I’ve been chagrined to see our species’ collective shadow on full display during this U.S. election year, exposing intolerance and bigotry. Under the guise of avoiding “political correctness,” truth-telling has been twisted into fear-mongering and scapegoating. When we cannot face and embrace the insecurities inside ourselves, we project them outwardly, hating the self we see mirrored in the “other.”
People have good reasons to be angry and afraid. Racism, poverty, climate change, and so many other injustices are causing real suffering. Unfortunately, dualistic and oppositional energies cannot bring the change we so desperately need; we cannot fight violence with violence. Only the contemplative mind has the ability to hold light and dark together; only unitive consciousness allows transformation at the deepest levels.
If we do not own our fears, they will continue to manipulate our politics, culture, and religion, reinforcing a polarized and divided society. Time is much too precious—for each individual life and for our planet as a whole. We must bring as much passion to our cause as do those who call for building walls. But our job is to tear down walls.
We have the capacity to grow beyond tribalism and nationalism into a new identity, one that holds space for everyone to belong and be loved. I hold out hope that human consciousness can evolve to the next level.
I invite you to conspire—conspirare, breathe together—and imagine with us peaceful ways of changing the world.
The Center for Action and Contemplation’s CONSPIRE 2016 conference brings together teachers who show us what is possible through contemplative consciousness: reconciliation, healing, and wholeness.
Christena Cleveland integrates psychology, faith, and a profound dedication to social justice. She reveals subconscious beliefs that contribute to unjust systems and offers practical ways of creating inclusive community.
James Alison is one of the most exciting and ground-breaking theologians alive today. Drawing from René Girard, he helps us understand the Gospel’s transformative power to release us from the pattern of scapegoating.
Mirabai Starr shares the necessity of embracing good and bad, joy and pain, from her own broken-open heart and her deep understanding of the mystics. She shows us a God who is all-loving and all-inclusive.
Regardless of the name you call God, regardless of your gender or sexual orientation, regardless of your political party affiliation . . . you are welcome! Everyone belongs at CONSPIRE 2016, including you.
I hope you’ll join us for this honest and hopeful conspiracy. Seating is limited for the in-person conference, so register soon at cac.org. If you’ve already registered, I encourage you to share this invitation with a friend!
CONSPIRE 2016: Everything Belongs
Hotel Albuquerque, New Mexico
Friday, July 15–Sunday, July 17, 2016
Peace and Every Good,
Richard Rohr, OFM
P.S. Don’t let the cost of registration keep you away! Thanks to the generosity of CAC donors, financial assistance is available.
P. P. S. If you can’t come to Albuquerque, you can still participate! Register for the webcast and receive access to watch the keynote talks online, from anywhere in the world.