Sunday, June 05, 2011

How to nourish soul through joy and suffering

Thomas Moore writes Nourishing Our Souls, an undated piece for, in which he includes his understanding of soul: "There are many different ways to look at the soul. I follow the tradition from ancient writings that divides our experience into three parts: the spirit, the soul, and the body. The soul is at the center and has to do with our deepest feelings, thoughts, reflections, and memories. These are the things that bubble up from deep within us and, therefore, are precious to us. We are both inspired and grounded."

He also describes the presence of soul in joy and suffering: "In order to sense the immortality of the soul, we first have to see the soul as a part of our everyday experiences. The soul will find its way through both joy and suffering. I don't recommend looking for suffering by any means, but life gives us some extraordinary challenges — which can be of a physical, mental, emotional, relational, or financial nature. The goal in life is not to be at some level where there are no longer any challenges, but rather to be able to live through those difficulties and to rely on our friends and family and each other."

Moore suggests religion connects intimately with soul and that our spirituality links to daily living: "The traditions and practices and ideas of our individual religions feed our souls; however, it is important that our spiritual experiences also give us something that nourishes our hearts, our imaginations, and our lives. Then religion does not merely remain at the level of ideas; it becomes a spirituality that reaches to the depths of the soul."