Care of the Soul

Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore is a book that I used to read frequently when I was trying to create a spiritual practice for myself out of the mess and muck that is religion. I hate religion. I hate imaginary deities and anti-humanity dogma. But there are positive things I can imagine religion or “spirituality” providing, and a struggled to invent something that would provide those things.

My culture is lacking in ways to talk about matters of the soul. I can submit myself to religion. I can commit myself to psychiatry. Or I can wall myself in with facts and data and pretend that the mysteries of the soul are but data-sets yet uncovered.

22 years after I abandoned Christianity, I’m still looking for better options.

Thomas Moore writes from the perspective of both religion and psychiatry, using the language of both while remaining slightly outside of and critical of both. Many of his books are concerned with soul – or the stuff of ourselves that lies outside dogma and diagnosis.

An Amazon review says:

Care of the Soul is considered to be one of the best primers for soul work ever written. Thomas Moore, an internationally renowned theologian and former Catholic monk, offers a philosophy for living that involves accepting our humanity rather than struggling to transcend it. By nurturing the soul in everyday life, Moore shows how to cultivate dignity, peace, and depth of character.

As I search for what it might mean to be radically self-accepting of my mental states, I’m thinking it’s time for me to read Care of the Soul again.

I’m going to post here about my thoughts as I read. Is anyone interested in doing a more formal book club style reading along with me? I’d set a start date to give everyone time to get the book, figure out an appropriate pace to go, and set a posting schedule for discussions of the sections.

Check out the book on Amazon, see if it interests you, and let me know if you want to participate.