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Sophia's Children

Living and Leading the Transformation.

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Thomas Merton

Ta’Nit and No Fear (+ two Grief and No Fear links)

What does one say in the face of the unspeakable, as Thomas Merton called it? I know that I'm not the only one who's been deeply reflecting on this in recent days and weeks, even in the midst of the... Continue Reading →

The Rebel and Mystic Sell

Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, Greece. Image from the Monks and Mermaids Benedictine blog. Do learn more about Elder Paisios ... beautiful.
Modern-day Mystic, Prophet, and Monk, the Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, Greece. Image from the Monks and Mermaids Benedictine blog.

Earth Energy Reader (in The Shift Has Hit the Fan blog) shares an interesting comparison from Chris Hedges, on the similarities between mystics and rebels, and a few related musings.

In a time and culture of Spiritual Entertainment and commoditized, (sometimes referred to as) ‘plastic’ or faux, surface-skimming spirituality, or spiritual bypass, it’s a good distinction to make.

But actual transformation, or transformed nonconformists as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of it (more on that below)? That’s a vital type of engaged spiritual or mystic activism, as it’s called.

It’s messy, though; gritty, difficult … inconvenient … so there’s a reason why it’s a more rare bird that flies in that direction.

Perhaps that’s why it’s a calling rather than a choice if you are so called; it’s a call you can’t ignore or hang up on when it gets inconvenient or downright ugly, and it definitely gets inconvenient and downright ugly at times.

As I think of several of my Mystic Heroes and Heroines along the way, I’m inclined to agree that yes, there are ways that true mystics — definitely outside the ‘normal’ of their (our) times — are like rebels. And vice versa, in the ways Chris Hedges describes.

St. Theresa of Avila, 1827, by François Gérard (1770−1837). Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.
St. Theresa of Avila, 1827, by François Gérard (1770−1837). Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.

If you follow the Mystic Breadcrumb trail, you’ll see what I mean (Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, and most assuredly Theresa of Avila … and others). Perhaps a followup post on those inspiring Mystic-Rebelles is in order, because they deserve it…okay, it’s on the writing list.

In the meanwhile, Earth Energy Reader’s post is a very worthy, and heart-and-thought-stirring, read.

It also reminds me of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s evocative phrases: Creative Maladjustment and Transformed Nonconformists (I wrote about that here – definitely Mystic-Rebel goin’ on there, and very inspiring if you are one!).

And a recent article sharing contemporary Mystic and Teacher, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s recent interview in Parabola Magazine (scroll a few posts from the Sophia’s Children home page and you’ll see it).

Mystics. Rebels. Transformed Nonconformists. We have a theme brewing here …

Big Love,
Jamie

The Shift Has Hit The Fan

“Rebels share much in common with religious mystics. They hold fast to a vision that often they alone can see. They view rebellion as a moral imperative, even as they concede that the hope of success is slim and at times impossible. Rebels, a number of whom I interviewed for this book, are men and women endowed with a particular obstinacy. Willing to accept deprivation and self-sacrifice, they are not overly concerned with defeat. They endure through a fierce independence and courage.  Many, maybe most, have difficult and eccentric personalities. The best of them are driven by a profound empathy, even love, for the vulnerable, the persecuted and the weak….There is nothing rational about rebellion. To rebel against insurmountable odds is an act of faith, without which the rebel is doomed. This faith is intrinsic to the rebel the way caution and prudence are intrinsic to those who seek to…

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The Greatest Need of Our Time

Light in the Crypt of St. Wystan Church, Repton, U.K. [Photo via TripAdvisor]
Light in the Crypt of St. Wystan Church, Repton, U.K. [Photo via TripAdvisor]

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”

~ Thomas Merton, American writer, mystic, and Trappist monk

For this Freyja Day musing, here’s a generous helping of very timely wisdom from a fellow Aquarian and sojourner on the Way, Thomas Merton.

Follow the links below, to Br. Merton’s insight on the greatest need of our time, and see what inspires and resonates with you.

Big Love,
Jamie

Sophia's Children

Nina, by Pedro Saenz Saenz (1863-1927) Nina, by Pedro Saenz Saenz (1863-1927)

“The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds and makes of all political and social life a mass illness.

Without this housecleaning, we cannot begin to see. Unless we see, we cannot think.”

~ Thomas Merton, American writer, mystic, and monk, in Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

On the spiritual path (whatever you might call it), we often move through some pretty challenging passages that can serve to “polish the mirrors of our hearts” or “illuminate the eyes and ears of our hearts,” as well as sand away some of the mental and emotional rubbish, as the Aquarian monk, Br. Merton wrote.

Since Thomas Merton’s particular vibe of wise counsel is pretty in sync with these particular times, I’ve included several other wisdom-gems from him in a few previous Sophia’s Children…

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The Greatest Need of Our Time

"The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds and makes of all political and social life a mass illness. Without this housecleaning, we cannot begin to... Continue Reading →

Who are you? Merton On ‘Identity’ and the Way

"One of the characteristics of "mass society" is precisely that it tends to keep man from fully achieving his identity ..." "To have identity is not merely to have a face and a name, a recognizable physical presence." "Identity in... Continue Reading →

Get Lost (in the Tao Magic of ‘Not Doing’)

Things have a way of arriving or arising in batches. Ask a genuine question, and watch (if you're observant) various answers or clues popping up in different ways as you go through a given day or week. That's Spirit's fascinating way... Continue Reading →

Epic Shift and Merton’s Advice on ‘Problem-Solving’

How have the past few weeks been for you? Or months? Years? We're dancing through our days amidst a bevy of high-frequency Energies of Now: The ongoing Uranus-Pluto square (Sixties, Part 2 ... the next rung on that spiral); plus... Continue Reading →

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