The Game Changer 10-05-2017

Along with Richard Rohr,I think Jesus was the first prominent non-dualistic thinker in the West. And, generally speaking, the West hasn’t known what to do with him. The West doesn’t understand his essence or his thinking.

The East apprehends Jesus’ paradoxical essence. The East understands the incarnation with more depth and subtlety than our dualistic “in two persons” Western theology. For the Oriential Orthodox tradition Jesus could never be “in two persons,” which is tragically dualistic. For the Oriental Orthodox, Jesus is “one united dynamic nature: at once God and human.” This is the Jesus Paradox (Miaphisite in Greek).

We need something we can trust in an ultimate sense, somewhere to turn when our health fails, when our job falls through, when our loved one dies. The mystics affirm there’s no relationship, community, belief, or form of prayer we can completely trust. Nothing is worthy of our trust, nothing but the person of Jesus.

In The Philokalia, Gregory of Sinai (d. 1346) puts it well: “Behold your liberation, which is Jesus Christ, the redemption and salvation of souls. . . who is both God and man (human).”[1] Jesus: God’s dynamic human form—the prize of the mystics—the game changer—paradoxical, active, a moving target.[2]

[1] Palmer, et al, The Philokalia Vol. 4, 234.

[2] May, The Awakened Heart, 189, 198.

this post may contain affiliate links

The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself.  Based upon her book the Wisdom Jesus.

Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering  Contemplative Practices. This  course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including:  The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.

Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.  Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.

Enjoy Rich’s post: My Favorite Centering Prayer Books

Enjoy Rich’s review of Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice – Book Review