Thursday, September 10, 2020


John O'Donohue introduced to the depths of Celtic Spirituality I never dreamed were there.  It has had such an impact on my understanding of spirituality.  I have been led way beyond my wildest dreams, and I have some really weird and wild ones.  Celtic Spirituality has led me into places I did not wish to go, and places I was glad in the end to have reached Always for just for a brief stop.  I have had to accept very reluctantly one is always on the move or death is at the door.  There is no stopping as there are horizons to reach, and reach beyond.  The spiritual is all about the next horizon. There are no boundaries; just horizons. Without me realizing it and  knowing it my deepest dreams were being gifted to me.  Always this awareness came well after the fact.  You have to stop and question how did I ever get here??  One has to stop and say, WOW!! WOW!!!  That is the mysterious workings of grace.  We do not know how grace works, all we can do is to come to a gradual understanding of its mysterious operation.  There is a wonder-full gentleness and broad acceptance gifted to those so blessed with an introduction and understanding of Celtic Spirituality.  It is a nature based spirituality and so of its essence emits and emotes hospitality.  The following is a long excerpt from his book "Eternal Echoes" page 125.  It is long,  but so worth the read.

"The world of Celtic spirituality never had...walls.  It was not a world of clear boundaries; persons and things were never placed in bleak isolation from each other. There was a lovely sense of the fluent presence in and out of each other. The physical world was experienced as the shoreline of an invisible world which flowed underneath it and whose music reverberated upwards. In a sense, the Celts understood a parallel fluency in the inner world of the mind. The inner world was no prison.  It was a moving theater of thoughts, visions, and feelings.  The Celtic universe was the homeland of the inspiration and the unexpected.  This means that the interim region between one person and another, and between the person and Nature was not empty. Post-modern culture is so lonely, partly because we see nothing in this interim region.  Our way of thinking is addicted to what we can see and control.  Perception creates the mental prison.  The surrounding culture inevitably informs the perception.  Part of the wisdom of the Celtic imagination was the tendency to keep reality free and fluent; the Celts avoided clinical certainties which cause separation and isolation.  Such loneliness would be alien to the Celts.  They saw themselves as guests in a living, breathing universe.  They had great respect for the tenuous regions between the worlds and between the times.  The in-between world was also the world was the world in-between times: between sowing and reaping, pregnancy and birth; intention and action; the end of one season and the beginning of another."

My mother introduced me to these non-binary words of such healthy and freeing thought and thinking.  From my early years she reminded me, again and again:  "There is much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us, I am as good as you are, as bad as I am."  It was not about the world view of either/or but the unity, and community of the world of belonging.  The world of both/and.  That was way, way before it hit books, lectures and sermons.


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