Quote for the Day

In modern Western society, many people turn away from the Christianity of their formative years because they find its truths smothered under an unreal kind of religiosity. They see that the people in the churches are not changing and becoming better, but rather are comforting themselves and each other in their unregenerate state. They find that the spirit of the Western churches is, at its core, little different from that of the world around them. Having removed from Christianity the Cross of inward purification, these churches have replaced a direct, intuitive apprehension of Reality and a true experience of God with intellectualism on the one hand and emotionalism on the other.
In the first case, Christianity becomes something that is acquired through rote learning, based on the idea that if you just get the words right — if you just memorize key Scripture verses, intellectually grasp the concepts and repeat them, know how to act and speak in the religious dialect of your particular sect — you will be saved. Christianity then becomes a dry, word-based religion, a legalistic system, a set of ideas and behaviors, and a political institution that operates on the same principles as the institutions of this world.
In the second case, the Western churches add the element of emotionalism and enthusiasm in order to add life to their systems, but this becomes just as grossly material as religious legalism. People become hypnotized by their self-induced emotional states, seeing a mirage of spiritual ascent while remaining bound to the material world.
This is not direct perception of Reality; it is not the Ultimate. It is no wonder, then, that Western spiritual seekers, even if they have been raised in Christian homes, begin to look elsewhere, into Eastern religions.

— Hieromonk Damascene, Christ the Eternal Tao

Happy St. Hildegard's Day!
In Memoriam: Kenneth Leech
Is Mysticism Genetic?
Five Approaches to InterSpirituality
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Al Jordan

    Hieromonk pretty well sums it up. One of the reasons I thing renewal of the contemplative tradition and especially Centering Prayer, are the only hope for a revitalized Christianity.

  • Talibah Chiku

    Two queries:

    Can you mentor me in one brief moment with suggestions on how to begin creating a workshop based on a favored book? I see your upcoming workshop on Ken Wilbur’s book? I want to begin doing such relative to a calling I have.

    Second: do you know of a resource,i.e a book, to locate words that makess reference to “rainbows and the yellow brick road” in the spiritual journey? Thank you.

  • Robin

    This book quote really met me in my current situation. I think balance is what we need which can only be supplied by the indwelling Christ. Why does it so often take a lifetime to discover one has been on a deadend street?! I think fear keeps us in our “comfort zone” and only God’s agape love can draw us out. I am just beginning to allow the “beauty of holiness” to do it’s work. Better late than never! Rob

  • Jeffrey555

    From what I read at Amazon, Christ the Eternal Tao is a thoughtful book that doesn’t take either of the two easy routes many take with this subject. The first being that “Gee whiz!, The Bible and Jesus when properly understood, redefined and re-interpreted is really Taoism or Buddhism or Hinduism and that Jesus is yet another sage or avatar or buddha.” The second easy route is to deny that God has set eternity in the hearts of all and left a universal witness to the Tao. I’m going to read when I get a chance.