Richard Rohr: don’t ‘let the word mystic scare you off’. It’s experience cf belief!

‘…..do not let the word “mystic” scare you off. It simply means

one who has moved from mere belief systems or belonging systems to actual inner experience.

All spiritual traditions agree that such a movement is possible, desirable, and available to everyone. In fact, Jesus seems to say that this is the whole point! (See, for example, John 10:19-38.)

Some call this movement conversion, some call it enlightenment, some transformation, and some holiness. It is Paul’s “third heaven,” where he “heard things that must not and cannot be put into human language” (2 Corinthians 12:2, 4). Consciously or not, far too much organized religion has a vested interest in keeping you in the first or second heaven, where all can be put into proper language and deemed certain. This keeps you coming back to church, and it keeps us clergy in business.

This is not usually the result of ill will on anybody’s part; it’s just that you can lead people only as far as you yourself have gone. Transformed people transform people. From the way they talk so glibly about what is always Mystery, it’s clear that many clergy have never enjoyed the third heaven themselves, and they cannot teach what they do not know. Theological training without spiritual experience is deadly.

We are ready to see and taste the full sunset now and no longer need to prove it or even describe it. We just enjoy it — and much more!’

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/fr-richard-rohr/three-ways-to-view-the-su_b_822092.html

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HESCHEL: Feeling becomes prayer in the moment in which we forget ourselves

The focus of prayer is not the self. … It is the momentary disregard of our personal concerns, the absence of self-centered thoughts, which constitute the art of prayer.

Feeling becomes prayer in the moment in which we forget ourselves and become aware of God. …. Thus, in beseeching Him for bread, there is one instant, at least, in which our mind is directed neither to our hunger nor to food, but to His mercy. This instant is prayer. We start with a personal concern and live to feel the utmost.

As quoted in Judaism (1998) by Arthur Hertzberg, p. 300.

Variant: “It is the momentary disregard of our personal concerns, the absence of self-centered thoughts, which constitute the act of prayer.”

RP The core of all Traditions and the three actions they ask of us are : Awaken more; Detach more;Serve others Better. This is both mysticism and everyone’s day to day spiritual challenge.

‘The Power of Now and the End of Suffering’

Tami Simon, of ‘Sounds True’, interviewed Eckhart Tolle. Tami asks some great questions that evoke interesting material concerning awakening and Tolle’s ‘restructuring of his self’ event;

‘The Power of Now and the End of Suffering’ – By Tami Simon

For two years, a small man sits quietly on a park bench. People walk by, lost in their thoughts. One day someone asks him a question. In the weeks that follow there are more people and more questions. Word spreads that the man is a “mystic,” and has discovered something that brings peace and meaning into our lives. It sounds like fiction, but today that man, Eckhart Tolle, is known worldwide for his teachings on spiritual enlightenment through the power of the present moment. His first book, The Power of Now, is an international bestseller, and has been translated into 17 languages. More than 20 years have passed since Eckhart Tolle answered his first question on that park bench. While his audience has grown, his message remains the same: that it is possible to stop struggling in your life, and find joy and fulfillment in this moment, and no other.

Sounds True: Can you describe to us your own experience of spiritual awakening (and of course, can you define spiritual awakening as well)? Was there a singular event that occurred or has it been a gradual process?………………’

To read the interview go here;
https://www.eckharttolle.com/article/The-Power-Of-Now-Spirituality-And-The-End-Of-Suffering

Patrick White Australian novelist: ‘only love can pierce the “cloud of unknowing” which lies between Him and us’

‘God cannot be apprehended by man’s intellect and that only love can pierce the “cloud of unknowing” which lies between Him and us.’

In the 14th Century an anonymous English mystic wrote a book called ‘The Cloud of Unknowing’, the main theme of which is that God cannot be apprehended by man’s intellect and that only love can pierce the “cloud of unknowing” which lies between Him and us.

I feel that in my own life anything I have done of possible worth has happened in spite of my gross, worldly self. I have been no more than the vessel used to convey ideas above my intellectual capacities. When people praise passages I have written, more often than not I can genuinely say, ‘Did I write that?’ I don’t think this is due to my having a bad memory, because I have almost total recall of trivialities. I see it as evidence of the part the supernatural plays in lives which would otherwise remain earthbound.

Patrick White Australian novelist and winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature.

The mystic and the schizophrenic find themselves…

“The mystic and the schizophrenic find themselves in the same ocean, but whereas the mystic swims, the schizophrenic drowns.” -R.D.Laing

“The problem with which you are faced is…

“The problem with which you are faced is one which concerns and seriously puzzles many of our present-day youth. How to attain spirituality is indeed a question to which every young man and woman must sooner or later try to find a satisfactory answer. It is precisely because no such satisfactory answer has been given or found, that the modern youth finds itself bewildered, and is being consequently carried away by the materialistic forces that are so powerfully undermining the foundations of man’s moral and spiritual life.

“Indeed the chief reason for the evils now rampant in society is the lack of spirituality. The materialistic civilization of our age has so much absorbed the energy and interest of mankind that people in general do no longer feel the necessity of raising themselves above the forces and conditions of their daily material existence. There is not sufficient demand for things that we call spiritual to differentiate them from the needs and requirements of our physical existence.
“The universal crisis affecting mankind is, therefore, essentially spiritual in its causes. The spirit of the age, taken on the whole, is irreligious. Man’s outlook on life is too crude and materialistic to enable him to elevate himself into the higher realms of the spirit.
“It is this condition, so sadly morbid, into which society has fallen, that religion seeks to improve and transform. For the core of religious faith is that mystic feeling which unites Man with God. Directives from the Guardian – Shoghi Effendi – India/Hawaii, 1973 edition, pp 86-87

This state of spiritual communion can be brought about and maintained by means of meditation and prayer.

And this is the reason why Bahá’u’lláh has so much stressed the importance of worship. It is not sufficient for a believer merely to accept and observe the teachings. He should, in addition, cultivate the sense of spirituality which he can acquire chiefly by means of prayer. The Bahá’í Faith, like all other Divine Religions, is thus fundamentally mystic in character. Directives from the Guardian. Its chief goal is the development of the individual and society, through the acquisition of spiritual virtues and powers. 87 It is the soul of man which has first to be fed. Directives from the Guardian – Shoghi Effendi – India/Hawaii, 1973 edition, pp 86-87

“Laws and institutions, as viewed by Bahá’u’lláh, can become really effective only when our inner spiritual life has been perfected and transformed. Otherwise religion will degenerate into a mere organization, and becomes a dead thing. Directives from the Guardian – Shoghi Effendi – India/Hawaii, 1973 edition, pp 86-87

Directives from the Guardian – Shoghi Effendi – India/Hawaii, 1973 edition, pp 86-87

A Sufi teaching tells of the man who…

A Sufi teaching tells of the man who visited a great mystic to find out how to
let go of his chains of attachment and his prejudices. Instead of answering him
directly, the mystic jumped to his feet and bolted to a nearby pillar, flung
his arms around it, grasping the marble surface as he screamed, “Save me from
this pillar! Save me from this pillar!”

The man who had asked the question could not believe what he saw. He
thought the mystic was mad. The shouting soon brought a crowd of people. “Why
are you doing that?” the man asked. “I came to you to ask a spiritual question
because I thought you were wise, but obviously you’re crazy. *You* are holding
the pillar, the pillar is not holding you. You can simply let go.”

The mystic let go of the pillar and said to the man, “If you can
understand that, you have your answer. Your chains of attachment are not
holding you, you are holding them. You can simply let go.”