Friday, March 21, 2008

Panel's talk about forgiveness to air on Book TV

As announced on Barque, last week Thomas Moore joined author Kenneth Briggs and filmmaker Martin Doblmeier in a panel discussion about the power of forgiveness. Book TV on C-SPAN2 plans to broadcast this event. Check local listings for air times.

Thank you, Barque member Ken Blackham, for sharing this program item.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spiritual with material manifests the incarnate

In his Deep Spirit column for Resurgence (issue 247 March-April 2008), Thomas Moore urges readers, "Pray to Gaia". After describing divinities associated with Nature in ancient Greece, he continues,
"Renaissance philosophers said that you don’t have to be pagan to appreciate the spirituality of Nature. These various gods and goddesses are facets, they said, of the God many honour as the monotheistic source of life and meaning. In other words, you see God when you stop to wonder at a copper sunset or a misty moon. Nature is the avenue towards nurturing your spirit. It is the way in which the divine most powerfully shows itself.

There is a tendency, even among environmentalists, to adopt the 20th-century way of seeing Nature, as a source of material commodities needed for the heroic building of culture. But that isn’t sufficient motivation for preserving Nature, because it doesn’t address our essence: what we need to survive as humans. We are people of body, soul and spirit. We need constant feeding of our vision, moral sensibility and piety, and if Nature is at all diminished, our spirituality goes into eclipse."
Moore suggests reconciliation between monotheists and pagans: "As long as we keep spirituality and the material world separated, the Earth will be threatened," while offering short prayers and rituals to shake the unconsciousness of our times.

Thank you, Barque member Ken Blackham, for bringing this to our attention.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

New book about forgiveness includes Moore

MARCH 12 UPDATE: Today, as guest columnist for the Washington Post, Kenneth Briggs writes "The Struggle of Forgiveness."
The documentary, The Power of Forgiveness, that includes the views of Thomas Moore, has been released on DVD for public viewing.
"In The Power of Forgiveness, a new book based on the film by Martin Doblmeier..., author Kenneth Briggs presents a conversation of a better way of dealing with anger, resentment and violence through reconciliation and the complex, yet healing, patterns that emerge from the subject of forgiveness."
Briggs will talk about these issues on Wednesday, March 12 at 9 a.m. at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor, Washington D.C. where he’ll be joined by Moderator, Sally Quinn of the Washington Post, Thomas Moore, and Martin Doblmeier. In addition to his film appearance, Moore is interviewed in the new book.

Media and the public are invited to this event.

The DVD and book may be purchased from the Power of Forgiveness site. This press release describes the new book and the National Press Club panel discussion on Wednesday.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Moore responds to relationship questions

Beliefnet has updated its list of Thomas Moore’s "The Soul in Love" columns. For January, a woman asks about tensions about prayers. Her traditions include saying grace and she feels her boyfriend's resistance. Moore responds,
"There has to be a solution that takes both of your sensitivities into account. You could alternate forms of saying grace. Maybe a moment of silent blessing or thanksgiving would feel all right to him [the boyfriend]. Or, maybe you could say your grace occasionally, and have no grace at other times.

These solutions may seem mechanical. They are part of the experiment of finding out how to share a life with someone who has different values and views. Eventually, you may discover a deeper spiritual commonality, where you don't have to work at being mutually respectful. It will just happen.

Creating a good relationship entails some challenging learning on both sides. You may have to reconsider some of your childhood ideas about religion and religious practices. In that regard, your boyfriend's annoyance may have something to teach you. For his part, your boyfriend may have to learn religious tolerance and a deeper appreciation for spiritual traditions. In other words, this conflict has something important to give to each of you. It all depends how maturely you work it out."
Moore’s February column addresses timing - when should a relationship become exclusive? After meeting online and being together with her boyfriend for six weeks, a woman wants to know if their dating profiles should be removed from the online service. Moore says,
"The mere fact that you are asking if it’s time to get serious makes me think that you’re not quite ready yet. In matters of the heart, you many never be completely certain...

I say give it a little more time until you feel clearer and don’t have to ask your question. You will know from your feelings that it’s time to take your name off the dating list."
He concludes, "I can’t give you a magic number of weeks or months for when you'll be ready to have this inner conversation, not to mention talking about it with your boyfriend. You'll just have to follow the calendar of your heart."


Our twenty-first century response to art images

Thomas Moore’s column in the January-February 2008 issue of Spirituality and Health, "Allowing Ourselves to be Seen by Art" may be read online, after free registration, in the Articles area of the S&H site.

Moore writes,
"I define religion at its best as a positive and effective means of relating to the mysteries that define our lives: love, death, birth, illness, marriage, and work, to name a few. A twenty-first century mentality sees these not simply as areas of normal living or as problems with which one must deal but also as mysteries. A twenty-first century religion sanctifies them with sacraments, rituals, sacred stories, and sometimes guardian spirits. The arts serve this kind of religion by giving us strong images for contemplation, for reflecting on the life-defining mysteries, and for educating ourselves so we can live them out more creatively."
He mentions the book Dars´an: Seeing the Divine Image in India by Harvard scholar Diana L. Eck and quotes Meister Eckhart: "The eye with which you see God is the same eye with which God sees you."

Moore also shares,"When I’m in Dublin, I visit [Johannes] Yverni’s Annunciation in the National Gallery of Ireland. I started making pilgrimage to this painting when I was 19. I can’t explain the painting, but I can tell you that it sets aglow a mystery that has shaped me all these years. This painting is not famous, but my experience of this holy, precious, sacramental object makes it worth any effort for dars'an."

Moore writes about our response to art in this column by saying,"I consider all art spiritual to a degree. The key is how we respond. It may not be as important to understand it as to welcome it, treat it with a degree of reverence, and contemplate it." He spoke publically about this topic last month at the Kundalini Art Gallery and Yoga Studio.

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