Atlantis Alumni

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Soul, Spirit, Things "Mystical," Etc.

PHOTO: Venus shines bright in the pre-dawn sky over Fire Island.

I was reading the liner notes to a most enjoyable compact disc last evening. The disc is titled: "Music For The Soul." It contains an eclectic collection of soothing music from ancient to modern. The music was selected by spiritual writer and psychologist Thomas Moore.

I'm an atheist. I don't believe in God. I'm also a secular humanist. In its simplest form, that means that, while I do not believe in God and I reject all things supernatural, I do believe that purpose and meaning in life can be found through living a decent life. So when I see a book or CD title like "Music For The Soul," I'm immediately a little suspicious of the motives behind the writer or producer. Having grown up with the tenets of Roman Catholicism shoved down my throat until I was old enough and smart enough to reject that package, I am leery of anything selling the religious bill of goods. Immortal souls, spirits that live on after we're dead, mystical experiences...these are the stuff of stories, fables and myths, and not to be taken seriously.

I read Moore's liner notes and discovered, to my surprise, that he seems to define the soul in a manner that even I can accept. While he is a former monk, and claims to be a Catholic, although not the kind of Catholic the Catholic Church would recognize, he appears to be a religious, Christian, or theological humanist. According to Moore, the soul is that part of us where the emotions and the passions reside. Love, anger, lust, sex; these are what the soul is made of. The "spirit" is the intellect, and the body makes up the third component of each of us. Moore's "Music For The Soul" is music meant to calm the passions and sooth the emotions. Moore recommends living a decent life, finding enjoyable work, and developing an appreciation of the arts. I can heartily recommend this compact disc. I think I'll try to find out more about this interesting individual and his beliefs.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this CD. If you're interested in learning more about Thomas Moore, check out the site Barque: Thomas Moore at It links to his online writings and explores some of his current activities. Also, it has a free forum that you're invited to join, after registering with the forum host. Good luck with your blog.