Thomas Moore speaks in Keene NH, May 27
Registration is required to reserve your seat.
Cheshire Medical Center
580 Court St.
Keene, NH 03431
News about the contemporary American writer of the new book, A Religion of One's Own. Moore is an international keynote speaker and psychotherapist.
"I don’t see religion as an institution, but as a way of being in relation to the world, in which you appreciate the mystery and the infinite that you perceive in nature and how, when you’re participating in the arts, you’re really encountering this deep archetypal world, this world that is invisible to us. This book is about a religion of one’s own — about finding your own way and putting together all these different resources, including psychology. I’ve been a psychotherapist, too, for 30 years, so I like to put psychology and religion together. I call it “care of the soul and spirit” in my language."
"With the end of the odyssey motif in my life has come another kind of peace. I used to feel a need to teach and give talks, hoping to persuade people of the value of lessons I had learned. There was often a short gap between my learning something and the need to profess it. Now I do a lot of teaching and public speaking, but I have no need to convince anyone of anything. I don’t want converts or followers..."Moore includes, "Don’t think that I’m not busy. I travel, teach, speak, and write more than ever. The peace I’m talking about is compatible with a full and active life. It’s the calm core beneath the frenetic exterior, the loss of the existential anxiety about being correct, knowing it all, living properly and not being judged badly."
. . .
"It goes without saying that I hope no one adopts my way of doing things. I don’t recommend it. If I can write about it like this, I probably haven’t learned the lessons deeply enough yet. I suggest that you do what you’ve always done, pursuing goals and making plans, but exposing your mind and heart to deep and worthy ideas that eventually might transform you in your own way, just as my resources have fashioned me."
"Dreamwork, meditation, and life stories are all part of the journey. Thomas draws from his latest book, A Religion of One’s Own, for suggestions on how to shape your life as you follow the ideas of others."
"He was a close friend and colleague of Jungian and archetypal psychologist James Hillman, whose work inspires much of Thomas’ writing and teaching, along with his own lifelong work in spirituality."Tuition: $250
"Moore, formerly of Peterborough and now a Jaffrey resident, sees many people endlessly seeking for the path or religion that will satisfy, but somehow they never arrive at their spiritual home. And that endless seeking can be painful, he said. “Seeking is ultimately frustrating.”She includes, "Much of our deep anxiety comes from fears about death and the meaning of life, Moore said, and when that’s threatened often intolerance and violence follows. We’re better off, he said, having as a foundation the mysterious, rather than what we think are the answers."
Moore said he used to be a seeker, too. “It can be a necessary step,” he said. “I stopped seeking years ago. I gave it up.... I’m not looking for anything, really.”
A Religion of One’s Own is about finding that spiritual home in one’s everyday life. When he thinks of people who have done that, Moore said Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson come to mind. They were all seekers who developed their own ways of connecting with spirituality, then went on to write about it."
"With great versatility and elan, Moore also reveals the value of dream practice, therapy at home, making room for the carnal spirit, seeing the spiritual and the secular as two sides of the same coin, and deriving spiritual fortitude from muses, angels and daimons. As we've seen in his earlier books, he is especially poetic describing how art can become a spiritual path. In these wide-ranging and thought-provoking chapters, Moore reveals the depth dimensions of a well-developed and rounded personal religion that is constantly opening new doors and exploring fresh options."Barque coverage
"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."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."
"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."
"... 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:
"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."
"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.
"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.
"‘The desire to possess and conform to a system of rules to govern behaviour seems to be an innate thing, and I believe it is a good thing. But having a rigid or constricting framework can be problematic. I follow the work of James Hillman in my work quite a lot and one of his very first things he did in branching out on his own was to write about ‘psychological polytheism’ — what he means by that is that there are a lot of things that go on in life and in the soul, and that they can contradict one another. And that is OK — that is the way that it should be. In a polytheistic or a polycentric realm you have rules but you also have absolute freedom, and the trick is to be able to affirm both and have them both coexist. That takes some work, and you have to stay at it every day.’"In this interview, Moore also talks about dreams, symbols, staying with symptoms and a new age of religion. He says:
"‘The gist of my most recent book, A Religion of One’s Own was that we are going through a deep change in the way we think about religion in the world today. I think it is a very positive thing, and that even though we are losing established religion with clear belief systems — we are picking up something much more important. That is an awareness of the sacredness of life and the things that are of the world.’
"We were sent here for a purpose. We have a destiny, a job to do. If we’re doing that job, we find peace and joy even in the midst of difficulties. How do you know what your mission is?
Thomas Moore guides you toward finding and fulfilling it, using the Gnostic story “Hymn of the Pearl,” in which a young man is sent into the world to obtain a precious pearl, as a metaphor for finding our mission."Tuition: $250
"Life is full of sacred moments that have no direct connection to formal religion, or else are the experience of people who are not connected to one of the established religions. Birth is one of those moments, and yet it is increasingly done in the atmosphere of a secular hospital. Yet, the holy knows no bounds. As Emerson said, the miracle of rain is more important than the miracles of religion.
Please read Moore’s essay, then share it on FB and Twitter.As the evolution of thought and culture moves many away from the established religions today, we need a secular theology more than ever. Otherwise, we end up with a purely secular world, one that no longer senses the miracle of rain or the transforming wonder of Old Faithful. A secular world without a sense of the sacred can be ethical but lacks the vision that roots a life in the mysteries that take us out farther and more deeply inward. There's a paradox at work here: The more we appreciate the holy outside of us, the more human we become."
"Moore is the author of the bestselling book Care of the Soul and many other books on deepening spirituality and cultivating soul in every aspect of life."Moore is also listed for 2013.
"My goal is to have no distinction between the spiritual and the secular in my life and person. I don’t want anyone to look at me and say, he’s a very spiritual person. And yet, I long for the most mystical and sacred manner of life I can imagine. I stand in the lake of this world and drink in all the divinity that keeps it moist and nourishing.Advance registration is required.
— Thomas Moore, "This Fractured, Heavenly World", Spirituality & Health (May-June 2014)
"This retreat will show in detail how to find the sacred and to live from the soul in everyday life, adding richness, depth and connection. "Tuition is $250 + Accommodations. A commuter option is available.
"I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech tree …" — Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)Copper Beech Institute
"Thomas Moore recommends re-imagining and re-defining religion entirely, using the ancient traditions from around the world as resources, to be creative rather than passive. He would also intensify our seeing the ordinary things of life — work, parenting, travel, art and play—as sacred and part of our new personal religion."
Dates: Friday 29 August – Monday 1 September 2014
"Lose yourself in the service of love as you explore the mystery of soul in all its uniqueness and embodied sensuality. Join best-selling authors Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul) and Sera Beak (Red, Hot, and Holy), movement and dance guides Dan Leven and Kristi Williamson, and program weaver Maria Sirois to bring forth the sacred spark of divinity within."
"Thomas Moore, Holy Fool. One thing we've noticed about our friend and frequent S&P teacher Thomas Moore is that he's got a great sense of humor and honors the foolish in life as well as the serious. So we asked him to share what he knows about the Holy Fool archetype through an e-course The Holy Fool: Finding Spiritual Liberation through Foolishness and Humor. It will run from September 8 - October 3, 2014. Read more about it and sign up here."
"Starting September 8 and continuing through October 3, through emails mailed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Moore will introduce you to some of his favorite exemplars of the spirit of the Holy Fool (Socrates, Erasmus, Nasruddin, Emily Dickinson) while covering such themes as:— why seeking transcendence is a kind of foolishness
"This is the lesson that interests me most in the Bollingen story: Jung doesn’t miss a beat knowing that "accidents" can be both revealing and useful. Some people say that there are no accidents, that everything has a purpose. But Jung’s story suggests that he believed something different: that some things are indeed accidents, and we have to always be ready to respond to them openly and creatively."Moore describes Jung carving words and images on the stone while suggesting, "Be ready to accept the many things that happen regularly that are not in your plans, the mistakes that may have meaning for you. This is a particular way of living, in which you are not stuck on your plans and expectations and are ready to deal positively and quickly with things that go wrong."
“Every day I add another piece to the religion that is my own,” Dr. Moore writes. “It’s built on years of meditation, chanting, theological study and the practice of therapy — to me a sacred activity.”
"Like all my books, I began with a question I couldn’t answer: Is it possible or even desirable to live your own religion today rather than bind your soul to an institution? In the course of writing, I was able to sort out many important and subtle issues. I feel that the writing of the book has intensified my own spirituality, and I’m more convinced of the ideas in the book than when I began. I found it especially helpful to study the lives of certain remarkable men and women I thought would well embody the idea of a religion of one’s own. I had planned on using Glenn Gould as a main example. I’ve admired him since my teen years. But I took a few important lessons from him and went on. Thoreau became more important than ever. He was someone who lived this philosophy and wrote about it in detail. I think that Walden and his journals are the main inspiration for my book. Emerson and Dickinson, as usual, were also key resources for me, and reading them yet again, I was inspired to create my own religious movement, even if it turns out to be a movement of one.
I’m more convinced than ever that the arts must come back as essential ingredients in a serious and fully lived life, along with spirituality. They go together. Hillman used to say that I was first a musician and then whatever else I was. He never knew how to categorize my work. I see more now how important the arts are to me, especially music, and I now incorporate them more into my daily life. I prefer meditation with art than what people often call mindfulness meditation."The twelve discussion questions may also enrich a personal reading of A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World.
"I'm not interested in helping a person get along in life, and I'm not interested in helping them improve or get better as a person. That's more of an ego kind of project. I'm interested in the soul, which is deeper.When they discuss his new book, A Religion of One's Own, Moore responds:
When someone comes to me for therapy, I'm always listening at a very deep level, because I want to know what their soul is hungry for. I listen to their stories and look for where they are getting in the way of their soul’s unfolding. What is trying to emerge? Where are they headed in spite of themselves?
"I don't think anyone should be confined to one particular system of belief. I wrote A Religion of One's Own to make that clear. It could also be 'a psychology of one’s own.' It’s important to honor the traditions and you can study any branch of psychology you want, but I think if you really want to be someone who is alive in what you're doing and not just following a system, then you want to make it your own in some way. I happened to take it pretty far in making it my own."During their talk about dreams, Kory shares one of her recurring plane dreams. She continues, "So often we therapists get habituated to using language that really lacks imagination. Even in this one minute improvisational therapy that we just did, the myth and the story and the way that you responded just now was almost with a kind of excitement. As opposed to, 'Tell me about your sleep hygiene' or 'what are your automatic thoughts?' That kind of rote diagnostic way of relating to clients."
"Kory: Do you tend to see people for a long time? How does therapy end? You don't want to make them better, so how do you know that they're done?
Moore: There's no done.
Kory: There's no done?
Moore: No. There's no done. There can't be.
Kory: I like that."