A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World

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Overview

The New York Times bestselling author and trusted spiritual adviser offers a follow-up to his classic Care of the Soul.
 
Something essential is missing from modern life. Many who’ve turned away from religious institutions—and others who have lived wholly without religion—hunger for more than what contemporary secular life has to offer but are reluctant to follow organized religion’s strict and often inflexible path to spirituality. In A ...

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A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World

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Overview

The New York Times bestselling author and trusted spiritual adviser offers a follow-up to his classic Care of the Soul.
 
Something essential is missing from modern life. Many who’ve turned away from religious institutions—and others who have lived wholly without religion—hunger for more than what contemporary secular life has to offer but are reluctant to follow organized religion’s strict and often inflexible path to spirituality. In A Religion of One’s Own, bestselling author and former monk Thomas Moore explores the myriad possibilities of creating a personal spiritual style, either inside or outside formal religion.
 
Two decades ago, Moore’s Care of the Soul touched a chord with millions of readers yearning to integrate spirituality into their everyday lives. In A Religion of One’s Own, Moore expands on the topics he first explored shortly after leaving the monastery. He recounts the benefits of contemplative living that he learned during his twelve years as a monk but also the more original and imaginative spirituality that he later developed and embraced in his secular life. Here, he shares stories of others who are creating their own path: a former football player now on a spiritual quest with the Pueblo Indians, a friend who makes a meditative practice of floral arrangements, and a well-known classical pianist whose audiences sometimes describe having a mystical experience while listening to her performances. Moore weaves their experiences with the wisdom of philosophers, writers, and artists who have rejected materialism and infused their secular lives with transcendence.
 
At a time when so many feel disillusioned with or detached from organized religion yet long for a way to move beyond an exclusively materialistic, rational lifestyle, A Religion of One’s Own points the way to creating an amplified inner life and a world of greater purpose, meaning, and reflection.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/09/2013
The author, whose bestselling Care of the Soul (1992) helped define an era of therapeutic spirituality, reprises many of the themes and preoccupations that he has written about in a dozen books: contemplation, eros, and intuition ought to play formative influences in a rich spiritual life. Moore updates his argument by considering it in the context that writings such as his helped to develop: the world of the secular, populated by those untutored in religion or critical of its institutions but interested in authentic living. For these he urges: pay attention to your dreams, desires, intuitions, and deep drives, and use religious traditions as resources in developing the titular religion of one’s own. Moore’s own spiritual formation is deeply Catholic. When he is read closely, his depth is apparent, but his heterodox syncretism makes him a natural target for less well-read enforcers of traditional religion. There’s not much new here for those who have followed him for two decades, but he stands to make some new converts to the noninstitutional ranks of spirituality. Agent: Todd Shuster, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. (Jan.)
Library Journal
11/15/2013
Moore's Care of the Soul was the inescapable spiritual reading of the early 1990s, poised for classic status. This latest volume continues the labor Moore has undertaken in the intervening years; like the rest of his writing, it attempts to synthesize the insights of religion and psychology. Here his mission is to encourage readers to cultivate their own spirituality in a way that honors their creativity and sexuality. VERDICT Moore has been criticized for a kind of hasty or superficial approach to complex topics, but his counsel is consistently sensible and affirming. This book should appeal to many of the unchurched, as well as the faithful across traditions.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-10
A vade mecum in support of self-crafted faith, so broadly accepting that it's definitely not the holiday gift for your fundamentalist brother-in-law (unless you're looking to pick a fight). "To create a religious life of your own," writes former monk and psychotherapist Moore (The Guru of Golf, 2010, etc.), "you have to think things through and be critical of the information you find." Christopher Hitchens would add that you have to suspend disbelief and reason, as well, but the author is ready for such objections. Indeed, he holds that the one in five people who are self-identified atheists or agnostics can live religiously meaningful lives, even if they "probably don't want to use the word ‘religion,' " observing ancient traditions without necessarily believing in their divine authorship. Moore professes to being guided by Taoism, Christianity, Greek mythology, Buddhism, Sufism, Transcendentalism, and Native American belief, a smorgasbord that would cause conniptions in religious purists of every conceivable stripe. Yet, quoting from the works of the earthly saint Simone Weil, the author isn't prescribing a cafeteria-style, selective faith so much as taking each faith seriously and working hard at it--as Weil said, "Each time you consider a spiritual tradition, think of it as if there were none other." Some of Moore's recommendations are rather painfully obvious: Pay attention to your dreams and keep a notepad by the bed to record them; bring spirituality into the bedroom in other contexts; honor the muse; play nice. Some are even a little hippie-ish: "Get a beautiful edition of the Tarot Cards. They are full of traditional images that relate to your life. Read them as you read a dream." A well-meaning book that wears its spirit of tolerance on its sleeve, and tolerance isn't a bad thing--no matter what Stephen Dawkins or Billy Graham might have to say about it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592408290
  • Publisher: Gotham
  • Publication date: 1/9/2014
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 107,976
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Moore was a monk for twelve years, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist. He writes regularly for Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, Spirituality & Health, and Resurgence Magazine. He lectures widely on holistic medicine, spirituality, psychotherapy, and the arts. Moore has been awarded numerous honors, including the Humanitarian Award from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and an honorary doctorate from Lesley University. Thomas is the author of eighteen previous books, including Care of the Soul, Soul Mates, and Dark Nights of the Soul. He lives in New Hampshire.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 15, 2014

    As beautifully written as Care of the Soul, and deeply practical

    As beautifully written as Care of the Soul, and deeply practical, this thoughtful book by one of our great living thinkers has inspired me to cultivate a deeper sense of spirituality and awareness in my everyday life with my husband and sons.  Although Moore is himself a Christian, the beauty of this book is its open stance toward all beliefs and all believers.  

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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