My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

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My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:15 pm

Finding Christianity's Mystic Heart

Imagine a man uncovering a certain rock while clearing some land. A grey, green-tinged rock, quite unremarkable. But then he strikes it with a pick, and it cracks open like a big egg! When he peers into its curious interior, he sees jagged translucent crystal, regal purple. Unexpectedly, he’s discovered a huge amethyst egg or “geode,” valued for its ethereal inner beauty.

The discovery of this amethyst geode resembles in some ways my discovery of a holistic Christianity. In my superficial understanding of it, Christianity appeared plain-crusted-- until I discovered its inner secret.

For many years --started when I was about sixteen-- I was convinced that Christianity was merely a banal Churchianity, curiously unmystical, unphilosophical, and unholistic, especially given the obvious depth and dynamism of its founder.

That is why I left the Catholic Church when I was sixteen for far Eastern spirituality, which I saw as essentially contemplative, philosophical, and holistic-- integrative of body, mind, and spirit.

But fifteen years ago I returned to the Church. Why? Imagine an architect working at home today, who gets an inspiration for a daringly new building design. Excited to start work immediately, she asks her little daughter to get her some paper from her home office, so she can begin to sketch her concept. When her daughter returns with a little pad, she chuckles to herself, knowing that her grand design for this new building will not fit on the small page.

I found myself in the position of that assistant when I took a second look at Christianity. I discovered that my idea of Christianity had been absurdly smaller than its awesome realities. I found that the little bit of parchment I had reserved for it could not contain the illimitable Christian mysteries. The mystical, philosophical, and holistic resources I had been seeking elsewhere all of my life were in the Church all along-- par excellence.
My spiritual journey, like your own, has been filled with curious twists and turns. I was a young teen in the 1960's, like many teens at the time (perhaps teens perennially?), in search of the real, the authentic, beyond superficial appearances. An anecdote, from another era, speaks strikingly to this:

One evening in l808, a gaunt man entered the offices of Dr. James Hamilton in Manchester, England. The doctor, struck by the melancholy
appearance of this unexpected visitor, asked: "Are you sick?"
"Yes, doctor. I feel sick unto death!"
The doctor leaned forward on his desk, and carefully studied the man's
drawn face. "What are your symptoms, sir?"
Sighing pitifully, the man began: "Doctor, I'm frightened of the world
around me. I'm depressed by life. I'm terribly unhappy, nothing amuses me, and I have nothing to live for. If you can't help me, I swear I'll kill myself!"
The doctor regarded the man with sincere compassion. "Good sir,
listen to me. Your case is hardly hopeless. You only need to laugh! You need to get some pleasure from life!"
The man looked down and flatly said, "What do you mean?"
"Sir, look at me," said the doctor, in a gentle tone. The man slowly
raised his eyes. "The answer to your problems is simple. I advise you to go
to the circus tonight to see Grimaldi, the clown. I tell you, he's the funniest
man alive! The laughter he will bring you will be your salvation!"
"Doctor," said the man with infinite weariness, "I am Grimaldi."

The 60's critique of the 'Grimaldi Syndrome', as we might call it, discerned that secret pain is widespread, disguised by fixed social smiles. I sought in began to seek in Jesus' radical sayings, a deliverance from mere social expressions of happiness and success.

Politics was in the air in l968, both on the international front --the Vietnam War-- and the domestic, in the civil rights movement. The philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr., in particular, held a profound attraction for me. I was drawn to his incisive articulation of an ethic of love, peace, and justice-- inspired, he affirmed, by the vitality of Christ's Sermon on the Mount.

As a high school freshman, I devoured King's books (more meditative studies than political tracts), which promised a mending of social division. I also memorized much of the Sermon on the Mount which, through the courageous social witness of King, had sprung to life for me. Though a cradle Catholic, I had never studied the Sermon in close detail, and its discovery was exhilarating. This was a breakthrough for me, this disclosure of the interior dimension of religion: "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God"; "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect". I was thrilled to see that the interior transformation by Christ's words pointed to a life beyond the Grimaldi Syndrome!

Not only was King's work my introduction to the Sermon, it also introduced me to a noble spirituality of another sort, one that changed my life with equal force. One of King’s chief influences was the Hindu sage and activist, Mahatma Gandhi. King saw Gandhi's philosophy of satyagraha --truth-power-- as a way to apply Christ's Sermon on the Mount in daily affairs and political struggles. My study of Gandhi's life led me, in turn, to study one of his formative influences: the Hindu mystical classic, the Bhagavad-Gita, the “Song of God.”

The Gita is one of India's most beloved texts, as it renewed and expanded the wisdom of Hinduism's most ancient text, the Vedas. The Gita teaches a series of spiritual disciplines termed yoga (from the Sanskrit root, "yuj" to join or yoke) that invite both self-unity --a unity of body, mind, and soul-- and unity with God. God is conceived in the Gita as the inmost Reality of human beings, the peaceful Center of the soul beyond the nervous "false self" of cramped egotism. This seemed to me --to continue a motif-- an esoteric yet practical way of mending the Grimaldi Syndrome. Moreover, though my knowledge of Catholic tradition was superficial, I had always been fascinated by the saints' mystical experiences of the divine. (A mystical experience is a vivid contact with God, and a Christian mystic is someone who has often experienced such soul-transforming contact.)

How remarkable, I thought, that a ray of heaven had broken upon their souls while on earth! I was intrigued by the Gita's promise that ecstatic soul-experiences could be systematically cultivated: "When, through the practice of yoga, the mind ceases its restless movements, and becomes still, he [the yogi] realizes the Atman”-- the Atman, the true Self which the yogi takes to be divine. I was particularly moved by the Gita's accent on the indwelling presence of Spirit, the immanence of God, for it spoke to me of God's radical nearness to each of us.

Yes, of course I thought it highly ironic that the divine realities described by Christ could be most effectively realized through Eastern disciplines outside the fold of Christianity. But knowing little of true Catholic tradition, I simply accepted a rather naive explanation of this: that (a) Christ's teaching had been hijacked by the Church and eviscerated of mysticism, and (b) that yoga drove intrinsically and systematically to spiritual transformation, while Christianity fostered such transformation only accidentally.

For about two decades, I was an ardent yoga student, studying with a number of gurus, and with one guru, a swami (a Hindu monk) for eight years. Mark Twain quipped, "I never let my schooling interfere with my education," and his wise comment was not lost on me: I sometimes played hooky from my high school classes in New Jersey, taking buses into Manhattan to study with reknowned gurus visiting from India. In addition to enjoying the mystical element of their teaching, I relished its holistic character, including instruction in yogic body postures and rhythmic breathing techniques, meant to artfully center the whole person in Spirit.
I also appreciated yoga's definition of God as supernatural Bliss; indeed, a famous and remarkably beautiful Sanskrit name for God is Sat-Chit-Ananda, or "Existence-Knowledge-Bliss." The gurus taught a smooth, relatively unbumpy path of meditation to realization of this Bliss. No wonder I was puzzled and disconcerted when, still in my teens, I came across St. John of the Cross' phrase the "dark night of the soul," which had been briefly footnoted in a yoga book I had been studying. (Tellingly, the author cited St. John as a mystic whose exalted experiences of God proved that he must have transcended Christianity!) As a teen yogi on the fast track to enlightenment, I found St. John's "dark night of the soul" thoroughly unappealing, as it was quite at odds with the gurus' sweetness-and-light outline of the spiritual path. I felt sorry that John did not have the benefit of a guru to tell him that God is Bliss, and that he should abandon his morbid nickname, for the inner path to Bliss is, well, blissful (in the insuperable logic of a sixteen-year-old).
Yet, truth be told, all was not sweetness and light in yoga circles. Charlatanism was rife in California ashrams in the l970s, with self-ordained gurus inventing outlandish neo-yogas to appease egotism rather than to challenge it, as the ancient yoga tradition had. Only years after my apprenticeship in yoga did I realize the extent of the shenanigans. Here and there I came to learn of the fall of many well-known yoga teachers of the l970s and 80s in hair-raising scandals that typically didn't make the mainstream press: well-substantiated charges of egomaniacal authoritarianism, sexual abuse, and bilking disciples out of life savings.

Today my appreciation endures for what is true, noble, and sublime in yoga and other ancient wisdoms, expressed in the devout lives of lovers of God such as Ramakrishna of the 19th century. I know that many true spiritual intuitions came to me through yoga, including the significance of interior quiet, the exposure of the ego's shallow games as key to spiritual reception, and the perception of our cosmos as a temple of God.

My re-evaluation of Catholicism came in my early 30's as a graduate student in religious studies at the University of Southern California. Research into mysticism had led me to a number of extraordinary books authored by Catholic contemplatives, contemporary and ancient. I found in the work of the nineteenth-century Carmelite, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, the doctrine of the indwelling Trinity in the soul, which opened my eyes to the personal interiority of God elaborated in Christianity. (I had thought only yoga elaborated such immanence.)

I found in the masterwork of the twentieth-century Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain, The Degrees of Knowledge, a grand synthesis of the ways of insight, from the simplest sensory perception of a blade of grass to the soul's eternal vision of God, a termed by Catholics the beatific vision. I was stunned by the contemplative and metaphysical depths of these works. I started to attend noon Mass at the Catholic Church across the street from the USC, and was amazed by the mystical character of the Mass. I began to see that Catholicism was not accidentally, but essentially, mystical. I saw that a view of the Church that left out its mystical foundation would be as incomplete as a version of Gray's Anatomy that left out all charts on the circulatory system.

This passage from Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity is characteristic:

"O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to become utterly forgetful of myself so that I may establish myself in you, as changeless and calm as though my soul were already in eternity. Let nothing disturb my peace nor draw me forth f from you, O my unchanging God, but at every moment may I penetrate more deeply into the depths of your mystery. Give peace to my soul; make it your heaven, your cherished dwelling-place and the place of your repose. Let me never leave you there alone, but keep me there, wholly attentive, wholly alert in my faith, wholly adoring and fully given up to your creative action."

Here was a God of joy and a way of transformation that was a far, far cry from the superficial "organized religion" I had regularly excoriated in my yoga years. To return to an earlier analogy, the small bit of parchment I had reserved for Christianity vanished, and I began to see that the far-flung cosmos was itself a bit of parchment on which creative "Logos," had deigned to write a poem of Life.

The gurus of my youth and beyond had typically dismissed Christianity --especially Catholicism-- as a watered-down "organized religion," contrary to the personal and committed spirituality of yoga. Jesus Christ, they regularly taught, was a Self-realized yogi and not the founder of the religion bearing his name. "Organized" Christianity was the invention of priestcraft and political contrivance.

The tendency of certain teachers of Eastern mysticism to alienate Christ from the Christian tradition is of a piece with their treatment of the Christian mystics. A mystic is one who has direct, vivid, and transforming experiences of God. The so-called Christian mystics, the yogis assert, are only nominally Christian, not really Christian, because all mysticism is beyond religion. Yoga teachers are not alone in this view. In spirituality circles the consensus is that all mysticism is the same, and all mystics have come upon the same high realities of the Spirit. The so-called "Christian" mystics simply use a Christian vocabulary to describe transcendent realities common to Hinduism and Buddhism. The mystics of every religion have come to identical, interchangeable revelations.

Hence the tendency, in these circles, to segregate the Christian mystics out from the Church. To see them as spiritually belonging to a kind of separate esoteric league of their own, existing above the "unenlightened" teachings of organized Christianity. The mystics are the major leaguers; Christianity is the little league. The mystics have the truth fresh off the fruity bough of transcendental experience; the Church has only stale-crust dogma.

My coming to understand the distinctiveness of Christian mysticism was pivotal to my re-awakening to Catholicism. I came to see that Christian mystics such as St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila were not "Christian" by accidents of historical conditioning, nor merely by their employing "Christian" vocabulary. They were Christian mystics because God disclosed to their hearts certain superlative realities of Christ and of the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by chrism on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:02 pm

I am a cradle Catholic and love my faith. I've always trusted God much less in my first thirty years than in my last. In my memoir God's Patient Pursuit of My Soul (Feb. 2017), I describe a prayer I prayed when I was sixteen that poured from my heart rather spontaneously. It opened the door to Christ that I didn't understand at the time. My understanding of God was "sky God" far, far away and not always present to me, being busy with all the other problems of the world.

I went to the University of Dayton for my undergraduate degree, attending Mass regularly there and doing some service projects, but not making any significant inroads in my relationship to Christ. He began conversing with me in my thirties in colloquy which stunned me. After several retreats and Bible studies, he appeared in a dream and a mystical experience of divine union. By your definition, I am a mystic but rather uncomfortable with the word, and not totally sure why. (A mystical experience is a vivid contact with God, and a Christian mystic is someone who has often experienced such soul-transforming contact.)

I would be very grateful if you would read my book and help me understand myself as a mystic, or how to move through the world as one. I'm not certain I need to understand mysticism or being a mystic to continue to do the work God puts before me, but it sure would make me feel better to talk to someone like you or others here who have some knowledge and/or experience on this subject.

I'd be happy to send you a copy or you can read the first chapters on Amazon.

Chris

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by Admin on Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:42 pm

Dear Chris,
I appreciate your post. Nice to hear from you.
 I wish I could help you with your questions about the path ahead for you, but I have no talent in "spiritual direction".   Thanks for offering me a copy of the book, but I don't have time presently to read it.  I will read the free chapters on amazon within a week and offer a comment on it for you, along the lines of your question.
May I suggest that terms such as "mystic" and "contemplative" are surely not meaningless terms, I don't see a value in your trying to categorize yourself.   God doesn't have categories for us, God's created us One on one and God's rapport with us is one on one.....sans categories, which are probably largely in our heads.  
Do you continue as a Catholic, may I ask? If so, what is still important to you about the Catholic faith in your rapport with God?  
God with you!
Joe

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by chrism on Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:38 pm

Dear Joe,
Yes, I am a Catholic still. You may find me most mornings at daily Mass.

What is still important to me about the Catholic faith in my rapport with God? What a lovely question.
First and foremost is the Eucharist. Jesus desires to give Himself to us every day if we let Him, if we invite Him (and even when we don't). I long for Him and so appreciate 1) our freedom to attend church daily here in the U.S. without persecution and 2) the fact that in the Catholic Church, daily Mass is offered. He is our living bread and He gives Himself to us physically, mystically, in deep love for you and me.

At the Eucharist, we stand not alone in praise and longing for God, but in unity with those in our physical church building, and those throughout the world where the same Mass and readings are being said for millions. Jesus' prayer in John 17:21 was for us all to be one. I know of nowhere else we can show him that unity better than at Mass said worldwide in the same way with the same words.

In the Eucharist, these are also important and dear to me:
*the candles lit at the altar, reminding us of His Presence (as well as at the Tabernacle) and His words, "I am the light of the world;" and John's words, "and the darkness has not understood it."
*the community in prayer, the raising of many voices in song and prayer resonates in my soul in a special, touching way (or perhaps Jesus within me radiates His joy at hearing our voices together?);
*hearing the Word of God broken open in the readings of the day and the homily; His word is purifying, edifying, stimulating, soothing;
*witnessing the consecration of bread and wine in the words of Jesus from the Last Supper;
*hearing the prayers in the liturgy of the word summarizing our faith and beliefs;
*kneeling to honor our risen Lord;
*the changing of the colors of the vestments and altar cloths to honor saints or martyrs, reminding us of the marvelous example so many have given us over the centuries;
*calling on and recognizing the communion of saints and angels;
*the hold-your-breath mystery and awe and power that emanates from the elevated host and chalice;
*the truth of sacrifice, surrender, God's love and mercy that confront me and humble me in the words of every Mass.

The other sacraments:
annointing of the sick - a friend's soul soared to God's calling this week and I was privileged to be praying at her bedside when our priest arrived to bless her body with the holy oils and pray for her soul, and comfort her husband.
reconciliation - the burden of sin we carry is lifted with counsel and grace; joy replaces it with grace.
confirmation - another annointing from the Holy Spirit; holy passage into more active faithlife
holy orders - a new bishop lay before the altar recently at his ordination Mass, just as new priests do. To witness and partake in this holy celebration, a life dedicated purely to God, buoys the soul
baptism - this sacrament is not unique to the Catholic church, but our use of all the rich symbols and prayers and readings handed down through the ages is, and they are lovely.
marriage - I've been to other services where marriages were performed. They're over quickly and with little depth. They leave me feeling empty and sad for the couple. The richness of the Mass encircling the marriage vows, and the blessing of the couple and rings by the priest, creates a cocoon of love around them that has no equal.

Eucharistic Adoration: to be able to sit before the presence of God in a chapel or church and let Jesus bathe you in His love soothes the soul in the intimacy of His passion for us. Grace and wisdom fill us from these visits. God can't help but share His richness with us when we come freely, willingly to Him and sit before Him for a while.

I've been in Episcopal churches and they freely talk and walk about before the altar because they do not repose any consecrated hosts there, at least the ones I've attended. By contrast, there's a reverence I feel and exercise upon entering a Catholic church. It is important to me to use the holy water with which we cross ourselves, reminding us of our baptism when we enter, and to genuflect or reverently bow before the altar of God before entering a pew or when crossing in front of the altar. Relics of saints are within the altar in Catholic churches. And Christ Himself is present with angels by His side. The light of the candle by the tabernacle flickers to reminds us of this, when we forget and feel we are all alone.

Common prayers: there is great comfort from being able to share prayers in common with Catholics the world over. In times of need, or in times of death, as well as joyful moments, whenever we are gathered, all anyone has to say is the first few words of any number of prayers and the room stops, all voices join as one in raising our needs and hearts to the Lord. They are the same words we learned from childhood (some of us) and great comfort and solace comes to us in when we hear others pray them with us.

The Blessed Mother of God, Mary, most holy: Marian devotions have been an often misunderstood part of the Catholic faith. We pray through Mary to Jesus. He gave her to us as our mother in some of His last words from the cross. She is a comfort to us as many mothers are. She points only to her Son, guiding all to Him who ask her help. Although not my favorite method of praying, there are times, especially at or near death, or when I can't sleep, when thinking about the mysteries (joyful, sorrowful, luminous, glorious) as I say a rosary, or even just a decade, honors Jesus' mother whom He loved and brings us all repose in our souls.

My rapport with God grew through non-Catholic Bible study and was buoyed in my teen years through Young Life. But in every decade of my life, every Sunday and holy day, I have been able to "taste and see how good is the Lord" through a Catholic Mass and faith rich in mystery, lives of the saints, and wisdom of her mystics and theologians. Just as Jesus chose Peter, I choose Catholicism. It has its flaws as Peter did, but its richness and beauty in its art, saints, music, liturgy, and sacraments and celebrations resound with the effulgence of the divine mystery that holds me transfixed to the Trinity like Christ's mud on a blind man's eyes.



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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by Admin on Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:06 pm

Dear Chris,
Thanks for your detailed reply.I am finishing up the evening, and look forward to reading it tomorrow.
Joe

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by wfobrien on Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:19 am

Chris/Joe

I have very much enjoyed reading your journeys and thoughts. I can resonate with each of you. I suspect we are similar in age and thus possess similar Catholic upbringing.
Joe-I may have stated before my journey was very similar. Very Catholic and in college became enamored with Eastern religion. Also attached myself to the guru scene: Muktananada was mine. Played in the New Age/Eastern mindset up till 5 years ago when it dawned on me I was missing something. Since then Bernadettes writing has merged both together for me.
Chris-loved reading your notes. Yes in many ways Catholicism has such a rich Sacred tradition it embraces many sides of me as well as my personal life history. I too reflect on the greatness of daily Mass being the opportunity to partake in the great mystery daily! Other Christian groups just done have that. The Eucharist is sort of a side thing not The Thing.

One last side note. My local parish was assigned a new priest recently. Extremely conservative. Very dogmatic. Many have left over his stated views on many social issues. Friends have wondered how I can put up with him and why I dont leave. I try to explain (but none understand) the parish priest and the structural Church at large dont really affect me. They and he are not the main event. The Eucharist is. What would I be leaving for a better sermon?

Thanks for giving such detailed reflections

Bill

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by chrism on Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:27 am

Bill,
The Eucharist is everything. Thomas Merton wrote in his journal, The Sign of Jonah, that he almost fell over the first time he elevated the host as a new priest. It was so light and contained so much.

I understand what you are saying about your new priest and how he is not the main event at a liturgy. I lived through some years of what I used to call dead liturgies because Jesus is there. He lived through some frustrating (well-meaning) Pharisees and Saducees.

People don't get it because they haven't surrendered their hearts yet. They have yet to open their hearts to let Jesus in. They keep him at a safe distance and check "go to Mass" off the to-do list.

It's like trying to sympathize with someone whose loved one has died if you've never experienced a loved one's death. You understand it cerebrally but have no way of grasping the depth of feelings, the effect on the entire body, psyche, and soul of such a loss. You stand on the outside and do your best to console superficially.

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by rpw8 on Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:18 am

Hi Chris, Read briefly about your time in Dayton as I live in Cincinnati, my whole life, born and raised. You can say the apple doesn't fall from the tree. Never had a real significant story to share. Going to Europe at a young age had some significance for me with seeing the cathedrals. No real connection with church services and the Eucharist. I have a Sensory Processing Syndrome, sounds fancy, but recently discovered. It's been a life long issue, quite debilitating and good chance I can cure it come Spring time. Thanks, for sharing. Hope at some point we can connect.

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by rpw8 on Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:20 am

Oops, meant to say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by chrism on Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:25 am

rpw8,
I may be coming to Dayton next year to do a reading from my book. Perhaps we could meet then. Looking forward to it. And happy you have a good chance of curing your SPS. I've prayed for you just now.

Chrism

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by Admin on Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:45 pm

Chris,
I very much resonated with your listing of Catholic Christian sublimities that continue to touch your heart. I share your grateful attitude toward, and awe of, the Eucharist!
I know you have affirmed that the journey radically changed your view of Christ. Does that hold true for your view of the Trinity? Has your view of the Trinity changed radically too?
Joe

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by Admin on Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:55 pm

Bill,
I was a disciple of a disciple-Swami of Muktananda, at an ashram in Northern CA. We would go to see Muktananda in Oakland in the late 70' early 80's....were you there?
I hope you share more details of your journey, if you care to. I would find especially interesting to hear more details of your transition --from a metaphysical or mystical theological perspective-- from the non--dualism of Siddha Yoga's Shiva Yoga, Kasmir Shaivism, guru-bhatki; to contemplative Christianity.
I am so delighted to hear of your love of the Eucharist, brother!

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by Admin on Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:57 pm

Bill,
how did you experience meditation as a Siddha Yoga student? Was it largely the experience-identity of silent Witness Consciousness? Or more dramatically 'mystical'?
Joe

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by Admin on Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:03 pm

Everybody,
I wish we could all go to Mass together!
well, I guess we are already, because that is exactly the Same Eucharist we gather to receive.  
Reminds of a line from Gibran's The Prophet:
"When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet."
http://4umi.com/gibran/prophet/23
The rest of Gibran's gorgeous prose-poem on prayer is here:
http://4umi.com/gibran/prophet/23

Our Lady with you,
Joe

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by Admin on Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:06 pm

rpw8-- Patrick,
happy you share a city with Chris,
Joe

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by chrism on Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:58 pm

Dear Joe,
No, my view of the Trinity has not changed dramatically. I've always danced with the Trinity in a circle of love.

Chris

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by Admin on Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:40 pm

Chris,
Do you describe your rapport with the Trinity in your book, or elsewhere?

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by chrism Today at 3:46 am

Dear Joe,
I enjoy your questions. Thank you for asking them. I think I describe the flow of Trinity, one into the other, in my book. I'm finishing the edit of the last 85 pages of the audiobook today. I'll listen for it if it's there and let you know. But not my rapport with the Trinity. That is only in private journals so far. Perhaps that would make a good blog post at ChrisManion.com. The writing there is still evolving as to what I should write and to whom am I writing. I love you
Chris

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

Post by Admin Today at 6:56 pm

Chris,
thanks for answer and our conversation. I look forward to reading your book,
Joe

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Re: My journey-- an excerpt (modified) from my book "Holistic Christianity: the Vision of Catholic Mysticism" (2005, Paragon))

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