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Selections from Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore, Copyright 1992 by Thomas Moore. Reprinted with permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 


"Care of the soul is a continuous process that concerns itself not so much with "fixing" a central flaw as with attending to the small details of everyday life."

Thomas Moore, 
Care of the Soul
, Part One

Once a week people in the thousands show up for their regular appointment with a therapist. They bring problems they have talked about many times before, problems that cause them intense emotional pain and make their lives miserable. Depending on the kind of therapy employed, the problems will be analyzed, referred back to childhood and parents, or attributed to some key factor such as the failure to express anger, alcohol in the family, or childhood abuse. Whatever the approach, the aim will be health or happiness achieved by the removal of these central problems.

Care of the soul is a fundamentally different way of regarding daily life and the quest for happiness. The emphasis may not be on problems at all. One person might care for the soul by buying or renting a good piece of land, another by selecting an appropriate school or program of study, another by painting his house or his bedroom. Care of the soul is a continuous process that concerns itself not so much with "fixing" a central flaw as with attending to the small details of everyday life, as well as to major decisions and changes.

Care of the soul may not focus on the personality of on relationships at all, and therefore it is not psychological in the usual sense. Tending the things around us and becoming sensitive to the importance of home, daily schedule, and maybe even the clothes we wear, are ways of caring for the soul. When Marsilio Ficino wrote his self-help book, The Book of Life, five hundred years ago, he placed emphasis on 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. 

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