Saturday, April 04, 2009
Care of the Soul
Getting my hands on a copy of Thomas Moore's, Care of the Soul, I flipped it open to discover, as often happens when I purchase a used book, interesting underlining from the last book owner. In this case, the underlining begins in the author's Introduction to his book. A brief sharing here -
"Therefore, this book, my own imagination of what a self-help manual could be, is a guide offering a philosophy of soulful living and techniques for dealing with everyday problems without striving for perfection or salvation."
The author continues, "The emotional complaints of our time, complaints we therapists hear every day in our practice, include -
emptiness, meaninglessness, vague depression, disillusionment about marriage, family, and relationship, a loss of values, yearning for personal fulfillment, a hunger for spirituality
All of these symptoms reflect a loss of soul and let us know what the soul craves. 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 lack of quality."
I am eager to dive further into the book's text and if you're a regular reader of MindSieve, you know you'll receive a quote here and there, along with my questions - always my questions, probably never my answers!
The brief sentences that I've shared with you make me wonder about our world population's yearning for its collective soul in this time in global history that those "things" we've gathered to feed our souls are obviously NOT feeding our souls. Regrettably in many cases, our grasping for things has robbed us of even an ability to feed our bodies, or care for them healthwise personally, or healthwise globally. The poorest of our poor globally do not have the time that I do to ponder whether they can care for their soul or not - to care for their soul in order to escape the emptiness of their daily struggle for existence probably does not rate as highly as whether they will have a drink of clean water today or a bowl of watered-down something or another to eat. But for those of us, including me in that us, who have "everything" - homes, cars, pets, clothing, jewelry, computers, and more gadgets to play music than there is music - do I, do we do enough to protect, to feed our souls? It's a question I'm going to explore with Thomas Moore in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, I think I can count the ways that I currently feed my soul. Are there enough ways for me? Can you, do you, do I, find our bodies better fed than our souls? Should we be stepping on the scales? What kind of scales can I, can we use for this measurement? I've got some good questions brewing for myself - how about you - hungry?