In The Eloquence of Silence: Surprising Wisdom in Tales of Emptiness, a 30-year bestselling author and teacher makes a provocative and compelling case for an easier, lighter way of moving through life and the world by embracing the peace, calm, and spaciousness of emptiness
Emptiness tends to get a bad rap, often connoting lack. But revered author Thomas Moore learned a different lesson about emptiness when he first went on a book tour to promote his Care of the Soul. The book went on to become a classic bestseller, but at first Moore was often met by empty bookstores, devoid of the hundreds who would soon crowd his appearances. Moore learned a lesson in what is known in Indian philosophy as sunyata, a way of observing and even embracing emptiness. Of course we'd all prefer immediate praise and recognition. But life does not work that way. As Moore eloquently expresses, drawing on spiritual traditions, folktales, literature, and his own life, spaces of emptiness or lack are often our greatest teachers. The blank spaces in a work of art or piece of music, or the arid bits of a landscape, are every bit as eloquent as the more crowded.
Moore gently prods us to consider that our constant multitasking may not be getting us anywhere. Listening to a podcast while taking a walk, or scanning an email while pushing a baby stroller, may mean missing the heart and soul of what is all around us, available to us anytime, no matter our circumstances. The awareness and embrace of the ubiquitous emptiness in our world and in our own lives, the daily recognition of quiet spaciousness, is not a retreat from reality but a rich and full welcome to all that is most meaningful and real.
Thomas Moore is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Care of the Soul. He has written 24 other books about bringing soul to personal life and culture, deepening spirituality, finding meaningful work, and imagining sexuality with soul. He has been a Catholic monk and university professor and is also a psychotherapist influenced mainly by C. G. Jung and James Hillman. His work brings together spirituality, mythology, depth psychology, and the arts, emphasizing the importance of images and imagination. He lives in New Hampshire. ThomasMooreSoul.com
Thomas Moore photo courtesy of the author.