Saturday, December 21, 2019

Europe Reconsiders Jacob Boehme


"Strasbourg Inspiration" 


There are some very interesting development regarding Jacob Boehme coming from Europe. Below is an excerpt from an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine about the recent interest in Boehme. For my part I am not so interested in the clinical recitations of the various new finding from antique book shelves. Rather it is the effect after nearly 400 years since the death of the venerable Mr. Boehme that his spirit continues to exert on people. It is the quantum mysterium which captures my reverence.



In den Osten kommt das Licht [To the East Comes the Light]
Von REINER SCHWEINFURTH (International Jacob Boehme Society)
Frankfurter Allgemeine 19Aug2019

“...In addition, the first biographer of Boehme, his confidant Abraham von Franckenberg(1593-1652), published his life report here for the first time. Now a text comparison possible with the saved handwritten manuscripts, which were preserved by the upper class in Silesia. The unrefined edition is accompanied by margin notes from the editors, whoseevaluation promises previously unknown information.

All contributions to the conference in Gotha confirmed the growing international interest in Jacob Boehme the “Philosophicus Teutonicus”. Around the research center led by Martin Mulsow
the Boehme expert Lucinda Martin has created a network. In the Research library at Gotha are about 10, 000 manuscript records, many from the seventeenth century, not yet cataloged.

One of the attractions of exploring Bohemia is the discovery of the far-reaching, often subversive
ties that were already formed during his lifetime, then after his death in 1624, throughout Protestant Europe. His manuscripts were a precious commodity and many trustees profited. The pious and irrational diction of his writings remains a nuisance to positivistic-materialistic minds. Until
today.But after secularization, at least in this country, no one need fear, to be put in prison for spreading Bohemian ideas, for centuries this was different...”
* * *

I want to point out a few items in Mr Schweinfurth’s insightful essay“The pious and irrational diction of his writings remains a nuisance to positivistic/materialistic minds.” This is a very interesting sentence. Allowing for the translation and the cultural difference between the American and German audience the use of the term “...pious and irrational diction...” may be off putting to some as it may seem condescending. I don’t think it is meant that way. I believe this is the way European scholars viewed spiritual philosophy in the recent past where anything “religious” or Christian is often regarded as quaint or intellectually suspect. I think Mr Schweinfurth is attempting to bridge a generational gap here. When writing for an audience who is still mired in European anti-Christian thought where condescension is baked into the cake, Mr. Schweinfurth skillfully sidesteps existing bias but continues to move forward.

Who could blame Europeans for holding rather negative views about Christianity after centuries of war often blamed on religion when economic and territorial motives were the real causes. Between the often oppressive legacy of Roman Catholicism and the neo-Marxist pretensions espoused by John Barth (and others) it is little wonder that religious philosophy is suspected of duplicity. Boehme offers an escape from the doctrines of the past.

It is important to point out that Mr. Schweinfurth continues by emphasizing that “...positivistic-materialistic minds...” may find Boehme difficult due to the “nuisance” of troublesome abstract ideas involved in his writings and advanced concepts often out of reach to the modernist worldview. I believe Mr Schweinfurth is walking a narrow line while making an important point about Boehme at the same time not opening himself up to partisan criticism. Mr. Schweinfurth offers us this extraordinary thought “...no one need fear, to be put in prison for spreading Bohemian ideas...”. Except in a clinical (or secular) environment whenever controversial spiritual ideas are discussed there seems to be an underlying element of fear just beyond peripheral vision.
DSR

Winter Solstice 2019


(original text)
Hinzu kommt, dass der erste Biograph Böhmes, sein Vertrauter Abraham von Franckenberg
(1593 bis 1652), hier zum ersten Mal seinen Lebensbericht publizierte. Nun ist ein
Textabgleich möglich mit den gesicherten handgeschriebenen Manuskripten, die in der
erweckungswilligen Oberschicht Schlesiens kursierten, gesammelt und teilweise bearbeitet
wurden. Die Karnal-Ausgabe ist mit Marginalien der Herausgeber versehen, deren
Auswertung bisher unbekannte Informationen verspricht.
Alle Beiträge der Tagung in Gotha bestätigten das international wachsende Interesse am
Philosophicus Teutonicus. Rund um das von Martin Mulsow geleitete Forschungszentrum
hat die Böhme-Kennerin Lucinda Martin ein Netzwerk gesponnen. In der
Forschungsbibliothek Gotha sind etwa 10 000 Handschriftensätze, viele aus dem siebzehnten
Jahrhundert, noch gar nicht katalogisiert.
Ein Reiz der Erforschung Böhmes besteht im Aufspüren der weitreichenden, oft subversiv
geknüpften Verbindungen, die sich schon zu seinen Lebzeiten, dann nach seinem Tod 1624,
im ganzen protestantischen Europa nachweisen lassen. Die Manuskripte waren eine kostbare
Ware, von deren Verkauf mancher Treuhänder profitierte. Die fromme und irrationale
Diktion seiner Schriften bleibt für positivistisch-materialistische Gemüter ein Ärgernis. Bis
heute. Doch nach der Säkularisierung muss wenigstens hierzulande niemand mehr fürchten,
wegen Verbreitung Böhmischer Gedanken ins Gefängnis gesteckt zu werden. Über
Jahrhunderte war dies anders.

The entire text is here: https://www.faz.net/-in4-9q0o1



Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version cease to exist. After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits. I still go to work everyday as an artist squeaking out a living with my wife creating things to sell. It is no easier today than ever .

I have added a Donorbox link to this blog. Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going. Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.

                                                     Make a Donation



Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Ultimate Kingdom






I borrowed the title for this painting “The Last Kingdom”, (Das Lezte Konigreich”) from a line in a poem written in 1801 by the famous German writer Novalis (Fredrich von Hardenberg). When I read it there was an immediate resonance with the concepts involved.

The last kingdom struck me as the “ultimate kingdom” rather than the “final kingdom”. This is not the description of the eschaton but of the ideal pinnacle where we strive for the understanding that Jacob Boehme pointed too. A scene of dynamic resolution not a vision of destruction.

Boehme’s writings are a blueprint of the spiritual universe. However, understanding the mechanics of nature is not enough. Later writers who surreptitiously fed off Boehme work (Kant, Hegel, Marx) misunderstood Boehme’s processes and their descendants would interpret their work to see the universe as a grand device. Once all the inputs, programs, knobs, and gears were mapped and subjected to taxonomy then it could be manipulated to enhance the personal power of the technicians.

Von Hardenberg intuitively grasped the “meta” program that was running underneath the words of Boehme and in his poem “To Tieck” he introduced the concept of “the abundance of being”. This acknowledged the true mission as mystical. Understanding the mechanisms of God’s universe was not an exercise in positivism or philosophical materialism rather it was the search for fulfillment not affluence.

D S Reif



The original extended essay (and translation) about the painting refereed to above can be viewed on the website of the International Jacob Boehme Society,   CLICK HERE





                                Donate



Friday, August 30, 2019

The Divine Embryo

The Archangel Gabriel appears to Mary

 The cosmic event that shakes our world.


Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? Luke 1:34 KJV

[Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" Luke 1:34 NAS]

Two translations, the King James Version and the New American Standard, both conveying the same meaning.



Perhaps this statement spoken by Mary and recorded by the Apostle Luke is the most controversial in the New Testament. It seems to be an enigma. Within this short sentence is a challenge to the rational mind and an assault to our understanding of time and space.

The man who would be known first as Jesus and later Lord Christ born to a woman was the Son of God and the King of the Universe. This man who changed the course of history for the last two millennia was the product of a birth by a virgin, a woman who had not had sexual relations. “How can this be…”?

This human event that has never been duplicated continues to fascinate the believer and perplex the atheist. It has taken us over two thousand years of natural history study to finally glimpse the root of this awesome occurrence.

In the last half century the study of human embryos has unwittingly shed light on this mystery of the Virgin Birth. Modern scientist were perhaps the last people who would have wanted to help the world understand the testimony of Mary. More interested in establishing a “Brave New World” than casting light on an ancient conundrum the idea of cellular embryology verifying a Christian truth was not in the mind of the molecular biologist of the XXth Century.

Yet in this field of study we get a glimpse of a deeper truth that surrounds the Virgin Birth. In the 1970’s Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Dr. Robert Edwards introduced the concept of “in vitro fertilization”1 as a fertility aid2.. Their research lead to what is now called the In-Vitro Services Industry (IVF) which is a multi-billion dollar business. Its theory and practices are well understood and used throughout the globe.

By studying this process it became obvious to me that the question asked over two thousand years ago could be answered...in part. The embryo that would develop within the womb of Mary was implanted by God. There was no genetic material from her or her (soon to be) husband Joseph involved. The event was complete unique. The blood ties to history were broken. Jesus the Lord Christ was born of a woman as every other human on Earth but had no hereditary linkage to anyone except God.

As this idea developed in me a question was generated. Yes an embryo from outside the body can be successfully implanted into the lining of the womb but where did the embryo come from?

After some further research I found the answer in Luke 1:35, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” There the answer was in plain sight. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee...” The embryo was a material manifestation of a Divine entity delivered through the Holy Ghost of God [the Highest] into the uterus of Mary.

That explained the delivery system but still left the big question open of how was the Divine Embryo created. Of course I do not pretend to know the internal process of God. Jacob Boehme tells us about the continuous process of Creation being generated around us so I knew there would be an indication for us to follow3. What I was looking for was in John 1:1-5.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

God creates material objects out of nothing (darkness) through the use of His Divine light (supernatural energy).

I can imagine that even for God the creation of a viable embryo and implanting it in a human womb was perhaps a challenge and that is why it does not seem to happen everyday. Yet in this case the operation went flawlessly.



1“in vitro fertilization”
noun, a specialized technique by which an ovum, especially a human one, is fertilized by sperm outside the body, with the resulting embryo later implanted in the uterus for gestation.

2In this essay by Tian Zhu is a brief history of “in vitro fertilization” and embryo implantation. https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/vitro-fertilization

3 Jacob Boehme, Aurora: the Day Spring, 1612, transcribed Wayne Kraus, Online Edition, 2:77


*Researchers: You may use this essay as a resource.  Please credit the source.*
David S Reif



I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   



                                                        Make a Donation

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Mystery of the Palm II






"Tree of the Soul"

Jacob Boehme's (1575-1624) concept of Creation as illustrated by Dionysius Freher (1649-1728)

The seven layers within the circle of illumination are the seven spirits that organize the awesome power of God.  This is the continuous force of Creation coming from God. Our world, seen at the base of the Majestic Palm, can only look in prayerful wonder at the incredible forces that surround us.

The symbolism of the palm tree recurs here as it did in John 12:12-19 which is the story of Lord Christ entering Jerusalem.  Freher roots the palm in the deep wisdom of antiquity and the cosmic truth of Creation.



Click here for the first part:  The Mystery of the Palm I    

Much more can be learned about Jacob Boehme at the website of the International Jacob Boehme Society.  The physical facility is located in Goerlitz, Germany (ancient Silesia) where Boehme spent much of his life.  There is an extensive English language site that is frequently updated.  

                                         Jacob Boehme Society 



I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   



                                                        Make a Donation




Monday, April 22, 2019

Martyr to What?




Understanding Richard Rohr’s complex theological and social teaching is a challenging enterprise particularly when we factor in the implied blast at Globalism and the world atheist order. Occasionally he adds references to his posts to broaden our knowledge and provide context for complicated issues. In two reading just prior to Easter he included Marcus Borg and John Crossan.

Rohr writes:
Two theologians I deeply respect, Marcus Borg (1942-2015) and John Dominic Crossan (b. 1934), offer important historical and symbolic context for the crucifixion. The theory of “penal substitutionary atonement” only became dominant in recent centuries.

“This common Christian understanding
(Atonement) goes far beyond what the New Testament says. Of course, sacrificial imagery is used there, but the language of sacrifice is only one of several different ways that the authors of the New Testament articulate the meaning of Jesus’s execution. They also see it as the domination system’s “no” to Jesus (and God)...Though Mark provides the earliest story of Good Friday . . . Mark’s narrative combines retrospective interpretation with history remembered. . . .”

“Mark tells us that Jesus was crucified between two “bandits.
[the Chinese Communists call opposition “bandits” or “roaders” not much different from the EU terms like “criminals” or “gangsters”, names for the French Yellow Jackets or Gilet Jaune] The Greek word translated “bandits” is commonly used for guerilla fighters against Rome, who were either “terrorists” or “freedom fighters,” depending upon one’s point of view….Ordinary criminals were not crucified. Jesus is executed as a rebel against Rome between two other rebels against Rome [to drive home the point]. . . .(When Jesus died), ‘the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom’ (Mark 15:38)...To say that the curtain was torn in two has a twofold meaning. On the one hand, it is a judgment upon the (Hebrew) temple and the temple authorities . . . who colluded with imperial Rome to condemn Jesus to death. On the other hand, . . . [it] is to affirm that the execution of Jesus means that access to God is now open.”


This affirmation underlines Mark’s presentation of Jesus earlier in the gospel: Jesus mediated access to God apart from the temple and the domination system that it had come to represent in the first century. Then Mark narrates a second event contemporaneous with Jesus’s death. The imperial centurion in command of the soldiers who had crucified Jesus exclaims, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son’ (15:30). . . .That this exclamation comes from a centurion is very significant….The emperor was Lord, Savior, and the one who had brought peace on earth. But now a representative of Rome affirms that this man, Jesus, executed by the empire, is the Son of God. Thus the emperor is not.”


Jesus...spoke to peasants as a voice of peasant religious protest against the central economic and political institutions of his day. He attracted a following and took his movement to Jerusalem at the season of Passover. There he challenged the authorities with public acts and public debates.

According to Mark, Jesus did not die for the sins of the world. The language of substitutionary sacrifice for sin is absent from his story. But in an important sense, he was killed because of the sin of the world. It was the injustice of domination systems that killed him...And thus Jesus was crucified because of the sin of the world. . . .”


“Was Jesus guilty or innocent? As Mark tells the story, Jesus was not only executed by the method used to execute violent insurrectionists; he was physically executed between two insurrectionists. Was Jesus guilty of advocating violent revolution against the empire and its local
[Jewish] collaborators? No.
As Mark tells the story, was Jesus guilty of claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed? Perhaps. Why perhaps and not a simple yes? Mark does not report that Jesus taught this, and his account of Jesus’s response to the high priest’s question about this is at least a bit ambiguous. Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replies, ‘You say so’ (Mark 15:2).
[or “Thou sayest it.” KJV]
As Mark tells the story, was Jesus guilty of nonviolent resistance to imperial Roman oppression and local Jewish collaboration? Oh, yes.”

By using these two learned scholars Rohr supports a point he has made before, that Jesus was opposing not only the spiritual but the social order of the time. The Roman Empire was the political overlords but it was the Jewish bureaucracy that kept the civil reigns through the use of “The Law” an artifact of Old Testament Hebrew thinking.
These powers were the Globalists of the time. Rome was the supreme Global power and its vassals in the Hebrew bureaucracy were tasked with keeping the population under control. Today State powers like NATO are the equivalent to Rome and non government organizations (NGO) and quasi-governments like the European Union (EU) assume the role of controlling the people through the secular religion of Big Science and the atheist world order.

We will continue to unbolt the layered view of perennialism that Richard Rohr has brought into the world.


Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version cease to exist.  After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits.  I still go to work everyday as an artist squeaking out a living with my wife creating things to sell.  It is no easier today than ever .



I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   



                                      Make a Donation










Monday, April 8, 2019

The Perennial Rohr

Recurring Springtime



When Richard Rohr gets it right he certainly shines. In this 2015 essay entitled The Perennial Tradition he give his definition for the Perennial Wisdom that we have been studying since the 1980’s. He mentions some of our favorite authors, particularly the often overlooked Huston Smith whose insights into perennialism and his critique of modernism are some of the best in print.


Richard Rohr writes...

The things I teach come from a combination of inner and outer authority, drawn from personal experience and a long lineage of the “perennial tradition” as Aldous Huxley, Huston Smith, Ken Wilber, and many others have called it. I don’t believe God expects us to start from zero and reinvent the wheel of faith in our one small lifetime. Thankfully, we can each participate in the “communion of saints,” and draw upon the force field of the Holy Spirit. The Great Tradition, the perennial philosophy, has developed through the ages, and is an inherited gift.”

“The Perennial Tradition points to recurring themes and truths within all of the world’s religions. At their most mature level, religions cultivate in their followers a deeper union with God, with each other, and with reality—or what is. The work of religion is to re-ligio—re-ligament or reunite what our egos and survival instincts have put asunder, namely a fundamental wholeness at the heart of everything. My calling (and the CAC’s work in the last twenty-nine years) has been to retrieve and reteach the wisdom that has been lost, ignored, or misunderstood within the Judeo Christian Tradition. Any truth that keeps recurring and gathers humanity’s positive energy is called wisdom and most assuredly has to be from the One Holy Spirit.*

Of course this squares very nicely with what we have written in Perennis as well as what others have taught for years.




Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version cease to exist. After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits. I still go to work everyday as an artist squeaking out a living with my wife creating things to sell. It is no easier today than ever.

I have added a Donorbox link to this blog. Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going. Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.


                               Donate



Friday, March 29, 2019

Mystery of the Palm I



In the only passage that mentions “palm” in the namesake observance Palm Sunday appears in, The Gospel of John.  The palm frond is viewed as a symbol for victory yet in ancient Egypt (goddess Seshat) it was a nuanced sign of victory  tempered wisdom. It is one of the four esoteric elements of the Sukkot which would have been well known in Jerusalem as a symbol of fecundity yet having both male and female attributes; the erect spine enclosed by the branched (ovaries) leaflets. The symbol might be summed up as a blessing of the ancients.  

As Jesus entered Jerusalem people displayed palm branches in the streets and greeted him.  John is the only disciple who specifies that it was palm branches. This recollection had a purpose.  In the classic world concepts were communicated with “gestures”.
“Hosanna”, (save us) they cried, thinking that this was the King of Israel come “in the name of the Lord”.  He was not the Lord to the crowd more likely thinking him a great magician who could raise the dead come to destroy the Hebrew  Pharisees and their authoritarian bureaucracy much as the Zealots had predicted.

Referring to Zechariah (Zec 9:9) and the prophecy of the Savior coming to Jerusalem John says to “Fear not daughters of Sion (Zion) ...behold thy King cometh…”  then enters the disclaimer that the significance was not understood by the people including the disciples until after the death and Resurrection.

The other accounts of the event in Matthew, Mark, Luke are very similar although they emphasize different elements of the Zechariah prophecy which seems to be on a dedicated timeline engineered by God but not the Christian institutions (who claim it) or the disciples (that witnessed it) whose analysis is after the fact (along with everyone else apparently). This leaves John’s account and the enigmatic palm frond reference.

Like nearly every other aspect of the New Testament the disciples are searching for the meaning of events that were nearly incomprehensible and certainly unprecedented so meaning is being imputed from whatever knowledge base available.  But the symbolism of John’s palm frond and the subsequent importance of it rings out as a key element.

We are left with a scene of a political rally where a revolutionary figure is hailed as a conqueror. The Pharisee and the Romans certainly thought so.  
So did the Zealots and their allies in the mob. The same mob who would call for the murder of  Jesus in the near future.

It is the appearance of the ancient palm frond that belies this characterization not the cry of “Hossana” which certainly was not a desire for Salvation. Some in the crowd knew the wisdom of the ancient sages (the religio-perennis is discussed by Schoun in the last post) and were signaling that with the palm.  Like waving a flag.

From out of the unconscious mind comes the palm frond, sign of wisdom, plenty, and the dissolution of opposites in the androgyny of the frond. Some in the crowd understood these things and John recognized and noted it.

 Jesus in his cosmic role was going to Jerusalem as a journey back to the womb.   The New Adam would go to Jerusalem and then return to the pre-existing Logos as a result of the Crucifixion.  Through the unmistakable sin of murder at the hands of evil a dramatic gesture was generated that foreshadowed the redemption or his followers forever through the subsequent Resurrection.

John 12:12—-On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13  Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. 14  And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, 15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. 16  These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him. 17  The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record. 18 For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle. 19  The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.
KJV



Ted Nottingham covers this same material from a different view:    HERE


Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version cease to exist.  After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits.  I still go to work everyday as an artist squeaking out a living with my wife creating things to sell.  It is no easier today than ever .

I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   

                    Make a Donation

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Eternal Horizon





Firthjof Schuon (1907-1998) was one of the great perennialists.  He was interested in intersection of religion and philosophy that he called Religio Perennis. This is the root foundation of esoteric knowledge and our interface with God.

“The essential function of human intelligence is discernment between the Real and the illusory or between the Permanent and the impermanent, and the essential function of the will is attachment to the Permanent or the Real. This discernment and this attachment are the quintessence of all spirituality; carried to their highest level or reduced to their purest substance, they constitute the underlying universality in every great spiritual patrimony of humanity, or what may be called the religio perennis; this is the religion to which the sages adhere, one which is always and necessarily founded upon formal elements of divine institution.”
Frithjof Schuon, “Religio Perennis”, Light on the Ancient Worlds (Full article in PDF).


This is the Cosmic Christ that is spoken about by Richard Rohr without the political overlay and by Ted Nottingham.  The religion of the Sages has always been with us but for much of history it has been hidden beneath layers of bureaucracy.  

The tedious laws  of the Hebrews hid the “great permanent spiritual source” under a cloak of social devices, a practice that was carried on by the Romans when they co-opted Christianity into the state church of the Empire.  Many people have continued down this path to this day through the institutional approach to religion.

Today we are at a crossroads.  The Christian faith is under assault from within and without.  Western Civilization is teetering. Yet the basis for its survival is in plain sight.  



Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version cease to exist.  After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits.  I still go to work everyday as an artist squeaking out a living with my wife creating things to sell.  It is no easier today than ever .


I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   


                    Make a Donation

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Covert Reformer




In his recent posting* Richard Rohr has been discussing the failure of religion in dealing with the stages of life particularly the later years .

However what I really think is happening here is Rohr is using this as a metaphor for Roman Catholicism.  

He writes, “Religion in the second half of life is finally not a moral matter; it’s a mystical matter. While most of us begin focused on moral proficiency and perfection, we can’t spend our whole lives this way. Paul calls the first-half-of-life approach “the Law”; I call it the performance principle: ‘I’m good because I obey this commandment, because I do this kind of work, or because I belong to this group.’  That’s the calculus the ego understands. The human psyche, all organizations, and governments need this kind of common sense structure at some level.
But that game has to fall apart or it will kill you. Paul says the law leads to death (e.g., Romans 7:5, Galatians 3:10). Yet many Catholics I meet—religious, laity, and clergy—are still trapped inside the law, believing that by doing good things or going to church, they’re going to somehow attain worthiness or acceptance from God. This was Luther’s authentic critique of much of the Roman Catholic church as he knew it.”

Having to acknowledge anything good about Martin Luther must have given Fr Rohr heartburn, yet his honesty in this situation allows us an insight into just how dire the situation is.  Slipping from his pastoral role to the role of a critic is a perilous action for any official in the Catholic organization. But this is the way of a wise old cleric, using related topic to make a point without getting yourself in too much trouble; plausible deniability in political terms.  

Rohr is a reformer make no mistake about that but he exists in a dangerous environment .  The Catholic Church is a wounded animal. As it trashes around from one scandal to another people can get caught and crushed as it rolls about.  


Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version cease to exist.  After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits.  I still go to work everyday as an artist squeaking out a living with my wife creating things to sell.  It is no easier today than ever .

I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   

                    Make a Donation



Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Fountain




The renowned philosopher of Western religious consciousness, Arthur Versluis, writes a chapter in the book Introduction to Jacob Boehme and on page 274* makes this amazing statement regarding the possible “...changes in consciousness hypothetically could exist” from reading Boehme.  

Although Versluis is careful not to diminish his position it is clear that the insights of
Jacob  Boehme  (1575-1624)  could carry from the page to the reader in a very profound way.  

Professor Versluis continues, “Already, this threatens to go beyond a mere ‘suspension of disbelief’; and it is also more than a matter of empathy or seeking to ‘think like’ another, because what is under consideration may include but is not necessarily limited to discursive thought. Such a reading accepts the possibility of changes in consciousness not accessible to (exoteric) discursive thought or analysis. But the second answer to the challenge is more difficult and is suggested by the first. It is the question of how and to what extent one accepts as real or, if one prefers, ‘real,’ the claims of, for instance, Boehme.”

In the same manner as Ted Nottingham and Richard Rohr, Versluis is a Perennialist who sees the Christian tradition to be deep and eternal underlying all of our culture with a richness that has been dismissed or ignored by a century of materialism. The great mystic Boehme creates a platform for today’s thinkers to work from and enables those who perceive the light from this glorious fountain of perennial knowledge to come forward and enrich our culture.

*Introduction to Jacob Boehme, ed Hossayon & Apetrei, Routledge, 2014

Versluis website


Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version cease to exist.  After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits.  I still go to work everyday as an artist squeaking out a living with my wife creating things to sell.  It is no easier today than ever .

I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   

               Make a Donation