Friday, July 31, 2009

Moore enchants blogger with unifying theme

In a post yesterday, "Another Look, Another Life", a blogger writes about Thomas Moore's The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life. The blogger begins with,
"Thomas Moore's writing has always fascinated me. He is a psychotherapist. He fascinates me as much by the perceptiveness of his insights as by the beauty of his prose. He writes like a poet, always sensitive to the nuances of his suggestive words and his vivid images The two are so inextricably mixed that one really does not know whether to admire more the one or the other.

Recently I began to read The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, which I bought in my last trip to America. It is a follow-up to his earlier best-seller Care of the Soul. Whilst in the earlier book, he deals with our interior life, in this later work, he takes a look at what is out there in the external world. He writes about such "ordinary" everyday things and experiences we find in the world of nature as water, trees, stones and how we can look at our homes, gardens, furniture, tiny decorations, politics, sex, dreams, art, music, "everyday" mythologies, shrines, tabernacles, rituals and finally various kinds of angels and, spirits. It is as varied and wide ranging as one can possibly hope. But one finds amongst such dazzling diversity a unifying theme: the theme of enchantment."
After presenting an understanding of Moore's approach, the post ends with,
"Moore asks us to discover the "extraordinary" in the most "ordinary" of objects, events and people, to be surprised, awed and "enchanted" by the "magic" in them, if only we care to look!

I must return to the book again and again, to be reminded, refreshed and restore and reinstate this lost ability to the place it truly deserves in my life."

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beauty offers ingredients for soul's stimulation

In her post "Valentino, Beauty, Passion and Soul" about the film Valentino: The Last Emperor, Katy Paul-Chowdhury includes Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul descriptions of beauty inviting contemplation, feeding imagination and inspiring passion.

Paul-Chowdhury blogs, "The film was surprisingly funny and touching, showing us the tetchy genius behind the smooth exterior as he contemplated the end of his magnificent career. It also provided a thrilling peek into the lives of people with great wealth, glamour, and privilege. I was particularly moved by his life-long passion for and commitment to beauty."

Following a passage from John O'Donohue's Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, she suggests, "So there’s Valentino, 45 years in the seemingly silly world of surfaces, socialites, and supermodels, living a life that is more consistently and deeply soulful than many of us ever achieve."

She concludes the post with Rumi:
"Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground."

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Parenting may be one feature of a life at work

The Mommy-Muse Blog offers a recent post, "Parenting as an Opus", that looks at the audio book, Thomas Moore on Meaningful Work (1997). The blogger writes, "I was struck by Thomas Moore’s suggestion that we think of our life’s work as an opus. Most commonly applied to music or other works of art, the Latin term opus refers to any work or accomplishment. Certainly, our work as parents can easily be thought of as an opus! I am embracing these highly empowering thoughts from Thomas Moore on Meaningful Work, and applying them to my life as a parent..."

The blogger then selects four Moore quotes and describes how they apply to parenting.

This audio book is available on cassettes or as a download and may be sampled on the linked site.

Moore develops this idea of work as an opus in his recent print book, A Life at Work (2008).

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Writing in the Sand recommended by reviewer

Creative Chronicler reviews Thomas Moore's latest book, Writing in the Sand on her blog today. She recommends the book, "In Writing in the Sand, Moore takes you on a ground-breaking journey through the Gospels and the teachings of Jesus. Moore gives you Jesus - the Visitor, the Shaman, the Healer, and the Man. He shows you a refreshing look at the Gospels, where the Kingdom is not a place we seek at our death, but waiting inside us to be awakened."

The reviewer touches on Moore's presentation of Jesus, approaches to demons and the sensuality of the Gospels. She includes, "Writing in the Sand has many profound insights. It is an addictive read that compels you to stop and think of the implications in your own life, in your own actions and views, before spurring you on to the next page. And yet, one is riveted by this author's point of view and finds it hard to set it down."

She also suggests, "The introduction in Writing in the Sand, alone could serve as a catalyst for a new way of thinking."

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

A job is one feature of a soulful life at work

"A Life's Work" at Graceful Yoga muses about reactions to Thomas Moore's A Life at Work. Grace writes, "The book certainly doesn’t urge you to rashly quit your job for the sake of your soul." She continues, "So even though I may get more satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment after spending two hours ranking grass clippings and spreading them around in my veggie garden than I do in my job doesn’t mean my job is wrong for me; in fact, it is an aid in that it allows me ample time to pursue my callings and interests and provides relative financial comfort—and for that I am grateful."

In June, Grace blogged, "I just started reading Thomas Moore's Care Of The Soul which so far is using myths and stories to help us accept our humanity instead of trying to, usually unsuccessfully, transcend our very humanness. By creating our own soul stories, we care for the soul and cultivate dept and sacredness in everyday life. I like the book so far, but still too early for a full book report."

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Embrace the dark night as a teacher and friend

The blog, Personal Growth with Corinne Edwards, includes a reader's praise for Thomas Moore's writing. Here's the exchange (in modified format):

Lily Rose July 3, 2009 at 11:22 am
To each his own and my taste is for the wonderful Thomas Moore – who does NOT have all the answers. I suggest you do something with him. I have met him and I know you have interviewed him. He has a gentle way of accepting and embracing both the dark side and the light side. His book Dark Nights of the Soul has a permanent residence on my night stand. This guy doesn’t do "Happy Talk" or give out that re-hash "The Secret"... he says life has both sides and the dark is there as a teacher and how about embracing it. And he doesn’t have "7 Reasons /Steps" why you should buy his book!!!! Life has a hard side and he doesn’t abandon it. He suggests we embrace it. The dark side has been my great teacher and I don’t run from it any longer. I just pick up that book and really see the beauty in my pain. Then magically – it becomes my friend – and then after a time goes away!!! We really don’t "live happily ever after". Moore’s book should be taught to every kid over the age of reason. And we need to permanently erase the word "victim" and insert "student"!!

I studied Kaballah for a few years and I once asked my rabbi — "Why are we here?" — and he said "To get better".
Corinne July 3, 2009 at 11:39 am
Dear Lily Rose,
I loved this — I studied Kaballah for a few years and I once asked my rabbi — "Why are we here?" — and he said "To get better". I guess that says it all.

Thomas Moore did not give too many interviews. He is essentially a shy person. I was very complimented when he came back to me after each one of his books. He told me I made him feel comfortable. He is truly a holy man — and so honest. Originally, as you know he was a monk — and then left to marry and have children. I once asked him if he was eccentric and he said, "Yes." How great is that? No pretenses at all. I love that man.

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Blogger quotes Moore about the nature of God

We've linked to earlier entries at the blog, The Night Sea Journey. On 4 July 2009, SGF quotes Thomas Moore in The Soul's Religion about God, in his post "I Have the Answer or is it a Question?"

SGF prefaces his Moore quote with, "The most profound words I have read to date about God is from The Soul's Religion by Thomas Moore. Yes, more Moore... my blog name is inspired by one of his books! So I feel compelled to include it here. It is a paradox! It is an answer that creates a question. It is knowledge that needs to not know! I find it amazing! Let me know what you think!"

Read the post. Let SGF know what you think by leaving a comment for him. Register with Barque: Thomas Moore Forum to share your responses to the quote with Barque members.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Foolishness flavours friendship and intimacy

In the post, "Simple Mind Zen: In Praise of Folly, the Holy Fool", a follower of Charlotte Joko Beck, Diane Rizzetto and Ezra Bayda, describes the value of foolishness in soul: "As modern thinkers, we may present to the world a well developed intellect, a sense of proportion, but the soul is more fertile in its own imagination, in its own earth, finding value in sometimes irrationality. Perhaps this is in part why great artists and inventive minds seem a bit eccentric or mad to the average onlooker."

After opening the post with a Thomas Moore quote, the blogger states, "The light of Oneness not withstanding, there is great temptation to separate, to judge, to make comparisons of these oddities of soul. Yet this mutual vulnerability is one of the great gifts of love. To give another sufficient space in which to live and express one's soul in its reason and unreason, and then to further risk revelations of your self, in all its potential absurdities. The courage required for this oneness is not easy; it is infinitely more demanding than either judgment or comparisons. While most of us contain ourselves fairly well, the soul and its ways eventually surface bringing forth the unexpressed that we sense stirring inside."

The writer concludes, "Tolerance, 'honoring that aspect of the self that may be irrational or extreme is the basis for intimacy,' writes Thomas Moore. We have fewer expectations of perfection, less judgement; less and less are we separated by these notions. We come to recognize that the soul, in its meanderings, tends to move into new and positive areas in spite of, and because of the oddities expressed."

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Children are not cars on the assembly line of life

For his blog, The Night Sea Journey, SGF writes about contemporary pressures to grow up in "The Lost Childhood". He introduces his concerns with, "As a teacher in a public school system I often wonder about our society, what it values and it's impact on our children. It seems to me that too many kids today are not allowed to be children. Too many are not getting their basic life needs met. They are driven away from their basic qualities of spontaneous play and youthful vitality towards the goals of our society's desires driven largely by capitalism!"

SGF quotes Thomas Moore's Dark Nights of the Soul through his post, including Moore's view, "We repress the child by forcing children into religious and character building camps, by excluding them from social life, by containing them in poorly equipped and dispiriting schools, and by demanding that they grow up quickly through extra lessons and limits on play, and by surrendering them to too many au pairs and babysitters. In repressing the child, we keep the troubling human soul and specifically it's child qualities away from adult pursuits."

SGF then links Moore's observation, ""Many people live in emotional darkness because they have never fully enjoyed a child spirit in their overly serious lives," to Michael Jackson's recent death.

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