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Soul Mates: Honoring the Mystery of Love and Relationship Paperback – November 4, 1994
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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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Was interested when Moore praised the Medici sponsored humanist Marsilio Ficino. Was reading more on Ficino and found one of the most vulgar misogynist statements I have ever read from a philosopher: "Women should be used like chamber pots: hidden away once a man has pissed in them." How often are heroes deeply flawed. It is ironic that "Soul Mates" is subtitled "Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationship" and the fifth chapter is introduced around Ficino and his community. I like Moore and his books, but find the lack of realistic interrogation of heroes troubling. I find misogyny one of the most vile, stupid, and blameworthy of all cultural and civilizational phenomena. It is interesting as well that Ficino is credited with introducing the term and concept of "platonic love" into the West while his proclivities may or may not have been so "platonic".
NOTE: This has little to do with the standard concept of "Soul Mates" but is much larger.
Moore explains the difference between soul mates and twin souls, which are just that...very different. Lots more in the book to think about as well. Well done!
Awesome book. I also have his Dark Night of the Soul, which is just as spectacular.