Book Report - Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore

By: Jeannette M. Nieves, Legal Assistant/General Practice Division

Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul is a courageous meditation upon the art of “soulful” living.  He writes his definition of a soul as: “Not a thing but a quality or dimension of experiencing life and ourselves.  It has to do with depth, value, relatedness, heart and personal substance.”

He visualizes having a soul as the seat of emotions and the core of our lives.  He associates “soul” with satisfaction, depth, community, love, attachment and meaning.   He claims that once you have lost your soul it will reveal in different forms.  Moore claims that restlessness, emptiness, disillusionment, loss of values, addiction, insecurity and frustration are the contemporary forms of that loss.

Moore explains that intellect wants all well and good for the purposeful nature of the mind, however, the soul craves depth of reflection, layers of meaning and all that enrich the texture of an image and please the soul by giving it food for rumination.

This author throughout the book makes slight suggestions of what the soul means to him.  It is my understanding that he sees the soul as the part of us that imagines the world.  The soul is the artist that creates the world that we inhabit.  If or when we are stressed, unappreciated, undernourished or in any way unbalanced our world continues to function but it will lack depth, meaning and value for us.

This book suggests that we should take care of our soul in three steps.  First; paying attention.  Stretch your imagination so the scene around you become artful.  Second; accept what you see.  Our whole world suffers when we don’t accept the light and the darkness.  And Third; surround ourselves with objects, people and situations that are rewarding to contemplate.

This is a great book for any of us who could use help surviving and learning from personal troubles, tragedies and follies.  Also, it may be a great tool for anyone who will relate “spirituality” to everyday life.