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Thomas Moore on Dark Nights of the Soul

'Even though it’s over a decade since Care of the Soul was published, hardly a week goes by that someone doesn’t contact Thomas to tell him how much they gained from his chapter on the gifts of depression, so he decided to expand on it. ‘There’s plenty of books out there on depression. I wanted to get away from clinical ideas, and write something more classic, more spiritual. Pain is part of life. When we avoid pain, we avoid living.’

‘Dark nights of the soul shock you back into life and give you the edge you need to do good work. Often it is not until we are ill that the soul comes out of hiding. The soul by nature is deep and interior. It’s rather elusive. I think people are afraid of it, because they can’t predict it or control it, so they keep it under wraps. We live in a world that is very interested in facts and information. What is valued are those things that can be demonstrated and observed.

Part of soulfulness is the ability to cultivate an ironical life, rather than a sentimental one. The soul disappears in a flat world. Paradox and multiplicity of meaning feed the spirit.’ He also reminds us there is also a very physical aspect to the soul. ‘Soul is found in the most ordinary things. The body and soul are not separate. When you are looking at the body, you are looking at soul.’

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