Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What happens when you live Jesus' message?

David Elliott's book group in Florida continues its study of Thomas Moore's Writing in the Sand: Jesus and the Soul of the Gospels this year. Elliott posts three blog entries since Barque's last write-up of his coverage:

11 January 2011 — Everyone a Healer

18 January 2011 — Face Your Demons

26 January 2011 — Transfiguration and Metamorphosis

In this latest entry, Elliott includes:
"The challenge of this chapter is in the everydayness of the reality. "When you finally 'get' the teaching of Jesus and begin to live by a new set of rules – love, forgiveness, conviviality, community, healing, and freedom from demonic preoccupations – your clothes don’t suddenly become ultra-white and your face blindingly luminous, but you will be, and appear as, transformed. Your presence will have an electric charge." (p.102)

At this point we became quiet and suspicious of the whole thing. Can this sort of reality actually be meant for us? Or is this just for stories from the Bible and church history."
He asks, "What if only 30,000 people in Tampa Bay truly lived the Jesus message? Isn’t that the goal of HOPE?"


Monday, January 17, 2011

Moore quote looks at virtue, morality, maturity

Today Many Paths Interfaith Ministries, sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church in Muncie, Indiana, posts "Character, Rules, or Both?", that discusses a quote from Thomas Moore's book, The Soul's Religion. The blogger states, "Disagreement about whether morality is about following rules or about building good character has been going on for many centuries. Currently, it appears that it is more common to think that ethics is about actions than it is to think that it is about persons and character. However, this is not an either-or choice." Post a comment about your ideas of morality and spirituality.


Monday, January 10, 2011

CMAJ reviews Care of the Soul in Medicine

Overly ambitious attempt to reform health care -
The Canadian Medical Association Journal, 14 December 2010, 182 (18) publishes a review of Thomas Moore's book Care of the Soul in Medicine, by Lara Hazelton MD, a psychiatrist in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Near the end of her one-page critique, Hazelton shares:
"Moore also has lots of character-building advice for health care professionals, repeatedly suggesting that they should meditate, pray and otherwise cultivate their spirituality. He often disapproves of how we treat our patients and each other, and wants the reader to aspire to be 'a better person.' 'You are a devotee, a suppliant of Apollo, Asklepios, Hygeia, the Lapis Lazuli Radiant Buddha, Jesus the Healer, and Quan Yin,' he writes, while also commenting, apparently without irony, that 'Medicine especially has an annoying tendency toward moralism.'

It’s too bad Moore doesn’t spend more time doing what he does best, which is finding interesting and somewhat enigmatic associations between mythology, psychology, spirituality and the external world.

Still, many of his observations are insightful and thought-provoking. I had never thought of hospital information desks as establishing liminality, and yes, the receptionist probably does represent the archaic ritual figure of threshold guardian. A model of the heart in a doctor’s office becomes an object of contemplation, not merely instruction. And there is a chapter on hospital food that was a delight to read."
Hazelton observes that Moore's suggestions range from concrete tips to esoteric notions.

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Author finds guidance in books and Sufi poetry

Are you in the middle of a dark night of the soul? If so, you may find solace in Michael Lister's post today, Dark Night of the Soul in which he writes about Thomas Moore's book, Dark Nights of the Soul and quotes the Sufi poet, Hafiz:

Your loneliness so quickly.
Let it cut more

Lister includes:
"Hafiz words heal and inspire, but no one’s words have done more for me, have resonated more in me, that those of Thomas Moore.

Though he’s best known for, Care of the Soul, and I’ve benefited greatly from all his books, the two titles of his I find myself returning to most often are, The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life and Dark Nights of the Soul — the latter especially helpful in recent dark days.

A mentor and counselor to me in more ways than I can begin to express, Moore was a Catholic monk for twelve years and later became a psychotherapist, earning degrees in theology, musicology, and religion. His many books are at once accessible and abstruse."
Read Lister's entire post for his understanding of Moore's contributions to imagining human maturation.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Approach illness as a mystery, not a problem

Seeds for Sanctuary features a review of Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul in Medicine by Susan Corso. Corso describes herself as a medical intuitive who regularly works with clients seeking medical help. She writes,
"To address soul in medicine is to approach illness as a mystery, not a problem to be solved, says the wise Mr. Moore. Causes and cures, inasmuch as we like to codify everything are individual in individuals. That’s why they’re called individuals. It would be extremely helpful for all medical students to learn about their own psychological issues so that they could more adeptly deal with those of their patients. What a simple, powerful idea, Mr. Moore! Addressing their own human limitations could go a long way toward compassion for patients in doctors. A quality rated highly, to be sure, but elusive nonetheless.

Mechanized medicine insists that our bodies are mechanisms. On a beasty level, of course they are, and yet, there are soulful and spiritual aspects to all beings, even atheists, bless them. The body is actually an expression of the soul, the principle expression. It’s the vehicle/temple we get to do life in. It is a mystery all its own and that mystery, like all mysteries, deserves both respect and curiosity."
Corso's post includes the mission statement of Planetree, an organization devoted to patient-centred healthcare. In his book, Moore comments, "A glance at Planetree's mission statement tells us that it's possible in these action-oriented times to pay attention to the human side of things." (p.49)

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Rapsas shows appreciation for Moore's writing

Tom Rapsas pays homage to Thomas Moore in his blog post Is Thomas Moore the Leon Russell of Spiritual Writing? for Elephant Journal. Rapsas writes,
"... Moore had a blockbuster hit with one of his very first books, Care of the Soul in 1992.

What you may not know is that Moore followed up that book with 15 others. Most of these books represent different riffs on a single vital theme, the place of the soul in our everyday lives, including the role it plays in enchantment, at work and even in our sex lives. It’s heady stuff at times, but so well thought out that every word has the distinct ring of truth.

As you can probably tell I’m a huge fan of Moore, his writings resonate in a place deep within me. And in a world where The Secret tops the book charts for over a year, I believe his work gets nowhere near the attention it deserves. Like Leon Russell, Thomas Moore is an example of a great artist whose work has become increasingly and unjustly unnoticed."
In this post, Tapsas includes quotes from four of Moore's books, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, Original Self, The Soul's Religion, and The Soul of Sex.