Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Uniquely You

Emotions, and the openness to the inter-twining of them  to discern a sense of deep spirit, a personal sense of the uniquely form  you, is a central task in the spiritual life.
As many religious thinkers have written, it is in the opening of the self, the stillness of the mind that what is essential arises, that enlightenment becomes possible; yet it is not as a striving or as a goal, but as the natural result of a lived life.
By experiences we learn the meaning of ourselves in the world; the oneness of all in our place is what Moore in his books seeks to examine.

He writes that it is not intellect ultimately, but living knowledge that makes a self. Yet, he does at times, fall into philosophical banter. That is his background and his training.
As a Roman Catholic,Moore came of age in the time before the "great transformation" of the Church, before Vatican II, before the rise of Pope John Paul II. His experiences may be unlike other's. Despite this, he offers valuable wisdom about the simplest and yet most complex of life, the human mind.
Writing in his book, The Care of the Soul Moore addresses the deep soul as found in the "emotions, relationships and culture... a way to be spiritual that is honest, close to physical life and emotion... [not]the opposite of spirituality [which] is escape... [Life] is to be made sense of in the depths of experience, in the never ending efforts to make sense of life, and in the ordeals that can be seen as spiritual initiations rather than failures to achieve a self."

In his book, Thomas Moore allows, he searches out
within the great tangle of human emotion, of perceptions and feelings, the great  impossible, the paradoxical, and the apparent failures that seem to comprise one's life.
He recommends in response to human emotional suffering "a shift from cure to caring." Trying to be cured might be another type of perfectionism. In the human life, when seen as a sort of comedy, we all fail, we all fall on our faces. Taking ourselves so seriously, we forget that it is human to fail, it is human not to be perfect. 
And it is human to love, even that what we don't fully understand, even that we see as lacking, like a child; still we love, in full knowledge of imperfection. In doing so, we may ultimately learn of a holy foolishness which broadens and deepens our spirituality, making the self more resilient, more durable in the process.

One of the ways through this life process is by emptiness, Sunyata. Moore describes the empty self as not a loss, but a liberation, an opening for the possible. "Spiritual emptiness doesn't lead to resignation, or depression... it gives hope, frees us from anxiety...free from having to be in control."
Yet emptiness doesn't work if it becomes a project, to be controlled and directed. Emptiness is an active stillness, an allowance of what is, or may be.
 It is the perception that an angry bull is charging to you in an arena and stepping aside rather than confronting as it passes by. "Emptiness itself has to be empty." As a way, it is both an art and a practice.

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