If the devout life is the same as true love of God
and the essence of the devout life is prayer
then the essence of the love of God is prayer.
Communion/connection with God or another person
involves the security and insecurity of trust
and a constant battle against all the forces
of fear and selfishness within us.
But to love is to be on the path of integral wholeness –
to see the ‘other’ not as ‘stranger’ but as ‘brother’
and ‘sister’ as part of one’s self, as belonging to another
and as part of a greater whole.
Objective theology may give you the right answers
but it doesn’t help you with prayer/union with God/
compassion for the lost. It excludes subjective experiences
like John of the Cross’s ‘Dark Night’
and Meister Eckhart’s inner freedom/energy/joy.
The result: if you only deal with Eckhart’s external writings
divorced from his inner spirituality
he can seem like a heretic.
There are three styles of religiosity:
‘intrinsic’ – religion as an end in itself;
‘extrinsic’ – religion as a means to an end/social justice
‘quest’ – religion as openness to change –
even to changing one’s religious beliefs/values.
Going from ethnocentric to worldcentric belief
means changing from a group-based identity –
this is my tribe –
to a person-based identity –
this is what I believe –
Jesus is still your and everyone’s personal Savior
no matter what you believe
but you realize the Holy Spirit speaks to people
in different faiths in different ways
and so others may find different paths to salvation.
Yes, the Universal Christ/God is the only way to God
but this is because the Universal Christ/God
is everywhere and depending upon one’s culture
takes many different forms.