Contemplative Mind: Breaking Away from a Secular Worldview

The contemplative mind is the most absolute assault on the secular worldview that one can have, because it is a different mind from what we’ve been taught in our time.  The calculative mind, or the egocentric mind, reads everything in terms of personal advantage and personal preferences.  As long as we read reality from that small self with a narrow and calculating mind, I don’t think we’re going to see things in any new or truly helpful way.

All the great religions have talked about a different way of seeing that is actually a different perspective, a different vantage point, a different goal than what I want or need the moment to be.  Christians called it contemplation, and some Eastern religions called it meditation.  To quote Albert Einstein, “No problem can be solved with the same consciousness that caused it.”  Contemplation is a different consciousness, and its starting point is precisely not what I prefer or what I need things to be.

Adapted from Contemplative Prayer (CD)

…a bit of wisdom from Richard Rohr. You can subscribe to his daily Radical Grace email here.

4 Responses to “Contemplative Mind: Breaking Away from a Secular Worldview”

  1. 1 Matthew July 27, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I want to email this quote to everyone I know and make them memorize it…

  2. 2 Jenny K July 29, 2010 at 1:25 am

    I am curious how contemplation, contemplative prayer or meditation is the same or different than what Eckhart Tolle is writes about – the NOW moment, or another way to say it is pure being. It sounds very similar. It’s not mind or ego driven at all. Both the words “contemplate” and “meditate” make me think of focusing on something really strongly with your mind… whereas living in the now moment is being, not thinking.

    I can’t get either of your links to work, I don’t know if my computer is messing up or what. I guess I will have to be non-lazy and Google the terms. lol

  3. 3 zoecarnate July 29, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Oh my – the blogs don’t seem to be working! You’re quite right to detect a subtle difference between a letting go and a concentrating. Here’s what I said on my Facebook wall to a friend earlier today about this very thing:

    In contemporary Christian parlance, there’s a difference between “meditation,” which is more concentrative, and “contemplation,” which is more about letting go. The practice I prefer – the aforementioned Centering Prayer – is the latter.

    Here are my Top Two resources for exploring this further:

    ‘Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening’ by Cynthia Bourgeault: This is the best contemporary introduction to centering prayer that I’m aware of. It’ll inspire, inform, and get you practicing.

    ‘The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality’ by my good friend Carl McColman. It just came out and it is INCREDIBLE. It’s a tour-de-force Scriptural, historical, theological and even psychological look at Christian mysticism in general and the practice of meditation & contemplative prayer in particular. You will not be disappointed should you check this tome out:

    For realz and truly, these are both amazing – and Tolle recommends Bourgeault, even though Cynthia’s definitely coming from a Christian point of view. And Carl is the grooviest Catholic I know (present company excluded, of course. 🙂 )

  4. 4 Ronny~ August 24, 2010 at 12:09 am

    I have to answer to myself about Jesus of Bethleham. The story of the anti-christ paints me a picture not of Jesus, judging, then killing, torturing for all eternity; the good, God loving people of the world. All because they don’t believe he is the son of God and of Man. To me that is barbaric as the Roman Catholic 600 yrs of Inquisition. If you would like a first had look, plug in to the website above. You will see the major influence of World History.

    Peace in all that you do.


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