Sep 9, 2013

A Religion of One’s Own

The Soul of Education

A number of years ago Marianne Williamson asked me to write a chapter on the future of religion for a book she was editing. I tried, but at that time I wasn’t ready to tackle the question. Now I am. I see the world heading for a completely secular approach to life, which is to say soulless, which is to say disaster. We need a new way to be religious, a really new way. A way that honors the traditions of the past but moves on.

To give you a taste of the new book, I’ve summarized its main points in a list of ten ways you can make a religion of your own. In the book I go into specifics on how to do these things. This is just a list.

1. MEDITATE: Learn a formal way of meditating, or be contemplative in nature, alone, at work, or at home.

2. LIVE ETHICALLY: Do no harm and make your life a positive contribution to humanity. Work ethically for ethical companies or organizations. Change work if necessary. At least, stay on track toward a highly moral life work.

3. LIVE RESPONSIVELY. Read the signs for who you are to be and what you are to do.

4. HAVE A DREAM PRACTICE. Dreams give you strong hints about what’s going on and how you can adjust. Without them you have no guidance but your own consciousness, which is too limited.

5. BE A MYSTIC. Expand your sense of self through art and wonder. Achieve special states of awareness. Have a greater sense of self through losing yourself.

6. BE INTIMATE WITH NATURE. Especially take daily note of the sky: sun and moon, clouds, weather, planets, stars. Learn from animals. Be astonished by geology and plant life.

7. BE A MONK OR A MONKESS. Adapt monasticism of any variety to your daily life and to the world in which you live. Spend time carefully. Read deeply. Study. Honor the book, good food and community.

8. AIM FOR BLISS. Not superficial happiness or possessions or wealth. Not entertainment. But bliss: knowing you are in the right place and doing what you are meant to do.

9. DEVELOP A PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY OF LIFE. Think about your life. Work out some principles for yourself. Don’t follow the crowd. Take the road less taken, the narrow gate, the path you see behind you.

10. LEARN FROM THE WORLD’S RELIGIONS AND SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS. You don’t have to join or believe. Find insights and methods and beautiful expressions and images. Don’t separate secular from sacred. Make your own collection of truths and art works.

written by Thomas Moore
  • Nance Broderzen Feb 20, 2016 Reply

    This is brilliant and filled with soul. I’ve been gradually led to and working toward these ways for years and found it very much a lonely path, much misunderstood, but your wisdom and sharing this in such a cohesive form brings me hope for planet Earth and the survival and continuance of all she brings to physical form.

    • E Bertuch Aug 2, 2016 Reply

      Have the book
      Learning a lot
      Love my gift of my life so I thank my Abba in
      A way I think pleases HIM

  • Karen J. Klaassen Jul 4, 2016 Reply

    I’m looking forward to reading your book, after having relished “Care of the Soul” years ago. My understanding of religion is that it is a belief system, that we create out of a need to understand why we are here, to understand life and death. Beliefs change as we learn more about our world and the part we play. Progressive Christianity is taking this approach in fostering action above belief systems. As an example, behaving as Jesus taught, rather than believing a literal translation of the Bible, is promoted. Those who can “pray” well with others while practicing their own beliefs are to be commended. At the same time, I wonder if I need to create a religion, a belief system for myself, or just stay open to the wonder of what is and what is becoming. In gratitude for your work, Karen

  • James Manning Jan 2, 2017 Reply

    I am intrigued by your words and respect them fully. While part of me wants to dig deeper into the overarching concepts you convey, my conservative traditional Christian side so deeply embedded within my being tells me to do a 180 and run from this with all my physical strength as fast as I can muster. I am not a scholar and after 56 years, even with advanced degrees in engineering, consider myself a student of life reaching and searching for my destiny. But after saying “goodbye” to yet another loved one just yesterday, there are fundamentals about life that cannot be ignored. Most importantly, we cannot do life alone and we shouldn’t try to even we fully understand that by revealing glimpses of our spiritual being to others may very well result in a broken heart “again”. With that, I may attempt to find your book to give it a read as I hear you quoted often . Thank you for what you do in encouraging us to dig deeper…

  • Mira Feb 1, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for your beautiful words Mr. Moore and for giving this agnostic hope in finding my own personal spirituality again.

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