Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Soulful education cultivates the whole person

Rob Haines, Barque community member and English language teacher, blogs Soul in Education, incorporating ideas of Thomas Moore, James Hillman and others who encourage soulfulness in education. In his January post, "When two worlds collide", he quotes Thomas Moore's tweet (@thomasmooreSoul) from 13 January 2011: "Straddle this line: facts and knowledge on one side; dreams, intuitions, mysteries on the other. The goal is to live in both realms always." Haines writes:
"A curriculum of soul work would truly prepare us to live in the real world instead of an abstraction we call reality. We would learn , not merely how to function in society and get jobs but rather how to live communally and find our life’s work, our calling. To paraphrase Moore, care of the soul is not about fixing problems or curing ills. Soul work is about cultivating the ordinary experiences of our daily lives to add depth, richness, and meaning rather than just accumulating experiences and achieving Herculean tasks for the sake of profit or ego.

Soulful education would emphasize the study of images (art, for example) and philosophy. Careful consideration would be given to the overall aesthetic of our schools, physical design, food served, and leisure activities. Instead of impulsive reaction to trends and slavish attention to the bottom-line, we would aspire to beauty and holistic learning that cultivates whole human beings who care about their lives and respect others."
Read his complete post and the thoughtful responses from readers interested in education. Add your own reflections to the discussion.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

How are we affected by the soul of the world?

J. T. Knoll writes "The halo of melancholy" for morningsun.net, Pittsburgh, Kansas today. He shares, "In addition to life’s daily struggles, my heart grows heavy with the plight of the working poor, the mentally ill, the homeless, the hungry children — the dispossessed — right here in Kansas from whom services continue to be withdrawn even as tax breaks for the well-to-do are being proposed.'" While wondering if growing older contributes to feeling low, he quotes Thomas Moore.
"Thomas Moore puts it this way in his book, Care of the Soul: 'You get a sense of having lived through something, of being older and wiser. You know that life is suffering, and that knowledge makes a difference. You can’t enjoy the bouncy, carefree innocence of youth any longer, a realization that entails both sadness because of the loss, and pleasure in a new sense of self-acceptance and self-knowledge. This awareness of age has a halo of melancholy around it, but it also enjoys a measure of nobility.'"
Knoll then writes about Abraham Lincoln's gloominess and sense of humour.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blogger gives tips for living an authentic life

Today Karen Wright quotes Thomas Moore in her post "Authentic & Eudaimonic: How to go with your gut and be true to yourself". She writes, "Eudaimonia refers to a state of well-being and full functioning that derives from a sense of living in accordance with one’s deeply held values—in other words, from a sense of authenticity." She then offers eight tips for an authentic life.

Her advice from Moore?
1. Stay connected: ”Community is an outlook toward life in which you define yourself in relation to the world around you, rather than only in connection with yourself. I recommend enlarging the sense of self.” — Thomas Moore, psychotherapist and author of A Life at Work

2. Be willing to lose: ”Feelings of inauthenticity are heightened by a lack of a philosophy that allows failure to be part of life. If you’re leading a full life, you’re going to fail some every day.” — Thomas Moore


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Your life work is the mystery of who you are

"Your life work may not be your career or job but may include parenthood, volunteering, travel, hobby, art or some other contribution."
— Thomas Moore (@thomasmooreSoul) tweet, 24 January 2012

Earlier this month, the blog My Calling IQ quotes Moore's book A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You were Born to Do with a passage stressing that your calling is unique: "A life work is different from a career in that it is always unique. No one has exactly the same calling that you have."

In this book Moore concludes, "Finding your life work is inseparable from maturing as a person and finding your place in society. To mature as a person you have to take considerable time sorting through, taking to heart, and resolving the mistakes and failures that have marked your progress. You have to refine the raw material of your emotions and jagged relationships, learning better how to engage the world effectively. You have to unleash your creativity in realistic ways, grounding your idealism and ambitions in real-world contexts."


Monday, January 16, 2012

Let the process happen in the soul's dark night

John Moriarty
Exploration of Thomas Moore's book Dark Nights of the Soul continues today in the post "Gifts of the Dark Night" on the Musings from the Moment blog. Debby opens her post with a quote by John Moriarty, a late friend of Thomas Moore and she includes an echoing quote from Moore's own book that ends: "The most difficult challenge is to let the process take place, and yet that is the only release from the pressure of the dark night." A 1 December 2011 post on this blog, "Hekate" also refers to Moore's Dark Nights of the Soul.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our choice of words helps to create our world

Matthew Elliot Boucher hosts the Rays of a Sacred Sun blog, subtitled ""Writings for Illumination" in Durham, Maine. Boucher shares at least two of Thomas Moore's interests, writing and music. In this recent post the blogger offers "A Short Soul Meditation":
"It is supremely satisfying to write in that slow, certain way that is suffused with Soul, when careful attention is placed upon the choice of words and the Imagination is at pleasure and delight with the World. One’s Language determines one’s Experience of the World, and I find that when I slow down to the leisurely pace of beautiful clouds across a landscape, everything is made aright. My readings of Thomas Moore do much to ground me within the real world, in all its sublime Beauty and exquisite Suffering; his writings on the nature of Soul have been a faithful companion of mine for over a decade, and have made me more human. I recommend his work to all of you.

I hear my fiancée making meat spaghetti in the kitchen, pouring her love into her cooking, as I pour my love into the crafting of these words. I write in silence; there has been much music in my life today, and balance is needed. To balance sound with silence, companionship with solitude, and even happiness with distress, makes for a deep, well-rounded life."
Boucher writes about finding the sacred in everyday life and is keen to share his discoveries. He responds to today's feature post:
"Thank you–I discovered earlier today that you featured my blog on Barque and was thrilled, as I have visited Barque often in the past and respect the blog very much. Thomas Moore’s writings have been a near-constant companion of mine for at least a decade. I hope my readers see this comment and head on over to Barque to read some of your writings, as well!"

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Family life includes the particulars for soul

On Click! A photography blog, Daniel Wilson considers "The family’s responsibility to the soul": "I campaign for people to take better pictures, to blog about one another, and to publish coffee table books about the family and family members, and it is not in the name of vanity. I do it in support of the wellbeing of the soul. Thanks to Carl Sagan and Thomas Moore for setting the foundation for this work."

Wilson shares Moore's passage from Care of the Soul: "The soul prospers in an environment that is concrete, particular, and vernacular. It feeds on the details of life, on its vitality, its quirks, and its idiosyncrasies. Therefore nothing is more suitable for care of the soul than family, because the experience of family includes so much of the particulars of life."


Thursday, January 05, 2012

This year appreciate ordinarily sacred every day

Today Gulf Breeze News publishes Jack Kale's piece, "Good intentions often fade, so savor the mundane and routine" in which he talks about New Year's resolutions while appreciating everyday life. Kale includes, "This year, I hope you find meaning in the mundane days of your life. Find joy in doing the dishes, taking out the garbage, or mowing the grass. Savor the the taste of a well made grilled cheese. Be satisfied with your car for one more year. Find excitement in someone else’s success. Be grateful for friends that tell you the truth and don’t need to be entertained. Pull off the road and enjoy a sunset or sunrise. Take a deep breath and thank God for the ability to breathe. Be thankful for toothpaste, toilet paper, running water, and nail clippers. Smile when eating microwaved popcorn. Enjoy the ordinary."

At the bottom of his column, Kale writes, "... I am grateful for the book The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life by Thomas Moore which emphasizes the point of this article much better than I can."


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Men's Book Group explores Moore's Soul Mates

Dominique Walmsley offers a Men's Book Group in the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle. Starting 5 January 2012 the group explores Soul Mates (1994) by Thomas Moore. According to Walmsley, this book "describes the mysteries of love that, if  taken seriously, guide us internally towards contentment."

Desire is a shared theme for all book selections: "Thomas Moore centers  his writing on archetypal psychology, for example Jungian. Using existential philosophy, mindfulness, psychology of intimacy and Buddhist philosophy, the group will explore DESIRE and build curiosity, enjoyment and resilience for a more intimate life. Practical and personal issues will be explored where appropriate."

Cost: $60 U.S. for 4 meetings  
This is an intellectual pursuit, not a therapy group.