The author of Care of the Soul shows readers how ""soul intimacy"" can be cultivated through letter writing, conversations, sexuality, jealousy, boredom, and endings, and how the soul is enriched through the tribulations of life. 150,000 first printing. $200,000 ad/promo.
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Thomas Moore is a writer and lecturer and living in New England with his wife and two children. He lived as a monk in a Catholic religious order for twelve years and has degrees in theology, musicology and philosophy. A former professor of religion and psychology, he is the author of Care of the Soul, Soul Mates, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, The Education of the Heart, and Meditations.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
ATTACHMENT AND FLIGHT
When we consider the soul of relationship, unexpected factors come into view. In its deepest nature, for example, the soul involves itself in the stuff of this world, both people and objects. It loves attachments of all kinds--to places, ideas, times, historical figures and periods, things, words, sounds, and settings--and if we are going to examine relationship in the soul, we have to take into account the wide range of its loves and inclinations. Yet even though the soul sinks luxuriantly into its attachments, something in it also moves in a different direction. Something valid and necessary takes flight when it senses deep attachment, and this flight also seems so deeply rooted as to be an honest expression of soul. Our ultimate goal is to find ways to embrace both attachment and resistance to attachment, and the only way to that reconciliation of opposites is to dig deeply into the nature of each. As with all matters of soul, it is in honoring its impulses that we find our way best into its mysteries.
The soul manifests its innate tendency toward attachment in many ways. One way is a penchant for the past and a resistance to change. A particularly soulful person might turn down a good job offer, for example, because he doesn't want to move from his home town. The soulfulness of this decision is fairly clear: ties to friends, family, buildings, and a familiar landscape come from the heart, and honoring them may be more important for a soulful life than following exciting ideas and possibilities that are rooted in some other part of our nature.
A radically attached person may lead a sedate life because he seldom likes to leave home; he may even decide not to buy an automobile for that very reason. Many writers and artists have exhibited this soulful orientation away from worldly activity. Emily Dickinson, for example, spent her entire mature life at her family's homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts. In a letter of 1851 to her brother Austin she wrote, "Home is a holy thing--nothing of doubt or distrust can enter its blessed portals . . . Here seems indeed to be a bit of Eden which not the sin of any can utterly destroy."1 Samuel Beckett was notorious for his love of his sparse apartment and for his resistance to the world. "All I want to do, " he once said early in his career, "is sit on my ass and fart and think of Dante."2
C. G. Jung said that the soul itself is fundamentally oriented toward life--the soul, he said, is the archetype of life--while the search for meaning or the quest for higher consciousness has some other root. The soul finds its home in the ordinary details of everyday life and does not in itself have an urgent need for understanding or achievement. James Hillman, Jung's unorthodox follower, picks up on Jung's distinction between soul and spirit, saying that soul resides in the valleys of life and not on the peaks of intellectual, spiritual, or technological efforts. In his essay on this theme, "Peaks and Vales," Hillman writes that the soul is the psyche's actual life, including "the present mess it is in, its discontent, dishonesties, and thrilling illusions."' Something in us--tradition calls it spirit4--wants to transcend these messy conditions of actual life to find some blissful or at least brighter experience, or an expression of meaning that will take us away intellectually from the quagmire of actual existence. When the soul does rise above the conditions of ordinary life into meaning and healing, it hovers closely and floats; it doesn't soar. Its mode of reflection is reverie rather than intellectual analysis, and its process of healing takes place amid the everyday flux of mood, the ups and downs of emotions, and the certain knowledge that there is no ultimate healing: death is an eternal presence for the soul.
By definition, the soul is attached to life in all its particulars. It prefers relatedness to distancing. From the point of view of the soul, meaningfulness and value rise directly out of experience, or from the images and memories that issue modestly and immediately out of ordinary life. The soul's intelligence may not arrive through rational analysis but through a long period of rumination, and its goal may not be brilliant understanding and unassallable truth, but rather profound insight and abiding wisdom.
This penchant of the soul for the complications of life plays a role in personal relationships, our ultimate theme in this book. Relatedness means staying in life, even when it becomes complicated and when meaning and clarity are elusive. It means living with the particular individuals who come into our lives, and not only with our ideals and images of the perfect mate or the perfect family. On the other hand, honoring the particular in our lives also means making the separations, divorces, and endings that the soul requires. The soul is always attached to what is actually happening, not necessarily to what could be or will be.
Dreams, which have much to teach us about the nature of the soul, sometimes portray our many ways of being attached to the past. They may take us back to places we once visited or where we lived long ago. A dreamer may begin telling his dream by saying, "I was in the bedroom of the house where I grew up, and some of my favorite dolls were gathered around me." People will sometimes say, "I've tried to put this divorce behind me, but in spite of my wishes I find myself dreaming of my former husband." The soul is inclined toward the past rather than the future, toward attachment to people, places, and events rather than detachment, and so it is not quick to move on.
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Book Description Harper Collins, 1994. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The companion volume to Care of the Soul, this book shows how the need to love and to connect with others leads inevitably not only into intimacy, but also into many kinds of difficulty and even failure. It emphasizes that through these difficulties, life is enriched and the soul thrives. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0060169281
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, USA, 1994. Hard Cove. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition/First Printing. First/First copy. Great Prices and Great Service from Aardvark Book Sales. Bookseller Inventory # 002470
Book Description Harper Collins, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060169281
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Collectible strikingly handsome new hardcover, excellent as a gift, stated First Edition, new mylar-protected jacket w/ sharp new edges & corners, immaculate text-block exterior w/ smooth-cut top & bottom edges & cut-page-style side-edging, handsome new black paper-over-boards cover w/ new edges-corners & titles boldly gilt-stamped on spine, new sewn binding w/ tight signatures, immaculate cream-white end-papers on heavy stock, pristine interior handsomely printed on excellent paper * Preface (vii), Introduction (xi), Epilogue: Relationship as Grace (255), Notes (261) * 5.75" x 9.50" x 1.06", 0.52 kg, xix+267 (286) pp. * A companion volume to the national bestseller "Care of th Soul", this brilliant book from Thomas Moore explores how relationships of all kinds, w/ all their difficulties, deepen our lives & help fulfill the needs of the soul. As Thomas Moore pointed out in "Care of the Soul", the soul thrives under certain conditions, especially intimacy, attachment, & involvement. Unlike many books that are concerned w/ making relationships work better, "Soul Mates" finds meaning in endings, separations, jealousy, sexual conflicts, & other obstacles we may encounter in the pursuit of intimacy. The book emphasizes that if we are willing to live through these difficulties, life is enriched & the soul thrives. Moore describes how "soul-intimacy" can be cultivated in simple ways that are often overlooked: writing thoughtful letters & engaging in heartfelt conversation, for instance. On another level, he investigates ways to create soulful community & a profound sense of conviviality in society & among nations. For insight he appeals to a wide range of literature & mythology, from Emily Dickinson , Sufi poetry, Native American folktales & classical mythology. In all of these sources Moore finds intimacy depicted as a matter of soul rather than interpersonal dynamics. Everyone whose heart, mind & soul were touched by "Care of the Soul" will find in "Soul Mates" the same kind of empathy, caring & wisdom as Thomas Moore expands on his ideas about life & explores all human relationships. Bookseller Inventory # 006523