„Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics.” —Charles Péguy

From Mysticism to Politics, by Richard Rohr
Friday, July 13, 2018

Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics. —Charles Péguy (1873-1914) [1]

In last fall’s issue of the Center for Action and Contemplation’s journal, Oneing, Wes Granberg-Michaelson, our good friend and neighbor here in New Mexico and the former General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America, traced the path between mysticism—which is actual experience of God or Universal Love—and politics:

„Transformative change in politics depends so much on having a clear view of the desired end. Where does that vision come from? Possibilities may be offered by various ideologies, or party platforms, or political candidates. But, for the person of faith, that vision finds its roots in God’s intended and preferred future for the world. It comes not as a dogmatic blueprint but as an experiential encounter with God’s love, flowing like a river from God’s throne, nourishing trees with leaves for the healing of the nations (see Revelation 22:1-2). This biblically infused vision, resonant from Genesis to Revelation, pictures a world made whole, with people living in a beloved community, where no one is despised or forgotten, peace reigns, and the goodness of God’s creation is treasured and protected as a gift.

Such a vision strikes the political pragmatist as idyllic, unrealistic, and irrelevant. But the person of faith, whose inward journey opens his or her life to the explosive love of God, knows that this vision is the most real of all. It is a glimpse of creation’s purpose and a glimmering of the Spirit’s movement amid the world’s present pain, brokenness, and despair. This vision also recognizes the inevitable journey of inward and outward transformation—the simultaneous, continuing transformation of the inward hearts of people liberated by God’s astonishing grace and the outward transformation of social and economic structures liberated by God’s standards of justice.

So, for the Christian, politics entails an inevitable spiritual journey. But this is not the privatized expression of belief which keeps faith in Jesus contained in an individualized bubble and protects us from the “world.”. . . Rather, it is a spiritual journey which connects us intrinsically to the presence of God, whose love yearns to save and transform the world. We are called to be “in Christ,” which means we share—always imperfectly, and always in community with others—the call to be the embodiment of God’s love in the world. . . .

The necessary detachment from this ugly and injurious present political climate depends upon our inner attachment to the mystery of God’s unbounded grace and divine, creative love. That is the foundation from which we can witness to truth, nurture community, and build essential bonds of solidarity with those who suffer. More than ever, politics which offers redemptive hope will begin with mysticism.”

[1] Charles Péguy, Notre Jeunesse (Paris: Cahiers de la Quinzaine, 1910), 27. Original text: “Tout commence en mystique et finit en politique.”

Wes Granberg-Michaelson, “From Mysticism to Politics,” “Politics and Religion,” Oneing, vol. 5 no. 2 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2017), 17, 21.


„Despre adevar si minciuna”


Final articol Ana Maria Sandu

„Recitiți interviul acesta cu Ciprian Mihali de pe PressOne.ro, pentru o mai bună contextualizare a lumii a post-adevărului în care trăim. „Pentru ca minciunile să poată fi înghiţite uşor, adică să nu-i trezească din somn pe cei care le aud, e nevoie ca ele să fie formulate în cuvinte cît mai puţine şi cît mai des repetate, dar rostite teatral pe scenele publice oferite cu atîta generozitate de industriile mediatice, ele însele complice şi supuse acestui spectacol (…). O afirmaţie absurdă spusă o dată poate fi percepută ca absurdă, deci necredibilă. Repetată însă de o mie de ori, ea nu este în fond mai puţin absurdă, doar că devine credibilă. Iar credibilitatea ei se obţine prin credulitate, expresia cea mai înaltă a abandonării oricărui simţ critic”, spune Mihali.

Exact acesta a fost unul dintre reproșurile aduse opoziției de actuala putere, maestră absolută la capitolul manipulare: „Prezentaţi răul ca fiind bine, iar binele ca fiind rău. Am credinţă în puterea adevărului, în inteligenţa acestui popor, care a dovedit în nenumărate rînduri că nu se lasă manipulat şi e capabil să distingă între adevăr şi minciună. Ecuaţia va fi cît se poate de simplă, dvs.aţi tăiat, noi am majorat pensiile şi salariile”, a mai spus Dăncilă.

Philip Roth credea „că trăim într-o lume în care minciuna e regină”. S-ar putea ca în curînd marile bătălii să nu se mai dea pe resurse, ci pe alchimia transformării adevărului în minciună și invers.”

Changing Sides – July 4, 2018 U.S. Independence Day

By Richard Rohr

God chose things the world considers foolish to shame those who think they are wise. And God chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. —1 Corinthians 1:27

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun to rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. —Matthew 5:43-45

Christianity is a bit embarrassed by the powerless one, Jesus. We’ve made his obvious defeat into a glorious victory. Let’s face it, we feel more comfortable with power than with powerlessness and poverty. Who wants to be like Jesus on the cross? It just doesn’t look like a way of influence, a way of access, a way that’s going to make any difference in the world.

We worship this naked, homeless, bleeding loser, crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem, but we want to be winners . . . at least until we learn to love the so-called little, poor people—and then we often see they are not little at all, but better images of the soul. Yes, those with mental and physical disabilities, minority groups, LGBTQIA folks, refugees, prisoners, those with addictions, those without financial wealth—all who have “failed” in our social or economic success system—can be our best teachers in the ways of the Gospel. They represent what we are most afraid of and what we most deny within ourselves. That’s why we must learn to love what first seems like our “enemy.”

If we look at all the wars of history, we’ll see that God has unwittingly been enlisted on both sides of the fight. It’s easy to wonder what God does when both sides are praying for God’s protection. Trusting Jesus as the archetypal pattern of God’s presence and participation on Earth, I believe God is found wherever the suffering is. I believe this because that is precisely where Jesus goes. He makes heroes of the outsiders and underdogs in almost all his parables and stories. To miss that point is culpable and chosen ignorance. The awakened and aware ones—like Jesus and Francis of Assisi—go where people are suffering, excluded, expelled, marginalized, and abused. And there they find God.

Imagine, brothers and sisters, how different Western history and religion could have been if we had walked as tenderly and lovingly upon the earth as Francis and Jesus did. Imagine what the world would be like if we treated others with inherent and equal dignity and respect, seeing the divine DNA in ourselves and everyone else too—regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, appearance, or social class. Nothing less offers the world any lasting future. We must be honest about that—and rather quickly, I think.


Roots of Liberation

By Fr Richard Rohr

„One of the great themes of the Bible, beginning with the Hebrew Scriptures and continued by Jesus and Paul, is “the preferential option for the poor.” I call it “the bias toward the bottom.” The Hebrew people’s exodus out of slavery, and YHWH’s complete identification with them, is the pattern of our universal spiritual journey to liberation.

Moses, himself a man at “the bottom” (a murderer on the run, caring for his father-in-law’s sheep), first encounters God in an ordinary bush that “burns” without being consumed (Exodus 3:2). Moses’ experience is both external and interior, earth-based and transcendent: “Take off your shoes, this is holy ground,” he hears (3:5). Awestruck and fully present, Moses is able to perceive God’s surprising call: “I have heard the groaning of my people in Egypt. You, Moses, are to go confront the Pharaoh and tell him to let my people go” (3:9-10).

Here we have the perfect integration of action and contemplation. First, the contemplative experience comes—the burning bush. Immediately it has social, economic, and political implications. There is no authentic God experience that does not situate you in the world in a different way. You see things differently, and you have the security to be free from your usual loyalties: privilege, position, group, and economy. Yet this transformation has costly consequences. Moses had to leave Pharaoh’s palace to ask new questions and become the liberator of his people.

The Exodus story is the root of all liberation theology, which Jesus then teaches and fully exemplifies (see Luke 4:18-19). It is obvious that he is primarily a healer of the poor and powerless. Liberation theology focuses on freeing people from religious, political, social, and economic oppression (i.e., what Pope John Paul II called “structural sin” and “institutional evil”). [1] It goes beyond just trying to free individuals from their own naughty behaviors, which many people identify as the only meaning of sin. In our individualistic society, structural sin is accepted as good and necessary on the corporate or national level.

Large companies, churches, and governments get away with and are even applauded for killing (war), greed, vanity, pride, and ambition. The capital sins are rewarded at the corporate level but shamed at the individual level. This is our conflicted Christian morality!

Instead of legitimating the status quo, liberation theology tries to read history and the Bible not from the side of the powerful, but from the side of the pain. Its beginning point is not sin management, but “Where is the suffering?”

The world tends to define poverty and riches simply in terms of economics. But poverty has many faces—weakness, dependence, and many forms of humiliation. Essentially, poverty is a lack of means to accomplish what one desires or needs, be it lack of money, relationships, influence, power, intellectual ability, physical strength, freedom, or dignity.

God hears the cry of the poor. And we, created in God’s image and likeness, must do the same to be like God.”


[1] Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (On Social Concern, December 30, 1987) presents his thoughts in detail: http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_30121987_sollicitudo-rei-socialis.html.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Gospel Call for Compassionate Action (Bias from the Bottom) in CAC Foundation Set (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2007), CD and MP3 download; and
Job and the Mystery of Suffering: Spiritual Reflections (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 1998)126.

The Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism


1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.

2. Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment from views in order to be open to receive others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.

3. Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.

4. Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering, including personal contact, visits, images, and sounds. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.

5. Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of your life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.

6. Do not maintain anger or hatred. Learn to penetrate and transform them when they are still seeds in your consciousness. As soon as they arise, turn your attention to your breath in order to see and understand the nature of your hatred.

The world needs our care, our goodness and our peaceful action, now more than ever.

7. Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing both inside and around you. Plant seeds of joy, peace, and understanding in yourself in order to facilitate the work of transformation in the depths of your consciousness.

8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

9. Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things of which you are not sure. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.

10. Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party. A religious community, however, should take a clear stand against oppression and injustice and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.

11. Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of compassion.

12. Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.

13. Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the property of others, but prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth.

14. Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. Do not look on your body as only an instrument. Preserve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of the Way. (For brothers and sisters who are not monks and nuns) Sexual expression should not take place without love and commitment. In sexual relationships, be aware of future suffering that may be caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the rights and commitments of others. Be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world. Meditate on the world into which you are bringing new beings.

The world needs our care, our goodness, and our peaceful action, now more than ever. Caring for our world gives us a purpose and adds meaning to our life. By following principles like these from the heartfelt wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh, we can become more peaceful and evolve ways of being that are altruistic and honourable. Ultimately we will lead happier and more fulfilling lives when we have a guiding light illuminating the path.

Source: Uplift Connect

Despre Marx, la o aniversare

La bicentenarul lui Karl Marx. Un excelent memento, la o aniversare care suscita înca simpatii pentru un mare filosof, analist profetic al crizelor economice ciclice care mai bântuie înca lumea industrializata si post-industrializata. Care aprecieri pozitive ignora legatura strânsa (de la cauza la efect? – nu desigur, dar strânsa) dintre filosofia lui Marx si sângeroasa lor materializare în secolul 20.

De Ioan Stanomir, „La Punkt”.

„… scopul acţiunii lui Marx a fost acela de a oferi un ghid de remodelare al universului.Ţinta sa nu a fost doar să analizeze capitalismul, ci şi să demonstreze, ştiinţific, inevitabilitatea prăbuşirii sale. Obiectivul paginilor sale nu a fost, niciodată, unul tern- academic: intelectual revoluţionar în tradiţie iacobină, Marx a privit ideile ca pe materia primă din care se va croi alt viitor. Rândurile lui Leszek Kolakowski dedicate acestei pasiuni prometeice a lui Marx merită recitite de cei care, la bicentenar, îl separă pe Marx de domeniul acţiunii politice concrete. Ideologia marxistă este temelia raţionalismului sanguinar pe care îl practică regimurile comuniste. “Manifestul Partidului Comunist” nu este o inocentă dizertaţie academică, ci un tratat despre logica confruntăriii politice.

În marxism, ca filosofie a societăţii şi discurs asupra puterii, se află nucleul liberticid şi totalitar pe care îl va dezvolta marxism- leninismul.Marxismul oferă, o dată cu consacrarea luptei de clasă ca motor al istoriei,o legitimare a barbariei. Ambiţia marxismului este dublă: de a identifica inamicul, dar şi de a invita la lichidarea lui. Retorica “ Manifestului” este retorica pe care o vor îmbrăţişă totalitarismele comuniste: un amestec, teribil, de încredere absolută în idei şi de dispreţ pentru omul concret. Marxismul stabileşte un mecanism implacabil al determinismului, din care nici o fiinţă umană nu se poate salva. Logica marxismului politic este logica lui Procust, în toată splendoarea ei dialectică.

Comuniştii, aşa cum se ivesc ei din paginile “Manifestului”, sunt locuiţi de amoralitatea revoluţionară, obsedaţi de aplicarea schemelor unui viitor perfect. Rahmetov al lui Cernîşevki, Neceaev sau Lenin ies din acest domeniu marxist al ideilor. Ştiinţificitatea acţionează spre a suspenda morala şi a elimina compasiunea. Politica marxistă este, încă de la “Manifest”, una a exterminării. Ea refuză compromisul, în numele apelului la raţiunea istoriei.”


„Lupta de clasă din “Manifestul Partidului Comunist” este spectrul ce bântuie secolul XX. Drumul pe care îl deschide Marx prin textele sale duce spre Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Mao sau Pol- Pot. Aceştia sunt autenticii moştenitori ai Ideii pe care marxismul o îmbracă în armura ştiinţificităţiii . Utopia se serveşte de stat ca de un instrument criminal, în tentativa de a extermina tot ceea ce nu se încadrează în perimetrul umanităţii ideale.

Marxismul s-a vrut a fi o filosofie a rupturii prometeice, iar totalitarismele din veacul trecut sunt imaginea, terifiantă, a istoriei în marş către viitor. Din promisiunea emancipării s-au hrănit sclavia şi barbaria. La bicentenarul naşterii lui Marx, bilanţul tiraniilor marxizante este bilanţul propriei sale ambiţii cosmogonice. Filosofia politică marxistă are în faţă oglinda aşezată de istoria insăşi, spre a–şi putea contempla chipul de Meduză.”

Karl Marx la bicentenar: lupta de clasă şi crima de stat. despre un bilanţ ideologic

Ce pot aduce campaniile de vaccinare…

… în tari ca India sau Brazilia. Eradicarea unor boli ucigase, care pareau de neînvins.

Dar în lumea noastra civilizata…? Aici bântuie campaniile antivaccin, ale carei cauze ma depasesc.

Într-un articol din „Guardian”, o mare vedeta a Bollywoodului lauda imensa realizare, de neînchipuit înca acum câtiva ani, pe care o reprezinta eradicarea poliomielitei în India.

Ma întreb si eu, ca proasta: oare ce-o fi în capul parintilor care, pe baza de zvonuri si „trenduri”, refuzând vaccinuri, pun în pericol sanatatea propriilor copii, dar si a multor altora? De unde convingerile astea pe cât de irationale, pe atât de contagioase…?

„The only way to eradicate polio is to ensure that immunisation coverage reaches virtually every child and stays high. Knowing this, these health workers set about finding every last child, often leaving their own families behind for long periods to travel to the most remote places.

And that’s not just the case in India – it’s a story that rings true all around the world, and not just for polio but for other life-threatening diseases, including pneumonia, measles, tetanus, hepatitis B or diphtheria.

Behind the phenomenal success of vaccines globally lies the hard work of millions of front line health workers who walk for hundreds of miles, navigating the dense jungles and rivers of Brazil’s Amazon region, or travel to the remote islands of the South Pacific to vaccinate every child. These journeys can be arduous, but volunteers stay the course to protect their communities. Often, they encounter fear, suspicion, and in many cases violence. And they have to combat the myths and convince parents who believe that vaccines are toxic or cause infertility.

Despite the challenges, they carry on with the same energy I saw in that stadium. As part of the largest vaccination campaign against measles and rubella, health workers are currently vaccinating more than 35 million children across India despite great resistance and challenges. In 2016, an estimated 119 million children were vaccinated against measles globally. More children are now protected than ever before.

As of 2016, an estimated 86% of children under one year of age were fully vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, compared with 52% 30 years ago.

The world is almost polio-free, with only two countries recording polio cases last year. Since 2000, an estimated 20 million children’s lives have been saved through measles immunisation alone. In total, these superheroes save up to an estimated three million children’s lives every year with routine vaccination.

But they need our help. Take away continuing investment in vaccinators, health workers, doctors, transporters, scientists, warehouses, vaccines, cold-chain facilities, and mass-media campaigns, and these successes can quickly unravel.

Conflict, weak health systems, and poverty all mean that approximately one in 10 children under one year of age are still not being reached with routine, life-saving vaccines.

So, I want to ask everyone to make a difference by getting their child vaccinated, fighting rumours and fears with facts, and using social media to spread the word and let the world know that vaccines can save lives.

  • Amitabh Bachchan, a prominent figure in Indian cinema and a powerful advocate for children, has been a Unicef goodwill ambassador since 2005