Thomas Moore lives in New England with his wife and two children. In this relaxed and graceful collection of 50 short essays, he muses on the odyssey of the soul: "(it) doesn't evolve or grow, it cycles and twists, repeats and reprises, echoing ancient themes common to all human beings." This time out, Moore teams up with his wife, Joan Hanley, whose enchanting woodcut illustrations provide a nice complement to his ideas. Original Self is a book to dip into at your leisure. All those familiar with Moore's essays in Spirituality and Health magazine know that he has a special knack for this genre of writing.

Living with passion and creativity in our time means running counter to some widely held cultural assumptions. Moore states that the need to be normal is "the predominant anxiety disorder of modern life." He believes that the soul's progress can be stirred by neuroses, sadness, solitude, unruly passions, failures, and loss. He ponders the ways spirituality can be enhanced by sexuality, paganism, and a closer contact with the muddy earth. And, as usual, with an elegance often missing from the suggestions of other writers, Moore presents ways to bring beauty, meaning, and inner richness to our lives.