Two Approaches to God: Prophet and Mystic

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Community Retreat Spring 2002

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Before I talk about the material I had yesterday, particularly talking about apophatism and the apophatic tradition, I mentioned that Father Bruno and that kind of suggestions he made for formation said that it would be important to instill in young monks or beginners that sensitivity to the apophatic, not just as a point of view or a theology or even a method, but as kind of a whole sensibility that undergirds the monastic life. And having been a teacher, I was thinking about the question of how you instill that, you know, and of course it's not, I think, a matter of instruction alone. I think people learn by osmosis in formation. You learn it from the older members of the community who've lived the mystery of monastic


life for years. But some instruction, I think, could be helpful. And I think maybe in the novitiate or temporary vows there ought to be, I use teachers' language, a unit of instruction that particularly is geared towards an appreciation and immersion in the apophatic tradition. And it could center around reading and meditation on and discussion of some of the great apophatic classics and texts of our tradition, such as the Life of Moses by Gregory of Nyssa and maybe even Philo before him. And not in total, but at least in part. And then pseudo-Dionysian certainly, and especially the mystical theology, which is really very short,


but very deep. And then traveling through the medieval tradition to the Cloud of Unknowing, certainly, which has been so important in our own day and age as the founding inspiration for centering prayer. So that I think, and then you could also take at the same time some of the non-Christian texts, such as Nagarjuna, that I suggested yesterday, and Zen readings and so forth. And I think you could form people in a deeper sensibility of the apophatic. That would be something that could inspire the whole of their monastic life. In Father Bruno's essay, which appears in the Privilege of Love, the first sentence says the monastic life is inserted into


the mystery of Christ, or is living out of the mystery of Christ, something like that. I didn't write it down exactly. And that's true, but that's true of also the Christian vocation. And you might say, well, in what way do we differ then from the mendicants? Not just as a lifestyle, but is there some even deeper way in which we're immersed in that mystery of Christ? And when I began to study the Desert Fathers more than 30 years ago and read the Desert Fathers, I began to notice they didn't mention Christ much at all. They certainly didn't talk about the imitation of Christ. Theirs is really, in a sense, not a Christ-centered theology, at least as it appears. And I was discussing that with a very fine Korean benedictine that I had as a student one time, and he said, well, it's because they were Christ before the Father, that they were so immersed in the mystery


of Christ that they were Christ before the Father. And I think there's a deep intuition there about the way that the Christian monastic vocation is inserted into the mystery of Christ, not just as imitatio, you know, as the mendicants would talk about, the Franciscans would talk about the imitation of the poor and wandering Christ, and the Dominicans certainly would talk about imitation of the preaching Christ. But we're in something deeper, and that is the totality of Christ before the Father. And at the Purity of Heart Symposium, William Skudlardyk mentioned to me that when he began to do Zazen in Japan, he would do it before the tabernacle, and then he realized that maybe it would be better to do it at the side of the tabernacle or apart from.


And I think there he again had that intuition that there's a sense in which we can be Christ before the Father without even mentioning Christ in such a deep interior way. So that's a sense of the apathetic I think we need to explore, but, you know, as the Buddhists say, you can't almost put it in language. So that the monastic vocation is sort of roaming in the mystery of God, you know, in a kind of indeterminate way. McGinn says about Eckhart, it would be hard to overestimate the influence of the pseudo-Dionysius on Eckhart. So you don't really understand where Eckhart's coming from unless you really know the pseudo-Dionysius. And in that regard, I'd like to mention an essay,


which I forgot to bring along with me. I have it up in my hermitage. It's by Dom David Knowles, and it's called The Influence of the Pseudo-Dionysius on the Western Mystical Tradition. And it's a superb article, but it appeared in a festschrift that's very hard to find. A lot of libraries don't have it, so I'll leave a copy for you. And I think you remember the book by Cuthbert Butler on Christian mysticism. I forget the precise title. Western mysticism? Yeah, which is on Augustine, Bernard, and who else is it? Gregory Bragg. Okay. But the thesis that Cuthbert Butler, the Abbot of Downside, is presenting is that these mystics of light are in a sense true Christian mystics. And Dom David Knowles, a monk of Downside,


as a historian, began to perceive that there was a bit of a lopsided presentation, that there was also a deep apathetic sensibility in the Western tradition. And I heard Christopher Butler, also Abbot of Downside, say that finally Dom David had the courage to really put this into words, and it's in that essay where he takes exception to his Abbot and says that it's not true to say that the primary Christian mysticism is a mysticism of light, that there's also genuinely a mysticism of darkness and unknowing and so forth. But that's a really important essay, and I'll make sure I leave a copy with you. Regret I didn't bring it down because I wanted


to share one quotation, but I didn't bring it. So. Just a few other things about the apathetic intuition or sensibility. C.G. Jung, before he died, about a year before he died, when he was becoming very feeble and he knew he didn't have long to live, said, if I had another year to live, and he didn't really think he had another year to live, if I had another year to live, I'd study Zen, which is very interesting. Jung, after spending his career on exploring images and sort of the flowering of the psyche, at least on that level, began to realize there was something deeper in it, which would be what Jane Houston calls that deepest level of the psyche, which goes


into the mystery itself even before the images arise. And I think it's very, very important to see that Jung said that. And then it's interesting also that the older Heidegger, William Barrett, who wrote Irrational Man, was interviewing Heidegger one time and had given him a copy a few months earlier of one of the books of D.T. Suzuki on Zen Buddhism. And Heidegger, when he met William Barrett again, said, if I understand this man correctly, he's saying everything I wanted to say, which is very interesting, you see, that there's something very, very deep about that apathetic honoring of the mystery that even someone like Carl Jung and Heidegger could talk about. What I want to talk about this morning, a major presentation, is about, I called it Two Approaches


to God. And actually, you know, there are not just two approaches, but many, many approaches to God. And there's a wonderful desert father saying, Abraham was hospitable and God was with him. And David danced around the ark and God was with him. I forget what other examples he cites. And he says, so whatever your heart, you know, is comfortable with, that is your way to God. Okay. So these are simply models and they're kind of huge models. And it's not a question of putting everything either under one category or the other, but they're like two poles that are kind of two ends of a spectrum in a way, with lots of possibilities in between. And, you know, we may may treat the West, for example, as more dominantly prophetic, as one author does.


I'll point to the prophetic sensitivity towards God and the Eastern as mystical, but it's not, it's more like the yin-yang symbol where, you know, you've got the dark with some light in it and the light with some dark in it. There's certainly a strong mystical element in the West also. So, the first model that I'd like to talk about is based on an article by Conrad Myers, a historian of religion. And this was an article that appeared in Crosscurrents, and I think it was early 70s. I went to two libraries trying to find it and couldn't locate it. I haven't checked your library. I don't know if your Crosscurrents go back that far. But at any rate,


it's an article titled Prophet and Mystic Towards a World Ecumenicity. And he says that there are basically two approaches to the mystery of God which divide the world, the prophetic and the mystical. And again, as an abstract model, I think, you know, it doesn't serve too well because in the West we also have the mystical, but I suppose in terms of dominance and so forth, perhaps it's true. But the way he distinguishes the true is interesting. He says the prophetic sensibility celebrates the distance from God.


It has a tremendous sense of the transcendence and the fact that the phenomenal world is not God, but is related to God. There's a question of relationship. And that the prophetic is trying to overcome the distance. That's perhaps why the West has generated so much metaphysics and so much words, you know, so much theology. It's that we're trying to overcome that distance. You might even say that within the biblical tradition, within the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible, yes, the early part is prophetic. But by the time of the prophets, especially with Jeremiah, you have an increasing interiorization, you know, the law is written on our heart. So that you might even say the biblical tradition can't be totally called the prophetic sensibility


of God. But you do get extreme senses of this in certain major thinkers such as Karl Barth. Barth once used the image that revelation is like a stone which is thrown across a great gap into the world, you know, that God reaches out to us, you know, and gives us revelation. And that there's no other connection except that revelation. And this is the kind of sensibility you get still behind some fundamentalists and so forth. So it sees quite a difference between God and the phenomenal world creation and so forth. It also has a sense of the awesomeness of God, you know, Moses approaching the burning bush and so forth, takes off his shoes. Overpowering kind of power in that mystery as


it turns. The mystical, in contrast, celebrates the intimacy with God. In fact, even the identity, the connection, the link that's already there. And it's not a question of overcoming the distance, it's just a question of awakening it. There's no journey that has to be made. You just wake up right where you are, and then you've found mystery. And you certainly find that, you know, aspects of that in the West. For example, Augustine's sentence, God is more interior to me than I am to myself. That's a deep mystical intuition.


So it's there in the West, so to speak, you know, and it's not totally absent. It's certainly the basis of the Hindu, from the Upanishads, the top, bottom, C of the Upanishads. You are that. You are Brahman. The first mantra I ever learned from a teacher in New York City was Soham. And in Sanskrit it would be Suaham, which is shortened, and it means you are it. You are that. All right. There's an image that Brother David Steingle last uses in some of his talks that I think also talks about that, and that God is like the ocean, with the waves rolling in. Certainly


an image that you can very well identify with here in Big Sur. And sometimes there's a little sandpiper on a beach, a little bird, that plays with the ocean. And when the sandpiper sees this tremendously powerful wave coming in, it's awesome, and it's fearsome, and so forth. It's terrible. And it runs away. But then the wave recedes, and there's fascination. So it's an expression of what Rudolf Waldo called the Mysterium Tremenda. Which would be very much a part of that prophetic intuition of God, and the Mysterium Fascinans.


Again, maybe two models, you know, are too stark about where to put it. I think with the Incarnation, we have to talk about another thing, and that's what I would call the Mysterium Intimatum. God entering history, and God, by grace, making us participators. That's something else. But these models come basically from the history of religions. Okay, let's look at another model. By the way, a very good example, in contrast to Barth, a very good example of this with the Utilic. In contrast to Karl Barth. Another model is presented in the book,


The Great Chain of Being by Arthur Lovejoy. And this fits very much to some of the things we were talking about yesterday, in talking about Eckhart, and where he stands in the Western tradition. Lovejoy's book is more than 50 years old now. It's kind of an old classic. And the Medieval Conference at Kalamazoo, three, four years ago, had a number of kind of subsessions devoted to Lovejoy's model. But he says, there are basically two models of God. God as the timeless absolute,


or God as the self-absolute. The timeless absolute is very much remote, you know, and powerful. Okay. And way beyond. And, you know, the first cause, Aristotle, yes. Okay. And the self-defusive good is primarily rooted in Plato. I think it's the Republic Book Six, where Plato says, the best name of God is, of the absolute, is good. And it's a good which overflows, because bonum diffusum sui. Good diffuses itself. Good overflows. Interesting that Eckhart uses the


word, God boils over. Egoatio. Okay. That there's this flowering, and this pouring out, that comes from God. The timeless absolute celebrates this distance. God is totally other, distinct. Barth is a good example of that. And the self-diffusive good talks about participation. But the good, when it spills out, you know, is imminent in what it creates, in what emanates. And this is extremely important to understand the whole notion of grace in the Eastern Christian tradition, theosis, demonization. Because it's really a Christianization of this,


that notion of participation. I might recommend regarding that notion of participation in connection with the pseudo-Dionysius. A very helpful commentary on the pseudo-Dionysius that I found is by Gaudens Rutledge, an English Benedictine, who has an older translation, but his introduction to the cosmic hierarchy and so forth is very important. Because he says, what comes from the good, what Plotinus called the emanations, is not like steps so much as levels of a waterfall. And the water continues down. It helped me understand the imminence


that's so strongly a part of the self-diffusive good tradition. It's very much behind the theology of Bonaventure. Remember I mentioned yesterday, for Bonaventure, God, particularly the Father, is self-diffusive good. And the word that Bonaventure uses for the Father in the Trinity is the Father is fontal plenitude. It's like the source that keeps flowing over. It's interesting that Eckhart took that fontal plenitude and put it, in a sense, behind the Trinity. He did not identify it with the Father. Maybe he was in error there. Somebody else better than I could argue that. But I know that Panikkar


never agreed with Eckhart on that point that the source is something behind the Trinity. He identified it with the Father, as does Bonaventure. So Timeless Absolute has this sense of difference, whereas this has a sense of likeness, similarity. The whole image doctrine of the Western Christian and Eastern Christian tradition is rooted here. This has a very strong sense of contingency. Creation as some kind of ex nihilo that is not intimately connected with the source that creates.


India has a way of talking about this. There's a word in Sanskrit, bheda, which means difference, distinction. And again, it's not two contrasts as far as so much as two poles as a word. And they also have this sense of non-difference. Or you can find the theology, if you have to go back up here, Ramanuja here, more here, which is divina, and Shambhara,


non-difference, identity, one without second, that sort of thing. One Indian theologian who is not as well known as Shambhara, or Ramanuja, but deserves a great deal more attention is Bhaskara, who developed a metaphysics called, or a theology called, bheda-abheda, so the two ways are combined, bheda-abheda. There's a difference, but there's identity. It combines two poles. And I think in a way that's more suitable to Christian connection with Hinduism


than either advaita or divaita. But it's not very well known. So, Aquinas, I think, is certainly more in this direction towards the timeless absolute, Bonaventure more this connection, and certainly Eckhart on the other way. All right, maybe we can open it up to discussion. Is this helpful? It seems like a genius of Catholicism is to hold tensions together. You know, when Christ is gone, there is such a thing as free will, free estimation. Church canonizes both St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure in their teaching.


And the temptation of heresies, you know, both can come down on one side or the other. And I wonder if we need to look at our own hearts in these questions, see kind of where are we leaning? You know, where do we need to be either corrected or complimented? Is that maybe a useful way to approach this sometimes? Where am I maybe getting off balance or just have a tendency to lean? Right. I think you're absolutely right. That is the genius of Christianity. Although our expressions sometimes fall very short of the intuition. And I think it's the genius of Christianity, because the heart of Christianity is the mystery of Jesus Christ, which is the ultimate coincidence of opposites that holds the tensions together. And I might recommend Hewlett-Cousins' book, Bonaventure and the Coincidence of Opposites. But we're always trying to deal with that. You see, we're always trying to, you know, to approximate that.


And I don't think Western theology really comes to even a sense of it until perhaps Bonaventure. And then, of course, Bonaventure kind of got eclipsed by that whole, you know, fascination with Aristotle that came in the 15th century. You know, but I think you're right. The whole key to Christianity is the mystery of Christ, which is divine human. And we have it, but we too fall short of being able to say it, to express it. Although we live it anyway. And it's Christ who, you know, is fully God, but honors the human and the phenomenal by, you know, entering into it completely. The icon of the Transfiguration that's in our chapel has a wonderful sort of artistic intuition into that.


Because you see Christ, you know, in the mystery of the Transfiguration with the three apostles underneath. But you notice that the light that comes down and meets in the center of Christ, what the East would call the hara, it looks like, excuse me, I'm not an artist, but that light of Teru, you know, just comes like down like this and meets in the center of Christ, right here. Okay. And there's light coming up also and the center is here. So it's like these... It's an expression of the mystery somehow. And I'm not a very good artist, but actually this comes down further like this. So we end up with a six-pointed star. And so, you know, I stand on the other side of it continually at the office


and I started concentrating on the light one day. And there's something that's said there. You know, I've never studied what the iconographers feel about, you know, what they're expressing and so forth. But yes, you're right. It's Christianity that can pull the opposites together, but I think we fail sometimes at being able to do it. You know, the Buddhists say that regarding the mystery of God, any language we use is the finger pointing at the moon. And the Buddhists would say no finger, no moon. Well, I think some fingers are more beautiful than others, more adequate than others. But, you know, maybe Buddhism stands there in the history of humanity simply to remind us that we never can approach the mystery exactly.


But it's like a coded DNA in Christianity that we've got to approximate that. You see, because there are elements of Christian belief that just radically go against logic itself. One of the basic principles of logic is the principle of non-contradiction. A is A and cannot be B. But here you have one being three and you have Christ who, you know, is both human and divine. So, you know, both of those mysteries, Trinity and Incarnation, run against logic itself. And theology has to be able to, you know, somehow try to comprehend them. Joseph? I like that the Indian theologian you mentioned, Bhaskara,


and the idea of combining diviner and abinder. You said that would be the most helpful model to dialogue with Christianity. Yeah. And I think I fully agree with that. And I find a spokesman of that position, contemporary, very strong spokesman of that in big leaflets. On the one hand, he emphasizes so much the abider, the unitive experience, the abider doctrine. Right. But the model he presents is that the ultimate model of unitive experience is Jesus Christ, especially in his relationship with the Father, his experience of the Father, his relationship with the Father as the model for our Christian experience of God.


And he describes it as a unity in distinction. Because Christ repeatedly says, I am the Father of one. I am the Father, the Father is in me. That unity, that need reminds us that Jesus never said, I am the Father. I am the Father of one. Yeah. I am the Father, the Father is in me. But he never said, I am the Father. He always reveals that awareness of intimacy and unity by distinction. There's never a confusion that he becomes the Father. And it says that should be the model for our Christian experience of God, a profound unity, unitive experience. But it's a unity in distinction. No matter what language we use with regard to humanisation or our


God is the ground of our being and so on. But still, as creature, as creating an image of Christ, sharing the image of God and so on, I think that model of unity in distinction is still a good Christian model. Mm hmm. Yes, I see. Well, it's what strikes me at the moment is, you know, Jesus never says, I am God. OK. Because that's what some of the mystics said. And one was Marguerite Poiret, who was burned at the stake in the lifetime of Eckhart. And when Eckhart went to Paris the second time, well, there's a question about whether her writings, The Mirror of Simple Souls, influenced Eckhart. And from what McGinn says, he knew about it and he perhaps had read it,


but it doesn't, interestingly. But when he went to Paris the second time, when he was stationed at that Dominican house in Paris, the Dominican inquisitor who had been responsible for burning Marguerite Poiret at the stake was living in the house with him, you know. And Christianity has done some terrible things with the confused. But at any rate, that's an important point. But I wonder how strict advice would deal with this point. You know, they might not be ready to, but they might be uncomfortable with it. But maybe, who knows? That's a big thing there. Like, if you know anything about Adam and Eve, I think they've both got part of the truth. Because I wish Adam and Eve knows that the baptism of Jesus is


somehow a non-dual experience, and Eve doesn't know that. And Eve rejects that, I would say. And says, it's only a communion of love. But I think probably just to discuss two ways of relating to the problem. One, in a sense, is by simple identity of origin. And the other is by a relationship of love. But that's not so much talking about the philosophical question. But I think, actually, these things are, you almost might say, deliberate contradictions. In the sense that there's distinction which, in the abundance of God, is totally overridden by the unity. So that, in other words, rationally and conceptually, we can't figure it out. But one coexists with the other in such a way that the other overrides it. And that's the exaltation of the thing. That is, the union, the unity, overrides the distinction.


And the interplay of the two somehow is the celebration. I certainly agree that Abhishek Ananda was far more Hindu than Bhiva. Yeah, I think Abhishek Ananda helped defend that, I think. But that's because he absolutely does want experience. But he knows something. He's got something, which is essential. That's helpful. I think that you could say that all of this is right. I think you have ontological reality that's out there. That God is unknowable. But he does manifest in various ways. And so it's the perception of the viewer that looks and says, I see God as this. And somebody that hasn't transcended to the non-manifest of God sees only the manifest. And then somebody else goes to the mystical marriage and says,


oh, this is the ultimate. This is what God is. Somebody goes beyond that. Somebody goes to the total, absolute unknowing of God and they say, this is the ultimate. And so each one has a perception, and they define that as this is what God is. But there's a reality beyond all the perception. Yeah, certainly styles of spirituality are, I wouldn't say totally subjective, but it's where a person sort of plungs into the mystery. So, for example, Merton was very, very much in tune with the apophatic. And Shannon's book, Thomas Merton's Dark Way, talks about Merton's propensity towards that side of the intuition of the mystery. And there are certainly styles of spirituality that are much more bhakti and understand that communion of love thing.


So they both have to be honored. And even if you regard, as you say, there's an unlogical truth here, which may have metaphysical expression. You know, in other words, we can explain, understand that there is a unmanifested manifest part of the mystery. There can be multiple ways of explaining the manifest. And in Hinduism, they say you can start at nine and go to one, or you can start at one and go to nine. And this is vague mathematics, which I don't understand all that well. But you can start with the concrete phenomenal world and go to God, or you can start with God and go to the phenomenal world, the sense reality. And in a sense Aquinas, sense-bound epistemology,


or Aristotelianism, realism, starts with the concrete world and goes to God. Bonaventure starts with God, and so does Eckhart, and goes to the phenomenal world. There's a reality that all these people are... To me it's like the blind people describing the elephant. One guy's got a tail. What's the elephant like? What's his long hair? They're together, as is the trunk. And so, it's the same elephant, there's still this reality there, but then somebody describes it in a certain way. That could lead to an extreme cynicism, you know? Of just saying, you know, well, that's one view, this is another view. Well, that's what we've got here. If people say, this is absolutely right, he's got these religions and all that, and is God different? Is there one God that is...


All these people are looking at different views of God, and they say, this is what I see, this is what I see, this is what I see. That's where faith, I guess, enters in. If you say the creed and you mean it, then you've got to deal with what that means. Yeah, we read a book here once in a formation, the name of it was Astarya's Syllable. Keep your mind in hell and despair not. Would that be the life in your diagram up there? I don't know. On a diagram, the life comes from the top and from the bottom. Well, like this analogy was, it comes from the bottom of the top. In that document, yeah. That's the direction. I'm not sure that... I'm not sure what he meant by keep your mind in hell.


I thought he was talking about repentance, but I'm not sure. Or was he just... what was he talking about? This is a favorite image also of Constance Ware. He loves to quote that one. I think it's the dark way. It was my understanding when he was talking about it. The hell of unknowing. Yeah. I'm pretty sure... Okay, go ahead. Always let it go. I mean, Eckhart. Always just let it go, realizing the mystery is larger. And that can be a positive, liberating thing, or it can be an experience of profound anxiety. That's interesting.


I was going to ask you... Ruth Burroughs. Uh-huh. Christian Enlightenment. She tells the story of comparing two different nuns. One with the light on and one with the light off. But they're both having the... These are two nuns that she knew. They both seem to be having this... at least, illuminative experience, or the unitive experience. But one with the light on and one with the light off. Like, for one, it's very unitive, but it's very dark. And for one, it's unitive, but it's very light. I don't know. I don't remember her conclusion about that. More than that, in that moment she starts silhouettes. I thought I would say, well, jive across, also. Right. I wonder how the Carmelites' ritual fits into that. Because you have both the mystical marriage and the dark night. And if they're not to be seen just as one step,


if not just as progressive steps... My hesitation when I was talking about the dark night is when are you dealing with subjective psychological despair? That's where this concern of spirits comes from. When is it from God and when is it just psychological? So I don't know about that. I think what's going on still is what you said. It's like a form of repentance. You know, what else could it be? Yeah. You can't just stand there and lose your soul. Yeah, well, I would suspect someone was repentant and also had this extreme sense of being a creature, you know, totally dependent on God. So, in one sense, it's a profound living out of that prophetic God.


You know, just begging for God's mercy. I think the whole question of... I come back to the idea of advaita and divaita, dual material distinction. I very much appreciate the saying of Theodosia Beck, union differentiates. Union differentiates. The deeper the union, almost the deeper the distinction. They go in a proper proportion. And I think there's two different worldviews between the Christian view and the Eastern view. There are two different worldviews and they complement one another. For example, the Eastern view, they go just absolute advaita.


For them, that's easy, because most Eastern philosophies or worldviews, at the end, there's no self, no subject. The self simply dissolves into the absolute. For example, Buddha nature or nirvana. So, of course, there is absolute kind of advaita or unity because the individual, the subject, simply dissolves into the immense, the absolute. I think the contribution, the Christian contribution, is precisely the concept of person, which is very vague in most Eastern traditions. So the concept of person, the individual, but not individual in isolation,


but persons in communion with all the persons and finally with the person, the absolute, the divine person. And so I think the two views can be complementary. We don't have to hold to just one view. There are just two different worldviews. And certainly the personal advaita view has a contribution to invite us to go deep in our realization of our union with the divine or the absolute. But the personal model also has a contribution to say that, according to our view, in eternity, we don't simply disappear. We are still, as a person, in communion with other persons, and with the divine person,


that idea of union differentiates. That's a unity but indistinction. And in conversation with, we trade, obviously, we come on Facebook. In China, they all know the Buddhist way and the Christian way. And when we come to this part of Nirvana, or our eternal life, many Chinese Christians are saying that, I thank God to be a Christian. Because in that stage, I'm still myself. And to many, that's a great consolation. Even in the eternity, I'm still myself. So, blessings and so on. And I have our Buddhist colleagues at that stage, that no more, the self will disappear. But I think also that as much as you can


live in that and live in the fullness of that, and have that communion of love, you can also, I think even in the same person, have that intuition of the Advaitic reality. I think you can have both. So for example, when Eckhart says, Nowhere is God so really God is in the human soul. He's talking about identity. In fact, it's kind of an extreme expression of it, because philosophically, it wouldn't be true. Theologically, it wouldn't be true. God's not more God than the human soul. Well, what's he trying to say? It's that deep presence of God within. And so it's not just me reaching out and forming this union, but it's also the imminence of


the Holy Spirit, if we put it in Christian language, that's yeasting that very first reunion. Well, we'll never get it settled, I guess. Anybody else want to say anything else? Well, I don't know if anybody actually does this, but it seems like there's multiple factors in these models that could be possibly put together. You have the cycle model where the cataphatic seems sacred in the nine and the ten. Sort of the psychic unity. The cataphatic seems sacred in the one. The unity. But in and of itself only is focusing on the psychic. And there's the other behavioral imitation models that is more behavioral, more almost monastic work ethic that


seems should be incorporated in a full level of spirituality. I don't know if anybody actually does that. It focuses on all those three aspects. But it seems to be a lot more complete. I find sometimes people focusing so much on the cataphatic that they detached from the sacred in work for example, sacred in moral behavior, for example. And they want to cut off that and just focus on, oh, I'm just one with God and I'm almost removed, you know. So for a more balanced, holistic uh model of spirituality that would be more ecumenical, it would seem to have you know incorporated maybe in a double graph like Bruno does with East-West or South sort of thing. I don't know. Well, I see a direct parallel with what you were saying


to the three types of yoga. Yeah, yoga is. Janana yoga is sort of the intuition into the cataphatic that's sort of drawing deeper and deeper in contemplative perception. And then bhakti as the devotional meaning of love path. And then work is very much karma which is the basic word under karma is kri which means to do, to act, the way you behave. You know, you're acting out. So there's a parallel there. I don't know if anybody's ever explored that. That's a good intuition, I think, because it brings it right down into the daily of how we live. Somehow you can bring tons of campus of a patient with, unify that with pseudo-diases and then unify that with


like the Aminaka types. It seems like it'd be possible. Well, this is going to seem like a far-fetched connection, but John Caputo's critique of Heidegger is precisely that Heidegger in a sense going after that apathetic intuition, never develops an ethics you know, and his social politics were terrible, he sided with fascism and the Nazis, you know, so it's in a sense you're getting at something there, you know, that Heidegger went so exclusively on that apathetic path that he didn't deal with the practicality of living in this world, ethics, you know, and it's a strong criticism. In fact, that Heidegger does


end up being unconnected and virtually only describing life in the world as angst. It's kind of a pessimism rather than embracing the joy and so forth of being in the world. I think what you're saying right now is very important to articulate the idea of monastic formation because when you started out talking about sensitivity to the apathetic, I think it's important, yes, to be sensitive, but there really needs to be all these collateral events that are going on in people's journeys because it's very easy to be seduced by the fact that I think I'm having an authentic apathetic criteria in my life and also remove myself from the realities of day-to-day living and monastic


experience, which are or other, that sort of thing. So there has to be I think a very, very careful weighing of this, especially when we're trying to mentor people towards that. Right. Well, precisely, ask yourself the difference. Yes, monasticism is universal, but in Christianity, does it have uniqueness of expression because of the Gospel? And that's your answer. It seemed like Merton brought on the idea that that one of the unitive aspects of the monastic archetype was the fact that it put us in commonality with everything, not separateness, but puts you at the heart of the unity. Yes, it was incarnational. And you see, with Merton's sense, I think it's an exceeding contemplation, the fastest way to enter


into that self-empty is not through mental discipline or something like that. Even so much as simply pouring yourself out in service, which would be Catholic, Christian lawful karma, or whatever. So that horizontal dimension has to be brought in. The fact that we're kind of always between different models is an expression of our situation and we're mentally stretched between different models, which is also, is parallel to the fact of trying to undergo rather than being able to master. If we could master this, we'd be able to arrive at a synthetic vision. We can't. We're stretched between models that seem sometimes intolerable, or at least cold. Which is really the way it's supposed to be. We have to undergo it rather than comprehend it. Yup. It's the yin-yang you were talking about


before. It's never the one or the other. In Christ's life, you see his time in the desert. It seems to be the power of him to go into the marketplace. The only one or the other is the contemplative and the active. It's the in-going. It's also the mystery of not only is God in me, but that I'm the God. There's a wholeness of it. We don't have to keep bouncing back between models. It's the whole mystery of prophetic and mystic together. Okay. Well, thank you very much. Thank you.