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Original Self: Living with Paradox and Originality Paperback – Illustrated, August 7, 2001
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In essence, it is our soul that Moore speaks of, and it is his unwavering conviction that our greatest task is to stay true to our original selves. Using a highly approachable format of brief essays (two to four pages), Moore offers his reflections on how to do just that. Each essay leads with a thought, such as, "Life needs a point of entry, a crack in our defenses" or, "Beneath the favorite tale of the moment a deeper story always lies waiting to be told." From there Moore moves into the eloquent depths of his ruminations on the original self--words that are beautiful and provocative yet never heady or bogged down with self-importance. In fact, his writing manages to be simultaneously poetic and pragmatic--the signature of a great thinker and humanitarian. Each essay is illustrated with a woodblock print, offering further meditation on a theme. Moore openly admits that he hopes this book will become a keeper--one that dwells on a household's shelf of lifetime books. No doubt it will Mr. Moore, somewhere between Emerson and Thoreau. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
My only quibble is with the section in which the author discusses depression. He advises not running to a doctor for medication, and instead allowing the pain to teach its lessons. I agree with that in cases where a person is sad or grief-stricken. But in cases of actual clinical depression, that can be dangerous advice. Clinical depression is an illness with a high mortality rate, comparable to tuberculosis, say, or malaria. Would anyone advise a person with the symptoms of tuberculosis to hold off seeking medication?
But the main message of the book is quietly intense. Allowing other people to be different from what we expect them to be, allowing ourselves to be imperfect, not striving all the time, accepting that we are sometimes unloving and needy as well as creative and accomplished--that is powerful and earthy stuff. And it is conveyed without cliche and without sentimentality.
The gentle woodcut illustrations are a perfect addition to the text--both are quiet jewels that shine brighter as time goes on, instead of fireworks that get a lot of adulatory press and then fade from sight forever.
Each essay carries multiple levels of inspiration and evocation. The quote, the woodcut, the title, and then the text - each conveys a meaning that is both unique and integral to the whole. One is drawn from the image to the poetry, the summative thought, the expanded concept, and then back to the image. At the end of an essay, I often pause and breathe, simply taking it in. I return to the quotes over and over again.
I am curious about the change in wording of the subtitle on the book cover - Living with Paradox and Originality - as compared to the title page - Living with Paradox and Authenticity. One could create an essay on the difference between the two words, and so I wonder about Thomas Moore's "original" intent.
I have already purchased the audiocassette, to play in my car while commuting, as a way to enter and exit the work day with a contemplative focus. I am certain this book will become one that I share with others, offer as gifts, and refer to repeatedly in conversation. Highly recommended, for those who like to dive in more deeply.
I have gifted several copies of his work to friends at appropriate times in their lives when they too needed a constant companion. I lived his words and painted my house in rennaissance colours, played wildly romantic Italian operas, purchased a few antiques to gaze upon their craftsmanship and history and immersed my soul with renewed values around family love and passion for everyday simplicities and sanctuaries. I've lived Thomas Moore's work for several years now and it has made my life rich and rewarding.
I believe it was more than a synchronicity occurence when his recent book "Original Self" came into my life, again, coinciding with a trip to a far off place where I was considering another internal shift. It arrived right at a time when I was entertaining the idea (unfortunately, once again) to sell my soul to do a somewhat souless task. His message was simple but profound, return to my own authenticity and "Original Self" or chance loosing my soul.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Simple, clear, profound, inspiring and a needed reminder within the distractions of contemporary life.Published 3 months ago by S.C.B.
This is a treasure of a book, a spiritual resource for any contemplative moment. Thomas Moore is a gifted writer. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Stephen H. Zendt
A good book but I'm only giving it three stars for the not so subtle insult to the much more brilliant Alan Watts. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sarnage
Terrific and meditative...Care of the Soul is my next book by Thomas MoorePublished 15 months ago by David J. Reedy
Thomas Moore is an author who provides insights into life... A daily reader...Published 16 months ago by V. J. Luna
Insightful and delightful! Short vignettes are perfect for part of a daily meditation practice. One of my favorites.Published 16 months ago by Clare Sano