592. Richard Rohr

Richard RohrRichard Rohr is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province. He is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation and academic dean of the CAC’s Living School. An internationally recognized author and spiritual leader, Fr. Richard teaches primarily on incarnational mysticism, non-dual consciousness, and contemplation, with a particular emphasis on how these affect the social justice issues of our time.

Podcast: Another Name for Every Thing

A few of Fr. Rohr’s 30+ books:

Main points discussed in this conversation:

  • The universal Christ and the personal Jesus.
  • Our environmental destruction reveals our failure to realize God’s omnipresence.
  • Tribal vs. universal religion.
  • Christians are known for protecting life before birth, but not after.
  • Process Theology: Consciousness is evolving in its capacity to be received and embodied.
  • We only have metaphors to describe God – e.g. God is light. There was never one notion of God in the old testament or new testament.
  • Jesus is often depicted as a punisher rather than the compassionate man that he was.
  • Order, Disorder, and Reorder – all three are necessary for the universe to exist.
  • Embracing polarities and paradox.
  • God as the Great Allower – free will.
  • Aligning with God’s will.
  • The Universal Christ – the synthesis of Richard’s 50+ ministry.
  • Transactional vs. transformational religion.
  • The meaning of Jesus dying for our sins.
  • Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity but to change the mind of humanity about God.
  • The importance of restorative vs. retributive justice.
  • The Apostles’ creed.
  • Infinite love can never give up on anything it created.
  • Fundamentally, we’re all connected, so we all share each other’s sins and virtues to some degree.
  • The fall had to happen for us to freely choose the good.
  • Nonduality is more explicit in eastern religions but is also in Christianity.
  • Universities teach us knowledge but not wisdom. Great love and great suffering are the universal paths of transformation. If you avoid them, you will never be wise.
  • We need to love something more than ourselves. We start with a stone, a plant, an animal, and work our way up to God.
  • Suffering accompanies love, but without love, there are things you will never know.
  • The meaning of the crucifixion, in terms of solidarity.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded March 27, 2021

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

586. Cynthia Bourgeault, 2nd Interview

Cynthia BourgeaultCynthia Bourgeault is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, and theologian. For thirty years she worked closely with Fr. Thomas Keating as a student, editor, and colleague and has taught and written extensively on Centering Prayer. She is a core faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation and founding director of an international network of Wisdom Schools. In addition to her work on Centering Prayer, she is the author of numerous other books on the Christian Mystical and Wisdom tradition, including The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind–A New Perspective on Christ and His Message, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity, and her most recent, Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm.

Websites:

Other Books:

Main points discussed in this interview:

  • The Imaginal Realm is an objective reality belonging to the spectrums of consciousness within the Great Chain of Being which transcend, surround, and penetrate the denser realities. “Imaginal” does not mean “imaginary”.
  • Heaven and Hell represent opposites on the spectrum of consciousness which runs from freedom and connectedness on one end to constriction and alienation on the other. Both are experienced here, too.
  • Our important task is to become cosmic servants integrated into earthly reality.
  • Our work done in this realm feeds and informs the subtler realms which then process it and pour it back into our realm so that all realms evolve as a single reality.
  • The Kingdom of Heaven can be interpreted as seeing ourselves as wormholes that act as portals into the wholeness of the cosmic matrix. Encountering the Kingdom of God opens us up to the holistic nature of reality that informs and invites us to walk within the congruity of our individual will and the will of the Wholeness that seeks to become manifest.
  • Developing discernment requires equanimity and open-heartedness grounded in humility so that the ego doesn’t take the lead by creating roles that toxify and stagnate the path towards love and understanding.
  • Remaining teachable while being willing to risk self-exploration is essential to balanced development.
  • Creation is God’s way of communicating Love that gives, receives, sees, and is seen. This relational field has as its telos the eternal generation of diversity held together and protected by Love.
  • The great work is to fully show up in the laboratory of our lives and awaken into higher stages of consciousness. We courageously and graciously accept the presence of “tough grace” which comes to us packaged as apparent obstacles and even suffering.
  • From the depth of humility and spiritual maturity, we learn how to appreciate pinnacle spiritual states without getting attached to them.
  • Our emotional transactions have an energetic signature. We can learn how to “sniff the odor” of the energy in events, places, the dynamic between people, and even in concepts and ideas. This “sniffing” is an encounter with the Imaginal Realms.
  • We are in the birth canal of the collective emergence into the integral but the labor is difficult due to divisions between the “structures of consciousness.” We need to honor and re-engage with the magical and the mythical, ritual, the spirit of repentance, a lifestyle of moderation, and heart-centered living in order to create the spaciousness needed for global metanoia.
  • Jesus came to “line the anguish [of our human experience] with love.” The entire cosmos, from the dense to the subtle, is set up to experience burning restlessness—which becomes the driveshaft propelling the whole thing forward. Through Jesus, God tells the universe that love reaches all, forgiveness is eternal, nothing is lost, and the Universe is for you.

Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded February 6, 2021

First BatGap interview with Cynthia.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

585. Doug Scott

Doug ScottDoug Scott, LCSW, works as a mental health counselor in his private practice in Dallas, Texas.  After graduating from college in 1997, he served as an international volunteer for two years in Bluefields, Nicaragua. This intense experience changed his life and he returned to the US to pursue graduate studies in clinical social work and pastoral ministry at Boston College. The nexus of spirituality and psychology have always intrigued Doug since childhood and he brings this sensibility to his counseling practice.

Doug grew up Catholic and was always drawn to the mystical lineage within this belief system.  He had experiences with Jesus, Mary, and angels at an early age. He was also secretly attracted to all things paranormal and would spend many hours reading topics such as reincarnation, ufology, OBE’s, NDE’s, ghosts, ESP, pyramids, and other areas.

One evening in 2013, he felt a presence that invited him to listen to a Buddhist chant, which came as a surprise since, at that time, he had not explored other faith systems. He was guided to listen to Om Mani Padme Hum and as the chant unfolded, Doug saw a golden dew overshadow him and activate him in a way that was new.  This marked the next chapter in Doug’s life.

A few months later, Doug was led to the Law of One material and immediately saw that it provided the clearest, most undistorted, exploration of the Perennial Philosophy that he’d ever come across. It also cast a wide net to include all of the paranormal things that intrigued him and made it possible for him to put all of the different threads in his life together in one seamless garment.

Since 2015, Doug has written a blog (cosmicchrist.net) that explores the synthesis of the Law of One material with mystical Christianity and psychology.  He sees his vocation in this lifetime as a bridge-builder between conventional concepts and cosmic metaphysics to help people who seek clarity, normalization, and validation for their own journeys.

Main points discussed:

  • Tapping into the imaginal realms, the subtle realms, through the “heart-eyes.”
  • The chakras of the Logos, God, are densities. Densities are different bandwidths of consciousness.
  • Nature of the Infinite Creator as sentient Love, or Logos.
  • Diversification within the Holographic Universe allows the Infinite Creator to experience Itself, infinitely.
  • Christianity’s need to move into the mystical and nondual
  • Consciousness is measured through degrees of knowing we are one with all, with God, and are God experiencing creation.
  • Brief descriptions of God’s chakras (“densities”).
  • Pantheism AND Panentheism are both true.
  • Third density’s veil-of-forgetting leads to development of faith, notions such as “Original Sin,” and more intense experiences for third-density humans.
  • The novel idea of “finity” against the backdrop of infinity is a way for the Infinite Creator to experience Itself.
  • Many people have incarnated to be midwives to help birth Earth’s 4th.
  • Shift into 4th density is a gradual process that includes an ever-increasing number of 3rd/4th densities double-bodied people.
  • Some of Doug’s background:
    • 1) dual master’s program at Boston College in clinical social work and pastoral ministry,
    • 2) childhood UFO encounter,
    • 3) alcohol recovery leads to greater self-insight,
    • 4) mystical experience in 2013 of Om Mani Padme Hum and the golden dew,
    • 5) Law of One material (lawofone.info) and Daskalos material (researchersoftruth.org)
  • Brief description of Wanderers: humble servants from 4th, 5th, or 6th density who incarnate in 3rd density to aid.
  • Jesus as a Wanderer had a unique mission known as the Jesus Event.
  • The greatest service as an awakening being is to embrace the full plenum of God disguised as our life and ordinary things. Nothing “up there” that is not fully present “down here.”
  • Triune nature of the Infinite Creator: Transcendent to all things, Incarnated as all things, Indwelling within all things.
  • Reality is “cruciform” in that every aspect of the manifested universe follows the eternal pattern of death and resurrection. The symbol of the cross or ankh is the great archetypal symbol that captures this cruciform reality.
  • Learning how to live in liminal space is the mark of spiritual and psychological maturity.
  • Offering our suffering as a sacrifice in solidarity with all others experiencing suffering is a great gesture of love and serves the collective.
  • Learning about social inequities, participating in social justice, and helping to empower marginalized groups helps to activate the fourth density.
  • Spiral Dynamics can help us understand the different levels of consciousness.
  • The Spiral is made up of seven levels in the first tier and has an overarching ethos: “transcend and exclude.” There is no innate awareness that levels exist even though each level mistrusts and even hates any other level, whether above or below.
  • The second tier of the Spiral is difficult to get to, but it is the onset of nondual consciousness. The overarching ethos is: “include and transcend.”
  • Future fourth-density living could be characterized by living from second-tier values beginning at birth.

Spiral Dynamics graphic displayed during the interview:

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded January 30, 2021.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.