Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life

by Thomas Moore

Hardcover, 1992



Local notes



Harpercollins (1992), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 312 pages


A therapist draws on the world's religions, music, art, and his own experiences with patients to examine the connections between spirituality and the problems of individuals and society.


Original publication date


Physical description

312 p.; 9.2 inches


0060165979 / 9780060165970

User reviews

LibraryThing member maiadeb
I read this book during my adult college days and it has become the focus or beginning point for me studying today's new spirituality. We are so far removed from the natural rhythm and the basics of life/living that we forget to just Be and remember what is truly vital and real to our experiences as human beings.
Thomas Moore is a deep, reverant person and his writings allow us to see the sacredness in our everyday beingg and give us the incentive to try and allow the sacred to emerge and be honored as it does so.… (more)
LibraryThing member justmeRosalie
Funny that this looks like a good read right now...can't figure why. I have had this book for several years and it always looked too mystical, like it would be quite impossible to relate to. Now, I have copied three pages of quote already and I am still in chapter one. It promises to look through the Renaissance window a lot, and refer to mythology, but still, I am rather enamored with it at this point. It makes me feel calm. Does that make sense.?… (more)
LibraryThing member devafagan
I found a lot of interesting, thought-provoking stuff here, as witnessed by the number of flags I have stuck in my copy to mark notable passages. I had to read it relatively slowly in order to absorb it (and occasionally because I hit a chapter that wasn't as compelling, especially those that focused on applying Greek myths to psychology, which was a cool concept but felt a bit forced in places).

I especially liked the sections on the role of arts/beauty and religion in the development of soul, and on depression.
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LibraryThing member sumariotter
I read this book years ago but I frequently remember stories and examples from it. One of the major insights that I gained from Thomas Moore is that there is a value to depression/sadness and that the only way out of it is to really go into it. I feel that reading this book helped me to deal with many events that came afterwards in a much more present way. There's much more to be said about this book but I've have to re-read it first!… (more)
LibraryThing member dbsovereign
A truly remarkable book! Reading this book can change your life. It can make your life richer, help you remember your dreams, and prepare you to face death. Makes one realize how empty a world can be when one fails to nourish the soul. Along with Victor Frankel's book _Man's Search for Meaning_, this book should be essential reading for everyone who feels overwhelmed by the existential condition.… (more)
LibraryThing member MrDickie
A good book for anyone involved in personal soul work.
LibraryThing member mindyshalleck
This book changed my life. I met Thomas Moore and was as impressed by him as his work.
LibraryThing member StFrancisofAssisi
In this special twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Thomas Moore’s bestselling Care of the Soul, which includes a new introduction by the author, readers are presented with a revolutionary approach to thinking about daily life—everyday activities, events, problems, and creative opportunities—and a therapeutic lifestyle is proposed that focuses on looking more deeply into emotional problems and learning how to sense sacredness in ordinary things.

Basing his writing on the ancient model of “care of the soul”—which provided a religious context for viewing the everyday events of life—Moore brings “care of the soul” into the twenty-first century. Promising to deepen and broaden the readers’ perspectives on their life experiences, Moore draws on his own life as a therapist practicing “care of the soul,” as well as his studies of the world’s religions and his work in music and art, to create this inspirational guide that examines the connections between spirituality and the problems of individuals and society.
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LibraryThing member JayLivernois
Although a best-seller in its day, time has not been kind to the writing in this book as today the prose sounds preachy, redundant, and too ethereal. It is part of the literary genre of existence as illness. As stated in the first sentence of the Introduction by Thomas Moore, "The great malady of the twentieth century, ... ", sees that century, or probably any century for that matter, and plain existence, as plagued and sick. Well, call me Ishmael too.… (more)
LibraryThing member MrsLee
Thomas Moore undertakes to define the soul, and the differences between spirituality and soul needs. This is not a "how to fix yourself" book. If you are looking for quick and simple directions on how to have a healthy soul, one, two, three, this is not the book for you. I think what he is trying to do, is to convince the reader first, that there is such a thing as soul, and second, how to define it and look for it in our daily lives.

I don't believe that I understood the half of this book, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. In fact, I am keeping it because I want to return to it occasionally to examine passages again. The first few chapters were the most difficult for me. Moore gave some examples of how he helped people who came to him for therapy and related their experiences or behaviors to certain mythological figures. It is interesting, having read Robert Graves' The Greek Myths not long ago, to see the complete and utter opposite reading of them which Moore gives. Graves interprets them historically, Moore uses them as universal figures to define humanity and soul needs. They could both be right, and I suppose that is why the Myths have endured. This section of the book was difficult for me, because it seemed a bit woo-woo at times, and when Moore talked about his therapy techniques, well, if I were a patient, I would be frustrated because he isn't clear about how to overcome difficulties (which is his whole point), rather he encourages patients to explore them for soul food. Here is where I lack the ability to describe the contents. I will say though, that having read this book, I was able to gain a different perspective on some issues at work I am having with co-workers. It hasn't solved them. I can't "fix" them, however, something has shifted and the torment I was having has changed. Not gone, but viewed differently.

The chapters which resonated more with me were those near the end which defined "soul" and the differences between that and spirituality.

When the author speaks of faith, he isn't speaking of creeds or specific religions. He is speaking of the mysteries which move our souls. He says, if we allow ourselves none of those mysteries, we are denying a crucial element of our soul. For me, this can happen when I am examining some form of life or nature, whether plant, animal or mineral. Pondering its essence, its origin, its nature, its function, all of that creates awe in my heart, or my soul. The more I understand it, the more awe I experience, if I slow down and allow the awe to enter, and don't simply file away the facts in my brain, moving on to something else without pondering and giving way to the wonder. The author says even a mathematician can experience awe in their profession and the perfection or imperfection of numbers and equations. Whatever. ;)

I'm going to put some quotes here which I have underlined in the book for my own purposes.
"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."

"The way through the world is more difficult to find than the way beyond it." - Wallace Stevens in "Reply to Papini"

To sum up, the author encourages people to search for soul, to allow it room in their lives, through beauty, painful experiences, love and sorrow. His thought is that any of life's strong emotions, if allowed in and looked at with imagination, pondered and experienced, can feed soul. However, if we load ourselves down with "busy" work each and every day, if we focus only on the material aspects of life, if we don't use our imagination to look at problems, we are denying ourselves a deep part of our personhood and that leads to sickness and mental illness.
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LibraryThing member 3wheeledlibrarian
Very thought provoking. Has shown me a path for dealing with one of the primary disconnects in my life.




(233 ratings; 3.9)
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