Thursday, December 17, 2020

Birth, solstice, sol invictus, new light in December

In today's Wake Up Call blog post, "That light in the darkenss? It's Christmas", Tom Rapsas quotes Thomas Moore's 2016 classic, The Soul of Christmas:
"In The Soul of Christmas, Thomas Moore talks about the darkness of the season and how Christmas represents a turning toward the light. His words are especially poignant this year as we deal not just with the debilitating effects the lack of light can have on our moods, but the social isolation of the pandemic which has left many of us feeling disconnected from the real world."
He quotes Moore directly:
"Christmas makes sense only if you know the experience of darkness — the experience of not knowing what is going on, not knowing your way, not seeing life for what it is, failing, losing and suffering. Then the turn toward light has a real impact. The more you know the dark, the more you will appreciate the light."
"I now see how Christmas and Jesus’s vision line up, and I see that the enchantment of Christmas is a taste of what would be possible if human beings could really love each other … the infant in the manger symbolizes the new life in me, the potential I have to be a new kind of being dedicated to agape, to a love of the other whoever he or she is."
Moore ends his book by writing: " will rediscover yourself every year. It will be a celebration of both the birth of Jesus and the birth of your own soul."

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Moore's The Soul of Christmas offers Jesus' way

This week The Carroll County Times publishes "Can Christmas be celebrated without Jesus?" by Rev. Dr. W. M. Louis "Lou" Piel. Piel quotes Thomas Moore's classic book The Soul of Christmas while answering this question:
"Thomas Moore in his book The Soul of Christmas wrote “My sense of Christmas is also different now that I understand better that Jesus was addressing all people on the planet, not wanting them to join his organization but to adopt his vision for a better human race.”"
Piel refers to additional authors before returning to Moore:
"Thomas Moore adds “now I see the enchantment of Christmas is a taste of what would be possible if human beings really could love each other.”"
Piel asks more questions at the end of his commentary: "Jesus believed in his vision and message so deeply that he was willing to put his life on the line for his beliefs. Is it possible that we execute him all over again by claiming we love Jesus and his vision for world of love and peace and then turning our back on his message? What do we do with Jesus at Christmas? We could leave him out completely. We could put him back in the manger. Or we could follow him and his vision for a new world."

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Soulful caring during this COVID-19 pandemic

This week for Psychiatric Times Dr. Ronald W. Pies writes "Care of the Soul in the Time of COVID-19", using Thomas Moore's books in his discussion. He includes:
"Moore sees “the great malady” of our age as “loss of soul” — a sweeping topic for another time. For now, I would like to suggest that — beyond unsettling our minds — the current pandemic also unsettles our souls in ways we are just beginning to understand."
Pies describes impotence, grief, loneliness, mistrust and displacement.

Pies is Professor in the psychiatry departments of SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston. He is Editor in Chief Emeritus of Psychiatric Times (2007 to 2010).

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Your soul cries for attention; give it what it wants

"Are you giving your soul what it wants?" asks Tom Rapsas in his recent Wake Up Call post. He refers to the writings of various authors and includes:
"Writing in Original Self: Living with Paradox and Originality, Thomas Moore digs a little deeper into the wants of the soul. As he has shown in a dozen books on the subject, Moore has seemingly intuited the inner workings of the soul and what makes us tick."
He then quotes Moore directly:
"The soul has its own set of rules, which are not the same as those of life. Unlike the steady progress of history, the events of the soul are cyclic and repetitive. Familiar themes come round and round. The past is more important than the future. The living and dead have equal roles. Emotions and the sense of meaning are paramount. Pleasures are deep, and pain can reach the very foundations of our existence."
Read Rapsas' musings to help you to answer his headlining question for yourself.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Be truthful about age; feel free to stay youthful

This week Tom Rapsas writes "Why You Shouldn't Lie about Your Age" for his Patheos blog, Wake Up Call: Insights and Musings to Stir Your Soul in which he quotes Thomas Moore's book Ageless Soul. Rapsas writes:
"Moore points out that the most common problems he sees among his therapy clients is their resistance to the flow of life. Too often people want to stop or rewind the clock, when we all know that there is nothing we can do to stop the march of time."
He includes from Moore: "Being your age means letting people know the number of your years."

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Novelist reading books by Moore and Hillman now

For The Guardian last Friday, novelist Nicola Barker shares in "Books that Made Me" her current reading material:
At the moment I’m rereading Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore and A Blue Fire by James Hillman. They’re archetypal psychologists. I’m fairly new to this stuff and am thoroughly beguiled by it.
Moore also wrote the introduction for and edited A Blue Fire.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Moore and Hillman listed as modern saints

This week for The Irish Catholic, Fr Ronald Rolheiser writes "Needed: Specific Kinds of Saints" in which he talks about today's needed role models who may show the way in our times. He suggests:
"So what kind of saints do we need today? 
We need saints who can honour the goodness of the world, even as they honour God. We need women and men who can show us how to walk with a living faith inside a culture which believes that world here is enough and that the issues of God and the next life are peripheral. We need saints who can walk with a steady, adult faith in the face of the world’s sophistication, its pathological restlessness, its over-stimulated grandiosity, its numbing distractions, and its overpowering temptations."
In the list of people who have influenced him, Rolheiser includes Thomas Moore and James Hillman:
"Among those of my own generation, I’m indebted to Raymond E. Brown, Charles Taylor, Daniel Berrigan, Jean Vanier, Mary Jo Leddy, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Keating, Jim Wallis, Richard Rohr, Elizabeth Johnson, Parker Palmer, Barbara Brown Taylor, Wendy Wright, Gerhard Lohfink, Kathleen Dowling Singh, Jim Forest, John Shea, James Hillman, Thomas Moore and Marilynne Robinson."

Saturday, March 30, 2019

A life's work includes caring for the soul regularly

Read about "The 6 Keys to Caring for Your Soul" gleaned by Tom Rapsas in Thomas Moore's book, A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born To Do. In this post for his Patheos blog, Wake Up Call, Rapsas quotes a passage from the book that's followed by his own thoughts about the key.

The final element, quoted as number 6 is:
"Your spirituality is deep as well as visionary, and you incorporate contemplation, discussion, ritual, and prayer into everyday life, and you do all of this in a style that suits you as an individual." 
This readily leads to another of Moore's books entitled, A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tom Rapsas consults Moore's Writing in the Sand

Tom Rapsas draws on Thomas Moore's writings in two recent mentions for his Wake Up Call blog with Patheos. On 13 February 2019 he posts, "Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene Lovers?" while referring to Moore's book, Writing in the Sand: Jesus, Spirituality and the Soul of the Gospels and the gnostic gospels. Rapsas concludes with a quote by Moore:
"How you imagine Jesus’ sexuality may depend on how you feel about sex. If you think it’s contemptible or at least a low part of human nature, you may not want a sexual picture of Jesus. If you see the beauty and full significance of sexuality, you may understand how important it is to allow Jesus his sexuality. Anything less acknowledges his incarnation except for sexuality — and that makes no sense."
Then on 16 February 2019 Rapsas tweets a link to last year's "What’s Love Got to Do with It? Everything." with the comment "Love isn't just for Valentine's Day." For this blog post he also uses Moore's Writing in the Sand for discussing agape. Rapsas writes, "Agape is often associated with Jesus and his unconditional love of humankind."

Friday, February 01, 2019

UVU president would put Moore on wall of fame

Under this week's headline, "How Astrid Tuminez went from Filipino slums to president of UVU, and her inspiring message for young people", Boyd Matheson,  Deseret News opinion editor, talks with the president of Utah Valley University for his Therefore, What? podcast.

According to the interview transcript in Deseret News, Matheson asks Tuminez whom she would include on her personal Wall of Fame. Her response includes, "And one of my favorite books is called Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. I'd probably put him on there."

Monday, January 07, 2019


For Epiphany, Times of Malta publishes Fr René Camilleri's "The Epiphany of the Lord: Inner guidance" that states:
"There is a common ground between believers, agnostics, atheists and those who consider themselves devotees of one specific religious tradition. In some way or other, they all want to find the key to an amplified inner life that has purpose and meaning."
Camilleri refers to Thomas Moore's writing when he stresses the need for a personal approach and not just a formal approach to find this key:
"There are mysteries that permeate our lives and unless we learn to pay attention to the inner guidance, unless we learn to authentically listen to our life, religion will fail to fill those gaps between the spiritual and the secular. Psychotherapist and author Thomas Moore, in his book A Religion of One’s Own, writes how 'we don’t seem to appreciate how deeply we are affected by changes in science, technology and culture.' 
The feast of the Epiphany we celebrate today points to the fact that formal religion by itself takes us nowhere and can just leave us lost in a fast-changing world. Personal religion is a requirement and it is different from formal religion. This is what the wise men coming from the East possessed, in contrast to the formal religion of the people of Jerusalem which failed to make them grasp what was really happening just round the corner."
Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Embrace the darkness as well as the light

Read Nancy De Guerre's First Person contribution to The Globe and Mail, "How I learned to live in November’s darkness", published 21 November 2018. Although we're through Christmas and New Year festivities, and have celebrated the winter solstice, De Guerre's approach may still help us through January and February. She describes the darkness of November while referring to Thomas Moore's work:
"Author Thomas Moore, in his book Dark Nights of the Soul, suggests that we can both fight and embrace our dark periods. We can experience the sadness while tapping into our creativity and imagination. Moore uses examples of famous dark-night embracers, most of whom I don’t mind being lumped with: Glenn Gould, Anne Sexton, Henry David Thoreau, Frida Kahlo and Oscar Wilde, among others. Brilliant artists who learned – not without great struggle – to heal and create, to learn from the experience of their darkness, to use it to connect them ultimately with their humanity and with others. 'A dark night of the soul can heal,' Moore writes. In essence, light emerges from the darkness."
De Guerre continues, "There is comfort in the dark, in knowing I can manage it, be with it, and come out somehow transformed. Being in the dark allows me to see the glimpses of light. Cocooning is the prerequisite for moving into a new phase of life – the shedding of a skin in order to be renewed. 'To some degree, new life always requires the termination of the old,' Moore writes."

Moore touches on related themes in his more recent book, The Soul of Christmas (2016) published by Franciscan Media.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Care of the Soul review about current relevance

Earlier this month Bailey & Oliver Law Firm in Rogers, Arkansas posts "Book Report - Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore" written by  Jeannette M. Nieves, Legal Assistant/ General Practice Division. Nieves shares her response to Moore's classic book, Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life. She concludes:
"This is a great book for any of us who could use help surviving and learning from personal troubles, tragedies and follies.  Also, it may be a great tool for anyone who will relate 'spirituality' to everyday life."

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ageless Soul moves beyond personal memoir

The Catholic Spirit publishes Rachelle Linner's "Three authors explore varied facets of aging, but one disappoints" from the Catholic News Service, 21 June 2018. She includes Thomas Moore's Ageless Soul, writing:
"His expansive treatment of aging draws on his personal experience, illustrations from his therapy practice and insights from Jungian psychology.  
Ageless Soul covers a broad range of topics, including sex and spirituality, melancholy and mentoring, loneliness and living with dying." 
Linner favours Vesper Time by Frank Cunningham, retired publisher of Ave Maria Press, and Aging Starts in Your Mind by Benedictine Abbot Notker Wolf.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Ask yourself deeply: What does the soul want?

At the beginning of this month, Holly Mae Haddock asks and answers "What Is Suffering Good For? Practicing Care of The Soul" in a post on the site for Villa Kali Ma, Residential Treatment for Women in San Diego, California.

Haddock bases her observations on Thomas Moore's book Care of the Soul as she describes differences between living from ego and living from soul. She writes:
"I love Thomas Moore’s point of view. He understands the fundamental quandary that those of us in recovery are in, once addiction sets us on our spiritual path. The quandary is exasperatingly, beautifully simple: sometimes our soul needs something that our ego doesn’t want."
Haddock offers an earlier post about James Hillman's work called "The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of The Soul’s Code.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Reviewer recommends Moore's book about aging

At the beginning of this month, Marilyn Murray Willison writes "The Ageless Soul", a favourable review of Thomas Moore's new book, Ageless Soul. She concludes:
"If you find yourself struggling with the higher number that greets you each birthday, I can't think of another author who is better equipped to provide a better perspective than Moore. In the nicest possible way, he reminds us that trying to fight the natural process of growing old is a futile activity. He urges us to embrace the process of becoming an elder and put that stage into action as a friend, a grandparent, a healer, a mentor and the creator of a worthwhile life and legacy."

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Awareness of whole person contributes to healing

In his sermon "Are You Feverish?" from 4 February 2018 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chicago, Craig Mueller refers to Thomas Moore's new book Ageless Soul: The Lifelong Journey Toward Meaning and Joy while discussing Mark 1:29-39.
"Moore says that most of us think of illness as a physical breakdown that needs repair. Yet illness affects us emotionally, intellectually, and relationally. And it forces us to 'reexamine our lives, face our mortality, and sort out our values.' Spiritually speaking, we might ponder what kind of invitation lies behind each illness. And illness is something we will all face — whether our own or that of a loved one."
Mueller also echoes Moore's themes of desire, using gifts and passions, and "serving":
"When Jesus raises up Simon’s mother-in-law, it is the first resurrection story in Mark. The woman rises up and begins serving. Perhaps that is our great desire also. Whether a student, whether in our working years or in retirement, we desire to have a purpose, to use our gifts and passions, and to join in God’s mission of mending the world — something Jews call tikkun olam."

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Review: Book of Matthew mostly Quaker-friendly

Rob Pierson reviews GOSPEL The Book of Matthew: A New Translation with Commentary, Jesus Spirituality for Everyone in Friends Journal, 1 June 2017.

Although Pierson questions aspects of Moore's approach, he states:
"However, in the Gospel itself, many of Moore’s translation choices illuminate and enliven what has become, for many, a brittle, faded manuscript. Moore replaces time-worn and doctrine-laden phrases like “heaven,” “faith,” “sin,” and “repentance” with stripped down (but faithful) translations. For example, “sin” becomes “tragic mistakes,” and “repentance” becomes the kind of deep change that averts these tragic mistakes. “Faith” is rendered as “trust.” “Trust more” becomes Jesus’s persistent refrain for entering life in the kingdom. 
Moore also emphasizes concrete symbols at the core of the Gospel — “bread,” for example, as symbol of what is truly essential. More startlingly, Moore replaces “heaven” (an increasingly abstract concept) with its most basic translation, “sky.”
Pierson concludes, "Moore’s Gospel does provide a faithful, readable, and mostly Quaker-friendly rendering of the text with some compelling insights and a few idiosyncratic quirks."

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Two writers review Ageless Soul for older adults

"Ruth Ray Karpen is a researcher, writer and retired English professor. She has published many books and articles on aging and old age, life story writing, and retirement."

For Smart Strategies for Successful Living, she reviews Thomas Moore's new book, Ageless Soul: "The Soul of Retirement" on 15 January 2018. Karpen begins:
"In his book Ageless Soul: The Lifelong Journey Toward Meaning and Joy (2017), psychoanalyst and former monk Thomas Moore offers us a great gift.  Unlike critics who see nothing positive in growling old, Moore provides many reasons why later life is crucial to our development as human beings.  Although every phase of life has meaning and purpose, the final phase may be the most important – as poet Robert Browning said, 'the last of life for which the first was made.'"
On 24 January 2018 author and writer Bev Scott answers "Am I an Elder?" based on Moore's description as she recounts her recent trip to Vietnam and Cambodia with her daughter and grandson. At the end of her thoughtful post, she invites responses to "What are your thoughts about this transition to elderhood and your aging process?"

UU minister values role of aging with Ageless Soul

The Rev. Susan Milnor of First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist in Newburyport, Massachusetts draws on Thomas Moore's new book Ageless Soul: The Lifelong Journey Toward Joy and Meaning in her sermon of Sunday 21 January 2018: "Ageless Soul" Listen to Milnor's sermon and read her background notes about the role of the elder.

She writes, "Think of it as like the inner core of the tree. No matter how many layers time builds over that center, no matter how many rings of experience accumulate, with spiritual honesty, we embrace that ageless soul as our essential selves."

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Reviewer plans to read Moore's book each decade

On 28 January 2018 Karen Austin, ChangingAging contributor, reviews Thomas Moore's new book, Ageless Soul: The Lifelong Journey Toward Meaning and Joy: "Ageless Soul: Book Review".

Austin writes, "I was particularly invigorated by the way Moore looks at the issues such as depression, anger, changing sexuality, illness, and loneliness. He has entire chapters about each of these and other very human challenges. In each chapter, he redefines the issue, encourages people to directly face these challenges, and talks about how to scale each of these and how to find the positive value in each."

She concludes, "I’m in my mid fifties, and I plan on rereading this book once a decade. I have a feeling that I’m missing some of the meaning because of my relative lack of experience with aging issues. But where I did recognize age-related challenges, Moore offered me a path through obstacles and into opportunities that only elders can enjoy."

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Buy video from C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago

The C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago offers a four-hour download of Thomas Moore's event from Saturday 28 October, Cultivating Soul: A Day with Thomas Moore, for $29.99.

The recording has two parts:
Part 1  Ageless Soul
Part 2  Care of the Soul in Troubled Times

Barque coverage
1 Sept 2017 "Plan a day (or two) with Thomas Moore in Chicago"

Friday, January 19, 2018

Celebrate new ways to approach the aging process

"This courageous book celebrates maturity, 
holding out to the end a promise of fullness of life."

Ottawa-based Aging Horizons Bulletin posts a review of Thomas Moore's new book Ageless Soul: The Lifelong Journey toward Meaning and Joy under the question "What is Soulful Aging?" in its January/ February 2018 issue.

"In 15 deeply engaging chapters, he explores five phases of aging:
1. Feeling immortal
2. First taste of aging
3. Settling into maturity
4. Shifting toward old age, and
5. Letting things take their course.
The subject matter includes sexuality in later life, friendship, community, illness, melancholy, retirement and legacy."

The same issue includes the interview, "Writing New Narratives of Aging" with philosopher Hanne Laceulle who received the 2017 European Network in Aging Studies Award for her PhD thesis on aging, self realization and cultural narratives about later life. 

She proposes an approach to aging that focuses on virtue ethics: "Self-realization is a moral concept with ancient roots. It reaches back to the Socratic ideal of 'knowing yourself' and the Aristotelian concept of self-fulfillment. The classical conception of self-realization is found in Aristotelian virtue ethics. Individuals are seen as striving to realize their full potential as human beings, thereby reaching eudaimonia or happiness."

Monday, December 18, 2017

Tom Rapsas responds to Moore's Ageless Soul

For his blog with Patheos, Tom Rapsas discusses Thomas Moore's new book, Ageless Soul: The Lifelong Journey toward Meaning and Joy in two posts:

13 November 2017 "Are you just growing old — or are you aging with purpose?"

17 November 2017 "The 10 Keys to Happier Aging"

In the first piece, Rapsas asks:
"Are you becoming more and more aware of your advancing age? Do you wonder if you’re making the most of your life — or fear that the best years of your life may be behind you? If you can relate to these questions, then Thomas Moore’s new book Ageless Soul is required reading.
As you may know, Moore has written for decades on various facets of the soul and has now turned his attention to how aging impacts this deepest part of our selves."
In the second piece, Rapsas writes that in his "wonderful book":
"Thomas Moore has provided us with an invaluable cheat sheet, a 10-point checklist that captures all that the soul values in aging and retirement, and some might say, life."
Tom Rapsas

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Men's retailer shares advice from Ageless Soul

For U.K. readers Ashley Clarke writes "How to Grow Old Gracefully" in Mr Porter's The Daily.
"Ageless Soul is not a handbook on how best to prevent wrinkles (you’ll have to peruse MR PORTER’s grooming section for that), but instead a guide on how best to get comfortable in the skin you’re stuck with."
He briefly shares some of Thomas Moore's advice in Ageless Soul under three headings:
o.1 Feel the Sting
0.2 Don't Lie
0.3 Actively Participate

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Ageless Soul helps to create a more meaningful life

Only ONE WEEK remains to pre-order Thomas Moore's new book, Ageless Soul: The Lifelong Journey Toward Meaning and Joy. Live Happy magazine includes Moore's book in its list of "33 Ideas for a More Meaningful Life". Pre-order your copy of Ageless Soul to ensure prompt delivery. Meet Thomas Moore during his book tour starting next Wednesday in New York City at Marble Collegiate Church.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Be creative: soul is everywhere in daily life quotes Thomas Moore in the recent post "Wherever I Stand" after starting with Rumi's instruction, "Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place."

Cindy writes, "Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, suggests there is a strong connection between creativity and soulfulness. He wrote, “Creativity means making something for the soul out of every experience.” That has been an important aspect of my journey the past three years. I write about those experiences.  Inspiration is my guide this year. I recognize that this is soul work I am doing."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Married people urged to rekindle their love flame

In his Patheos blog, Wake Up Call, Tom Rapsas writes "Marriage Advice from an Unlikely Source: Jesus" based on Thomas Moore's translation of The Book of Mark in his GOSPEL series of translations with commentary. Rapsas shares:
"... I was thrilled when Care of the Soul author Thomas Moore began putting out a series of books on the four Gospels. There may be no better guide to the intricacies of Jesus’s teachings than Moore, a former monk who lived in a Catholic religious order for 12 years, and who went on to become a psychotherapist and perhaps the greatest spiritual writer of our time.
In his latest release, Gospel – the Book of Mark, Moore has translated the original text into very understandable English, reinterpreting some passages while providing a running commentary that illuminates the meaning of Jesus’s words and actions. In the introduction to the book, Moore reminds us that Jesus did not set out to create a religion or church."
Regarding Mark 10, Rapsas concludes, "It goes without saying, that when in an abusive relationship divorce may be the only viable solution. But when one enters a marriage in love, and the love seems to dim, there are always ways to rekindle the flame."

Monday, April 03, 2017

Include simple weekend relaxation to relieve stress

Longevity Magazine shares Marina Wildt's piece "Unschedule Your Weekend For Stress Relief" that quotes Thomas Moore about our tendency to be always crazy busy. Under Wildt's second point "Find Time This Weekend To…" – "Realise the World Continues to Operate When You’re Not Working," she writes:
"Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, says, 'We seem to have a complex about busyness in our culture. Most of us do have time in our days that we could devote to simple relaxation. But we convince ourselves that we don’t. It seems there is always something that needs doing. Always someone who needs our attention.'”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Soul's pleasures are natural and to be satisfied

In September 2005 Thomas Moore presented The New Epicurians at The Great ReThinking Conference in Bath, England. During this nine-minute video segment of his presentation he talks about "The Soul's Relationship to Desire".  Moore shares that during a pilgrimage to the Capitoline Museums to pay homage to Venue he is captivated by Eros and Psyche.  He also talks about the importance of friendship.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

American health care needs spiritual component

Last month The Deseret News published "Why depression recovery rarely happens with a single solution" that includes:
"According to the most recent available government statistics, 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 12 have taken an antidepressant in the past year, a rate that rises in certain subgroups. Nearly one-quarter of women in the 40s and 50s take antidepressants, and 1 in 6 seniors do, despite a recent report that the drugs can double the risk of hip fractures in older people."
This article quotes Thomas Moore in its treatment of depression:
"For adults, if antidepressants don't work, one reason could be that they're not addressing the problem, which could be spiritual in nature, said Thomas Moore, a former monk and the author of Dark Nights of the Soul and other books on spirituality. 
Moore, who lives in New Hampshire and often speaks to medical providers about the need for a spiritual component in health care, likens a clinical depression to a black mood, while a 'dark night' — the sort of spiritual travail experienced by Mother Teresa or St. John of the Cross — is more gray. 
'It's the sense that the meaning of life has gone away, and there's no sense of purpose. If it touches the meaning of your life, you need a more spiritual response,' he said."
The Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

How do we bolster soul nourishment at this time?

Jim Walsh recommends Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore in "Escape from Trump Island" for Southwest Journal:
"As the Muslim ban and everything that came before it and after proves, Trump is the worst of us: a fake thug, capitalist pig and tool of evil with no discernible inner life or spirituality. To distance myself from the ape, I cracked Krista Tippet’s Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living and Thomas Moore’s Care Of The Soul, both of which provide guidance for going deep and navigating the shallow world.  More than anything, I’ve found gold in nightly readings of 1992’s The Way To Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello ..."
For visual escapism, Walsh describes La La Land: "Finally, 2017’s most popular box office draw, La La Land, is a much-needed reminder that all is not lost. Pure Hollywood escapism to be sure, but it’s also proof positive that sheer beauty can burst forth even in times of stultifying ugliness. The mere idea of falling in love, or of people going after their artistic dreams, is the sort of soul nourishment that’s eroding under Trump, much like the new regime’s coming cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and forthcoming war on net neutrality puts a chill on imagination itself."

Moore repeatedly emphasizes artistic expression and appreciation in his books as connected to soul making. Let's strengthen thee connections now.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Let's express intimacy, inclusion and appreciation

At the end of February 2017 Skylight Paths Publishing releases the second book in Thomas Moore's translation series GOSPEL  ― The Book of Mark: A New Translation with Commentary, Jesus Spirituality for Everyone. While waiting for this, read a response by Benjamin Wood to Moore's earlier book Writing in the Sand: Jesus and the Soul of the Gospels (2009). At the time of writing Wood was "a Research Associate at the Lincoln Theological Institute, University of Manchester."

Wood writes "Jesus the Epicurean: or Why the Personal really is Political" , 13 November 2014 for Political Theology Today. His comments seem particularly poignant at this time in American politics:
"Thus, the Gospel, like the rest of society, tends to be caught in the trap of obscurity and generality; stripped of the intimacy so many crave. What is the solution? Seeing Jesus through Epicurean eyes suggests to us that the Church desperately needs to return to the kind of home-spun patterns of inclusion exemplified by the early Christians and the ancient Epicureans, if its politics is going to be transmitted and sustained in the midst of the crowd. Perhaps, the most radical thing the Church can do is to re-discover the integrity of the agape-meal as a ‘meal’, and not just an archaic ritual. In summarising the effect of an Epicurean vision of Jesus on our lives, Moore puts it this way: ‘That Jesus was an Epicurean contrasts with the tendency of some of his later followers to be only ascetic or puritan, denying the value of pleasure and desire. Indeed, the above description of walking in the shoes of this Jesus could transform the way people understand every word of the Gospel.’ [Writing in the Sand page 43]

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Our wisdom includes foolishness and ignorance

In today's Patheos blog post "Zen & the Bodhisattva Way: A Meditation on the Three Pure Precepts", James Ford mentions Thomas Moore when he discusses the path of not knowing after quoting the English poet John Keats:
"And it is here that a new kind of wisdom begins to appear. It is something other than the weighing of various factors, the first not knowing wisdom found in hesitation. But it is this wisdom, this not knowing that is the real gold, the path of depth, the Buddha way.

Commenting on Keat’s perspective which is the relentless letting go that takes us to this place, the contemporary spiritual psychologist Thomas Moore, who also has some insight into our Zen way, writes how 'Knowledge is not always the adding on of information and skill; sometimes it involves the loss of both. (This) knowledge (that is wisdom) is not always a matter of becoming smart and intelligent; it could be the discovery of one’s foolishness and ignorance.'"

Friday, December 02, 2016

You participate in Christmas in Moore's new book

Two Patheos bloggers write about Thomas Moore's new book The Soul of Christmas, featured in its Book Club. Patheos also hosts a Q&A with Moore and offers an excerpt.

"Finding Your Soul in The Soul of Christmas"
by Debra Engle, Everyday Miracles
21 November 2016

"Into the Light of Christmas: From Ordinary to Extraordinary, from Facts to Meanings"
by Kyle Roberts, Unsystematic Theology
2 December 2016 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Create a personal religious practice in community

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Clarita Valley in California hosts a three-part religious discussion based on Thomas Moore's book, A Religion of One's Own. Martha Garcia describes the sessions under the headline "Asking Deeper Spiritual Questions" for The Signal.
"Marilyn Logan attended both of the recent sessions and described herself as a spiritual seeker looking to craft her own religious spiritual practice.'One of my biggest takeaways is the difference between soul and spirit,' said Logan. 'Spirit is more of an interior thing, the divine that is within.” The session also touched on the importance of completing psychological work as a complement to cultivate the practice. Other topics will include, sensuality, using art in a spiritual practice, using dreams and self guidance.'"
Rev. Peter Farriday, leader of the UU of SCV congregation "explains while many people turn to one of the many religious traditions, for others that may not be the path for them. It can be beneficial to use what they’ve learned from other religious traditions and create a more personal practice. 'There is power in investing in that pursuit, it can offer a sense of community with others on similar paths and a larger sense of connection to the soul,' he said."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Gardens may help to refresh and restore us now

Rhonda Nowak quotes Thomas Moore at the beginning and end of her recent article, "Literary Gardener: Post-election garden planning for healing and enchantment" for the Mail Tribune in Medford, Oregon.
"In the aftermath of a presidential election rife with mud-slinging and angst, I’ve decided to devote this week’s column to sharing my plans for a healing garden. My vision for this garden is to create a space that embodies the motto “Keep Calm” and is filled with sensory-pleasing food crops that will cleanse and nourish my body and soul."
She ends with "In The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life (1996), Thomas Moore reminds us that nature, including our garden, offers daily wonderments if only we will take the time to notice them. He continues, 'Enchantment can provide a solid base for an ethical response to the world we live in; for morality doesn’t come out of nowhere.'"

Nowak is "a member of the Jackson County Master Gardener Association and teaches writing at Rogue Community College."

Friday, November 18, 2016

Now is the time to prepare for a soulful Christmas

West Lafayette United Methodist Church in West Lafayette, Ohio offers a four-week Advent study program based on Thomas Moore's new book, The Soul of Christmas.

"It is hard to believe that the holidays are right around the corner. Advent, the season of preparation for Christmas, is always a time to deepen our faith and find greater ways to honor the Babe born in the manger. To help with this Rev. Bill will be offering a Wednesday evening Advent Study. He will be using the book The Soul of Christmas by Thomas Moore. This class will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Oak Street Room on Wednesday, November 30, December 7, 14, and 21. Let this Advent be a time of spiritual growth for you."

West Lafayette United Methodist Church
120 West Union Avenue
West Lafayette, OH 43845
Call the office for details: 740 545-6368

Rev. Dr. William E. Buckeye, Pastor

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blogger describes connections with Moore's work

Thomas Moore was at Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford, Connecticut last weekend to lead the retreat: Tapping Into the Soul’s Depths: Finding Personal Strength, Inner Guidance and Purpose Through Soulful Living. When Moore was at the Institute in 2014 at this same time of year, Tim Cole attended his retreat A Sacred Way Of Life In A Secular World: Living A Soulful Life. Cole writes about his connections with Moore's work and his retreat experience in this two-part posting hosted by the Institute:

De profundis Part Iby Tim Cole
De profundis Part II by Tim Cole

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Secularism would be "a dangerous, soulless option"

For the Penguin Books blog, Staff Picks — The Books We Can't Put Down, Thomas Moore shares reflections about his book A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World. In his post he writes,
"Just as Care of the Soul sprang out of me at the particular point where my ideas and my experience as a therapist matured, now I feel that my worldly way of being religious is emerging at just the right time in our cultural evolution to go public with it. Thus, my new book A Religion of One’s Own. We are now at a point where it’s time to let go of a narrow view of religion. I suggest that we don’t abandon it, even if many sophisticated modern people think it’s superfluous or prefer “spirituality”. Worldly life without a deep form of religion would be secularism, and that is a dangerous, soulless option.  Just listen to the way many scientists are talking these days, reducing the richness of human experience to brain studies, for example, and you get a taste of what secularism would be like. As human beings we’d shrivel up.

The new book puts together an array of ideas I’ve been working on for years that together form a personal spiritual practice that I call a religion of one’s own. At the top of my list are the beauty and wisdom of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions. I don’t want to get rid of the established religions but use them now as resources for a personal religious vision. They are priceless for what they have to offer, but the emphasis on belief, authority, empty ritual and moralism has weakened them to the point that they must re-imagine themselves radically.  You can be a member of a religion and still have a religion of your own, or you can go off on your own, becoming a seeker or even an atheist, and use the traditions as resources."
As in many recent online writings, Moore advocates an evolution of the human spirit.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tom Rapsas shares favourite passages in Matthew

For his Wake Up Call blog on Thursday, Tom Rapsas shares his nine favourite passages from Thomas Moore's GOSPEL The Book of Matthew: A New Translation with Commentary, Jesus Spirituality for Everyone: "Rewriting Jesus: A New Take on the Gospel of Matthew".

The introduction to his selection includes:
"Moore was more than up to the task. He has Masters degrees in both religion and philosophy. And while he may be best known for his beautiful series of books on the soul (and his recent classic on creating our own spiritual path [A Religion of One's Own]), for 13 years he served as a member of a Roman Catholic lay order, leaving just months before becoming an ordained priest.

Thomas Moore has a unique take on Jesus, who he sees as 'a spiritual poet' who uses narrative and imagery to get his ideas across. He sees him as more than just a teacher of wisdom but 'a social mystic, like a shaman who can heal, and lead people to appreciate multiple layers of reality'."
Click through Rapsas' top nine while contemplating the accompanying images.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Our nightmares connect to planetary destruction

In May this year Jungian psychotherapist Douglas Thomas writes "Eco-sadism: Why are we Torturing the Planet?" using Thomas Moore's book Dark Eros: The Imagination of Sadism (1990) to explore global destruction of our home.
"As I contemplate the relationship we humans have negotiated with the planet, this shadowy aspect of our collective sadism seems quite apparent. Certainly the images of strip mining, slashing the rain forests, dumping barges filled with garbage into the oceans all seem readily available for sadeian commentary.

Perhaps we are at our most sadistic when we are at our most unconscious, denying the perverse and repugnant cruelty of our collective actions against the planet. First denial, and then rationalization, two common defense mechanisms that regularly appear in the therapy room, also serve as the preferred mechanisms to permit and justify the torture and corruption of the planet. If we re-imagine the Earth as one of de Sade’s literary protagonists, the victimized damsel Justine for example, the libertine zeal of our collective insistence to strip, cut, penetrate, immobilize, neutralize, slash, burn, seize, corrupt and devastate quickly comes into focus."
Thomas concludes, "Once we become conscious of the psychological connection between the devastation of the planet and the torturous sadeian images of our own nightmares, an opportunity becomes available to engage the imagination in a contemplative exploration of how the root images of eco-sadism might transform through tending them as living images rather than literally enacting them."

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Study the Gospel of Matthew at Old Ship Church

If you live near Hingham, Massachusetts, you have an opportunity to attend a course about Thomas Moore's translation of GOSPEL The Book of Matthew at Old Ship Church (First Parish) with the minister Kenneth Read-Brown. The congregation is Unitarian Universalist and is a Welcoming Congregation.

A New Look at the Gospel of Matthew – three sessions on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.:
November 30, December 7, December 14
"These gatherings for conversation will be based on Thomas Moore’s fresh new translation of Matthew.  The class will follow the weekly 6:30 vespers services that are a December tradition at Old Ship. For more information, contact Ken."
Office telephone: 781-749-1679;
Office email:
Fee: "We ask participants to contribute $35 for the first course they attend each year (sliding scale according to need). There is no fee for the drop-in ongoing groups, or if otherwise noted."