Great love has the potential to open the heart space and then the mind space. Great suffering has the potential to open the mind space and then the heart space. Eventually both spaces need to be opened, and for such people, non-dual thinking can be the easiest.
People who have never loved or never suffered will normally try to control everything with an either-or attitude or all-or-nothing thinking. This closed system is all they are prepared for. The mentality that divides the world into “deserving and undeserving” has not yet experienced the absolute gratuity of grace or the undeserved character of mercy. This lack of in-depth God-experience leaves all of us judgmental, demanding, unforgiving, and weak in empathy and sympathy. Such people will remain inside the prison of “meritocracy,” where all has to be deserved. They are still counting when in reality God and grace exist outside of all accounting. Remember, however, to be patient with such people, even if you are the target of their judgment, because on some level, that is how they treat themselves as well.
Non-dual people will see things in their wholeness and call forth the same unity in others simply by being who they are. Wholeness (head, heart, and body all present, positive, and accounted for!) can see and call forth wholeness in others. This is why it is so pleasant to be around whole and holy people.
Dualistic or divided people, however, live in a split and fragmented world. They cannot accept or forgive certain parts of themselves. They cannot accept that God objectively dwells within them, as it states in so many places in Scripture, including 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. This lack of forgiveness takes the forms of a tortured mind, a closed heart, or an inability to live calmly and proudly inside ones own body. The fragmented mind sees parts, not wholes, in itself and others, and invariably it creates antagonism, reaction, fear, and resistance—“push-back” from other people—who themselves are longing for wholeness and holiness.
– Richard Rohr
Growing numbers of us are acknowledging with grief that many forms of supremacy—Christian, white, male, heterosexual, and human—are deeply embedded not just in Christian history, but also in Christian theology. We are coming to see that in hallowed words like almighty, sovereignty, kingdom, dominion, supreme, elect, chosen, clean, remnant, sacrifice, lord, and even God, dangerous vices often lie hidden. . . . We are coming to see in the life and teaching of Christ, and especially in the cross and resurrection of Christ, a radical rejection of dominating supremacy in all its forms.
The theological term for [this] is kenosis, which means self-emptying. . . . Rather than seizing, hoarding, and exercising power in the domineering ways of typical kings, conquistadors, and religious leaders, Jesus was consistently empowering others. He descended the ladders and pyramids of influence instead of climbing them upwards, released power instead of grasping at it, and served instead of dominating. He ultimately overturned all conventional understandings of . . . power by purging [it] of violence—to the point where he himself chose to be killed rather than kill.
Brian D. McLaren, The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian
R. Rohr – A true believer is never grounded in fear. If honest self-knowledge is not good and important, then Job, Jesus, the desert fathers and mothers, Augustine, the Philokalia, Hildegard, Thomas Aquinas, John of the Cross, and Teresa of Ávila were on the wrong track.
Richard Rohr –
We are all addicts. Human beings are addictive by nature. Addiction is a modern name and description for what the biblical tradition calls “sin” and the medieval Christians called “passions” or “attachments.” They both recognized that serious measures, or practices, were needed to break us out of these illusions and entrapments; in fact, the New Testament calls them in some cases “exorcisms!” They knew they were dealing with non-rational evil or “demons.”
Substance addictions are merely the most visible form of addiction, but actually we are all addicted to our own habitual way of doing anything, our own defenses, and most especially our patterned way of thinking, or how we process our reality. By definition you can never see or handle what you are addicted to. It is always “hidden” and disguised as something else. As Jesus did with the demon at Gerasa, someone must say, “What is your name?” (Luke 8:30). You cannot heal what you do not first acknowledge.
We come to God much more by doing things wrong than by doing things right. – Richard Rohr
Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. It is the inherent experience of love that becomes the engine of change.