The Authority of What Is

In Our End Is Our Beginning

The Authority of What Is
Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In the coming year of Daily Meditations, I will introduce the teachers who have taught me: the individuals, traditions, and texts that have most shaped my own worldview and spirituality. On many occasions, people have asked me: “By what authority do you say the things you do, Richard? Why should we believe you?” These are completely legitimate questions. Having a solid and clear “epistemology”—how we know the things we know—is important, or we are subject to the whims and fancies of any teacher.

The things I teach come from a combination of inner and outer authority, drawn from personal experience and a long lineage of the “perennial tradition” as Aldous Huxley, Huston Smith, Ken Wilber, and many others called it. I don’t believe God expects us to start from zero and reinvent the wheel of faith in our one small lifetime. Thankfully, we each participate in the “communion of saints,” the force field of the Holy Spirit. This Great Tradition, the perennial philosophy, has developed through the ages, and is an inherited gift. (It is quite unfortunate that most of us confuse our own rather recent customs with “tradition,” and a mere 500 years inside of one denomination or culture is still “recent custom.”)

The Perennial Tradition points to recurring themes and truths within all of the world’s religions. At their most mature level, religions cultivate deeper union with God, with each other, and with reality—what is. The work of religion is to re-ligio—re-ligament—or reunite what our egos and survival instincts have put asunder, namely a fundamental wholeness at the heart of everything. My calling (and in the last 28 years, it has been the CAC’s work as well) has been to retrieve and reteach the wisdom that has been lost, ignored, or misunderstood within the Judeo Christian and Perennial traditions. That many people cannot be wrong.

Gateway to Silence:
God, keep me in your truth.

Image Credit: Ensō (円相) – Zen/Japanese calligraphy wallpaper (detail)
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