Friday, March 12, 2010

Care of soul may not accord with expectations

Henk Van de Graaf blogs about beginning to read Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul last autumn in "soulfullness". Before quoting Moore, Van de Graaf writes about himself: "In my past years, long periods of time full of depression, addiction, anger, and self-pity, I was always looking for a way out of this morass of emotion I seemed trapped in. At times, I felt I was broken, of needing to be fixed."

His selected passages from the book include Moore's observation:
"As we stop to consider what is happening to us and what we’re made of, the soul ferments, to use an alchemical word. Change takes place, but not according to plan or as the result of intentional intervention. If you attend the soul closely enough, with an educated and steadfast imagination, changes take place without your being aware of them until they are all over and well in place. Care of the soul observes the paradox whereby a muscled, strong-willed pursuit of change can actually stand in the way of substantive transformation."
Van de Graaf describes more recent feelings of sadness: "That sadness was connected with me, who I was. A deep unhappiness with who I am. A grieving over how ineffectual I have been in changing me life, how I could never met my own expectations or the expectations of others. As I sit here, pondering what words to put down next, I feel that grief welling up again. I have chosen to just sit with this, to see where this trail will take me, not trying to force a new direction."

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