Rebuilding From The Bottom Up – 8 quotes from Richard Rohr’s book – Immortal Diamond: The Search For Our True Self

by Mark Votava

51Y9Oq9eiML._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. Losing an alternative consciousness

“In trying to defend its ground in the face of rationalism and scientism, religion tried to become ‘rational’ itself and lost its alternative consciousness, which many of us call contemplation…”

2. A radical transformation of our very mind and heart

“Moralism is the common substitute and counterfeit for mysticism in almost all religions. Moralism (as opposed to healthy morality) is our reliance on largely arbitrary purity codes, magic rituals, and ‘requirements’ for our supposed enlightenment, ‘salvation,’ or any form of superiority. Every group and individual relies on moralism in its early stages. We look for something behavioral to externally do or not do rather than undergo a radical transformation of our very mind and heart…”

3. A mere diversion or entertainment

“Once you experience the Real, the unreal is increasingly a mere diversion or entertainment, not substantial reality…”

4. Humility and vulnerability

“We need and belong to one another, love says – we are not our own. That is why St. Francis loved the very word poverty… and saw humility and vulnerability as the shocking, impossible nature of God, as revealed to him in Jesus… Poverty is probably the Franciscan word for intimacy, which is why Francis even wanted to ‘marry Lady Poverty.’ Jesus tellingly begins his Sermon on the Mount with praise for the ‘poor in spirit’… God could only tell us to be what God also is. It was the humility and poverty of God that Francis fell in love with – and married. A False Self could not bear the stripped-down poverty of this intangible intimacy with God. If there were no other evidence in his life, this willingness and desire to love a ‘poor’ God would reveal how fully Francis of Assisi lived from his True Self.”

5. The enlightened and transformed soul

“The Risen Christ normally represents the True Self – the enlightened and transformed soul that is intimate with everything.”

6. God is a process

“God is a process rather than a clear name or idea, a communion, Interbeing itself, and never an isolated deity that can be captured by our mind.”

7. We must rebuild from the bottom up

“So how can we do our part to further ‘the work,’ ‘the great turning,’ the ‘refounding’ in our own lifetime? We must rebuild from the very bottom up, and that means restoring the inherent sacrality of all things – no exceptions – and all the past mistakes must be included as teaching moments and not just something to hate. We must relink all the links in ‘the great chain of being.’”

8. Calm cooperation

“Why, oh why, did we make the Gospel into a competition instead of a joyous proclamation of this necessary but good process – of surrender into love? I think it is because the ego (the False Self) prefers win-lose over win-win, even strangely enough, when it ends up defining oneself as a loser. The ego will always choose trumped-up competition over any calm cooperation…”

How can we rebuild from the bottom up?

My new book The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life (2015) is finally done! It is available on kindle and paperback!

“Our crowded, overly-consumed, hyper-active, digitally-addicted lifestyle is draining the life out of us. We are desperate to transcend the chaos and find a better way to live. We need a mystical imagination. Get ready to be transported into the depths of meaning as Votava breaks open the contemplative path and shows you how to live your life to the fullest.” Phileena Heuertz, author of Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life and founding partner, Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism

My first book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together (2014) is available on kindle and paperback also!

“Inside everyone there is a longing for community, to love and be loved. We are made in the image of a communal God. But in our hyper-mobile, individualistic, cluttered world… community is an endangered thing. And community is like working out – it takes work, sweat, discipline…  without that our muscles atrophy. Everybody wants to be fit, but not too many people want to do the work to get there. Mark’s book is sort of a workout manual, helping you rediscover your communal muscles and start building them up slowly. It is an invitation to live deep in a shallow world.”  Shane Claiborne, author and activist