Thomas Keating and members of the Snowmass Conference. They are excerpted from Wayne Teasdale’s 1999 book, The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions.
Along with many other people, I trust that the coming (or advent) of this universal spirituality is something that the Divine is calling humanity to embrace and embody. (Note: To start at the beginning of this series, click here.)
The Second Guideline
The second guideline conveys the insight that Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any name or concept. Our words, no matter how technical, precise, or specialized, are incapable of holding or conveying the intense, total, and certain reality of the ultimate in its actual nature. It is completely beyond the capacity of language, thought, imagination, and life to grasp – in any true meaningful way – what the Ultimate Reality actually is. Our life and being are coordinated with [this ultimately mysterious reality].
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
• Guidelines for the Advent of a Universal Mysticism: An Introduction
• Guidelines for the Advent of a Universal Mysticism (Part 1)
• Something Extraordinary . . . Again
• In Search of a Global Ethic
• The Ground Zero Papal Prayer Service . . . and a Reminder of the Spirituality That Transcends What All the Religions Claim to Represent
• A Return to the Spirit
• Beltane and the Reclaiming of Spirit
• New Horizons: Reflections on A Passage to India
• Advent: A “ChristoPagan” Perspective
• An Advent Prayer
• Advent: The Season of Blessed Paradox
• Active Waiting: A Radical Attitude Toward Life
• No Other Time, No Other Place
• Advent: Renewing Our Connection with the Sacred
• Celebrating the Coming of the Sun and the Son
• Christmastide Approaches
Opening image: “The Prayer Tree” by Michael Bayly. Each of the posts in this series is accompanied by one or two images of what I've come to call the Prayer Tree, that special oak tree by Minnehaha Creek, close to my home in south Minneapolis. This tree and its location serve as a sacred place for me; for as its name suggests, I go there to pray, meditate, and reflect deeply. Also, as my friend McAuley recently pointed out, it serves as a beautiful representation of the axis mundi – the cosmic axis, the center of the world. Often symbolized by a tree, the axis mundi, as both a celestial and geographic pillar, serves as a point of connection between sky (heaven) and earth, the higher and lower realms of consciousness, and the four compass directions. As a representation of the axis mundi, and thus a rich symbol of groundedness, connection, and unity, the "Prayer Tree" seems a very appropriate image for The Wild Reed's 2018 Advent series on universal mysticism.