Recently the Center for Action and Contemplation shared portions of Cynthia Bourgeault's commentaries on Thomas Keating’s final book, The Secret Embrace-A collection of evocative poetry, and, a beautiful final gift of writing from his life. I recently took Cynthia’s online course through spiritualityandpractice.com on this work. I wanted to offer several of my own reflections from the course that seemed to come more through me, than from me.
In taking on the task to investigate Gebser and his work and lest, I, and we, fall into the trap of perspectival seeing itself in trying to attain seeing-getting the next new thing in our own personal spiritual development. Where the Imaginal realm, or citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven is seen as better or higher than, instead of ontologically objective, given as a birthright to be unveiled and stabilized in us as a viewing platform of the heart. Here the Imaginal’s meaning only matters in relationship to the whole of Creation-and therefore to all worlds and all beings. I offer a word of caution and context for my sense of where many of us are being led and called to hold posts within our community, communities and world.
Chosenness and privilege, in the universal sense of being a pixel of consciousness as human being, is and always has been equal to the role of service; not a reward for being “virtuous” or “morally admired” (ie the best of World 48). It’s this perspectival confusion of equating chosenness with specialness that creates and comes out of the closed loops of self-reflective thinking. Just look at most of the forms of Christianity many of us grew up in. But even now, from this place we confer positive or negative qualities on ourselves and others-often justified by our “spiritual work and development.” The minute we begin to think, “they” need to do their “inner-work,” we’ve inevitably left doing our own.
Jonathan lives in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas with his wife, dogs and three children. His teaching blends the Christian Contemplative tradition, 4th Way spirituality and the teachings behind the Enneagram - with a focus on companioning others from the unified and collective field accessed through the heart. He is a life-long seeker who offers, retreats, workshops and private Spiritual Direction in person or by zoom, one-to-one or in groups.