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Soul Mates: Honoring the Mystery of Love and Relationship Paperback – November 4, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

As of this writing, therapist Moore's last book, Care of the Soul (1992), has resided upon the national best-seller lists for nearly a year. This follow-up is to be issued in a 100,000-copy first printing. As the quick-march timing between the two books might suggest, Soul Mates seems a make-hay-while-the-sun-shines rush job of empty rhetoric. Its major thesis is the coverall that people are complex and contradictory--that, as Moore says, there are too few oxymoronic words like bittersweet to describe the richness of felt experience--but that each of us has a soul that strongly desires both intimacy and the social intercourse of everyday life. Despite Moore's ability to bring many myths, some literature and art history, a smattering of therapeutic anecdotes, and references to Jungian psychology to bear upon this theme, there's precious little else to the book but the encouragement to be imaginative and open-minded in the search for intimacy. The large readership that embraced Care of the Soul will probably line up for this second helping of Moore's mildly awestruck rap, but those who want the impression, at least, of substance may find it just so much frustrating therapist's nattering. Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

More spiritual self-help from the author of the bestselling Care of the Soul (1992--not reviewed), this time focusing on relationships among spouses, family, and friends. Moore occupies a middle ground in the thriving subgenre of pop-psych/religion books: less jargon-infested than John Bradford but sometimes as platitudinous (urging ``the importance of being individuals'' and proclaiming that ``every relationship calls for a unique response''); less anecdotal and less penetrating than the master of the form, M. Scott Peck. Perhaps his most notable achievement has been to turn ``soul'' into a buzzword, never defined but apparently synonymous with ``psyche.'' Here, Moore tackles soul-to-soul relations, drawing from mythology, theology, literature (from Plato to Emily Dickinson), his own life, experiences of patients in psychotherapy, and the writings of Marsilio Ficino, a 15th-century Florentine thinker. Predictably, Moore counsels people to court imagination and feelings and to beware of excessive rationality. The shoptalk is neo-Jungian, as filtered through James Hillman and other modern depth psychologists. The practical advice--write letters to, and strike up conversations with, friends; tell your spouse your dreams; forgive your parents; guide your children, and so on--is innocuous and may well be helpful. But by far the most invigorating moments come when Moore swims against the tide of current opinion by declaring marriage ``a sacred symbolic act,'' rather than a financial or social convenience, and by upholding the ancient virtues of chastity and obedience. Underneath the pop-psych sheen lies a devout traditionalist, which may explain Moore's great success. There's no mystery about where this one is heading: right on to the bestseller lists. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 267 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (November 4, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060925752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060925758
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thomas Moore is the author of the bestselling book Care of the 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 on holistic medicine, spirituality, psychotherapy, and ecology. He lectures frequently in Ireland and has a special love of Irish culture. He has Ph. D. in religion from Syracuse University and has won several awards for his work, including an honorary doctorate from Lesley University and the Humanitarian Award from Einstein Medical School of Yeshiva University. He also writes fiction and music and often works with his wife, artist and yoga instructor, Hari Kirin. He writes regular columns for Resurgence and Spirituality & Health and has recently published A Life at Work and Writing in the Sand. He is a patron of Re-Vision, a London center of spirituality and counseling, and on the board of Turning Point, a bereavement counselors training program in Dublin, Ireland.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Annabel Temple on July 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
Only rarely can I claim to have been touched by a tale, a text, a book, even words so hauntingly beautiful and enduring as those of Thomas Moore as expressed in Soul Mates. Moore's writing ensnares you almost as unpredictably as love itself with a literary insight and philosophical exhiliration that is the ultimate journey with an author. You owe it to your spirit, your heart and your intrinsic self to become a cherished and enlightened part of this psychological nourishment. Moore turns everything you wondered, dreamt and felt about the real experience of human relationships into something as clear and precious as air itself. Gently, yet perceptively, he guides you back to the core and the unique and individual thoughts of your very existence. Moore's Soul Mates may even be the closest you can get to the simple truth of taking a single moment in this life for confronting and embracing yourself and everyone around you. Certainly, this is a book that is the perfect expression of the deep, spiritual force working in and out of our lives, making anything at all-even self-love still possible-again and again. Without pretense, heroics or high-minded words on paper, Soul Mates offers us the non-intrusive space to no longer hide our hearts, our souls and emotional performances beneath the glaring lights of a fast-paced, technologically driven world. Soul Mates may be considered by some to be one of the great texts of our time, but most importantly, it remains true to the sense of what it is to be human and humankind in all its guises and manifestations. Touch this book with both hands and let go only when you want to!.
Annabel Temple (B.A. DPH (Cred)) Christchurch, New Zealand
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Ellem on May 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
IÕm glad that I had grabbed Soul Mates off the shelf along with about four other self-help books that I purchased at the same time.
S/M has helped me understand (or given a new perspective on) all relationships -- from spousal to neighbors to co-workers to friendships and family. Thomas Moore says that we should appreciate the complexities and mysteries that come with all relationships.
S/M doesnÕt offer any concrete step-by-step advice for solving relationship problems. Instead, Mr. Moore explains that every relationship is different and that everyday problems on the surface may have a deeper hidden meaning. And with this in mind, by not immediately relieving ourselves from what it is that is bothering us at the moment we may be able to understand what it is that is really troubling us if we give ourselves the time.
S/M is a great book if you are looking to better yourself, improve existing relationships, and gain insight on all relationships and life in general. I reccomend it and I believe it can help everyone understand themselves and others. --Douglas
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
Finally a book on love and relationship that doesn't pretend to have all the answers. Instead of beating the reader over the head with step-by-step programs or offering pat answers to the mysteries of relationship (like so many have done before him), Moore gently weaves a web of possibilities, hope, self-empowerment, and acceptance of the paradoxical. Deep at times; read it and savor it over and over again.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Sovde on June 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
The first time you read this work, chances are you'll miss most of what's fantastic about it. This is because Moore speaks so clearly about ideas which we think we know or understand, but in truth, we do not. Thomas Moore is a brilliant man, one of the few authors who I feel a kinship of minds with, someone who voices truths we innately know, but our culture fails to celebrate. If you read his words slowly and attentively, you'll find it reads like poetry - fluid, open, Moore writing in such a way that mirrors his themes. Moore's ideas about love, family, community - they are true gems. I can't say enough about how highly I regard his wisdom, as well as his craft. I dare you to attempt to truly hear him.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By John Stone on August 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Moore's writings once again prove to be one of the most effective contemporary antidotes to the blinding literalism, mind-numbing religious ideology, cheap moralisms, New Age silliness and Icarian spirituality that pervade so much of American society. His musings hold the tension between the traditionalist and iconoclast, an alchemy that only a true majus can achieve. Like all his works, Soul Mates is a welcome respite from the overly efficient, productive, mechanical and therapeutic language that finally stifles rich imagination and extinguishes the life of the soul. In much of the book, his own self-confessed Artemisian nature lies deftly hidden amongst the undercurrents of his reflections.
Moore's essential theme is that change takes place not through consious effort but by subtle shifts in the imagination. You will certainly feel your imagination stretched through the many Greek myths, stories, poetry, Renaissance philosophy and his own "outrageous failures and follies."
For people who finds themselves as "pursued" or as the "pursuer", Moore's insights into the Daphne myth will provide for much rumination and fantasy. And if it's the "magic" that has been lost, the Native American Cochiti story is pure soul food. Learn of the erotic idea of love as a "menage a trois", and of Moore's surprising and hilarious 'threesome' at an art exhibition.
Moore's genius is being able to take the raw material of life and sift, separate, turn, and mash it until it becomes pure alchemical gold. It might just strike a vein in your own soul!
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