Thomas Moore's "An Enchanted Life"
is available in the archives of Spirituality & Health
for July-August. In this article he says,
"Practicality and the exploitation of resources make it difficult to find enchantment in the modern world. Few things are as densely infused with spirit as a river, yet in town after town our rivers are hidden behind industry and commerce. A river could be the main source of soul in a village or town, but it has to be honored as something special, even magical, or it succumbs to pragmatism and efficiency. If I had the power to restore soul to America, I would start with its rivers, cleaning them up and making them beautifully accessible.
But enchantment is not to be discovered only in the natural world. Ficino considered architecture the most powerful of the arts. A building can put you under a spell by its materials and forms. Or, it may be built to be merely practical. In that difference lies its soulfulness or lack of soul, its ability to waken the soul and spirit or its power to put them to sleep. To know the difference and to construct enchanting buildings, you need depth of feeling and imagination.
The life of soul and spirit is not an abstract enterprise, a matter of knowledge and intention. It is a life of intense sensual engagement with the local, physical world around you. For a soulful world is a kind of incarnation of spirit and a spiritualizing of material. As Jung said, the soul isn't in you; you are in the soul."
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