Touching The Great Reality~January 12th.

Via Benjamin Riggs
on Jan 12, 2011
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“Spiritual, but not religious…”

Here is a discussion between Ken Wilber and Fr. Thomas Keating. These two men are two of the greatest thinkers of our time. I believe Fr. Keating has done more to transform the spiritual landscape in America that anyone since Thomas Merton. He is responsible in large part for the re-introduction of silent contemplation within many Christian communities. Fr. Thomas Keating is a deeply realized individual, and I say this not because he says brilliant things or sounds incredibly intelligent, but because he is relaxed and himself. That is what I find admirable, and so does Ken Wilber (watch his face throughout the interview; he has this goofy smirk!)

It is a bit longer than most of the videos I select, but I find it incredibly interesting, and a very enjoyable 15 minutes. Enjoy!

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About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA and a teacher at Explore Yoga. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality on Elephant Journal, and his blog. Click here to listen to the Finding God in the Body Podcast. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


3 Responses to “Touching The Great Reality~January 12th.”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jack Daw. Jack Daw said: Ride the Elephant! Touching The Great Reality ~January 12th.: Spiritual, but not religious… […]

  2. TamingAuthor says:

    Ben, excellent selection. It "telescopes" the introduction of these two leading figures in a very helpful manner.

    Fr. Keating provides a charming introduction into the Catholic contemplative world. He has become a bit of a lightning rod for traditionalists who cannot listen closely but, nonetheless, many are reacquainting themselves with the rich contemplative traditions of Christianity, which is vital if the faith is to fulfill its original design and intent. Perhaps he could save himself some grief if he would stay away from the language of developmental psychology.

    Ken Wilbur is an interesting and perhaps all-too-clever figure. I used to read his work and shake my head… he would get so much correct but always there was a sense of something wrong, something slightly "off." That little divergence I came to realize was an attempt to satisfy, to acknowledge, the "demands" of western materialism aka naturalistic science. The attempt to convert the concepts and language into an acceptable form for that audience always added a bit of "untruth" to the discussion.

    This has been magnified by the "Integral" movement he has started with its offshoots that include Evolutionary Christianity. In this video we see him use language and approaches that attempt to satisfy the scientific materialists—he openly admits that is his goal.

    There is something to be applauded in his deft integration of the language and concepts of contemplation into the "acceptable frame" of western materialism … HHDL on many occasions takes a similar approach. One cannot discount the attempt to speak to the natives in "their own language." However, in doing so, the concepts are at risk for misinterpretation, alteration, and defilement. In other words, adding untruth to the truth to gain an acceptance is a great strategy but one which ends up giving you half-truths.

    Does the truth or the lie end up prevailing? Does adding lies to the truth so that the patient will swallow the medicine really work? Not so sure it does. I fear many are buying the idea that evolution can be integrated with spirituality, as in Evolutionary Christianity, when, actually, it is a total non-starter. Likewise, with Buddhism.

    So I guess there is value in speaking the language of the natives to gain acceptance and to keep from being tossed in the pot and cooked for a cannibal's feast. However, I believe that when one waters down the truth, the magic will not be there when needed and the natives, now disappointed, will toss you in the pot anyway. So we will have to wait to see if Wilbur ends up being the dish consumed—I predict he will be, but he will join the cannibals and will begin gnawing on his own leg in order to be part of the festivities.

  3. […] an unimaginable experience and you will make it to be your own. You are granted the gift of leaving reality for a weekend, enjoying the company of both new and old friends, all while your pupils dilate to […]