Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thomas Moores Urges "Survivors" to Use Their Experience to Human Care for Others

"The key to seeing the world’s soul, and in the process wakening one’s own, is to get over the confusion by which we think that fact is real and imagination an illusion."
Thomas Moore,
from Interview with Thomas Moore

Psychologist and author Thomas Moore, PhD., opened the fifth annual Texas Breast Health Summit in Houston today with a gentle address on the importance of healing the spirit in the wake of cancer.

"This is a soul gathering," he told the group, a mixture of survivors, volunteers and caregivers. "Those of you who have had cancer know something the rest of do not. You know what has to be done because of your experience. Your illness has taken you to a level of consciousness that others do not have. Use that change as a basis for transformation."

When people are ill, Moore explained, medicine is just one slice of the journey back to health. "We know how important the spirit is for health. We need people to stand up and speak for the things the soul needs in healing, especially in cancer."

In his writings and experience as a psychotherapist, Moore blends his studies of the world's religions, the arts and philosophy. His most well known work, "Care of the Soul" discusses ways people can deepen and enrich their lives through spiritual practise.

He said that there is something about illness that gives a person's soul, or humanity, a chance to appear. "When we are sick," he said, "something of us is revealed. We can then view our illness as an opportunity, or a rite of passage."

Moore encouraged the organizations involved to pursue alternative and holistic approaches to healing. "Let's improve the alternative/integrative approaches in a way that inspires confidence. Every year I see more progress."

His most recent book is "Writings in the Sand" and a new collection of essays will be published in next spring. For additional information on Thomas Moore go to:


Debbie said...

Thanks Jody!
Most interesting to me is when he says that when we are sick something of us is revealed. Like now our spirit is showing in a way it never did before. And just now as I read that I imagined how that might look to someone who isn't used to seeing my spirit or has never seen their own. And perhaps this revelation and intimate exposure leads to the problem with friends. Maybe it is just too much for them and they back off. They dont know what to do with this new level of intimacy, to see another person exposed and fighting for their life. Sad that when we expose ourselves so intimately that some people get overwhelmed. But lucky for us who find others out there who accept this new us and understand too!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful way to open the discussion at the Breast Health Summit! It's been said that struggle, challenge, difficulty does not create our Character, but rather REVEALS it. And certainly the Process of cancer from diagnosis, through treatment and recovery beyond treatment creates a crack in our shell, opens our facade from within. This crack in our exterior does not allow Light to come in, but instead allows the Light that lives within us to pour out. We discover a Truth, or many Truths, that we did not realize was there and it DOES absolutely raise our Consciousness. And we can't go back to the way we used to be...but that is a good thing! That is part of the Process of move forward and to Become more than we had imagined previously that we could be. My cancer did not take away from me. Now certainly, I lost a wanted child and the ability to ever bear any more children, but cancer gave me so much more of Life that I might otherwise never have found! Cancer made me courageous! Fearless! I found an honesty I was not aware I could have, with myself and my Family and my Friends. I learned to Love each Divinely given Moment whether I perceived it as 'good' or 'bad', it was mine! I was, am, here to experience it and to LIVE it!! Cancer opened that crack in me and revealed mySelf! I would only hope that in Dr Moore's words regarding alternative/integrative treatment that he emphasized such should be COMPREHENSIVE as well, incorporating those alternative/integrative modalities alongside any traditional treatment methods that a doctor might recommend. We have not yet reached a point in medicine that we can negate current medical treatment, regardless of how antiquated and destructive it is. Soon, but not yet. Balance is needed and my guess is that this was Dr Moore's point. Healing begins within and physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual cannot continue to be separated in boxes that we take down from the shelf and open as needed. Cancer forces us to bring them all out into the open at once and find a way to nourish and nurture them all means our Survival! Thank you Jody for sharing this with us!! Can't wait for what's next!!

Anonymous said...

I am already a big fan of Thomas Moore's writings and have a well-thumbed copy of Care of the Soul, so how wonderful to read your post today Jody. Thanks so much for posting and thanks to Deb and Taiya for their beautiful comments too.