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 below. Audio coming soon.

591. Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Rabbi Rami ShapiroA Jewish practitioner of Perennial Wisdom, Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award–winning author of over thirty-six books on religion and spirituality. He received rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and holds a PH.D. in religion from Union Graduate School. A rabbinic chaplain with the USAF for 3 years, a congregational rabbi for 20, and a professor of religious studies for 10, Rabbi Rami currently co-directs the One River Foundation, is a Contributing Editor at Spirituality and Health magazine, and hosts the magazine’s bi-weekly podcast, Essential Conversations with Rabbi Rami.

Website: rabbirami.com

Books:

Some points discussed in this interview:

  • Rabbi Rami’s spiritual journey through superficial Judaism through various traditions to a deep mystical Judaism.
  • Humanity’s transition from matriarchy to patriarchy is the root cause of most of our problems. A collapse of norms is coming. Will it be mindful or mindless?
  • Widespread spiritual practice will help the best outcome to manifest.
  • Escape to another planet, to the transcendent, to heaven is not the answer. We need a balance between transcendence and immanence. The 10 ox herding pictures.
  • Social justice work without a spiritual practice can be draining and ego-driven.
  • Fundamentalist misinterpretations of Scripture.
  • Perennial wisdom is a 4-fold teaching at the heart of all religions.
  • As consciousness expands, personal shadows are illuminated and must be dealt with.
  • Non-dual Judaism is a very rich religion. Tribal Judaism is ‘craziness’.
  • Religions take advantage of people’s fear of death.
  • Emo Phillips – Golden Gate Bridge skit
  • Different perspectives on reincarnation.
  • Out-of-body experiences suggest the existence of a subtle body.
  • Metaphor: the brain as a radio receiver.
  • Body, heart, mind, soul, spirit – We need to develop practices on each of those dimensions.
  • Rami’s mystical experiences, including instruction from the Divine Mother.
  • From a relative perspective, there are separate beings, but ultimately, it’s all God.
  • Discussion on food addiction.
  • Holy Rascals introduce mystical elements not necessarily welcomed by mainstream religion. Administrators are always threatened by the mystics.
  • Perhaps in the coming years experiential, mystical religions rather than dead ones will predominate. The dead ones are rapidly losing membership.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded March 14, 2021

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

590. Theresa Cheung

Theresa ChungTheresa Cheung was born into a family of spiritualists. She has a Masters degree from Kings College, Cambridge, and has written numerous bestselling dream, angel, afterlife, ritual, and spiritual titles and Encyclopedias, including two Sunday Times top 10 bestsellers. She has been a guest on Russell Brand’s Under the Skin and Coast to Coast AM and featured in numerous newspapers and media.

Main points discussed:

  • Theresa’s bio and background
  • Movies can be a powerful means of popularizing spiritual knowledge.
  • Supernatural experiences are part of the human experiences. We should not idolize those who have them but investigate the possibility of having them ourselves.
  • Dreams inspire interest in spirituality.
  • The pandemic “lockdown dream phenomenon”.
  • “Dreams are your intuition, your internal therapist”
  • The inner guide is switched off in the modern busy world, but the pandemic switched it back on.
  • Night visions and how they may be much more than dreams.
  • Lucid dreaming
  • Confronting difficulties in dreams can prepare one to deal with difficult situations in waking life.
  • Theresa’s investigation of mediumship.
  • Discussion of cults and the importance of spiritual integrity.
  • The importance of humility on the spiritual path.
  • We’re all ordinary people who have extraordinary experiences from time to time.
  • Everyone’s path is unique.
  • It can be tempting to follow a teacher and intoxicating to amass followers.
  • An extensive discussion of angels.
  • The importance of kindness and caring for others.
  • The importance of a scientific approach to spirituality.
  • The importance of open-mindedness and not knowing all the answers.
  • When someone dies, there is a relationship in spirit not limited by space and time.
  • Heaven on earth. The life we live here determines the quality of the afterlife.
  • The importance of forgiveness.
  • Theresa mentions that ‘forgiveness’ is somewhat neglected in contemporary spirituality.
  • Relationships with animals.
  • The importance of curiosity.

A few of Theresa’s books:

Website: theresacheung.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded March 6, 2021.

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