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Care of the Soul: The Veggie Soul

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<em>Edit Article</em> Care of the Soul: The Veggie Soul

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When I studied medieval philosophy in college, I learned that a human being has a rational, animal, and vegetable soul. At the time, it was all a matter of definitions and categories and didn’t have much relevance to real life. But in the past few decades, I have spent considerable time trying to make fresh sense of those old ideas.Now, I can appreciate that part of my soul shares something with that of plants and flowers and vegetables. Why else would I have a ficus in my living room, a garden of herbs and tomatoes just outside the house, and peonies and orchids blossoming around me? Are they just physically there like the furniture, or are we cousins of a sort? Am I more at home with this vegetative life? Could it be as important to cultivate my vegetable soul as it is to become intelligent and fit—the rational and animal side?A well-known vegetable fairy tale has long interested me, and it may offer some help. The name Rapunzel refers to a root vegetable something like a carrot, turnip, or radish. When Rapunzel’s mother is pregnant, the father steals some rampion, a root vegetable, from a neighbor wh …

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.


Thomas Moore is the New York Times best-selling author of Care of the Soul, as well as many other books on deepening soul and cultivating a mature spiritual life, three of which have received the Books for a Better Life Award. At turns he has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, a psychotherapist, and an S&H columnist. 


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