Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blogger questions absence of soul qualities in U.S.

Today Drick Boyd, a professor of Urban Studies in Philadelphia, blogs about Arizona's immigration bill and Washington's Goldman Sachs hearings while referring to Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul.

Boyd writes, "Thomas Moore in Care of the Soul writes 'Money is simply the coinage of our relationship to the community and environment in which we live.' (p. 189) He goes onto say 'When money no longer serves community exchange, it becomes an obstacle to the communal flow' (p. 192). Both Gov. Brewer and CEO Blankfein’s words and actions show an utter and complete disregard for community and creating a healthy and hospitable environment in which to live. Their words reflect a racially-based, ethnocentric selfishness that rips at our sense of community and contributes to an environment characterized by hate, suspicion, exclusionism and fear. Their words rip at the soul of who we say we are as a nation."

Following another reference to Moore's book, Boyd concludes, "I speak out against people like Brewer and Blankfein, and the 'take our country back' rhetoric of the Tea Party-ers because what they represent rips at the soul of what I hope at its best our country can be, and will become. The soul of this nation is a place of welcome, a place of respect for diversity, a place of equality of rights and opportunities, and a place where there is 'liberty and justice for all'. I ache for the soul of our nation, and keep working that we might actually become who we say we are and want to be."


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Artist's spiraling visions include acts of nature

Thomas Moore's friend Pat Toomay, author and former NFL player, writes about artist Tom Wuchina for today's The Tennessean in "After tornado, health scare, artist Tom Wuchina sees life with a new spin". Toomay describes Wuchina's rural property after a tornado in 2008:
"During this time, Tom surveyed the damage to his farm. The tornado had come up the valley, turning horizontal just before veering away at a 90-degree angle. All told, 1,000 trees had been destroyed, sheered off or had their giant root balls sucked out of the ground, along with Tom's sculpture garden, which had been ripped out in its entirety — ripped to shreds and scattered to the four directions.

He felt he had brushed up against something profound in the forces of the tornado bringing near death. He searched, moved by the feeling of having something necessary elude him, and then through a series of conversations he was exposed to the idea that indigenous people would have seen a certain significance in these events immediately, the convergence of his attraction to the gyre and the subsequent appearance of the tornado.

They would have spoken of it unabashedly, as if the two were obviously and intimately linked. For them, the fact of the convergence would mark Tom as someone special beyond his artistry, as a sort of healer or sage. Are indigenous people remembering something that we've forgotten? Other kindred ideas were furnished as he learned of an inspired Renaissance magus, Marsilio Ficino, who would have also pointed out the correspondence, perhaps citing the famous Hermetic saying current at the time of da Vinci, Donatello and the other great Italian artists: "As above, so below."

Nowadays, however, one must look under rocks for equivalent expressions. Fortunately for people like Tom, they're out there. Specifically, they can be found in the work of Thomas Moore, for example, who, writing about the gospels, cites 15th-century theologian Nicholas of Cusa's insistence that "the whole of human life individualizes in you."
Toomay also writes about Wuchina's heart attack in 2009, concluding, "Today, Tom continues to rehabilitate himself, his farm and his art. Only now he is seeing with new eyes. He is feeling with an open heart."

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter is a time to reflect about renewal

Today, The Coyote Exchange offers a post about soul at Easter based on quotes from Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul. The entry includes:
"Living soulfully is not the reflection of a perfectly crafted life, one of intellectual, serious undertaking, or a perfect display of self all the time – it is the awareness and the wisdom in reflecting on moments in our life that are dark and light – periods of 'grandeur' and 'foolishness'. As Thomas Moore summarizes in his last chapter, "when in the midst of my confusion and my stumbling attempts to live a transparent life, I am the fool, and not everyone around me, then I know I am discovering the power of the soul to make a life interesting. Ultimately, care of the soul results in an individual ‘I’ – I never would have planned for or maybe even wanted."

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