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Friday, August 19, 2016

See the physical imaginatively for its full vitality

Thomas Moore's blog post today "Your Body is Not Physical" at Patheos continues his focus on the body, also the theme of his recent column "Angels and the Brain" in Spirituality & Health magazine. Today he says:
"I have a strong mother complex, which means that I look at the world and identify with its suffering. Accordingly, I write a book called Care of the Soul. Care is a maternal word. Thanks to the strong presence of the Great Mother, I became a psychotherapist, channeling my innate maternal nature into the work I do. I don’t look at the world plainly and directly, but through a deep set of images that I could call my own mythology, my own stories and memories that shape my approach to life.
I’m not saying that the world isn’t physically out there but that I can’t participate in it without my imagination coloring everything I see. It’s the same with my body and with the world of things.  All of it is both real and imaginal. The objects I encounter, whether they are people or the things of the natural world, are meaningful. I relate to them emotionally and understand them in the light of my particular imagination."
He urges, "It might be better simply to allow the world to be alive, of its own accord: To have a personal relationship with the things of the world. To suspend your disbelief in the world’s soul. To grant the things of the world their full vitality."

Another helpful, related article by Moore is "Reclaim Your Spiritual Growth" from Spirituality & Health, March-April 2014:
... I discovered that I had a body that was not just physical but one that manifested emotional pain and symptoms associated with meaning. Now when I see ancient paintings that depict the yogic “subtle body” — maps of human physiology that represent different planes of spiritual and emotional existence — I know what I’m looking at. I know from experience that I can get sick in my soul and in my spirit."