Original Self

Original Self [Book]

Book Overview:  In Original Self, spiritual pioneer Thomas Moore guides readers back to their God-given personalities through fifty heart-lifting meditations. This inspiring collection offers fresh interpretations of living with originality rather than conformity, presenting multidimensional portraits of the creative self and different angles from which to top one’s primal emotions and possibilities. Learn what it means to live from the burning essence of the heart, with the creativity that comes from allowing the soul to blossom in its own colors and shapes.  With his usual grace and insight, Moore counters the prevailing assumptions of the day and offers strikingly unorthodox views on what is virtuous and healthy, opening up possibilities for a renewal of the way we live socially and in our private lives.

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“Yet we are what we read.  We are the educators of our own personalities.  Certainly we have great influence in the crafting of our children.  If we brought half the intelligence to the making of souls that we bring to the making of machines, we would be people of character and imagination.  We would be sharp and therefore less inclined to kill and cheat each other.  We would know where to find the deep pleasures, so we would be less desperate for shallow entertainments and the ephemeral gratifications of gadgets.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self

“The capacity for solitude is a prerequisite for intimacy with another.  Otherwise, it may well be that the desperate search for a partner is merely the expression of personal emptiness, and if that is the case, any relationship will be founded on weak grounds and will not satisfy the yearning for connection.  The expression ‘soul mate’ can mean a partnership in which the soul is engaged, in which one’s own soul connects with another’s.  This is no small thing, and it reaches far deeper than the resolution of any superficial search for romance.  Part of what we long for in our wish for a soul mate is intimacy with and the expression of our own soul.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self

“Many people are desperate to find a soul mate, someone who responds to their deep image of love and intimacy.  They go to great lengths to meet people, and they spend considerable time feeling achingly deprived of the joys of intimacy they imagine.  Their attitude is summed up in the frequent lament: When am I going to find the person who is right for me?  This approach to love seems to reflect the narcissism of the times.  When am I going to get what I need for my growth and my satisfaction? An alternative would be to give all that attention either to one’s own life – developing one’s talents, educating oneself in culture, and simply becoming an interesting person – or to a needy society.  This crafting of a life is a positive way of preparing oneself for intimacy.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self

“It may be more important to be awake than to be successful, balanced, or healthy.  What does it mean to be awake? Perhaps to be living with a lively imagination, responding honestly and courageously to opportunity and avoiding the temptation to follow mere habit or collective values.  It means to be an individual, in every instance manifesting the originality of who we are.  This is the ultimate form of creativity – following the lead of the deep soul as we make a life.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self

“We are a population that is satisfied with sound-bite news, instant and opinionated political analysis, manipulative popular psychology, and insubstantial novels and magazines.  At the same time, and understandably, we feel the absence of meaning and are speechless when we learn of atrocities in our society.  We don’t know how to think about them because we don’t know how to think, and we don’t know how to think because we don’t believe that thinking for its own sake is worthy of our attention.  We educate our children to make a good living rather than to become thinking persons, and often we honor as celebrities those who have not made a genuine contribution to society but who mirror our own madness.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self

“Long life is indeed a blessing, but maybe we overdo our concern for the length of our lives and give insufficient attention to the passion we bring to whatever time we have.  The meaning and purpose of life are great mysteries, and in that light a very brief life, of only minutes, can be full and rounded.  The soul has appeared in the flesh; then it returns to its home of origin.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self

“We may come to know our friends and lovers over years of conversation and experience, but we may eventually realize that it is enough to love them without knowing what they are all about.  We may not approve of everything they do, and we may not appreciate their eccentric ways, but still we know and appreciate them.  We have faith that in the dimness of our ignorance we have the opportunity to give ourselves more fully to their reality.  Unconditional love means that we don’t love on the condition that we understand.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self

“Almost every day we are asked to extend the range of our acquaintance with life.  It is one of several ways to live intensely, and it is also a way to prepare for death.  For death is the ultimate stranger.  This is not necessarily a morbid thought, because only by allowing death to play a role in daily life do we really live.  Opening to another society or another individual – they are two levels of culture – we die a little death in relation to what has become familiar.  But those little deaths create openings to new life.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self

“When we are living only a portion of what a human being is capable of, our lives are incomplete.  I don’t mean that we each have to do everything possible in life, but that the more possibilities we can imagine, the richer our lives will be.  Defending ourselves against the stranger is a way of keeping out our own potentiality.  The diminishment of our acquaintances is a diminishment of ourselves.  The most challenging stranger is life itself, or the soul, the face and source of vitality.  Life is always presenting new possibilities ,and we may fear that bountifulness.  It may seem safer to be content with what we have and what we are, and so we cling to the status quo.  But in these matters there is no convenient plateau.  When we refuse a new offering of life, we develop emotional calluses.  The habit of acting from fear sets in quickly and becomes steadily more rigid.  Refusing life, we become attendants of death.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self

 

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