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Author Topic: Rohr Meditations -- Week of 6/24/2012 -- SEVEN UNDERLYING THEMES OF RICHARD ROHR  (Read 2785 times)
Alan
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« on: June 24, 2012, 09:17:50 AM »


Richard's Daily Meditations

SEVEN UNDERLYING THEMES OF RICHARD ROHR'S TEACHINGS

Sunday, June 24, 2012
Birthday of John the Baptist

   
    First Theme:
    Scripture as validated by experience, and experience as validated by
    Tradition, are good scales for one’s spiritual worldview
    (METHODOLOGY).

Since the Reformation in the 16th Century, much Christian infighting and
misunderstanding has occurred over the Catholic and Orthodox emphasis on
Tradition (which usually got confused with small cultural "traditions")
versus the new Protestant emphasis on Scripture, even "Scripture alone!"
(which gradually devolved until each group chose among the Scriptures it
would emphasize and the ones it would ignore). Both currents have now
shown their weaknesses, their blind spots, and their biases. They lacked
the "dynamic third" principle of God Experience: experience that is
processed and held accountable by both Scripture and Tradition, and by
solid spiritual direction and counseling. This will be our trilateral
principle at the Living School.

Perhaps it is worth noting, on this feast day of John the Baptist, that
he let his personal God Experience trump both Scripture (which he hardly
ever directly quotes) and his own Tradition (which is why this son of
the priestly class had to move his show down to the riverside). Maybe
this is why Jesus both builds upon him and yet clearly moves beyond him
and, in effect, critiques him (Matthew 11:11 [1]). Jesus clearly uses and
respects his own Scriptures and his Jewish Tradition, yet interprets
them both in light of his personal experience of God.

~ Richard Rohr, June 2012
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2012, 08:05:03 AM »

June 25, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

SEVEN UNDERLYING THEMES OF RICHARD ROHR'S TEACHINGS


    Second Theme:
    If God is Trinity and Jesus is the face of God, then it is a
    benevolent universe. God is not someone to be afraid of, but is
    the Ground of Being and on our side (FOUNDATION).

If anyone doubts whether we will be basing the Living School in solid,
but broad and inclusive, Christian doctrine (“the Perennial
Tradition”), they need only read our foundational second theme that
underlies much of my work and the work of the master teachers that we
are inviting to teach at the Living School.

If we want to go to the mature, mystical, and non-dual levels of
spirituality, we must first deal with the often faulty, inadequate, and
even toxic images of God that most people are dealing with before they
have authentic God experience. Both God as Trinity and Jesus as the
“image of the invisible God” reveal a God quite different—and much
better—than the Santa Claus image or the “I will torture you if you
do not love me” God that most people are still praying to. Such images
are an unworkable basis for any real spirituality.

Trinity reveals that God is the Divine Flow under, around, and through
all things—much more a verb than a noun; relationship itself rather
than an old man sitting on a throne. Jesus tells us that God is like a
loving parent, who runs toward us, clasps, and kisses us while we are
“still a long ways off” (Luke 15:20 [1]). Until this is personally
experienced, most of Christianity does not work. This theme moves us
quickly into practice-based religion (orthopraxy) over mere words and
ideas (orthodoxy).

~ Richard Rohr, June 2012
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 09:00:41 AM »

If we want to go to the mature, mystical, and non-dual levels of
spirituality, we must first deal with the often faulty, inadequate, and
even toxic images of God that most people are dealing with before they
have authentic God experience. Both God as Trinity and Jesus as the
“image of the invisible God” reveal a God quite different—and much
better—than the Santa Claus image or the “I will torture you if you
do not love me” God that most people are still praying to. Such images
are an unworkable basis for any real spirituality.


I couldn't agree more. The toxic "vengeful God" image is the one I was presented with by the third grade in Catholic school and which drove me from the Church by the time I was in my late teens and able to flee. I stayed away until my mid-forties when I encountered the group that mostly became my future Secular Franciscan family, who had "experienced" the God of love and mercy. In late 2000 I first encountered Richard, who was the speaker at a yearly "Fire in the Mountains" retreat, who really put the frosting on the cake and started to turn it all around for me.
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2012, 02:53:43 AM »

June 26, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

SEVEN UNDERLYING THEMES OF RICHARD ROHR'S TEACHINGS


    Third Theme:
    There is only one Reality. Any distinction between natural and
    supernatural, sacred and profane, is a bogus one (FRAME).

Almost all religion begins with a specific encounter with something that
feels “holy” or transcendent: a place, an emotion, an image, music,
a liturgy, an idea that suddenly gives you access to God's Bigger World.
The natural and universal response is to “idolize” and idealize that
event. It becomes sacred for you, and it surely is. The only mistake is
that too many then conclude that this is the only way, the best way, the
superior way, the special way that I myself just happen to have
discovered. Then, they must both protect their idol and spread this
exclusive way to others. (They normally have no concrete evidence
whatsoever that other people have not also encountered the holy.)

The false leap of logic is that other places, images, liturgies,
scriptures, or ideas can not give you access. “We forbid them to give
you access, it is impossible,” we seem to say! Thus much religion
wastes far too much time trying to separate itself from—and create
“purity codes” against—what is perceived as secular, bad,
heretical, dangerous, “other,” or wrong. Jesus had no patience with
such immature and exclusionary religion, yet it is still a most common
form to this day. Idolatry has been called the only constant and real
sin of the entire Old Testament, and idolatry is whenever we make
something god that is not God, or whenever we make the means into an
end. Any attempt to create “our golden calf” is usually first-half-
of-life religion, and eventually false religion.


~ Richard Rohr, June 2012
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 08:05:45 AM »

June 27, 2012

Richard's Daily Meditations

SEVEN UNDERLYING THEMES OF RICHARD ROHR'S TEACHINGS


    Fourth Theme:
    Everything belongs and no one needs to be scapegoated or
    excluded. Evil and illusion only need to be named and exposed
    truthfully, and they die in exposure to the light (ECUMENICAL).

We now know from cultural studies and historical experience that groups
define themselves and even hold themselves together largely
negatively—by who they are not, what they are against, and what they
do not do. We need a problem or an enemy to gather our energies. We
usually define ourselves through various “purity codes” to separate
ourselves from the “impure” and unworthy. Pure worship (“what we
are for,” or in support of, and what we love) is much harder to
sustain. Thus most reformations and revolutions need someone else to be
wrong much more than they need any discovery of a higher level of
consciousness themselves. This is an absolutely core problem.

Thus Jesus never affirmed opposition or contrariness, because he knew
that it was merely a same-level or lower-level response to the problem
(even when empowered by some new and good ideas). The new group was
infected by the same hubris and oppositional energy, and would soon
engender the same kind of “reformation.” Thus the endless
progressive-conservative pendulum continues to swing and yet we do not
move forward spiritually.

“Emerging Christianity” is trying not to make this mistake, and
hopes to be an inclusive notion of religion that is not against this or
that. Evil and sin do need to be named and exposed (not directly
fought!), however, and this is the prophetic role of religion. Without
prophecy, religion is uncritical of itself and ends up being largely
self-serving. Jesus' starting point was never sin, but human suffering.


~ Richard Rohr, June 2012
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 08:07:39 AM by Alan » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 09:05:00 AM »

June 28, 2012

Richard's Daily Meditations

SEVEN UNDERLYING THEMES OF RICHARD ROHR'S TEACHINGS


    Fifth Theme:
    The separate self is the problem, whereas most religion and
    most people make the “shadow self” the problem. This leads to
    denial, pretending, and projecting instead of real transformation into
    the Divine (TRANSFORMATION).

It is really shocking how little Jesus is shocked by human failure and
sin. In fact, it never appears that he is upset at sinners. He is only
and consistently upset at people who do not think they are sinners. This
momentous insight puts him centuries ahead of modern psychology and
right at the center of rare but authentic religion. So much so, that
most Christianity itself never notices or addresses this pattern. It is
an “inconvenient truth.”

Early-stage religion is largely driven by ego needs: the need to be
right, the need to feel morally superior, the need to be safe, and the
need to project a positive image to others. At that point, religion has
little to do with any real search for God; it is almost entirely a
search for oneself, which is necessary—and which God surely
understands. But we do this by trying to repress and deny our actual
motivations and goals. These are pushed into the unconscious and called
the shadow self. The shadow is not the bad self, but simply the denied
self, which is totally operative but allowed to work in secret—and
never called to accountability from that hidden place.

In my 42 years as a priest, it is clear to me that most people (not just
religious people) focus on their shadow self—to keep “feeling good
about themselves”—and their ego enjoys a perpetual holiday. It is a
massive misplacement of spiritual attention. You can be a prelate or
priest in the church with a totally inflated ego, while all your energy
goes into denying and covering up your shadow—which then gets
projected everywhere else. What you don’t transform, you will
transmit.


~ Richard Rohr, June 2012
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 09:56:50 AM »


June 29, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

SEVEN UNDERLYING THEMES OF RICHARD ROHR'S TEACHINGS


    Sixth Theme:
    The path of descent is the path of transformation. Darkness, failure,
    relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary teachers, rather than
    ideas or doctrines (PROCESS).

Although related to earlier themes, this is also building upon them in
terms of development of conscience, recognition of grace, concrete
practice, and spiritual direction. In other words, how does
transformation actually and concretely happen?

Ladder-climbing Western culture, and the clinging human ego, made the
Gospel into a message of spiritual advancement—ascent rather than
descent. We hopefully do advance in “wisdom, age, and grace” (Luke
2:40 [1]), but not at all in the way we thought. Jesus again got it right!
He brilliantly and personally taught the way of the cross and not the
way of climbing.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+2:40&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

We come to God much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right. God
absolutely leveled the human playing field by using our sins and
failures to bring us to divine union. This is surely the most
counterintuitive message of the Gospels—so counterintuitive that it
largely remains hidden in plain sight.


~ Richard Rohr, June 2012
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 10:23:19 AM »

We come to God much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right. God
absolutely leveled the human playing field by using our sins and
failures to bring us to divine union. This is surely the most
counterintuitive message of the Gospels—so counterintuitive that it
largely remains hidden in plain sight.


I have unquestionably found this to be true. It is only when I am broken and hurting that I seem to really be able or willing to let God take over. When things are going well it is very hard to feel like you need someone else's help. And it's much easier when things are going well to look down on others and be making all kinds of judgments on things you are often  much more able to cut them some slack for when you're swimming in the same soup they are.
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2012, 03:27:28 AM »

June 30, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

SEVEN UNDERLYING THEMES OF RICHARD ROHR'S TEACHINGS


    Seventh Theme:
    Reality is paradoxical and complementary. Non-dual thinking is the
    highest level of consciousness. Divine union, not private perfection, is
    the goal of all religion (GOAL).

Reality is “not totally one,” but it is “not totally two,”
either! All things, events, persons, and institutions, if looked at
contemplatively (non-egocentrically), reveal contradictions, create
dilemmas, and have their own shadow side. Wisdom knows how to hold and
to grow from this creative tension; ego does not. Our ego splits reality
into parts that it can manage, but then pays a big price in regard to
actual truth or understanding.

The contemplative mind will be at the heart and center of all teaching
in our new Living School. Only the contemplative mind can honor the
underlying unity (“not two”) of things, while also work with them in
their distinctness (“not totally one”). The world almost always
presents itself as a paradox, a contradiction, or a problem—like our
themes of “action and contemplation,” “Christian and
non-Christian,” or “male and female” first did. At the mature
level, however, we learn to see all things in terms of unitive
consciousness, while still respecting, protecting, and working with the
very real differences. This is the great—perhaps the greatest—art
form. It is the supreme task of all religion.


~ Richard Rohr, June 2012
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