He has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist.
Today, Thomas Moore — author of 16 books on deepening spirituality and cultivating soul in every aspect of life — lectures widely on holistic medicine, spirituality, psychotherapy, and the arts.
Among those titles is his breakout classic, “Care of the Soul.” Published in 1992, more than 200,000 hardcover copies of the book have been sold.
“My life work is an attempt to ground the pure, visionary spirit in the imperfect, intoxicating sensuousness of worldly life,” says Moore, who has a PhD in religion from Syracuse University and has won several awards for his work, including an honorary doctorate from Lesley University and the Humanitarian Award from Einstein Medical School of Yeshiva University. Three of his books have won the prestigious Books for a Better Life awards from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
So what better way to start 2015 than to focus on two of his titles that may shed light for owners of small businesses on ways to connect their work with the deeper parts of themselves to achieve even greater personal and professional success.
Next month, we’ll bring you two more that relate to our February 2015 theme: The Science of Sex. Stay tuned for that.
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“A genuine odyssey is not about piling up experiences. It is a deeply felt, risky, unpredictable tour of the soul,” writes Thomas Moore in his best-seller.
With references to C. G. Jung, James Hillman, and Greek mythology, Moore wrote the book for troubled times, hoping to provide a path-breaking lifestyle handbook that shows how to add spirituality, depth, and meaning to modern day life by nurturing the soul.
“‘Care of the Soul’ offers a new way of thinking about daily life — its problems and its creative opportunities,” he asserts. “It proposes a therapeutic way of life that is not a self-improvement project. Instead, its focus is on looking more deeply into emotional problems and sensing sacredness in ordinary things.”
Moore reminds us that the ancient model of “care of the soul” is rooted in religion and provides a sacred context for viewing the ordinary moments of everyday life.
In the book, the author simply brings those ideas into the present, drawing on his own life as a therapist practicing what he preaches. He says that the emotional complaints of our time, complaints therapists hear every day in their practice, include:
- Vague depression
- Disillusionment about marriage, family, and relationships
- Loss of values
- Yearning for personal fulfillment, and
- Hunger for spirituality
“All of these symptoms reflect a loss of soul and let us know what the soul craves,” says Moore. “We yearn excessively for entertainment, power, intimacy, sexual fulfillment, and material things, and we think we can find these things if we discover the right relationship or job, the right church or therapy.
“But without soul, whatever we find will be unsatisfying, for what we truly long for is the soul in each of these areas. Lacking that soulfulness, we attempt to gather these alluring satisfactions to us in great masses, thinking apparently that quantity will make up for the lack of quality.”
Moore points out that a soulful personality is complicated, multifaceted, and shaped by pain and pleasure, success and failure.
“Life lived soulfully is not without its moments of darkness and periods of foolishness,” he suggests. “Dropping the salvation fantasy frees us up to the possibility of self-knowledge and self-acceptance, which are the very foundation of the soul.”
In the book you’ll discover:
- Moore’s examination of the connection between spirituality and the problems of individuals and society: “By nurturing the soul in everyday life, we can cultivate dignity, peace, and depth of character.”
- The importance of daily rituals: “Rituals maintain the world’s holiness. As in a dream a small object may assume significance, so in a life that is animated by rituals, there are no insignificant things.”
- The value of love: “Disappointments in love, even betrayals and losses, serve the soul at the very moment they seem in life to be tragedies. The soul is partly in time and partly in eternity. We might remember the part that resides in eternity when we feel despair over the part that is in life.”
This classic is not to be missed. Learn more here: careofthesoul.net.
“A job is never just a job,” writes Thomas Moore in A Life at Work. “It is always connected to a deep and invisible process of finding meaning in life through work.”
Carrying on the theme of Care of the Soul, Moore turns to an aspect of our lives that looms large in our self-regard, an aspect by which we may even define ourselves — our work.
“The workplace is a laboratory where matters of soul are worked out,” he insists. “‘A Life at Work’ is about finding the right job, yes, and it is also about uncovering and becoming the person you were meant to be.”
And finding a life at work is indeed a quest filled with depth and mystery.
“All jobs, large and small, long-term and temporary, contribute to your life’s work,” he writes. “A particular job may be important because of the emotional rewards it offers or for the money. But beneath the surface, your labors are shaping your destiny for better or worse.”
“If you ignore the deeper issues, you may not know the nature of your calling, and if you don’t do work that connects with your deep soul, you may always be dissatisfied, not only in your choice of work but in all other areas of life.”
In the book, Moore explores the often difficult process of maneuvering at work — the obstacles, blocks, and hardships of our own making — that we go through on our way to discovering our purpose and reaping the joy that is our reward.
The process requires patience, reflection — and the courage to keep going, he says.
Publishers Weekly says “A Life at Work” will be of use “to many people who seek joyful work and integrated lives.”