Posts Tagged richard rohr

Rohr: “Third Eye Seeing”

Fr. Richard Rohr – is a Franciscan priest, Christian mystic, and teacher of Ancient Christian Contemplative Prayer.  He is the founding Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM.

 

Rohr1“In the early medieval period, two Christian philosophers offered names for three different ways of seeing, and these names had a great influence on scholars and seekers in the Western tradition. Hugh of St. Victor (1078-1141) and Richard of St. Victor (1123-1173) wrote that humanity was given three different sets of eyes, each building on the previous one. The first eye was the eye of the flesh (thought or sight), the second was the eye of reason (meditation or reflection), and the third was the intuitive eye of true understanding (contemplation). 

I describe this third eye as knowing something simply by being calmly present to it (no processing needed!). This image of “third eye” thinking, beyond our dualistic vision, is also found in most Eastern religions. We are onto something archetypal here, I think!

The loss of the “third eye” is at the basis of much of the shortsightedness and religious crises of the Western world, about which even secular scholars like Albert Einstein and Iain McGilchrist have written. Lacking such wisdom, it is hard for churches, governments, and leaders to move beyond ego, the desire for control, and public posturing. Everything divides into dualistic oppositions like liberal vs. conservative, with vested interests pulling against one another. Truth is no longer possible at this level of conversation. Even theology becomes more a quest for power than a search for God and Mystery.

One wonders how far spiritual and political leaders can genuinely lead us without some degree of contemplative seeing and action. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that “us-and-them” seeing, and the dualistic thinking that results, is the foundation of almost all discontent and violence in the world.  It allows heads of religion and state to avoid their own founders, their own national ideals, and their own better instincts. Lacking the contemplative gaze, such leaders will remain mere functionaries and technicians, or even dangers to society.

We need all three sets of eyes in both a healthy culture and a healthy religion. Without them, we only deepen and perpetuate our problems.”

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Rohr: “Every time Paul uses the word flesh, just replace it with the word ego…”

Fr. Richard Rohr – is a Franciscan priest, Christian mystic, and teacher of Ancient Christian Contemplative Prayer.  He is the founding Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM.

 

Rohr1“The dialectic that we probably struggle with the most is the one Paul creates between flesh and spirit. I don’t think Paul ever intended for people to feel that their bodies are bad; he was not a Platonist. After all, God took on a human body in Jesus! Paul does not use the word “soma”, which literally means “body.”  I think what Paul means by “sarx” is the trapped self, the small self, the partial self, or what Thomas Merton called the false self. Basically, spirit is the whole self, the Christ self that we were born into and yet must re-discover. The problem is not between body and spirit; it’s between part and whole. Every time Paul uses the word “flesh” [sarx], just replace it with the word “ego’, and you will be much closer to his point. Your spiritual self is your whole and True Self, which includes your body; it is not your self apart from your body. We are not angels, we are embodied human beings.”  ~ From a meditation: “Paul as a Nondual Teacher“, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

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Rohr: “The Jesus Hermeneutic”

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, is a Franciscan Priest and contemporary Christian mystic.  He is a noted teacher, author, and lecturer and founding Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM.

 

Rohr1“You deserve to know my science for interpreting sacred texts. It is called a “hermeneutic.” Without an honest and declared hermeneutic, we have no consistency or authority in our interpretation of the Bible. My methodology is very simple; I will try to interpret Scripture the way that Jesus did.

Even more than telling us exactly what to see in the Scriptures, Jesus taught us how to see, what to emphasize, and also what could be de-emphasized, or even ignored. Jesus is himself our hermeneutic, and he was in no way a fundamentalist or literalist. He was a man of the Spirit. Just watch him and watch how he does it (which means you must have some knowledge of his Scriptures!).

Jesus consistently ignored or even denied exclusionary, punitive, and triumphalistic texts in his own Jewish Bible in favor of texts that emphasized inclusion, mercy, and justice for the oppressed. He had a deeper and wider eye that knew what passages were creating a highway for God and which passages were merely cultural, self-serving, and legalistic additions. When Christians state that every line in the Bible is of equal importance and inspiration, they are being very unlike Jesus . . . .

Jesus read the inspired text in an inspired way, which is precisely why he was accused of “teaching with authority and not like our scribes” (Matthew 7:29).”   ~ From “Yes, And…: Daily Meditations

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Rohr: There is no sacred and profane…

Rohr1“There are not sacred and profane things, places, and moments. There are only sacred and desecrated things, places, and moments— and it is we alone who desecrate them by our blindness and lack of reverence.” 

~ Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM

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Rohr: “First-hand Experience”

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“. . . All knowledge of God is first-hand experience.”   ~  Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, from his homily 28 Feb 2016

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Rohr: “Thou Art That”

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Fr. Richard Rohr, Franciscan Christian mystic and contemplative.

“Theologically it is not correct for Christians to simply call Jesus “God” or to simply call him ” a man”.  He is manifesting a third something, not God, not human, but the combination of the two! And his existence says to all of us: THOU ART THAT!  YOU also manifest the same eternal mystery, each in your own way!  “Follow me!”  We did ourselves and Jesus no favor by simply calling him “God”.  We missed the very point that could have and could still transform the world.  We made the Christ Mystery into a competitive religion instead of an icon of transformation for everybody.  We made Jesus into an “exclusive” incarnation instead of an inclusive Savior.  He came to take us along with him, not to just say “look at me”.  The paradox was so big, so central, and so stunning that our ordinary dualistic minds could not comprehend it.  Only the “non dual” saints and mystics could process it and experience it.  But now YOU can too: Thou Art That!”  ~ Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM

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Rohr: “But Christians made Christianity into a competition…”

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM (1943-    ) is a Franciscan writer, teacher, mystic, and priest.  He is at the forefront of Western Latin Christian efforts to restore their lost contemplative prayer tradition.  He is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM. and the Rohr Institute’s Living School for Action and Contemplation.  The Living School provides a course of study grounded in the Western Christian mystical tradition of the “Alternative Orthodoxy” of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Bonaventure, and Duns Scotus.

 

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Fr. Richard Rohr (1943- )

Simone Weil, French philosopher, sought a bridge between Judaism and Christianity. “Her great message was that the trouble with Christianity is that it had made itself into a separate religion instead of recognizing that the prophetic message of Jesus might just be necessary for the reform and authenticity of all religions.   But Christians made Christianity into a competition, and once we were in competition, we had to be largely verbal [as opposed to contemplative]; soon we were aggressive and, saddest of all, we became quite violent – all in the name of God,…”  ~  Yes, And Daily Devotional

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