Tree of Life at Gua Tewet (10,000 year old cave painting, Borneo, Indonesia)
Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation
The Perennial Tradition
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The divisions, dichotomies, and dualisms of the world can only be overcome by a unitive consciousness at every level: personal, relational, social, political, cultural, in interreligious dialogue, and spirituality in general. This is the unique and central job of healthy religion (re-ligio = to re-ligament!). A transformed person unites all within himself or herself, so they can then do the same in the outer world.
My favorite Christian mystic, Lady Julian of Norwich (1342-1416), used the Old English term “oneing” to describe what happens between God and the soul. As Julian put it, “By myself I am nothing at all, but in general, I am in the oneing of love. For it is in this oneing that the life of all people exists” (Showings, 9). She also says, “The love of God creates in us such a oneing that when it is truly seen, no person can separate themselves from another person” (65), and “In the sight of God all humans are oned, and one person is all people and all people are one person” (51).
This is the perennial tradition. Our job is not to discover it, but only to retrieve what has been discovered—and enjoyed—again and again, in the mystics and saints of all religions.
As Jesus put it in his great final prayer: “I pray that all may be one” (John 17:21).