Returning to Reality

My latest blog entry for the Huffington Post has been published; it's called Would Thomas Merton Use an iPad? Contemplation, Technology and Discernment.Beneath the whimsical title, this post looks at a serious question: how the philosophy and spirituality of Thomas Merton might be used a compass point for considering ethical questions related to technology and society. The inspiration for this comes from a recently published book, Returning to Reality: Thomas Merton's Wisdom for a … [Read more...]

“Counterfeit” Mysticism and Oppositional Consciousness

The other day a woman named Diane Stranz posted a lengthy comment to my Contemporary Mystical Experience page, in which I quote the passage from my book The Aspiring Mystic describing an extraordinary experience I received as a teenager while attending a Lutheran youth weekend. In the passage, I go on to mention that, at a later date, I experimented with psychedelics. Ms. Stranz has some interesting thoughts in response to my experience, and I quote her in part: It is my belief, and the belief … [Read more...]

The Road Not Taken

My dear readers, I try to keep the angst-quotient on this blog to a bare minimum, but this morning I am going to indulge myself a bit. You have been duly warned. Read on at your own risk.Yesterday morning I received an email from Bob P., a reader of this blog, who wrote this observation: I’ve been reading your wise blog posts on discipline and your rule for life and the huge amount of reading that you do.  I’m wondering why is this guy not teaching Spirituality at the Phd level at a well known … [Read more...]

Matthew 7:1

I had a dream last night in which I was counseling a woman, perhaps a little bit younger than me, who had struggled with addiction much of her adult life. Eventually she began to turn her life around and became involved in a small church. Unfortunately, she still would act out from time to time, and this impacted her religious life when, at a church picnic, she engaged in a sexual encounter with another member of the church — a married man.As she told me this story, she mentioned that as a new … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

It is, I think, a mark of maturity to acknowledge the fallibility of faith and the possibility that what one takes to be a revelation of God may be mistaken. — John MacQuarrie, Two Worlds Are Ours: An Introduction to Christian Mysticism … [Read more...]