Friday, May 6, 2011

topic questions for Care of the Soul

Book discussion group is meeting May 8th to discuss the book Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore.
There is a limit of 8.  We have 8: Susan,Earl,Michael Nobrega,April,Sandy,Harry,Bill,Joyce

We'll probably only have time for nine of these.  I'd like to discuss these quotes from the book.

1. [page 267-loc 3998] The soul is the infinite depth of a person comprising all the many mysterious aspects that go together to make up our identity.
2. [page 286-loc 4274]The emptiness (of which many people complain dominates their lives) comes in part from a failure to let the world in, to perceive it and engage it fully. Art arrests attention, an important service to the soul. Soul cannot thrive in a fast-pace life because being affected (taking things in and chewing on them) requires time. Living artfully, therefore, might require something as simple as pausing. There is no doubt that some people could spare themselves the expense and trouble of psychotherapy simply by giving themselves a few minutes each day for quiet reflection.
3. [page 295-loc 4368] Usually the main problem with life conundrums is that we don't bring to them enough imagination.
4. [page 234-loc3531] fundamentalism....a point of view that can seize any of us about anything. I would define fundamentalism as a defense against the overtones of life. [page 242-loc 3652] If we can get past various fundamentalist attitudes about the spiritual life then many different ways of being spiritual come into view. Fundamentalist attitudes (to avoid) include an attachment to a too simple code of morality, fixed interpretations of stories, and a community in which individual thinking is not prized.
5. [page 8-loc 273] "You work with what is, rather than with what you wish were there.......... Therapy sometimes emphasizes change so strongly that people often neglect their own natures and are tantalized by images of some ideal normality..that may always be out of reach." [page 9-loc 27 "] "find deeper respect for what is actually there"
6. [page 190-loc 2932] The purpose of the vow is to promote community by owning all things in common. What if, as a nation, a city, or a neighborhood, we all took such a vow? We would be striving toward a deep sense of community by feeling ownership of common property.
7. [page 164-loc 2540] Epicurus lived a simple life and taught a philosophy of pleasure. The motto of his Florentine academy was displayed on a banner that read “PLEASURE IN THE PRESENT.” Pleasure does not necessarily refer to the gratification of the senses or the frenzied pursuit of new experiences, possessions, or entertainments. [page 172-loc 2667] You should walk as often as possible among plants that have a wonderful aroma, spending a considerable amount of time every day among such things.
8. [page 210-loc 3183]: "Our retreat from the world may have to be more serious and more constantly present in our lives than a weekly counseling visit or an occasional camping trip." "Parks and gardens could be protected at all costs by a city sensitive to the need of the soul for retreat."
9. [page 171- loc 2648] "Our response to this disease could be to abandon the mass culture of plastic reproductions and recover a sensitivity to things of quality and imagination."
10. [page 17-loc 403] "People seem to be afraid that if they reflect on their moral principles they might lose their ethical sensitivity altogether. But that is a defensive approach to morality.......One who cares for the soul becomes someone at ease with idiosyncrasies and the unexpected."
11. [page 232-loc 3501] Spirituality is not always specifically religious. Mathematics is spiritual in the broad sense, abstracting from the concrete details of life. A walk through the woods on a sunny fall day can be a spiritual activity.
12. [page 284-loc 4252] We don't have to lose pleasure and fun in order to give the soul what it needs, but we do have to give it attention and articulation.
13. [page 5-loc 215] "Care of the soul begins with observance of how the soul manifests itself.....Observing the soul, we keep an eye on the latest addiction, a striking dream, or a troubling mood"
14. [page 204-loc 3105] ....the transformation of ordinary experience into the stuff of soul is all important. The soul feeds on life and digests it, creating wisdom and character out of the fodder of experience.
15. [page 203-loc 3084] The soul thrives on a spirituality such as spirit of the family, arising from traditions and values that have been part of the family for generations.

20. His soulful father idea explained on page 38 (loc 680) didn't ring true to me. I prefer George Lakoff's nurturing parents analogy. In other words I think the idea of the all knowing father is bull.
20.[page 3-loc 194] "....carefully choosing colors, spices, oils, places to walk, countries to visit--all very concrete decisions of everyday life that day by day either support or disturb the soul. ....Ancient psychologiest taught that our own souls are inseparable from the world's soul, and that both are found in all the many things that make up nature and culture."
20.[page 50-loc 858] "Some modern psychologies see the child within as a figure of creativity and spontaneity. But Jung's child is more complex.........if we are going to acknowledge the child and care for this figure, too, without trying to improve upon it, then we have to find a place for wandering, dislocation, and helplessness. These, too, are the child"
20.[page 56-loc 940]Jung explains that when we meet something of the shadow in another, we often feel repulsed.
20.[page 66-loc 1091]When you find tolerance in yourself for the competing demands of the soul, life becomes more complicated, but also more interesting. An example might be the contradictory needs of solitude and social life.
20.[page 78-loc 306] It may be useful to consider love less as an aspect of relationship and more as an event of the soul.
20.[page 93--loc 1504]-The Renaissance humanist Erasmus says in his book In Praise of Folly that people are joined in friendship through their foolishness.
20.[page 120-loc 1889] In spite of its archetypal, universal contents, for each individual the soul is highly idiosyncratic. Power begins in knowing this special soul.
20.[page 146--loc 2295] Because depression is one of the faces of the soul, acknowledging it and bringing it into our relationships fosters intimacy.
20.[page 158-loc 2449] On the whole, however, we have only an unsophisticated understanding of the relationship between a particular physical symptom and the emotions. ....... Listening to the messages of the body is NOT the same as blaming the patient. .......A specialist in disease should begin his questions for diagnosis with issues of pleasure. Are you fighting pleasure somewhere or in some part of your body?

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