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.
About our Guest
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 the arts. He lectures frequently in Ireland and has a special love of Irish culture. He has a 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. Three of his books have won the prestigious Books for a Better Life awards. He writes ﬁction and music and often works with his wife, artist and yoga instructor, Hari Kirin. He writes regular columns for Resurgence, Spirituality & Health, and The Hufﬁngton Post and has recently published Writing in the Sand: The Spirituality of Jesus and the Soul of the Gospels, Care of the Soul in Medicine, and The Guru of Golf and Other Stories about the Game of Life. Much of his recent work has focused on the world of medicine, speaking to nurses and doctors about the soul and spirit of
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