Theology and Mysticism

Once upon a time, there was no difference between theology and mysticism, just like there was no difference between philosophy and science. Science ("natural philosophy") was an integral part of the quest for wisdom, just as mysticism ("ascetical theology") was an integral part of the quest for wisdom of God.Ken Wilber talks about how it was a good thing for humankind to reach the point where we were able to differentiate between "external" forms of wisdom (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) … [Read more...]

A Kiss for Condi

A little while back the online world was buzzing with photos of Bono mugging it up with George W. Bush. But the chief exec. isn't the only one who gets to hang out with rock stars. Here is Condoleezza Rice with ... Kiss!Their paths crossed recently in Stockholm, and the Secretary of State said she was "thrilled" to meet the band.You can read the story here.Yes, I agree. It's the weirdest encounter since Elvis met Nixon. … [Read more...]

Marketplace looks at why authors don’t get rich

Last night the NPR program "Marketplace" ran an interesting piece on how the book industry is changing, thanks to the rise of e-commerce, the dawn of new technologies for media dissemination (like Amazon's Kindle) and the way in which publishers and retailers at times work at cross purposes. And in this brave new world, authors in particular get left out in the cold (unless they happen to be celebrities). It's not a particularly fun story for writers to hear, but I think it's a reality check … [Read more...]

“…the Vision of Ultimate Reality as Unconditional Love…”

This little video will give you some insight into why I like to hang out with monks. It features Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO, speaking at an Integral Contemplative Christianity Conference put on by Ken Wilber's Integral Institute.If you have a few minutes, head on over to Youtube: there's more of Keating there for the watching. … [Read more...]

Hooray for USAA

Yesterday I got my insurance settlement for the burglary. Well, I got most of it. USAA holds back what they call the "recoverable depreciation amount" which is basically the difference between what it would cost for me to replace something I've lost with a used item, and the total cost to replace it with a new product. I can get the recoverable appreciation amount, but I have to submit receipts proving I actually purchased the replacement item. For example: the computer that I'm typing on right … [Read more...]

The Pope and Pseudo-Dionysius

Two weeks ago Pope Benedict XVI spoke on the ancient mystic, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, whom the pope regards as a potentially important voice in east-west dialogue. It's exciting to see a major apophatic mystic get mentioned in the press, thanks to a papal endorsement.Read an English translation of the pope's talk on Pseudo-Dionysius … [Read more...]

Kings and Gods

Daniel Berrigan didn't just go away when the Viet Nam war ended. He's still around, and at 87, still teaching and writing.His new book is called The Kings and their Gods: The Pathology of Power. It's a Bible Study of I and II Kings, looking at some of the lessons in those Old Testament books concerning political power — and, in true Berrigan style, he asks some hard questions about how those ancient lessons are relevant to our perilous times … [Read more...]