The Naked Now
Learning to See as the Mystics See
For Christians seeking a way of thinking outside of strict dualities, this guide explores methods for letting go of division and living in the present. Drawn from the Gospels, Jesus, Paul, and the great Christian contemplatives, this examination reveals how many of the hidden truths of Christianity have been misunderstood or lost and how to read them with the eyes of the mystics rather than interpreting them through rational thought. Filled with sayings, stories, quotations, and appeals to the heart, specific methods for identifying dualistic thinking are presented with simple practices for stripping away ego and the fear of dwelling in the present.
Franciscan priest and spirituality author Rohr (Everything Belongs) again brings his energy to the reclamation of the Christian mystical tradition. He has a lot of scripture on his side, with many citations from the gospels and epistles. He also offers a distinctive definition of prayer as "a nondualistic way of seeing the moment." To see as a mystic sees is to pray continually, as scripture enjoins. Some of his criticisms of institutional forms of religiosity as a barrier to seeing with insight are familiar. Yet his understanding of prayer as a tool for contemplation and transformation is forcefully argued. The somewhat theoretical re-reading of Catholic Christian tradition is brought down to earth by a series of appendixes that contain practices for those who want to know what to do; attaining insight is not self-evident nor is it easy. Rohr is enriched by other world religious traditions, but clearly knows his own. Those interested in contemplative Christianity, and particularly Catholics interested in their own tradition, will benefit from this book.