Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Creative Mythology describes soul qualities

The Creative Mythology Blog talks about soul in two posts:
27 November 2008 The Soul: Part One
16 December 2008 The Soul: Part Two
The second post, based primarily on Thomas Moore’s audio program, Soul Life, describes qualities of soul:
- Individual
- Vast
- Madness
- Complex
- Cyclic
- Shadowy
- Other
The posts also refer to Carl Jung’s work.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Las Vegas as soul place for spa convention

Recently, Susan Reimer-Torn comments about the International Spa Association’s November conference in Las Vegas where she attended the session led by Thomas Moore. She writes, "In his address to the spa industry, Moore speaks about opportunities to welcome, cultivate and nurture soul through ministering to the body. Spa is the realm of Aphrodite wherein there is always a tension between the exultant and the modest, the sensual and the reserved. He shows us how the goddess has been painted throughout history- both self-revealing and veiled. He speaks of getting in touch with the multiplicity of who we are, the light and dark side, the narcissistic and the healing."

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Slight shifts in imagination have impact

Mark Batterson writes about "Right Brain Preaching" in his message for Christians in the twenty-first century. His post today includes, "I think the greatest threat to the future of the Church is a failure of our God-given imaginations. The Church ought to be the most imaginative place on the planet. Imagination is part of the imago dei. To have the mind of Christ is to imagine like the one who originally imagined everything that is. No one should be more imaginative than Spirit-filled Christ followers!" He observes,
"What most people consider to be great art is a modest change from the status quo. I think that has huge implications for the art of preaching. If I had to describe what I try to do with my sermons, I’d probably put it this way: I try to say old things in new ways. I try to come at truth from slightly different angles, almost like turning a kaleidoscope. Great preaching is a slight deviation from expectation.

In the words of Thomas Moore in his book Care of the Soul, "It’s my conviction that slight shifts in imagination have more impact on living than major efforts at change." "Slight shifts in imagination" is what right-brain preaching is all about. So how do we produce slight shifts in imagination? Metaphors. Metaphors. Metaphors.

Aristotle said, "The greatest thing by far is to be the master of metaphor." And no one was more masterful than Jesus. The parables are case studies in right-brain preaching. Hear them once and you’ll remember them forever. Why? Because Jesus used metaphors that created mental pictures in the right brain of His listeners.

One key to right-brain preaching is cross-pollination. You simply combine old ideas in new ways. I recently did a series titled "The Physics of Faith." I borrowed some basic laws of physics like Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, Bell’s Theorem and The Law of Entropy, and used them to talk about spiritual principles. Each message in that series was a scientific parable. Metaphors enable us to reframe truth in ways that are biblically accurate and culturally relevant.
Batterson concludes, "We’ve got [to] preach sermons that are left-brain logical and right-brain creative."

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Monday, December 01, 2008

"To befriend" is a verb beginning with soul

Jack Heppner blogs about friendship and loneliness with references to Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul. Heppner states, "Many of us spend our lives in the borderlands between loneliness and true friendship. While loneliness is the hallmark of modern North American society, there is nevertheless a continual quest for friendships that are deep and that will last. According to Thomas Moore, the reason such friendships are hard to come by lie both in the nature of the community in which we aspire to find true friendships and in the region of our individual souls."

After talking about his own experiences teaching at an evangelical college, Heppner writes, "Too often, it seems to me, we experience loneliness while surrounded by people because, as Moore says, we wait around to be received into community and thus true friendship. But with such an orientation, even if and when we are welcomed into a community, we may still feel lonely. That is so because we have not yet learned that true friendship is always a two-way street. It is not a birthright owed you by other people. "Belonging" and "friendship" are active verbs that start their work in one’s soul."

Heppner continues, "An ancient philosopher, Ficino, once said that "... to be loved you must love." That is to say that unless and until your soul is ready to give of itself freely and with integrity, you will always be lonely, no matter how much welcoming you receive by others. Belonging is not the work of others, it is our own work. A person oppressed by loneliness can go out into the world and simply start belonging to it, not by joining organizations, but living through feelings of relatedness -–to other people, to nature, to society, to the world as a whole" (Moore).

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