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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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