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Care of the Soul: Spiritual Disorders

Every mental health worker knows about the DSM-V, a manual for defining disorders for the health system. It’s like a dictionary in which every psychological problem imaginable has a precise definition and a number. For years I’ve considered creating my own DSM-I of soul disorders, beginning with the wish to be normal, to be like everyone else—a soul-directed life moves us toward our individuality. I’m also thinking of a DSM-I of spirituality disorders. In case you have a problem that I include in this spiritual manual, a tendency to be too serious about certain things, know that I do this in a playful way. I will probably never publish my DSM-I.Let’s look at some possible listings for the spirituality manual:101.1 A tendency toward literalism. Maybe because religion for so long has emphasized belief and has confused theological stories with historical fact, even modern spiritual people have to watch out for any tendency to be too literal. Life changes overnight when you begin to appreciate the value of narrative, poetics, mythology, and imagery, when you discover that they take you deeper and put you on …

Thomas Moore has been a monk, a musician, a professor, and, for the past 30 years, a psychotherapist practicing archetypal therapy with a spiritual perspective. His latest book is A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World.

About the Author

Thomas Moore is the New York Times best-selling author of Care of the Soul, as well as many other books on...

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