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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Moore talks about soulful creativity in the world

Listen to a complimentary webinar Creativity as a Way to Care for the Soul with Thomas Moore offered by the Assisi Institute on its home page. Scroll down this linked page and click on the hosted video. The program is approximately 50 minutes.

Mangreen encourages grassroots spirituality

Are you in England? Mangreen Country House's list of provisional speakers for 2015 includes Thomas Moore in April. Mangreen promotes itself as "a spiritual oasis for nourishing mind, body and soul."

"Mangreen as a Centre for Holistic spirituality
One of the positive things happening in today's world is a groundswell in grassroots spirituality. A spirituality that is neither competitive nor claiming to be the ‘right way’: a spirituality that is characterised by an inner experiencing of the sacred and a willingness to do personal transformative work: a spirituality that embraces and values a diversity of paths, whilst honoring the universal. We describe this as holistic spirituality and Mangreen enables the deepening of this through its programme."

Mangreen Trust, Mangreen Hall North, Mangreen, Swardeston,
Norwich, Norfolk U.K. NR14 8DD
Contact: William and Naomi Duffield

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Psychotherapy is a kind of maieutics, or midwifery

Thomas Moore shares the desirable traits of a therapist in "Psychotherapy and the care of souls" for readers. This piece has four sections:
- To Serve the Soul
- The Travail of Birth
- Overcoming Our Complexes
- Guide of Souls, Leader of Rituals

Moore describes his response to the common therapeutic approach:
"The modern therapist seems to think of the problems that come to him or her as deviations from the standard of normalcy and health. The point is to restore a person to a point where the presenting symptoms have been removed, as if by psychological surgery. I don’t see it that way. People come to me because deep down they can’t experience the joy of being who they are. They don’t feel in the positive flow of life. They may feel stuck in some repeating pattern that seems to go back far into their history. They may be focused on, or better, mesmerized by some symptom like an obsession or paranoia or anxiety. Generally, it’s the nature of life to flow, like a river, and not to be stuck or stopped." 
He stresses autonomous aspects of soul:
"I think of the soul as the life in us that is immeasurably deep. Sometimes it feels like a spring or font of existence, making us feel alive and giving us something of a direction and identity. To a large extent it is autonomous, having its own purposes, desires and intentions. When you delve deep into it, you encounter basic human themes and patterns, what Plato and Jung and others call “archetypes.” The need for love, the desire to create, the comfort of home, the excitement of travel — these aren’t the characteristics of any particular person. They are, at least potentially, ways in which all people may experience life."
"Soul is intimate, embedded in life, vital and energetic. It seems to constantly want more life and vitality and therefore can be a threat to the status quo. As you tend your soul, you may try to sense what it needs and wants, and you may discover that its needs may not dovetail with your own wishes."
Throughout the article Moore considers therapists' own deepening while responding to their patients' unfolding: "He has adapted to the mysterious nature of his work by being himself a mysterious person, not too easy to read and comfortable being neutral in the face of another’s passion."

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Learn with Thomas Moore on Cape Cod, July 2015

The New England Educational Institute hosts Thomas Moore's 2015 summer symposium, Psychotherapy, Spirituality and the Soul from Monday 13 July to Friday 17 July on Cape Cod.

According to the program description:
"... Dr. Moore worked closely with James Hillman and has been seriously engaged with the work of C. G. Jung throughout his career. ... 
Dr. Moore will detail the approaches of Jung and Hillman, applying their personal methods and ideas to therapy. This will include ways to deal with the images of dream, the spiritual traditions and art. Dr. Moore emphasizes Hillman’s ideas on anima mundi (the soul of the world), the polytheistic psyche, and the role of beauty. He also explores key figures in mythology that are relevant to therapy: Aphrodite, Artemis, Hermes, Daphne and Asklepios. The symposium will end with a discussion of Renaissance natural magic as it relates to therapy, shadow issues of the therapist, and finally, caring for the soul of the practitioner."  
Register online now:
Individual registrations postmarked by March 10, 2015: $549
Individual registrations postmarked after March 10, 2015: $599

The symposium is located at Four Points By Sheraton in Eastham, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Divinity is everywhere if we have the eyes to see

Read Thomas Moore's column "Wherever I Turn, You Are There" in the November-December 2014 issue of Spirituality & Health. Moore shares his personal experiences of sacred places and writes about the divinity of the world.
"For me, religion is the capacity of the imagination and the heart together to perceive the awesome, dizzying, utterly serious divinity within things. If the divine is not found in the world, part of it and deeply within it, then it is artificially separated out and becomes weird. We worship what we hold captive, what we make comfortable and sentimental, rather than the holiness that emanates like a power from the very heart of things. You never know when the sacred is going to show itself among all the secular camouflage with which we adorn our world."
"Renaissance spiritual teachers said that the churches and altars and sculptures are lures. We hope to attract the divine to them so that we can have access to it. We have to build well and make solid art pieces and use music equal to the paradox of vastness and intimacy that theologians around the world present as qualities of the divine. This is a challenge that only the truly inspired and profoundly educated are up to."
Moore introduces readers to Robert Fludd's “Eye of Imagination": the "kind of eye, larger and more penetrating than a normal eye, to see the depth of things. I think there is a special eye of the sacred imagination that allows you to see the holy core in everything. It lets you know that every place is sacred, if you look for it."

Hillman's work guides The Guild's 2015 program

The Guild of Pastoral Psychology in London, England posts its 2015 lecture program, stating:
"Our theme this year is taken from the writings of James Hillman, 'reflection in the mirror of the soul lets one see the madness of one's spiritual drive, and the importance of this madness'." 
Scroll down The Guild's program page to Saturday 17 October 2015 to see that Thomas Moore is the featured speaker at the London Day Conference hosted in conjunction with the C. G. Jung Club. Details about this event will follow.

According to The Guild's site, "The Guild was founded in 1937, with Jung as its Patron. Two years later, Jung gave his talk "The Symbolic Life" to the Guild suggesting that "Only the symbolic life can express the needs of the soul" (Pamphlet 80). Since those days many eminent psychologists and spiritual thinkers have spoken at the Guild, and the Guild's Pamphlets, based on those Lectures have achieved international recognition. . . The Guild today also organises conferences and workshops and co-ordinates a number of Guild Groups around the UK and Australia."

Monday, December 01, 2014

S&P offers e-courses for half-price until Dec. 31

Spirituality & Practice has a sale: Get one or more of the 46 programs in the Practicing Spirituality series for half-price. Each e-course consists of 40 emails with short readings for reflection and suggestions to practice during everyday activities. Subscribe now for $19.98 per e-course or give an e-course as a gift.

To get the 50% discount, order the e-course(s) by December 31. You can schedule when to take them (even in 2015). Since these e-courses are in an on-demand system, you choose your own start date and how often you want to receive the emails (daily, three times a week, twice a week, weekly) via your account page.

One of the courses offered at half-price is "Practicing Spirituality with Thomas Moore" led by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat who write:
"We have long appreciated Moore's recipes for soulful living. He helps us see that we can learn from our flaws, follies, and tragedies. He correctly proclaims that soul cannot be separated from body, family, work, love, politics, or power. By challenging us to care for our souls, Moore draws a bead on the bounties of spirituality. In the end, he calls us to our true vocation — to care for the world's soul and to celebrate the sacred arts of life." 
Additional Master e-courses on sale include Joan Chittister, Pema Chodron, Eknath Easwaran, Thomas Keating, Lawrence Kushner, Thomas Merton, Thich Nhat Hanh, Henri J. M. Nouwen, John O'Donohue, Parker J. Palmer, Richard Rohr, Joyce Rupp, Rumi, and Sharon Salzberg. Other e-courses focus on Practicing Spirituality with the Religious Traditions and Practicing Spirituality in Places, Activities, and Relationships.