The Original Self: Living with Paradox and Authenticity

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9780060195427: The Original Self: Living with Paradox and Authenticity

One of the most renowned and respected writers on spiritually in the world, Thomas Moore has written extensively on the challenge of living authentically. Here, he has gathered together 50 fresh interpretations of living with originality rather than conformity. There is an edge to these writings, as he counters the prevailing assumptions of the day, offering strikingly unorthodox views on what is virtuous and healthy and opening up possibilities for a renewal of the way we live socially and in our personal lives Among his observations: -- It isn't enough to be tolerant, one has to love differences among people. -- It is at least as important to regress as it is to "grow". -- An inviting, open heart is always more important than understanding. -- Moore's challenging, inspiring interpretation are accompanied by striking woodcut drawings by Joan Hanley. -- Moore's books have sold more than 2.5 million copies.

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The original self is the person "who came into this world full of possibility and destined for joyful unveiling and manifestation," according to bestselling author Thomas Moore. "This is the person who comes to life in us briefly as we get married, start a course in school, or try on a new job--before worry and cynicism have set in."

In essence, it is our soul that Moore speaks of, and it is his unwavering conviction that our greatest task is to stay true to our original selves. Using a highly approachable format of brief essays (2-4 pages), Moore offers his reflections on how to do just that. Each essay leads with a thought, such as "Life needs a point of entry, a crack in our defences," or "Beneath the favourite tale of the moment a deeper story always lies waiting to be told." From there Moore moves into the eloquent depths of his ruminations on the original self--words that are beautiful and provocative, yet never heady or bogged down with self-importance. In fact, his writing manages to be simultaneously poetic and pragmatic--the signature of a great thinker and humanitarian. Each essay is illustrated with a woodblock print, offering further meditation on a theme. Moore openly admits that he hopes this book will become a keeper--one that dwells on a household's shelf of lifetime books. No doubt it will, Mr Moore, somewhere between Emerson and Thoreau. --Gail Hudson

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