Summary: Source Documents and Mission Statement
The following insights are from Jung and the Lost Gospels, Stephen A. Hoeller. Wheaton: Quest Publishing, 1989; The Catholic Myth: The Behavior and Beliefs of American Catholics, Andrew M.Greeley. New York: MacMillan Co., 1990; "The Good as a Unity of Personality," An Inquiry into the Good, Kitaro Nishida. Yale University Press, 1990; and The Jerusalem Bible. These insights serve as ground or point of departure in experiencing the attitudinal predisposition of the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict. These insights are neither dogmatic statements nor statements of belief, neither are they right nor wrong. As is a rose, they are what they are: particular insights into the religious human experience.
Axiom Set A: Departure Points Concerning Religion
Axiom Set B: Departure Points Concerning Child's Faith and Mature Spirituality
Axiom Set C: Departure Points Concerning Transcendence
Axiom Set D: Departure Points Concerning the Task at-hand, given the 21st Century
Axiom Set E: Departure Points Concerning the Old Law (Tyranny) and New Law (Individuation)
Axiom Set F: Departure Points Concerning Christ
Axiom Set G: Departure Points Concerning Personal Individuation
Axiom Set H. Departure Points Concerning the Result
The Mission Statement
Mirror Reflection, the Test, Authenticating One's Mission
Some Insights, Some Reflections
- Religion is imagination before it is anything else.
- Religion results from an experience of the holy or the sacred.
- Religion originated with experiences that renewed hope.
- Religion is encoded in the personality by symbols.
- The ideas which form the content of every religion are not primarily the product of an externally originating revelation, but of a subjective revelation from within the human psyche.
- A Child's faith is comprised of belief grounded in the structures of existence fear. If there should be a new assurance of meaning, even of security, it must come about as an achievement, as the arising of a new kind of certainty wrested from acute insecurity and alienation. Such a mature spiritual state requires a certain kind of inward knowledge rooted in experience.
- Inward knowledge rooted in experience is based on the laws of unconscious apperception, which do not change.
- It is more important to recognize the subjective root, in the mind, of our ideas about the Divine than to accept metaphysical and theological statements.
- In every soul there is hunger for that kind of direct vision that bestows wholeness and true meaning.
- Tradition is always rooted in experience. Behind every structure woven of theology, philosophy, and revealed ethics there lies a fundamental bedrock of transcendental experience.
- The a priori realm of transcendence can relate itself to the temporal field of phenomenal appearances only by analogy. The instrument whereby this kind of analogy is expressed is the metaphor.
- The task thus is clear: What must take place is a restoration of certain approaches to spirituality that contain the necessary compensation for the extroverted, literalist, and one-sided orientation of Western religion. In the age of desacralization, trivializing liturgical reforms, and liberation theologies, the way points toward a restoration theology and psychology designed to appropriate the discarded wisdom of the psychological spirituality.
- Despite the ever-recurring naive notions of many to right all the wrongs of existence by way of extroverted collective solutions alone, the crucible wherein compassion weds wisdom is erected in individuals one by one.
- The existential task of legitimate inquiry is to recognize how limited the scope of consciousness has become in our present condition. It is truly incumbent on us to undergo a transformational process, whereby the original wealth of pure consciousness may be recovered.
- The task is thus to help human beings discover who they truly are, and to assist them in overcoming the inimical cosmic powers and rejoin the fullness of the true light. "Salvation" thus becomes synonymous with "liberation." The way to this state is envisioned not as consisting of faith but of interior liberating experience facilitated by the teachings of the Liberator and by the sacramental mysteries he entrusted to his followers.
- The old law is the law of collective psychology influenced by the dark unconscious tyranny of humanity's guilt-ridden unconscious. Externally imposed dogma thus meets and conspires with guilt, anger, and greed arising from the shadow side of the personality. Yet, the old religious keywords salvation, sin, fear of God, blind obedience to dogma, and commandment are losing their influence upon the growing edge of the culture.
- The new law recognized by some, but often obscured by institutionalized Christianity, is the law of individuation with its attendant freedoms and responsibilities, its existential terrors and transcendental joys. New hallmarks of spirituality have arisen, mostly deriving from psychological theory: self-knowledge, integration, authenticity, spiritual growth, wholeness.
- It is not from sin, personal and original, that the redeeming Logus frees humankind, but rather from the confusion and illusion brought about by unconsciousness.
- The life of Christ viewed psychologically represents the process of individuation. From a psychological point of view, the drama of Christ represents the vicissitudes of the Self as it undergoes embodiment in an individual ego and of the human ego as it participates in the salvific drama of individuation.
- Christ is the supreme symbol in our culture of the Self, and redemption is the religious formulation of individuation.
- Ignorance, not sin, is the cause of the suffering attendant upon the human condition.
- Individuation is not possible until the assumptions and shibboleths of the collective are consciously scrutinized and replaced by informed choice.
- A personal experience of individuation makes human beings into individual psychic beings. (The word "individual" is derived from the Latin individuum, signifying an indivisible unity.) "He or She who has become unified" is the name whereby one might describe the individuated psyche, the soul of the knower, who having become a unity now can stand alone without the burdensome collectivity of society, as well as without the tyranny of the alienated ego.
- Knowledge of the self, which is essentially identical with the supreme Self or transcendental being, is the goal of awakening life. This goal brings with it the unification of all opposites and thus union with all life. This reconciliation of the opposites is the key that unlocks the storehouse of limitless psychic energy.
- "The knowledge of the things that are" must be arrived at by the individual, although select individualized teaching and practices may assist one to approach such knowledge within a meaningful and helpful context of psychological receptivity. Such a knowledge always would appeal to relatively few. Those who would be satisfied with faith in the statements received from others, those who did not balk at having faith in the faith of someone else, would always disqualify themselves when it came to awakening.
The mission of the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict is
- It is the vision of transformative redemption. We have nothing to fear but unconsciousness. The Antichrists, Behemoths, and Leviathans threatening us are but the creatures of our own unconscious projections, which may vanish like a nightmare when the process of individuation becomes operative.
- From this time on we shall rest in the time of the moment of eternity in silence.
- Thus, the true peacemaker is the one who has made peace with him or herself.
to engender an atmosphere for healing the human experience
wherein each person may realize his or her wholeness, holiness.
The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict accomplish this end
through the administration of the Word and Sacraments
to all, without question, who wish to participate in them
and by offering educational programs
through which each may recover the wealth
of one's divinity in humanity and humanity in divinity.
- Thus, it is the mission of the White Robed Monks of Benedict to assist the actualization of Christ's prayer: Father, I pray...that all may be one, as you, Father, are one in me and I in you; I pray that they may be one in us...that their unity may be complete. (John 17:20-23)
- Thus, may the People of God realize Christ's peace, which is not of the world. (John 14:27) Hence, as Christ's joy is in them, their joy may be complete, (John 15:11) because they are positioned carry out Christ's command to them: to love one another (John 15:17) and, consequently, be compassionate as (our) Father is compassionate. (Luke 6:36)
- In a personal way, as each person authenticates for one's self, each one will naturally and spontaneously keep Christ's law (Matthew 22:35-40):
One of the Pharisees, a lawyer, in an attempt to trip up Jesus asked him, "Teacher, which commandment of the law is the greatest?"
Jesus said to him: "You shall love the Lord your God
with your whole heart,
with your whole soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
On these two commandments the whole law is based,
and the prophets as well." (John 15: 12)
Jesus said to his disciples: "This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you."
- In a personal way, as each person authenticates for one's self, each one will naturally and spontaneously demonstrate his or her being one perhaps as St Paul (1 Cor 12:31-13,8) remarked on how love may be expressed:
Set your hearts on the greater gifts. I will show you the way which surpasses all the others. If I speak with human tongues and angelic as well, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.
Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love's forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.
Love never fails.
- Consequently, in his or her own way, as each person authenticates for him or herself, each one will naturally and spontaneously live out Christ's request (Luke 6:20, 36-38):
Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said:
"Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourself; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap, because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back."
Master Yuan said to Wuzu:
Mind is the master of one body, the basis of myriad activities;
if the mind is not perfectly enlightened, then delusions naturally arise.
Once delusions are born, perception of truth is not clear.
When perception of truth is not clear, right and wrong are confused.
Therefore, in mastering the mind, one must seek perfect enlightenment.
the spirit is harmonious, the breath is quiet,
the countenance is dignified, and the body is firm.
Errant conceptions and emotional thinking all melt in the real mind.
When you govern the mind this way,
the mind will naturally be radiantly immaculate.1
1 Zen Lessons: The Art of Leadership, trans. Thomas Cleary. Boston: Shambhala, 1989.