soulful marriage: friendship, sexuality, intimacy

In Fr René Camilleri's piece, "Soul of marriage" for The Times of Malta, he states, "Marriage takes place in the realm of the soul and it is only there that we can come to a deep and meaningful understanding of what marriage is about." He includes:
"The Second Vatican Council more than 50 years ago affirmed that it is the intimate partnership of life and love that constitutes the essence of marriage. This is far from the perception and understanding of marriage as a contract that still underpins the way the Church’s tribunals themselves operate. Perhaps this is why this way of working things out is becoming gradually outdated even in the Church itself, thanks to the reforms under way with Pope Francis and hopefully in the upcoming synod of bishops in Rome.

It is no small thing in marriage to struggle for its soul, transforming old and raw frustrations and emotional blocks until it is free of interference. Writer Thomas Moore, in his book The Soul of Sex, writes that this is the nature of the deep alchemy by which we rough and primitive individuals become people of refined sensibility capable of union with other humans." 
While contemplating relationships, Camilleri writes, "Jesus’s call is not simply a call to go back to some doctrine or law. It is a call to uncover the depths we all carry inside us, to explore deep down what Pascal had named the reasons of the heart."

Readings: Genesis 2, 18-24; Hebrews 2, 9-11; Mark 10, 2-16.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Food, family, friends — meals as soulful devotions

For the Jewish Journal Robert Eshman writes "The Backyard Pilgrim" about building this year's sukkah to celebrate the pilgrimage festival: "Sukkot is the holiday in which we recall those booths — earthly or heavenly — by building huts of our own and eating our meals in them. Only a small fraction of Jews actually do this, which is a shame. 'He who has never seen the joy of Sukkot has never in his life seen joy,' the rabbis said in the Mishnah."

In this reflection he quotes Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul:
"Soulfulness, Thomas Moore writes in Care of the Soul, 'is tied to life in all its particulars — good food, satisfying conversation, genuine friends, and experiences that stay in the memory and touch the heart.'

For people of all faiths — and even the faithless — meals remain our primary and most satisfying form of devotion. When we make good food, sit with friends or even eat mindfully alone, the walk from our kitchen to our table is our pilgrimage. " 
Eshman concludes, "People wander the world to seek out shrines for cures, holy places that will center them, paths that will set them straight. After a week of walking between my kitchen and our rickety cloud of a sukkah, I can tell you: Don’t underestimate the holiness of that overlooked pilgrimage, a journey that will bring you some of the deepest blessings life has to offer, and that you can undertake each and every day. "

Friday, September 04, 2015

What desires bring students to your classroom?

Because many in the northern hemisphere are starting the school year, we share "Encouraging Students To Be More Interactive In Class" by Lesley D. Harman, Faculty Associate, Teaching Support Centre at Western University, London, Ontario. Harman talks about Thomas Moore's presentation in Toronto at the Holistic Learning conference in 2001 during which Moore showed his "calm and stubborn idealism."

 Harman's points are valuable now as new student-teacher relationships develop: "To return to the basic question which guides Moore's analysis, "What does the soul need?", Moore quotes Jung when he says the goal should be "to dream the dream onward". For Moore this means not to do anything to stop it, because the soul will stop too. A "stopped soul" in the classroom is one that will not engage. Every student has something to say."

Monday, July 13, 2015

Blogger underlines quotes in Care of the Soul

Joanna DeVoe, self-described witch, shares some personal favourite quotes from Thomas Moore's classic book, "Care Of The Soul, for example, is practically built on one kickass quote after another, so it was quite the challenge choosing a smallish selection to share with you here today."

DeVoe writes, "Thomas Moore's thing is archetypal psychology with a side of mythology, so he is expert at both navigating and explaining the psycho-spiritual terrain we witches long to explore" at the beginning of her post, "Book Nerd : Kickass Quotes from Care Of The Soul".

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Be sensitive to moments when soul is present

Leadership coach Dan Oestreich writes the blog post, "Unfolding Leadership" about soul experiences in our lives: "As someone whose life work is devoted to helping others in leadership roles, the very idea that there are such moments of awakening insight is an indelible part of my coaching and consulting practice. Without such moments when our soul comes forward, not just in our work, but in our lives, too, we lose personal meaning. . . . But this concept also raises questions, 'What is my soul?' after all and, indeed, 'When have I felt it come forward?'" Oestreich continues:
"Only you can answer these questions, of course. And if you are really intrigued with them, I’d say find a copy of Thomas Moore’s powerful book, Care of the Soul. Moore, a therapist, gracefully tracks the notion that our lives are filled with sacred moments when the soul is especially present, even when we might not notice — or might not want to notice — what is going on. Soul doesn’t show up only in peak moments of release and positive inspiration, but also in moments of conflict, even despair. The soul isn’t only an optimist, helping us charge ahead with our unique passions. It can also bring us up short, teach us something about compassion, humility, tolerance and the other deeper virtues. "
Oestreich then describes a client's concern about abruptness and impatience in his technical role and looks at the soul perspective.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Religion to nourish engagement with daily life

Yesterday Erin Smith, associate professor of American Studies at the University of Texas, Dallas writes "What would Jesus read?" for the Houston Chronicle. In this piece about religious bestsellers in America, she slams Thomas Moore's book, Care of the Soul, yet in this survey of historical offerings, Smith uncovers the current weaknesses of traditional religions that Moore discusses in his latest book, A Religion of One's Own. Smith suggests:
"But what these books really show us about America is more complicated. Their practicality has been so popular in part because they fill spiritual vacuums that organized religions in America fail to address. Religions are divided by doctrinal differences, whereas popular books are mostly "untheological." Most churches are male-dominated, whereas many popular books focus on women and their concerns.
After all these years, I finally get what was up with my friend and Care of the Soul. She was raised Catholic. She hadn't attended mass in years, and dismissed the Vatican as irrelevant, but there was still a Catholic ritual-sized hole in her daily life that Moore (a former Catholic monk) filled with secular practices — music, poetry, art, myths, and sacred stories from across the world." 
Smith concludes, "Moore just wasn't a good fit for me, I guess. My ancestors were Puritans. If I was going to have an encounter with the Divine, I was going to do it in an empty room, sitting on a hard bench in silence."

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Following the Gospels could transform our world

The Explore Beyond the Usual site shares Kathryn Samuelson's post "Metanoia or the Radical Transformation of Heart and Mind" from December 2012 in which Samuelson recommends Thomas Moore's book Writing in the Sand: Jesus and the Soul of the Gospels. She considers the limitations of translating metanoia as repentance in theological discussions and champions Moore's expansive description of the term. She also suggests:
"One of the lessons, according to Moore, is to say yes to life all along the journey and to not reject the simple pleasures of life for yourself and others out of some idea that to be a true follower of Jesus, your life must be one of austerity and denial only. It seems to me that he is saying that having an open heart, being welcoming of your life and of others, coming from a place of love, compassion and wisdom is the path of Jesus. If all of us followed these steps (whether an actual follower of Jesus) this shift would radically transform each of us through reinventing our egos and thus reinventing the world." 
Samuelson finds this book worth reading and rereading.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Listen to Thomas Moore talk about his new book

Age Nation Radio Magazine, co-hosted by George Cappannelli and Alan Hutner shares interview segments with Thomas Moore about his new book A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World.

Scroll down the linked page for these segments.

1 What Will You Choose? 
 "Also enjoy the first part of a featured interview with best-selling author, Thomas Moore on his latest book, A Religion of One’s Own."

2. What If? 
"Also enjoy the next part of a featured interview with best-selling author, Thomas Moore on his latest book, A Religion of One’s Own."

3. Do You Remember?
"Alan shares the next part of a valuable conversation he had with best-selling author Thomas Moore on his new book, A Religion of One’s Own."

4. Whose Beliefs Are You Living?
"Today you’ll also hear the next part of a conversation Alan had with wise man and author Thomas Moore on his new book, A Religion Of One’s Own."

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Choose work that satisfies the opus of your soul

Sounds True offers weekly wisdom teachings in one minute. Listen to Thomas Moore consider choosing work that is meaningful in 60 seconds, excerpted from his audio program Soul Life.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Perhaps living a soulful life is living a magical life

In 2012 Thomas Moore participated in Findhorn Foundation's Love, Magic, Miracles conference. Sandra Mitchell and Christine Lines describe his session on Day 4 with pictures by Sverre Koxvold and Graham Meltzer. Here is their description.

Our everyday experiences hold natural magic
— Thomas Moore
"Continuing with the theme of magic, our speaker for this evening is Thomas Moore, perhaps known more for his books and talks on caring for the soul. Tonight he delivers an enlightening and often humourous presentation on what he terms natural magic, revealing the deep connection that exists between living a soulful life and living a life of magic.
. . .
Thomas gives us his definition of natural magic, using the words ordinary and unexpected. It is to be found in our everyday experiences and in the material things with which we interact. Thomas illustrates this through the story of how he chose the topic for his doctoral thesis, introducing at the same time a particular form of magic which he calls book magic. You know, it’s the magic that happens when just the book you need at a certain time in your life appears from the most unlikely place.

Language and words also have magic. Thomas explains that our words have within them a daemon (spirit) power that we can feel, and reminds us of how when we need to express something painful or difficult, we often find ourselves seeking for the right words. He also points to the importance of recognising when words are more than rational by relating the story of how, beyond all reason, he was not offered tenure at the university where he was working. He heard the angel in the voice of his department head and knew this was fate talking to him. He didn’t fight the decision and his life went in a direction he could have never imagined. Thomas inspires us with the words, “I never looked back.”

Thomas points out that music too has magic, something that I think we have all felt at one point or another during this conference, given all the beautiful music that has been shared with us.

Thomas suggests that part of living in a soulful world is to read it. Here he gives the examples of using tea leaves or an obsidian mirror to receive information. His experience of the mirror is that through it a whole world opens up to him. His intuition is ablaze and when a question is asked the answers immediately come. He also gives the example of going to a client’s house and reading what’s there in terms of colours, feelings, the type of furnishings, in order to help the client move forward in life.

Thomas then shares with us some images to illustrate natural magic and its connection to soul. One of these images is of a medallion, created for a 15th century Italian magician named Pico della Mirandola, which has as a description of his life the Three Graces of beauty, love and pleasure. Thomas points out that soul likes pleasure, and he elicits laughter from the audience when he expresses how much he likes pleasure.

As a finish to the session, Thomas offers the music of his daughter’s chanting [Ajeet Kaur]. Listening to her voice is a sublime experience, a gift that is indeed magical.

I join those around me in honouring Thomas with a standing ovation."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Depression may be a natural process of health

Today the South African Health News Service hosts Jocelyn Fryer's guest blog post "Learning to love life with bipolar" to help others who may be diagnosed with this. In her list of five helpful tips she writes under her first tip, Allow for Time:
"While I was suffering with severe depression for six months, I read an old book by Thomas Moore called Care of the Soul. Some people visit churches and pray in their hours of need; my temple was my city’s main library. There I would sit for hours with something I had found on a shelf and this was one such gem. Through it I learnt not to be ashamed of depression, not to feel weak or lacking. Rather, I came to accept my depression as part of a natural process of self-discovery. It would take its course, and when the time came, I would be ready to start my life afresh." 
Fryer lives in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Exploring other religions may enrich your own

A Canadian teacher blogs about reading Thomas Moore's new book during spring break for Lent: A Religion of One’s Own: open eyes. She observes:
"The ideas that Moore presents are simple and at times obvious, yet in his psychotherapist’s way of cutting to the essence, he is able to put into words what my jumbled thoughts continue to spin around. Some of his ideas brought me clarity to some of my own personal situations, and some of his ideas were new and challenging to me."
The post includes "Lately, as I have been outside enjoying nature, I can’t help but think of the teachings of the First Nations cultures that originally lived on the land I love so much. Blackfoot and Cree ways of understanding life are fascinating to me and the more I learn, the more it makes sense to me. The connection between all things on earth and above the earth and the idea that is all about circles adds clarity to my experiences and how I feel about those around me. I am constantly being reminded how everything and everyone are connected and this idea fits so well with the Medicine Wheel. This pull to the medicine wheel also explains my connection to walking labyrinths." The blogger includes Moore's final list of guiding principles for a personal religion.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

UU sermon based on Moore's Care of the Soul

Anthony Makar
At the beginning of this month Rev. Anthony Makar, senior minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Georgia talks about Care of the Soul":
"Wounds become wisdom. Our fourth Unitarian Universalist principle that affirms a free and responsible search for truth and meaning — it’s often a wounding way. The wound is where the light comes in.
That’s what I want to talk about today, as refracted through the fascinating thought of Thomas Moore and his book, Care of the Soul, originally published in 1992 and still going strong."

Friday, February 06, 2015

Find your own religion within traditional settings

Is there a church that gets being spiritual but not religious? First United in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada asked this as part of a promotional campaign mentioned in "Spiritual but Secular" by Anne Bokma for the United Church Observer last month.

Bokma writes, "In his book A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World, Thomas Moore, a psychotherapist and former monk in New England, describes this new individualized spirituality as one that relies on an internal compass rather than an authoritative faith."

She says, "It may be tempting for those in organized religions to scoff, but there’s no denying church attendance is dwindling while other forms of spirituality, however loosely defined they may be, are flourishing." Bokma observes,"The growing tide of the SBNR [spiritual but not religious] proves one thing hasn’t changed — people remain eager for a sense of the spiritual on this mortal plane. The need to understand our human experience and gain a sense of inner peace hasn’t gone away."

She asks, "Does this group have something to teach churchgoers about finding purpose, meaning and community?"

Friday, January 30, 2015

A healthy life may need a heavy soul occasionally

How does depression make us fully human? Ronald Rolheiser considers this for the Scottish Catholic Observer under the headline "The positive side of melancholy" while quoting Thomas Moore's latest book, A Religion of One's Own.

Rolheiser writes, "First off, it’s important to see melancholy (whatever its form) as something normal and healthy within our lives. Heaviness of soul is not necessarily an indication that there is something wrong inside us. Rather, normally, it’s the soul itself signaling for our attention, asking to be heard, trying to ground us in some deeper way, and trying, as Moore puts it, to age us appropriately. But, for this to happen, we need to resist two opposite temptations, namely, to distract ourselves from the sadness or to indulge in it."

His quotations include Moore's observation: Depression "grows us up and gives us the range of human emotion and character that we need in order to deal with the seriousness of life. In classic Renaissance images, found in old medical texts and collections of remedies, depression is an old person wearing a broad-rimmed hat, in the shadows, holding his head in his hands."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bookworm blogger connects with literary figures

At the beginning of this year, Michelle Barber writes "Meeting Your Favorite Author" as a bucket-list exercise for bookworms. After listing four living writers she'd like to meet, she writes: "Luckily, I’ve met David Whyte and Thomas Moore and they were definitely bucket list experiences."

Barber met Moore at a book signing for A Religion of One's Own (2014) in Manchester Center, Vermont:
"Moore gave a brief presentation of his latest work, responded nimbly to audience questions, and detailed some of his current scholarly interests, which we all encouraged him to publish for us … soon!
The event was entirely too brief, but hearing Moore in person gave me, again, a three dimensional experience of who he is and how his ideas live.
He also signed two books for me with very touching comments." 
She reflects "for bookworms like myself, meeting a favorite author can be the highlight of a year. It certainly deepened my love of Whyte’s and Moore’s works."

"Loss of soul" affects us individually and socially

On the Real Clear Religion site, Mark Judge writes about Thomas Moore's classic, Care of the Soul under the headline "What Happened to Our Souls?" After quoting from Moore's Introduction, Judge states:
"Rereading it in 2014, the book seems wiser than ever. With our materialism, imagination-crushing technology, political superficiality, dumb movies, Oprah confessionals, and glib Jon Stewart-snark, the Western world has lost even more soul since Care of the Soul was published in 1992. The budding illness that Moore diagnosed two decades ago has now metastasized and is threatening the life of the patient."
Judge distinguishes between soul and spirit in his observations of contemporary society, turning to music as one of the few places left where soul may be expressed. He cites U2's song "The Troubles," writing "the band observes that the loss of one's soul is far more serious than any social or political problem:

Somebody stepped inside your soul,
Somebody stepped inside your soul,
Little by little they robbed and stole,
'Til somebody else was in control."

"Human Resources" refers to real people at work

HR Examiner publishes "5 Books to Make HR (and Everything) Better" by employment lawyer Heather Bussing in which Bussing recommends Thomas Moore's Original Self: Living With Paradox and Originality (2000).

Bussing writes, "Moore finds meaning, healing, and spirit in the dark times and the things that don’t seem to make sense. He can reframe that feeling of going crazy to remind me that my linear, logical, business thinking is not the only thing going on, and not always in charge."

She concludes, "It turns out that not every thought or action, especially empathy and kindness, needs an ROI."

Friday, January 02, 2015

Moore's books may guide small business owners

The ezine for entrepreneurs, Be Inkandescent, features Thomas Moore's two books, Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life (1992) and A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do (2007) in its Books section for January 2015: "Thomas Moore Provides a Guide for Cultivating Sacredness in Business, and Life":
"So what better way to start 2015 than to focus on two of his titles that may shed light for owners of small businesses on ways to connect their work with the deeper parts of themselves to achieve even greater personal and professional success."