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Center for Action and Contemplation

Seeing with God’s Eyes and a Mystical Mind

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Nondual Consciousness

Seeing with God’s Eyes
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

St. John of the Cross says in many ways throughout his writings that God refuses to be known in the way we know all other objects; God can only be known by loving God. I like to call this “center to center” or “subject to subject” knowing where neither participant is ever objectified. Yet much of religion has tried to know God theologically, by words, theories, doctrines, and dogmas. Belief systems have their place; they provide a necessary and structured beginning point, just as the dualistic mind is good as far as it goes.  But then you need the nondual or mystical mind to love and fully experience limited ordinary things and to peek through the cloud to glimpse infinite and seemingly invisible things. This is the contemplative mind that can “know spiritual things in a spiritual way” (1 Corinthians 2:13), as Paul says.

What does it mean when Jesus says you should love God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, with your whole mind (not just your dualistic mind), with your whole strength? What does it mean, as the first commandment instructs us, to love God more than anything else? The only way I know how to love God and to teach you how to love God is to love what God loves. To love God means to love everything . . . no exceptions. Of course, that can only be done with divine love flowing through us. And we can only allow divine love to flow by way of contemplative, nondualistic consciousness, where we stop eliminating and choosing. This is the transformed mind (Romans 12:2) that allows you to see God in everything, and empowers your behavior to almost naturally change.

Religion, from the root religio, means to reconnect, to bind back together. I would describe mystical moments as those attention grabbing events that overcome the gap between you and other people, events, or objects, and even God. The work of spirituality is to look with a different pair of eyes (nondual eyes) beyond what Merton calls “the shadow and the disguise” of things until you can see them in their connectedness and wholeness. In a very real sense, the word God is just a synonym for everything. So if you do not want to get involved with everything, stay away from God.

Gateway to Silence:
Be here now.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Exploring and Experiencing the Naked Now (CAC: 2010), disc 2 (CD, DVD, MP3 download); and
Franciscan Mysticism: I AM That Which I Am Seeking (CAC: 2012), disc 2 (CD, MP3 download).

Image Credit: The Incredulity of St. Thomas (detail), by Caravaggio, 1601-1602, Sanssouci, Potsdam.
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