Thursday, August 27, 2009

El zorro9 explores Moore's enchantment of sex

In today's post "The Soul of Sex", blogger el zorro9 summarizes Thomas Moore’s presentation of the topic in The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life (1996).

El writes, "Moore opens with a surprising statement. He said that he could never imagine Jesus or Buddha or Moses or any other great religious figure as asexual or as speaking against sex nor that spiritual dedication, even the taking of a vow of celibacy, as necessarily a statement against sex or as precluding a sexual life. But he was there referring to sex as being "beyond the literal or the biological". To him, the idea that renunciation of intercourse implies a judgment against sex and the presentation of a statue of Jesus without his genitals may be a rather "unnatural" presentation of the importance of the human body as God created it."

After describing New York State's Oneida Community according to Moore, el continues, "Moore suggests that we should seriously consider exploring the possibilities of giving back to sex its magic, its mystery, its values in a socially controlled way so that whilst on the one hand, we may protect the security and sacredness of the vows of marriage and on the other hand relax a little the strict prohibition of extra-marital sex in an organized manner, with proper ritual and suitable forms. To Moore, religious orgies normally take place in the context of a ritual, which to him is a "heightened form of imagination". In a ritual, nothing is to be taken literally. In such a ritual, the human and the divine are engaged in an intercourse, and the fertility sought is not just purely personal. It concerns the welfare of the family and the wider community. To him, sex is not to be understood only as "two individuals expressing their love; the community and the cosmos are involved as well". He thus recommends a "re-enchantment" of sex at a social level so that sex may be released from its current materialistic, biological and behaviorist values and be restored to its "spiritual" level as a form of celebration of the productive and creative union of the body with the spirit.”

Following suggested changes within religious orders, el writes, "I am quite sure if those in authority in the Vatican were to make an effort to free themselves from the shackles of past dogma and encrusted thinking and really think about Life as it is lived and not as it is conceived by their predecessors hundreds of years ago, then only can we begin to have any possibility of hope that our church will once again be a living vibrant faith community which Jesus intended it to be!"

Editor's Note: Typographical and spelling errors are corrected in quoted blog passages.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Artist quotes Moore about enchantment and art

Today, Sarah Zoutewelle quotes Thomas Moore's The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life in two posts about commercialism and the role of art, on her blog Art Calling. She includes Moore's observation, "Through a magical, spiritual use of images, the arts nourish the soul creating a richly varied atmosphere, an environment that is not only practical, but spiritually nutritious."

"Re-enchanted art"
"Tending the soulful life"

Zoutewelle attended the Fine Arts department at Syracuse University and writes on her web site, ArtWell (Artist in Healthcare), "I was shaped by a tradition where mastery of technique was an important prerequisite to producing quality work." Visit her site for an online gallery posted November 2008.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lack of soul contributes to absence of beauty

On her site, Daphne Michaels quotes Thomas Moore about beauty from her book, Light of Our Times: Conversations with Today’s Leaders in Health and Spirituality.

Michaels asks, "In beginning to understand beauty’s role in human life, what are the obstacles? Do you think it is more expensive to create beauty?"

Moore responds, "No, not at all. It takes nothing to create beauty."

When pressed for obstacles to beauty, Moore's answer includes, "The things that we consider important and valuable come from a place other than the soul, and that is where the soul is undervalued."

Barque referenced Michaels' book in an earlier post about Moore's insights about dark nights of the soul.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Health and death may lead to transformation

On the Sea of Sincerity blog, in a post "Dark Nights of the Soul", a blogger describes her diagnosis of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis before writing that she is reading Thomas Moore's book, Dark Nights of the Soul. Sharing that she is also grieving a family death, the blogger ends her post, "I feel raw as though I am "peeling" or "molting" or in the belly of the whale. I hope I can, like Jonah, be patient and prayerful as I go through this process."

She includes the following from Moore's book:
"A dark night of the soul is not extraordinary or rare. It is a natural part of life, and you can gain as much from it as from times of normalcy."

"I see the dark night of the soul as a period of transformation."

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Ask yourself questions to discern your life's opus

As Thomas Moore toured last year to promote his book, A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do, we posted links to blogs of people who attended his sessions and summarized his presentations. We missed this one, Thomas Moore Lecture Notes, posted 7 April 2008 by Patricia. At the end of her post, Patricia writes,

"How do you find your heart’s desire?
Try asking some of these questions and examining them honestly with yourself:

What does the soul want?
What is needed in me?
What is wanted?

What is my nature?
What did I want as a child? (We can get hints from our childhood)
What did I fear as a child?
What are my anxieties?"

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