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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Dark Nights of the Soul

Thomas Moore signs books at
Left Bank Books in St. Louis,
Missouri last May. 
Additional photos from the
Left Bank Books event.

Review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat of Dark Nights of the Soul for Spirituality & Health.
Review in PDF by Dennis Patrick Slattery for Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Read an excerpt: The night sea journey
You are not Alone offers eight free excerpts online.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Moore at the University of Southern Maine

Thomas Moore will speak at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn campus Thursday 28 April 2005. His topic,“The Soul of the University” will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Room 170 at USM/L-A on 51 Westminster Street in Lewiston. The public is invited to attend.

Earlier on the same day at noon, Thomas Moore will speak in the Woodbury Campus Center Amphitheater on the Portland campus. Both events are free of charge and the public is invited.

Notice published by MaineToday.
Notice published by USM/L-A News.
Contact: Roger Philippon
Assistant Dean of Student and Community Affairs
University of Southern Maine/Lewiston-Auburn
Telephone: 207 753-6560

Active Peace

"Unwise wars and unenlightened political decisions can weigh heavily on society. It has to own up to its neglect and its atrocity, while at the same time proclaiming its highest values. A society is like an individual. In the face of a dark night it can either become defensive and avoid the challenge of new life, or it can reform itself and discover in the darkness where it has gone wrong."
-- Thomas Moore, Dark Nights of the Soul
Since this week is the second anniversary of U.S. command in Baghdad, it’s timely to consider Thomas Moore’s focus on peace. Last year Moore supported Dennis Kucinich because he was the only person Moore saw speaking directly for peace. Moore
,"It just seems to me that the only way to follow the Gospel of Jesus is to clearly and unflinchingly work for peace. I don't accept the idea that you make peace by going to war." Last July, when Moore spoke at a political event in Cambridge MA, Rick Heller reported, "I was very impressed by Thomas Moore, a former Catholic monk and author of Care of the Soul. While [what] he shares is very much on the left politically, he spoke about overcoming polarization, and engaging in dialogue with people on the right of the political spectrum. He was touching on ... the way to get beyond angry political debate and bring people together to solve problems."
Moore has shared his views about nonviolence as the weapon of the brave. After 9/11 he wrote, "Peace is not the absence of violence. It is the positive condition in which we appreciate each other's ways sufficiently to need the other and wish for the other's prosperity." A thought for internal division and international conflict.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Evil in the World

Thomas Moore suggests that we shift our attention when assessing the presence and active perpetuation of evil around us: "It's societies and governments that can act demonically. Focusing on 'possessed' people is naive at best, dangerous at worst."
Moore's view: Where Demons Lurk
Resources to help us understand what's happening globally:
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005
State of the World’s Children 2005
IUCN Water & Nature Initiative
World Development Indicators 2005: The World Bank reports that nearly 11 million children under the age of 5 die annually in developing countries, often from common infections that would be prevented or cured in wealthier nations. The 401-page report presents the mandatory statistics and charts, but as the bank's senior VP for human development, Jean-Louis Sarbib affirmed, "behind every statistic is a person, a child, an orphan, a mother."

Monday, April 11, 2005

Fast Forward to September

Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts)

May we exist like a lotus,
At home in the muddy water.
Thus we bow to life as it is.
- Zen verse

Thomas Moore has contributed to Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts) by Ezra Bayda with Josk Bartok, published by Wisdom Books. These reflections address "the importance of drawing meaning from life's paradoxes — opening to the unwanted, recognizing the happiness in difficulty, and living for now rather than later." The book will be available early autumn 2005.
Ezra Bayda studied with Charlotte Joko Beck, founder of the Ordinary Mind Zen School and he now teaches at the Zen Center of San Diego. In 2003 Bayda wrote At Home in the Muddy Water.

Life With Death

Thomas Moore has written the foreword for Marjorie Ryerson’s Companions for the Passage: Stories of the Intimate Privilege of Accompanying the Dying which was released by University of Michigan Press last month. According to the Press, Ryerson shares "stories of people who have been with and cared for a loved one at the moment of death." The description continues, "Some of the interviewees are religious, some not; some encouraged their loved ones to accept death, others to fight it to the end...Possessing an affirmative quality that is anything but sentimental, ultimately these stories celebrate the experience of being present at the death of a loved one."
In 2001, Moore contributed to Megory Anderson's Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life. At that time he wrote:
"It isn't easy to live and die meaningfully in a society that has forgotten its natural religious roots. We think we're smart and sophisticated because we have outgrown the need for ritual and prayer. We have vanquished religion intellectually and are therefore surprised when, faced with death or illness or with the dying of a loved one, we don't have the answers to the basic questions. And so we have to learn all over again, remembering our traditions, if we're lucky enough to have had them, and looking for someone to help deal with mysteries we've ignored.
Megory Anderson covers most of the difficult questions associated with the act of dying and attendant care, and her recommendations are intelligent, inventive, and mercifully humane. She can tell us not to shock a relative by holding a drumming session at the deathbed if the relative wasn't into drumming. The basic principle here is very important: Don't confuse your own needs and enthusiasms (more often, neuroses) with the needs of the dying person. Megory is someone who obviously has a background in ritual and has spent enough years at it, with sufficient attention and skepticism, to know the real thing from the merely sentimental. I always get nervous when people talk about making up rituals, but this book, I'm happy to say, is a solid guide. I've read quite a few books on dying, and one of the remarkable things that impresses me about them is how they teach me to live with care and appreciation."
Moore has described his own acquaintance with death beginning when he was five years old: Dwelling on Death Isn't Neurotic; It's Profoundly Healthy.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The downunder interview about down under

Easter Sunday, Australia's Rachael Kohn, host of The Spirit of Things, talked with Thomas Moore while he explored ideas in his most recent book, Dark Nights of the Soul.
Interview Transcript 27 March 2005

Two years ago, Kohn interviewed Moore about The Soul's Religion.
Interview Transcript 30 March 2003

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Dark Nights of the Soul wins award

Thomas Moore's award winner for best Psychology Book

Dark Nights of the Soul recently won the award for Best Psychology Book at the Books for a Better Life Awards ceremony held in New York City.
Read an excerpt: Jonah
Read an excerpt: Beauty
Read Moore's handwritten answers to BookPage questions
Listen to Moore interview on CBC’s Tapestry program. Scroll to bottom of CBC page for audio file. Air date: 24 October 2004

Friday, April 01, 2005

Deep Spirit column

Thomas Moore is a regular contributor to Resurgence Magazine. His Deep Spirit column for March - April 2005 digs into cultivating our imagination about gardens:
The Garden of the Planets

"As she talks, her lips breathe spring roses:
I was Chloris, who am now called Flora."
Ovid, Fasti (V.194-195)

Care of the Soul column

Thomas Moore writes his Care of the Soul column for
Spiritualty & Health.The Radish of Immortality in the March - April 2005 issue is available. Check Barque: Thomas Moore's Work for additional Care of the Soul columns which may be read online.

Why this site?

Thomas Moore's official site is Care of the Soul. Occasionally additional web resources become available, interesting to those who are attracted to his writings and explorations. I hope that this site, Barque: Thomas Moore, will help us to find such links in the bobbing, tidal, ephemeral, impermanent world of the web.
I teach at Centennial College’s Centre for Creative Communication in Toronto. The Centre’s programs attract talented students pursuing careers in journalism, film, broadcasting, advertising, visual arts, and new media design. While students hone their craft skills, I encourage them to go deep ― in course projects and in life. Moore’s work leads in this direction. Others will find different value in his writings. Please email if you find new online sources about Thomas Moore's work. As in nature, we're starting small, sensitive to the elements, flexible to the environment.
Deborah Jessop, Editor

"A man is born gentle and weak.
At his death he is hard and stiff.
Green plants are tender and filled with sap.
At their death they are withered and dry.
Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death.
The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.
Thus an army without flexibility never wins a battle.
A tree that is unbending is easily broken.
The hard and strong will fall.
The soft and weak will overcome."
-- Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching