The Daily Dharma – July 30, 2021

Mystical Christianity: A Critique from Within

Still life oil painting of a set of green rosary beads with yellow metal cross set on a dark brown background.
Easter Rosary Painting Seamus Berkeley

I have often wondered how we could have lost such vast wisdom from the ages. I expect no more from the systems of power, which need to be dualistic in order to survive. But unfortunately, organized religion today too often offers easy and false dichotomies to its own mass membership. Whether popes, patriarchs, mullahs, rabbis, imams, bishops, or clerics, many who should be elders and teachers, and who should know better from their own study and prayer, seem to be strongly invested in either-or thinking. It gives them a sense of certitude, clear authority, and control over all the confusing data. Once you must speak for any group, a whole set of biases necessarily come into play. It has little to with bad intentions on the part of individuals. Protocols, procedures, policies, consistency, hiring and firing, communion and excommunication – all become necessary, it seems. At this level, we all become invested in what Wallace Stevens called “a blessed rage for order,” even though our founder, Jesus, seemed quite comfortable with the constant disorder of his world. How do we reconcile these two? Is it even possible?

Richard Rohr
from The Naked Now; Learning to See as the Mystics See

To be continued . . .