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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kripalu offers weekend course, March 2011

The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health offers a Continuing Education course with Thomas Moore and his wife, Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa, called From Religion to Spirituality, during the weekend of March 25 – 27, 2011 in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Read the description for this listed course.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Moore wants genius of Gospels to sparkle

On 23 April 2010 Barque announced an interview with Thomas Moore by Kay Parris for Reform magazine that is sponsored by the United Reformed Church. This interview "Transcending Unconsciousness" is now available online.

Parris writes, "As a life-long student of world religions, Moore doesn’t see the Gospels as more important than other holy texts – all are "writings from time immemorial that try to express the mysteries of the spiritual life". But he does feel that, if the "moralism and judgementalism" of hundreds of years of translation and interpretation could only be cleaned away, the genius of the Gospels would be allowed to sparkle into life in a way that could be truly liberating, illuminating and "useful for the world". To that end, he has now set himself the task of producing a fresh translation from the Greek."

Responding to Parris’s question about the existence of "a power beyond ourselves that is both natural and supernatural," Moore shares:
"You’re asking the most difficult question of all. Language fails us at this point. The way I see it for myself, if someone asks me do you believe in God, I would say yes, but I would probably not mean the same thing that most people would mean.

I believe the theology I find, in both east and west religions, that says God is unknowable, is mysterious. I believe we face mysteries in this life that we don’t understand. When you look into the sky, whether it’s the night sky or the day sky, you are looking into a great mystery that surrounds us. It is both a metaphor and also a direct experience of that sky. We wonder what’s out there, what is beyond us. And I don’t want to give any answers to what we don’t know. I don’t see any point in trying to make up answers to those questions.

I think what religion should be doing is helping us relate to those questions – giving us some language that doesn’t explain the mysteries, but rather allows us to relate to them."
For a follow-up question, Moore addresses his interest in Jungian psychology:
"Jungian psychology has helped me a great deal, although I am not a Jungian psychologist and I see great limitations in it as a system. But there are a great many insights there that helped me tremendously to have an appreciation for mystery."
In a recent post under Dark Nights of the Soul on his Discussion forum, Moore also writes about his interest in Jung's ideas.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fear of life is at the root of many problems

The Messenger site offers an excerpt of Thomas Moore’s interview about "Caring for the Soul in Difficult Times" conducted by Tami Simon, Sounds True. The excerpt includes Moore’s view:
"The spiritual life might bring us further into suffering, actually, because when we’re doing it well, we’re willing to be open to life, to let life happen. There’s a lot that goes on in the ordinary person’s life where they really don’t allow the possibilities of their lives to even take place. People say fear of death is really at the root of a lot of problems, but my experience tells me fear of life, fear of living, is at the root of our problems, because life is like this river of time and events just pour through us all the time, and it’s always changing. A change involves suffering. If someone is successful at a job, but something in them feels dissatisfied, that dissatisfaction may be a sign that life wants something more or something different. Eventually, that person may have to say, “Well, I’ve got to leave this job behind now and take a leap into the unknown, and see what’s going to happen next.” I’ve talked to a lot of people who’ve gone through that experience.

Even though it’s painful and there’s suffering, fear and anxiety around it, it means you’re willing to live, rather than defend yourself against life. I think that’s really a key ingredient to this whole thing: that those people who are willing to live, instead of just remain static, are going to maybe have more challenges and have to go through more pain than others."
Later in the interview when Simon asks Moore about the inspiration for writing his book Dark Nights of the Soul, Moore’s response includes:
"I guess a lot of this has to do with my own experience. My feeling is that I have come to accept life as being complicated and difficult, and having some suffering, some joy, and some very plain, ordinary days when things don’t seem to be either high or low. Living that way, I find to be ultimately more satisfying, because it allows me to be creative, which gives it its own rewards. I wanted to bring some of that attitude to the people I was working with. And I wanted to write about it, because most of the books I see either ignore the dark side of life or they look for quick and easy solutions to it."
Beginning 28 October 2010, Moore gives a three-part online series at Sounds True called Gifts of a Dark Night: Dealing Effectively in Times of Loss and Trial when he discusses our times of loss or failure while offering guidance to navigate them. Click this link to register for the series.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Moore: "I always prefer an image to a concept."

Today Thomas Moore shares his approach to writing his award-winning book, Dark Nights of the Soul, in a discussion area linked to his public page on Facebook. Click and scroll to the bottom of the page to read Moore’s comment. Join the discussion.

For other discussion topics associated with Thomas Moore, visit his public Facebook page, click the top tab labelled Discussions, then click the topic of interest. Four topics are currently listed.


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Moore encourages cultural warming of America

Thomas Moore posts a new blog entry with the The Huffington Post today, "The Cultural Warming of America" in which he writes about "responding to the mechanistic style of our times with art and beauty." Moore encourages manners, civility, respect and cultivated speech. He shares:
"I've been called romantic, and the word was meant as a criticism. But I'm in favor of a return to a warmer cultural climate, a world in which civility and manners guide us in our daily relationships. Yes, these things can be superficial, but surface care in the way we relate to each other could be the beginning of a deeper respect. I'm not sure we can get to the second without the first. I'm happy to be a romantic."
Moore writes that his 98 year-old father is his role model for desired behaviours: "[He] taught me with his example to show respect for all people―not just to think it, but to express it in the way you address another person."

Read Moore's piece and respond with your comments and observations.