We Are Divine

RICHARD ROHR reflection,  September 13, 2019
When I read or hear Richard Rohr, I am reassured. If this beloved and renowned Franciscan can say what he says, I belong where I am—in the Catholic Church, challenging its damaging teaching. He calls his theology “alternative orthodoxy.” That’s what I can call my set of beliefs. Rohr takes issue with the belief in original sin, taught to Christians since before medieval times.

I agree with Rohr that everybody is born with divinity inside her- or himself; we are not born with a sin that needs to be erased. When I was studying theology for a Master’s degree, the pronouncements of theologians who assumed people are born with original sin repelled me.
Anselm of Canterbury’s interpretation seemed the most outrageous.

To vent my scorn, I translated his ideas into a tragicomedy, a medieval drama with a cast of three:
The feudal LORD-GOD who collects payments of honor, MAN who was created to give honor to LORD-GOD, and GOD-MAN JESUS.

In the beginning, MAN dishonors LORD-GOD by sinning. He’s in a fix—how to pay his debt to LORD-GOD? Negotiations between debtor and creditor arrive at an impasse because nothing MAN possesses equals the amount of debt he owes LORD-GOD. Poor MAN faces eternal damnation, an added insult to LORD-GOD who demands payments of honor.

Enter GOD-MAN JESUS, who as both MAN and GOD can meet the repayment amount. GOD-MAN JESUS takes care of the debt by dying.

This was Anselm’s explanation of why Jesus had to die on the cross. Ridiculous! For the same reason I do not recite the words given us when the priest announces the “mystery of faith.” The congregation unthinkingly recites or sings something like, “Savior of the World, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free.” Free to enter the gates of heaven? How many people believe this anymore?  Peter at the gate now is a figure in jokes.

With Richard Rohr I believe divinity dwells in everyone—What’s called “God” is in all the universe. And the spiritual master Jesus of Nazareth teaches us to enter the inner realm of divinity within us. The Aramaic word Jesus used was mistranslated “Kingdom,” so that people imagine a locality ruled by a monarch.

The Reign of God Jesus of Nazareth preached is already deep inside us.
The Reign of God is within you. Luke 17:21

You'll see my struggles with traditional Catholic teachings woven together with my life lived in a very very Catholic culture when you read Beyond Parochial Faith: A Catholic Confesseshttp://jeanetteblonigenclancy.com/beyond-parochial-faith

WE ARE DIVINE, December 4, 2014

Poets, sages, and religious leaders discern a deep reality in humanity that escapes many of us.
William Wordsworth writes about it in his poem “Immortality”:
[our] exterior semblance doth belie
[our] soul’s immensity.
Jesus of Nazareth called this inner reality the Reign of God and made it the abiding and overarching theme of his teachings.
The Reign of God is in the midst of you.
Lk 17: 21
Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard calls it our inner Beloved and Essential Self. At the center of our being rests,
“a magnificent presence
far beyond my current personality or gender.”
She encourages us to,
Experience the Essential Self as a radiant presence,
glowing and emanating light.
Louise Hay describes it thus:
                        In the Infinity of life where I am,
                        all is perfect, whole, and complete.
Wordsworth echoes this theme of the human person’s nobility:
                        Not in entire forgetfulness,
                        And not in utter nakedness,
                        But trailing clouds of glory do we come . . .
And he acknowledges our tendency to be oblivious to it.
                        O joy! that in our embers
                        Is something that doth live,
                        That Nature yet remembers  
                        What was so fugitive!
We can reclaim what was “so fugitive.” This Wayne Dyer encourages to do by trusting our inner Selves and being true to the divine wisdom within.
Ralph Waldo Emerson echoes Dyer’s thought in “Self-Reliance”:
Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.
Paul, who unintentionally founded the new religion called Christianity, referred to this inner reality recognized by sages when he wrote,
Christ is living in me (Gal 2:20).
Christ is living in you (2 Cor13:5).
Jesus of Nazareth said,
You are the salt of the earth . . .
You are the light of the world.
Mt 5: 13- 14
Let us vibrate to that iron string within and realize we are the salt, we are the light. Let us hearken to the Beloved Self signaling from within.
Amen. Allelujah.


Christine Howard said…
I recently read Michael Newton's book "Destiny of Souls" his study would support all those you quoted said as our soul/being lives in us and beyond us and again and again
Chris said…

Maybe you'll let this less cantankerous post go through. I'm inclined to say that there is, indeed, a "Perennial Philosophy" - an eternal and universal mystical tradition. But why should we regard the theistic traditions as somehow inferior or less enlightened than the more gnostic ones? Why should we place Truth above Love? Aren't they ultimately one and the same?

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