Am not sure how to embed external links into this effort having tried before with mixed mostly poor results, so with full attribution want to post this work because i believe the thoughts are so central to what this website was meant to explore
The Soul of All Things
Monday, March 5, 2018
“As we saw yesterday, the modern and postmodern self largely lives in a world of its own construction, and it reacts for or against its own human-made ideas. While calling ourselves intelligent, we’ve lost touch with the natural world and, as a result, lost touch with our own souls. I believe we can’t access our full intelligence and wisdom without some real connection to nature!
My father, Francis of Assisi (c. 1182-1226), spent many days, weeks, and even months walking the roads of Umbria and letting nature teach him. Francis knew and respected creation, calling animals, sun and moon, and even the weather and the elements his brothers and sisters. Through extended time in nature, Francis became intimately connected with non-human living things and came to recognize that the natural world was also imbued with soul. Almost all male initiation rites—including those of Jesus and John the Baptist (see Matthew 3:13-17)—took place in nature, surely for that reason.
Without such recognition and mirroring, we are alienated and separated from ourselves and all of nature. Frankly, we will not know how to love or respect our own soul. Instead, we try various means to get God and people to like or accept us because we never experience radical belonging. We’re trying to say to ourselves and others, “I belong here. I matter.” Of course, you do! But contrived and artificial means will never achieve that divine purpose. We are naturally healed in this world when we know things center to center, subject to subject, and soul to soul.
I think of soul as anything’s ultimate meaning which is held within. Soul is the blueprint inside of every living thing that tells it what it is and what it can become. When we meet anything at that level, we will respect, protect, and love it.
Many human beings simply haven’t found their own blueprint or soul, so they cannot see it anywhere else. (Like knows like!) Instead, most religious people are largely conformists. There’s nothing wrong with conformity as such, but when it is only meeting reality at the external level, and we do not meet our own soul, we have no ability to meet the soul of anything else either. We would have done much better to help other Christians discover their souls instead of “save” them. My sense, after being a priest for almost 50 years, is that most Christians are trying to save something they have not even found.
They do have a soul, but it seems to be dormant, disconnected, lacking grounding. They are not aware of the inherent truth, goodness, and beauty shining through everything. If God is as great, glorious, and wonderful as all the religions claim, then wouldn’t you think that such a God would make that wonderfulness available? Such connection and presence is as freely available as the air we breathe and the water we drink. This is surely why John the Baptist moved his initiation rite out of the temple, away from the priestly purity codes (of which he was well aware), and down by the riverside in the wilderness. Jesus “submitted” to this off-beat ritual, which we now call baptism. Yet now baptismal ceremonies are most often held in church buildings, usually disconnected from anything natural except the water itself.”
Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Soul, the Natural World, and What Is (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2009)
9 Replies to “The Soul of All Things from Richard Rohr (CAC) posting…”
A very moving statement. For me the key is in Rohr’s word “grounding”.
So often we stretch and strain for the sky. We commune with a posited deity or push the boundaries of philosophical and scientific knowledge – whatever helps pacify the questing mind. Even travel to space like that’s going to make any difference. But much of the connection we crave and maybe everything we need to know has been here beneath our feet all along.
Richard Rohr telling it like it is. And could be.
“My sense, after being a priest for almost 50 years, is that most Christians are trying to save something they have not even found.”
That is a startling and courageous statement for a Catholic priest to make.
That we might find our souls by re-connecting to non-human living things is also a startling statement, which needless to say I completely agree with.
That we have gone for so long excluding non-human life from what it means to be human is such a deep-seated and pervasive delusion that seeing a crack in the wall is a bit of an event.
Thanks for posting it!
Wow, truly reimagining and seeking true tenants of experience. 800 years hence yet certainly even more appropoh today in or sterilized, fluorescent, caves. Looking to the stars, grounding to the earth, seeking divinity within all creation. Always new ever forgotten thought.
Aloha Brother Colby – well said ! welcome to our little website, where we are trying to get to know how each other thinks and feels, and speak our hearts about how we might live in the oh so short remaining time. What did you say years ago about each of us a brief flickering candle in the span of the galaxies… We could of course just sit back and stare at the glow of our electric screens in the privacy of our own homes but instead mostly cuz we are all spread out over the planet decided to see what happens, scratch a few wires together and see if we get any sparks. Maybe it is just the old million monkeys with typewriters story in near real time. Call it exploring. It’s a fairly new venture, take a look around, see what’s in the archives, get to meet the folks trying out their voices… we are all new at it too…
Hi, Colby, a brother of Richard’s is a brother of ours. Yes, our website is a place to “talk-story” as we say here in Hawaii, a kind of kitchen table that spans continents and oceans and you are very welcome!
I added the link so readers can follow it to Fr. Rohr’s website. I also added the photo he included with it. Hope you find the changes agreeable.
I am so thankful to the person that put me in touch with Fr. Rohr’s writings and teachings. He is quite remarkable in his understanding of the meaning for which we are all searching in life.
thanks jody – i did not know that anyone could edit any post… i guess that is good, not exactly a high security website, but leaves a door open for mischief. had trouble linking with something earlier and didnt have or wanna spend the time to figger out the html. you didnt seem to have any issue with it. thought about the image too, it is a great one, but went down the rabbit hole of copyrights… is there an accepted policy for the thought police or is it a just do it approach ?
I wouldn’t just edit a post but you seemed to suggest you wanted to put in a link but hadn’t figured it out. The picture was an after thought, and I don’t know if there are copyright issues or not. Maybe Michelle knows more about that. It seems like use of photos on blogs is a area with few rules followed.
In the future when you are creating a new post and you want to add a link, highlight the text of a name or title, and then click on the picture (icon) of a paper clip. It will open a small window that allows you to paste the link you want to attach. It will underline highlighted text and if readers click on it they will go to that link.
I apologize if I overstepped.
Followed link, thank you much, image Van Gogh – Two Crabs – how cool hadn’t ever seen.
Comments are closed.