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Moore’s “The Sacred Arts of Life”

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Presentation on theme: "Moore’s “The Sacred Arts of Life”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Moore’s “The Sacred Arts of Life”
HMXP 102 Dr. Fike

2 Announcemets Your third paper is due on Monday in class.
Bring your laptop computer on Monday.

3 Today’s Slide Show This presentation will ask you to write in your notebooks at several points. Please get out your writing materials.

4 Review Lewis: Acknowledge your spiritual “bankruptcy” (your total depravity, your inability to do anything good on your own). Give your troubles (the old man) to God; allow Him to remake you in the image of Christ (the new man). Christianity is the only completely right path. Tillich: Harmonize your reason, will, desire, conscious mind, and unconscious mind. Faith is an act of this kind of centered self. You can have faith in anything, but its object must be ultimacy; otherwise, existential disappointment results.

5 Moore Today’s selection helps answer the question: How can we move toward a more integrated personality, a more “centered self” such as Tillich describes? Surprisingly, Moore’s answer has nothing to do with Christianity or faith.

6 Write for 3 Minutes Sum up the point that Moore is making in “The Sacred Arts of Life.” We will take a few minutes so that you can share your answers.

7 Question According to Moore, what are some means of developing “the everyday arts” (par. 2)? Again, write in your notebooks please.

8 Moore’s Answers Contemplation Arresting attention Pausing
“a period of nondoing” (par. 5) “taking time” (par. 6) Stimulating the imagination (esp. in connection with sacred texts) Doing simple tasks—dishes, laundry, knitting, weaving Experiencing nature Epiphanies Discovering the “‘natural religion’ in all things” (par. 14) Appreciating secular literature and art Paying attention to dreams Meditation

9 Moore’s Assumptions Par. 15, key concepts: “I’m suggesting that we consider sacredness from the point of view of soul rather than spirit.” According to Moore, the ordinary arts enrich the soul. His point is based on the following assumption: there is “‘natural religion’ in all things’” (par. 14). The consequence of focusing on everyday things is a sense of “wonder” (par. 15). QUESTIONS: What does he mean by soul as opposed to spirit? How can there be religion in all things? What is natural religion? What is “wonder”?

10 What Soul Means Emotional connection, the heart
Connection with the unconscious A rich inner life via the imagination A grasp of the meaning/significance of ordinary things A pun: soul and whole; soul relates to wholeness or psychological integration

11 An Opposite Assumption
He speaks of repression in par. 2:  “One of the most effective forms of repression is to give a thing excessive honor.” What does he mean? Repression of what? What other things (not necessarily in Moore’s text) work against the enrichment of the soul? Again, write in your notebooks.

12 Impediments to Soul Fine arts Museums Shops Factories (cf. Marx)
Alienation from nature and from others Secular things

13 Segue The next slides explore some of Moore’s ways of exploring the sacred in the commonplace experiences of everyday life. Imagination Dreams Meditation

14 Imagination Consider this relationship:
Consciousness Imagination, dreams, meditation The unconscious Point: Imagination, dreams, and meditation are like a bridge or elevator between consciousness and the unconscious.

15 Active Imagination (C. G. Jung)
You can write a dialogue between yourself and some part of yourself (e.g., a person you know or a character in one of your dreams). Suspend your rational disbelief and let the dialogue flow. Begin with fantasy and turn down your reason. The result may surprise you: part of yourself that is removed from consciousness will speak through the medium of the imagination. You can try this on your own when you have 10 or more minutes of free time.

16 Re. Dreams Freud said, “Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.”  Moore’s section heading implies that they are the royal road to the soul.  (Jung, by the way, states that “meditation seems to be a sort of Royal Road to the unconscious” [CW 11, 827/507]). Moore mentions that “the soul is usually placed squarely in that place we would rather not visit the place in ourselves that is most challenging,” and he advises us “to look straight into the image that gives us the most fright” (par. 19; my emphasis). Often this image appears in dreams. In your case, what is that place?  You can use active imagination to explore it.  What does it have to say to you? Write in your notebooks. (I will not ask you to share.)

17 A Continuum of Dreams Day residue Psychological interpretation
Guidance from the Higher Self Psychic—e.g., precognition, clairvoyance Lucid dreams (you are aware that you are dreaming) (Out-of-body experiences) ***Ask for a dream if you need help with something.***

18 Transition Par. 16: “Every issue, no matter how secular it appears to be, has a sacred dimension. If you press anything far enough, you will come up against either the holy or the demonic.” What does this mean? Here is William Blake in “Auguries of Innocence”: To see a world in a grain of sand And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand And eternity in an hour.

19 Meditation Does Moore’s text suggest the importance of meditation?
What IS meditation?  How is it different from prayer? Let’s discuss these questions.

20 Prayer vs. Meditation Prayer Your conscious mind is engaged.
Your body is awake. You speak to God. POINT: Thus prayer is to activity as meditation is to receptivity. Meditation Your conscious mind is awake but is disengaged and clear of thoughts. Your body is very deeply relaxed, even asleep. You concentrate on your breathing. You listen to… God The soul Your Higher Self The unconscious Memory Guidance Spirits The pattern of All That Is that exists within yourself

21 Analogies for Meditation
Imagine that you’re in a crowded airport. Everybody is talking. You cannot hear the one person you want to hear. Slowly, everyone except that person stops talking. Now you can hear that person. Imaging a crowded radio dial. You can’t hear the weak signal from a distant station because nearer, stronger stations’ signals interfere. Suddenly, the power goes out in your city, and those strong stations go off the air. As a result, you can now hear the weaker station clearly. Imagine a clear sky during the day. The stars shine all the time, but we cannot see them when the sun is out. However, when the sun goes down, the lesser lights in the sky become visible.

22 Meditation The CD is called “Higher” and is designed to support meditation. We will try it for 5-10 minutes. If you do not want to try it, please leave quietly (do so now). Breathing technique: Inhale on a slow count of 7. Do not pause. Exhale on a slow count of 7. Breathe slowly for several breaths and repeat the 7-count technique. As your mind slows down, increase the interval between the 7-count inhale/exhale. Goal: Awake and alert but totally still mentally. END

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