Living With Paradox and OriginalityBook - 2000
"I spent many years trying to become conscious, but all that effort led merely to self-consciousness, which in turn generated guilt, anxiety, and ambition. I was told that higher consciousness was a worthy goal and that its opposite, unconsciousness, was the result of laziness and ignorance. Around the age of fifty my ideals and values began to change, so much so that many of them turned upside down and inside out. Now I see great value in laziness, understood as giving up both effort and the attempt to justify my life. I have come to appreciate the teaching I have found in many religions that praises holy ignorance. And I have been discovering how to live with little consciousness
"Emerson once remarked that it is advisable to live without consciousness of the workings of the body, and I wonder if the same recommendation applies to the whole of life. Perhaps in some ways we do have to become conscious, and that may be the proper work of the first half of life. But then all our education and learning experiences may fade, not into oblivion, where they are simply lost, but by a process of absorption into us, so that they become us or we become them."from Original Self
It's easy today to lose the deep, direct, and vivid sense of living with passion and originality. Thomas Moore states in his preface that we are "chronically trying to be someone other than this original self, persuaded that we are not adequate and should fit some norm of health or correctness, we may find a cool distance may gradually separate us from the deep and eternal person, that God-given personality, and we may forget both who we were and who we might be."
The fifty meditations in this collection offer fresh interpretations of living with originality rather than conformity, presenting multi-dimensional portraits of the creative self and different angles from which to tap one's primal emotions and possibilities. These pages show what it means to live from the burning essence of the heart, with the creativity that comes from allowing the soul to blossom in its own colors and shapes. Simple and beautiful woodcut drawings accompany each meditation, showing the primal yet complex nature of experience and suggesting with great subtlety the themes of paradox and contrariety that characterize the deep self.
With his usual grace and insight, Moore counters the prevailing assumptions of the day and offers strikingly unorthodox views on at is virtuous and healthy, opening up possibilities for a renewal of the way we live socially and in our private lives.