music is thud-thud-thudding through the foundations of the house, banging
through the glass windows. It will go on all night. The brain’s screen
is flashing fragmented images, laying shards of life before sleep-deprived
eyes. Switch on the light.
Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore, a former monk.
intellect works with reasons, logic, analysis, research, equations, and
pros and cons. But the soul practises a different kind of math and logic.
It presents images that are not immediately intelligible to the reasoning
mind. It insinuates, offers fleeting impressions, persuades more with
desire than with reasonableness. In order to tap the soul’s power one
has to be conversant with its style, and watchful. The soul’s
indications are many but they are usually extremely subtle.”
been one of those fragmented weeks, all right.
your eyes, observe the stored images on your brain screen. A
widow in white, emotionally shorn, unseeing, swaying, mourns her husband.
Seven girls in silver costumes sway side to side on a long swing, the
breeze ruffling their feathers in Adam Smith Square.
man with watery eyes is unable to get out of bed on J’Ouvert morning,
remembering how his son, now dead, would weave in and out of the crowds
seeking him, his father, in-between the revelry.
pretty child with glossy black hair and a rosebud mouth skips home from
her Carnival party with a star across her chest. She is a star, she says.
Human smoke swirls out of the cinerary, with its garish message for the
necessity for humility.
on any of those images and you will have to go deep into each one.
Sometimes life, when too much living is done, with too much noise and too
much talking, goes undigested, unreflected, barely understood, a random
assault on the senses.
know intuitively that soul has to do with genuineness and depth, as when
we say certain music has soul or a remarkable person is soulful. Care of
the Soul speaks to the longings we feel and to the symptoms that drive us
crazy, but it is not a path away from shadow or death.
soulful personality is complicated, multifaceted, and shaped by pain and
pleasure, success and failure. Life lived soulfully is not without its
moments of darkness and periods of foolishness. Dropping the salvational
fantasy frees us up to the possibility of self-knowledge and
is a breeze of jasmine and mud reminding you of the world outside, of the
complexity and variety in each human life, as well of the commonality of
billions of people everywhere, of births, deaths, marriages, loves, wars
to be denied access to these real lives that hold within them the secrets
of the universe, to know too much about things and events.
to have a window into the events of the world through the computer, with
its glut of universal information: clogging the soul, trivialising and
sanitising tragedy, mingling train crashes with celebrity divorces.
can the modern human being mourn for earthquakes in India and El Salvador,
go on to feel for those who died in the train crash? No wonder we read the
information clinically, go on to entertainment news and shut down. At
least story-telling, unrelated as it was to real time, had a purpose, a
moral. News for news sake is simply clutter.
soul lies midway between understanding and unconsciousness and that its
instrument is neither the mind nor the body, but imagination.”
is it about Carnival that creates so much expectancy, so much heightened
emotion? It is primal. It’s when people put on masks and become real.
With their plumage and bare skin they openly demonstrate the human longing
for applause, for freedom from societal constraint, for an atavistic
connection with themselves, and the celebration of human imagination. It
puts them in touch with their souls.
think. Eyes back on “Care of the Soul.”
of the soul isn’t about curing, fixing, changing, adjusting or making
healthy, and it isn’t about some idea of perfection or even improvement.
It doesn’t look to the future for an ideal, trouble-free existence.
Rather, it remains patiently in the present, close to life as it presents
itself day by day.”
brain receives seemingly discordant signals zagging against one another
like crashing trains, that it is unable to process it all and make sense
of it. Hidden
among the fragments of the carnage and the celebrity, the drunken nights
and the dance, the mourning and the innocent skipping of moving stars, is
the soul’s own pattern all the more compelling because it plays hide and
seek with us, now giving us a glimpse into its fullness, now showing us
disconnected frames. Better
to leave it alone and let it fragment, let it ferment, let it breakaway.
soul has its own rhythm, and requires you to descend into the underworld
of death and madness, and from it comes the nugget of life, the gold in