Unknowing or Confusion – 6 quotes from Richard Rohr’s book – The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See

by Mark Votava

71TI4PvYKoL1. Disorder and imperfection

 “The most amazing fact about Jesus, unlike any other religious founder, is that he found God in disorder and imperfection – and told us that we must do the same or we would never be content on this earth. This is what makes Jesus so counterintuitive to most eras and cultures, and why most never perceived the great good news in this utter shift of consciousness. That failure to understand his core message, and a concrete program by which you could experience this truth for yourself, is at the center of our religious problem today. We look for hope where it was never promised, and no one gave us the proper software so we could know hope for ourselves, least of all in disorder and imperfection! Worst of all, we did not know that hope and union are the same thing, and that real hope has nothing to do with mental certitudes.”

2. Words and thoughts are invariably dualistic

“Words and thoughts are invariably dualistic, but pure experience is always nondualistic. Think about that!”

3. The path of great love and the path of great suffering

“…there are two paths that break down our dualistic thinking and our inability to let go: The path of great love and the path of great suffering. Neither of them can be willed, truly understood, or programmed by any method whatsoever. There is no precise technique or foolproof formula for love or suffering. They are their own teachers, the best of teachers, in their own time and in their own unique way each time. If you are like me, however, you would rather have teaching in the head than what I call ‘the authority of those who have suffered’ and have emerged from the belly of the whale, transformed.”

4. Unknowing or confusion

“Such an opening or re-opening is entirely necessary to help you make fresh starts or break through to new levels. You normally have to let go of the old and go through a stage of unknowing or confusion, before you can move to another level of awareness or new capacity. This staging and stepping-over is largely what we mean by faith, and it explains why doubt and faith are correlative terms. People of great faith often suffer bouts of great doubt at many levels because they continue to grow at new levels. Mother Teresa experienced decades of this kind of doubt, as was widely reported sometime after her death. The very fact that the world media and people in general so little understood this in her demonstrates how limited is our understanding of the nature of Biblical faith.”

5. Growing throughout all of your life

“Once you accept ongoing change as a central program for yourself, you tend to continue growing throughout all of your life…”

6. Attacking or defending

“When you are concerned with either attacking or defending, manipulating or resisting, pushing or pulling, you cannot be contemplative…”

Which quote do you like the best?

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