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

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  14,435 ratings  ·  373 reviews
This "New York Times" bestseller (more than 200,000 hardcover copies sold) provides a path-breaking lifestyle handbook that shows how to add spirituality, depth, and meaning to modern-day life by nurturing the soul.
Paperback, 312 pages
Published January 26th 1994 by Harper Perennial (first published January 26th 1988)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  14,435 ratings  ·  373 reviews

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May 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
The chapter "Gifts of Depression" is phenomenal. One cannot feel true happiness until they've felt true pain. Our society today is so focused on the quick-fix in order to 'feel' happy, that we don't allow people to go through the NORMAL ups and downs of life. It is NORMAL to hurt, and cry, and feel pain. By going through those emotions we are able to move on to greater happiness. I would not give up the pain in my life for anything in this world. Nothing.
Candace Morris
Jun 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those suffering under self-hatred
Recommended to Candace by: my counselor
There will be many revisions of this review because I will probably have to read and re-read this book for my entire life just to fully absorb it.

Freaking Thomas Moore. He grabs my soul where no other nonfiction spiritual author has managed. The other night, I craved some spiritual comfort (don’t' even talk to me about opening my bible right now! :), and his words jumped from the pages and balmed my broken soul. Let me share some of my favorite passage
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another book I had forgotten that I'd read until I saw it on my feed via a GR friend who just rated it. Read this in the early nineties.
Jun 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who want a realistic, compassionate view of human nature
Many of the religions I've been exposed to preach reaching for an impossible ideal, and my attempts as transcendence have left me inevitably frustrated with myself, others, and my life. That is why I appreciate Thomas Moore's philosophy. Here is, in a nutshell: don't try to transcend your humanity, embrace it.

Moore's ideas would resonate with spiritual wanderers and people who view life as an artistic work in progress.

Here is what I took away from the book:

-When Moore was a therapi
Hussam Elkhatib
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It takes the reader to great depths within the realm of their soul. There are no words that may describe what this great book can offer to someone in the midst of their suffering, as it provides healing that comes with a deep understanding. Such outlook could replenish contentment and restore warmth to someone's life with a reason. Thomas Moore had valuable information to share. He also contributed significant knowledge that enriches both the mind and soul. Highly recommended!
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Ok, the title sounds cheesy, but this is basically the best book of all time. It has absolutely informed my approach to my life, my friends', and my clinical work. Basically, Moore addresses what he terms our culture's overly "hygenic" approach to mental health - the idea that we need to clean up and get rid of undesirable parts of ourselves. Having been educated in theology, psychology, and musicology, Moore is in a good position to advocate for a polytheistic approach. He does not mean that li ...more
Leslie Reese
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Rowena who suggested we “buddy-read” bell hooks’ 1995 book Art On My Mind earlier this year, my love for that book was re-kindled. Like I told Zanna who recently began reading Art On My Mind --- “this book is my jam.”

In her essay “The Poetics of Soul: Art for Everyone” ---hooks takes to the pulpit to speak about the sanctity of the soul as revealed in artworks created by Alison Saar. She cites Thomas Moore’s book Care of the Soul (1992) in this essay about four times, which is what made me curi
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, self-care
Care of the soul is much neglected by the individual in our society and this neglect effects personal happiness, how we view relationships, and our feeling of fulfillment. Soul is who we are and soul is the prescription we need for our sicknesses and disorders of mind.

Moore, writing in 1992, definitely saw clearly the problems of the future: "One day I would like to make up my own DSM-III with a list of disorders I have seen in my practice. For example, I would want to include the diagnosis of
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Although this book was presented to me as "not a self-help book," it really is. The most important point that this book made for me was the value of accepting contradictions, why we accept or reject certain behaviors/characteristics.

All behaviors exist on a continuum, and the actions that we pursue change in response to our circumstances and maturity. These behaviors may be opposites and they would appear to contradict each other, but we draw on these characteristics and use them as they are ne
Diane Challenor
This book if full of wisdom. I've abandoned it because it relies heavily on mythology for analogies and I have a personal dislike of mythology, therefore I had difficulty getting through the book. When authors use mythology within their prose, a knowledge of the myths is required. I have very little knowledge of the myths and have very little desire to learn more about them. AS Byatt referred to a lot of myths in her book "Possession" and I cross referenced most of them because I was determined ...more
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is such an amazing book that really helped me shift my perspective of the healing journey. In one of many metaphors that stuck with me, he describes the soul journey as a following the path of a labyrinth rather than a climbing up a mountain, reaching a spiritual peak. There's a place for those spiritual ascents, too, but Moore always brings our attention back to our ordinary broken humanness--which is where we can find true nourishment. I will be referencing this book again and again.
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Thomas and I had a great deal of conversations over 6 months. He introduced me to the Greek mythology, invited me to see differently the emotions I preferred to avoid, and encouraged me about imagination and mystery. What was once called hallucinations is now the soul of the world again, and this time, I am so happy to be Home.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read years ago.
Oct 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Philosophers, Dreamers, and those with an itch for a deeper existence.
This is the sort of book that I'll keep near my tissue box for the rest of my life, not because it made me cry. Rather, when I cry, I'll go for a tissue, see Thomas Moore's brilliant book, and feel better, hopefully. I'll give myself time to brood, time to weep, and time to allow my soul to grow.

There's a chapter in here for nearly every modern major problem. I'll be memorizing the ones on jealousy and depression. Sex, relationships, love, careers, and money are covered, plus more. What a barga
Feb 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I was attracted to this book because of Thomas Moore's scholastic background in mythology, musicology and theology. It was a nourishing book, with little to no overtones of "churchiness". In fact it is a direct challenge to the traditional religious way of thinking about spirituality. He casts the obstacles of life in a soothing light, using the tales of Greek/Roman mythology and traditional shamanic dreamwork to add richness to our understanding of life's trials (depression, anxiety, death, nar ...more
Care of the Soul addresses the problem that so many people today face: how to love one's self (yet also explaining the monumental difference between loving one's self and ego). I've never read a book that was as genuinely real as this one. Although referencing some Christian aspects, Moore remains religiously unbiased. Moore also frequently comments upon the difference between "care" and "cure." One must accept his or her human traits and appreciate them rather than try to get rid of them. The s ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Admittedly, the first part of the book bored me. I went into this expecting a spiritual work and got psychology. However, in the 4th chapter when Moore really hit his stride the book began to take off. Although throughout the book, Moore uses Greek mythology to illustrate points, his Christian monastic background is evident in his understandings. Moore's writing throughout is thoughtful, eloquent, and inspiring. If you're reading it to help someone else, this book is futile. If you're reading it ...more
Kylie Sparks
Apr 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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!
Carl R.
May 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Thomas Moore brings an impressive background and set of degrees to his psychiatric practice. He was a monk before he got into psychology, and he has a Ph.D and a number of other impressive certificates to his credit. He also plays the piano, he lets us know, as a way of relieving grief and anxiety in strenuous moments such as 9/11, which spurred him into a three-hour communion with Bach.
Care of the Soul he envisions as a “Guide for cultivating depth and sacredness in everyday life.” An a
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wasn’t prepared for his interpretation on myths and the souls that walk this earth today. The book started off well. It helped me ponder more of a shade of grey than simply black and white regarding good and evil.

My perception of narcissism and depression have been on the side of evil. Moore treats it as an undeveloped side to your soul and a part that is screaming out for attention.

I started to skim a little towards the end when he started talking about beauty and interpreting dreams. I bel
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I deeply savored this book while reading it. I highlighted many sentences & copied much of its wisdom into a journal. I know I’ll revisit this book; I consider it a mini bible on the care of my soul & will refer to it when I feel a part of me slipping into the daily dust of routine.
Meghan Pinson
Exactly what I needed to read to cross the bridge from self-help/psychology to the concepts I keep coming back to: the exploration of spirituality vs. soulfulness, of soulful work, of archetypal psychology, all of it. The very end doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me yet, but it probably will someday. I borrowed this book from the library and got halfway through before I knew I'd need it for real; picked up a used copy for $5 and plan to keep it forever.
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I read Care of the Soul because it belonged to one of my daughters and she left it at my house. I almost quit multiple times and had large periods of time in which I did not touch it. Somewhere during one of these breaks I read Freud & Jung by Stevens also left by my daughter. F&J contains the barest outline of their thought. The section on Jung gave me some insight into what the COTS author was trying to explain.

Couple of things - Soul is not the same as ego, intellect or even spirit t
May 15, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a short, but very wise and soothing read, just as one might imagine from the title. While providing a lot of suggestions for treating ourselves with gentlessness and respect to better our daily lives, Thomas Moore urges readers to remember that our souls are only partly on the earth, and partly in eternity, "We might remember the part the resides in eternity when we feel despair over the part that is in life" (96). An especially interesting discussion in this book is Moore's caution abou ...more
Oct 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It took me some time to finish this book, but it was worth the effort. Here is an important book that teaches you how to accept the everyday life, to understand yourself and not be afraid to fail, to be sad, to be ordinary. To care for your soul is to appreciate the everyday moments, to feel the sadness and happiness in small things, to know how to be quiet, to contemplate. The author, who was brought up as a Roman catholic, has an education in theology and now works as a psychoanalyst. He talks ...more
"Care of the soul is not a project of self-improvement nor a way of being released from the troubles and pains of human existence. It is not at all concerned with living properly or with emotional health. … To the soul, memory is more important than planning, art more compelling than reason, and love more fulfilling than understanding. We know we are well on the way toward soul when we fell attachment to the world and the people around us and when we live as much from the heart as from the head. ...more
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book twenty years ago at a time when I needed to understand something that was very difficult for me to accept. Often, it amazes me how books find their way into our hands exactly when we need them. The gist of this councilling book was the lesson of respecting every person's right to make choices for themselves even when those choices are hurtful and seemingly unacceptable to us. What is unacceptable? Nothing! It is what it is, only our ego thinks we could have made it happen some o ...more
May 25, 2011 marked it as abandoned
Setting this aside for now...

Moving further along ....

While Moore was taking a myth and 'opening it up' I was fine. He seems to have drifted into other speculative and drier areas, also aspects of personality and personalities which don't concern me. I'm skimming more than reading....


Think I'm 'getting' this book! Moore is taking the ancient myths and reinterpreting
Dayna Reid
Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
This book relies heavily on mythology to make its points. I am not a big fan of mythology. I don't mind an analogy once in awhile to make a point, but long, drawn out stories used to make a point, tend to lose me. There is some good information in this book, for example ... "Strangely, perhaps jealousy itself contains the seeds of fulfillment of both sex and intimacy," talks about how allowing your soul to feel its inferiority and dependence with another will help you realize the fulfillment of ...more
Jul 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Angella by: Cesar
This book reminded me of the richness in life and that if I just slowed down to notice, I would be a happier person.

Moore draws on Greek myths such as that of Echo and Narcissus and Tristan and Isolde to exemplify his ideas around Self-Love and Love. He has a poetic way of writing that while it may not agree with everyone (at times myself included), it did remind me that we all have our own ways of expression.

The biggest take away I had was his take on depression and mela
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Old Souls Book Club: Love, Loss, and your Soul's Longings 7 9 May 14, 2017 04:14PM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Thomas Moore is the author of the bestselling book Care of the Soul, Ageless Soul, and fifteen other books on deepening spirituality and cultivating soul in every aspect of life. He has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist, and today he lectures widely
“It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed” 391 likes
“Disappointments in love, even betrayals and losses, serve the soul at the very moment they seem in life to be tragedies. The soul is partly in time and partly in eternity. We might remember the part that resides in eternity when we feel despair over the part that is in life.” 180 likes
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