Wandering in nature is perhaps the most essential soulcraft practice for contemporary Westerners who have wandered so far from nature. Earth speaks to us with a manner and might unlike anything in town. What nature has to say is the necessary complement to what we hear all day long from news, ads, and social chatter. To save our soul, we need nature's news.
I dare to call action birthed from contemplation the greatest art form because I believe it is. It underlies all those other, more visible art forms we see in great sculpture, music, writing, painting, and most especially in the art form called human character. when these two (action and contemplation) are one, the result is always beauty, symmetry, and transformative form -- lives and actions that inherently sparkle and heal.
If the nations that built on the Judeo-Christian heritage do not soon see the work of earth care and climate change as a moral and spiritual imperative, one wonders how we will have any moral authority left?
It has become rather clear to many of us that both top leaders in the church and leading politicians in society are largely made up of men who wanted to get there. What is lost to our society, however, is much needed wisdom and the common good, and often just basic spirituality.
The edge is a holy place, or as the Celts called it, "a thin place" and you have to be taught how to live there. To take your position on the spiritual edge of things is to learn how to move safely in and out, back and forth, across and return. It is a prophetic position, not a rebellious or antisocial one.
Richard Rohr argues that we are seldom personally "transformed" by an idea or a new piece of knowledge, unless it is also connected to a person or a relationship. Persons finally transform persons into persons; ideas only rearrange our minds.
Richard Rohr has spent much time in the last twenty-five years observing and researching the state of the male psyche, both in the secular and spiritual worlds. His work in many countries allowed him to do it in a comparative way, and his retreat work allowed him to do it in an in-depth way. The conclusions he has come to are rather discouraging, but they also confirm the reasons why most cultures deemed the "initiation" of the male absolutely necessary for social survival. It was a fundamental structure of almost every traditional culture.
"All men know how to do is pass on roles, money and opinions, but not who they are," says Father Richard Rohr, O.F.M. The fundamental drive affecting male spirituality, he believes, is "father hunger."