Saturday, February 28, 2009

Read description of Moore as spiritual visionary

Maya Kumar Mitchell’s description of Thomas Moore as a visionary of the 20th century is available for reading online through Google Books. Visionaries, the 20th Century’s 100 Most Important Inspirational Leaders (2007) is edited by Satish Kumar and Freddie Whitefield.

The entry for Moore, starting on page 188, includes:
"When Moore speaks of religion he sees an opportunity to reawaken the soul within many practices, enabling a new lease of life and power within our religions. At the heart of religion there is always mystery, and this is where soul can find the space it needs. At the same time religion offers us rituals and traditions, whose symbolism is a rich language for the soul. In our modern world we can observe a split between mind and body, spirituality and materialism, ongoing dualisms which entice us to one extreme or the another. But soul can be found in the middle, "holding together ideas and life". Thus soul work is vital in the effort to rebalance the radical consequences of the spiritual/material split, which we see on a global scale."

Barque profiles this book in a November 2007 entry.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Slow down to enjoy Nature's sacred healing

In "Nature’s wonders still abound" published in The Sun Chronicle, Betsy Shea-Taylor writes about the soothing balm Nature offers us in these troubled times. She echoes Wordsworth’s lament about our inability to appreciate our surroundings, while quoting Thomas Moore about Nature’s sacredness. Shea-Taylor recounts,
"Tales last week were larded with despair and terror, anger and recrimination: Injured. Busted. Insulted. Doomed. Fails. Upset. Liar. Murdered. Abused. Slump. Urgent. Violence. Recession. Depression. Predicament. Embattled. Crash. Bailout. Flames. Bankruptcy. Trouble. Guilty. Fury.

Ripped from the headlines. Egad, no wonder so many of us feel bad so much of the time. Let's not let ourselves be snookered; this is not all there is.

Forever and ever, poets and philosophers have tried to make sense of what often appears to be our dogged obeisance to all that is wretched, to all that is rushed, to the exclusion of just being. Perhaps it's because to slow down is to be forced to examine that uncharted internal territory of morality, memory, dreams, tenderness, love, timidity, loss and truth.

Thomas Moore in his book, Care of the Soul, intimates this: "We will have to expose ourselves to beauty, risking the irrationality it stirs up and the interference it can place in the way of our march toward technological progress," Moore writes. "We may have to give up many projects that seem important to modern life, in the name of sacred nature and the need for beautiful things. And we may have to do these things both communally and individually, as part of our effort finally to care for the soul."
Shea-Taylor describes Nature’s wonders as we move through winter into spring.