I'm currently re-reading Thomas Moore's books "The Care of the Soul, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life,and Soul Mates". While his writings can be, at times, a bit, esoteric, and hard to follow, he most often has some profound, interesting, and unique things to say about life, love, and the inner workings of the human spirit which he identifies as the soul in his writings. His unique style is probably related to his rather unique background, experiences, and the wide range of writers who have influenced his life and thought. Moore grew up in a working class family in Detroit Michigan. His father was a plumber and his mom a housewife. After graduating from Catholic prep high school he travelled and attended college in Ireland, Canada, and the states where he earned degrees in theology, musicology, and philosophy. Later he spent twelve years in Catholic order as a monk. He eventually left the order, married, had a child, and practiced psychotherapy before becoming a popular author and speaker in the early 1990's. Many of his books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Personally I find his books very interesting and stimulating which is probably due to the eclectic influences he cites in his biography on his website. The eclectic who's, who, include Jung, William Blake, William Morris, Bach, Emily Dickinson, Emerson, Marquis De Sade, Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu,Dorothy Sayers, Oscar Wilde, and James Hillman, a "Pomoxian" leaning, readers delight.
In the weeks to come and until this little reading project runs it's course, I'll try to pass along a few quotes, comments, and ponderings as time and motivation allows...so for now... I'll leave you with the following quotes from his book "The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life, for you to ponder.
"The Soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought. Yet our culture often takes pride in disproving and exploding the sources of enchantment, explaining away one mystery after another and overturning shrines, dissolving the family farm that has housed spirits of civility for eons, or desecrating for material profit a mountain or stream sacred to native residents. We have yet to learn that we can't survive without enchantment and that the loss of it is killing us."
Enchantment is tinged with play and eros,...elements that are suspect in culture of extreme ambition, and it always implies an escape from logic, one of the prized tools in a society bent on understanding...enchantment is often colored by at least soft hues of absurdity, which is only a sign of it's saving distance from excessive rationality"
"I'd rather be a dysfunctional soul than a well-adjusted robot"
The tendency of reason and science to take up too much room in modern life is just another symptom of disenchantment. The root problem is not science. It is religion...
Many people define their religion as a belief, and they pin their hopes and understanding on a provisional understanding of life. But there isn't much room for faith in a religion that is reduced to belief, and there isn't any place for an open-minded appreciation for the world's sacredness. In a disenchanted world, for all its concern for morals and social action, religion separates itself from everyday life and becomes obsessed with its own brand of belief and moral purity. In this kind of setting, the people who pollute our rivers and oceans and exploit workers and famililies may go to church and profess strong moral values, and yet they don't have any concience about the water, the earth, or human community....There is something dreadfully wrong with this kind of religion, which creates a kind of psychotic dissociation. A person feels morally pure because he is blissfully adhering to ideas of moralilty that have little to do with the world in which he lives, and at the same time is committing heinous sins that are not cataloged in his disenchanted morality."
"The first step in enchantment, then, is to recover a beginner's mind and a child's wonder, to forget some of the things we have learned and to which we are attached. As we empty ourselves of disenchanted values, a fresh, paradisical spirit may pour in,and then we may discover the nature of the soul and the pleasure of being a participant,and not a master, in the extravagance of life"