The Non-Contemplative Person

There is a new type of personality that has emerged, especially in the West. For many there is no longer any spiritual dimension to reality, or, in many cases, even to religion. There is now a non-contemplative personality. (From Chapter 3 of Rolheiser’s “The Shattered Lattern”)

For the non-contemplative:

  • reality has no mystery beyond the empirical
  • there is not a supernatural world
  • experience is valued above all (hello Emerging Church)
  • path to truth lies in rigorous examination
  • indiscriminate experience has replaced chastity and caution as the route to true knowledge
  • “self” is the only set of rules for reality

For the contemplative:

  • God’s ways are not our ways
  • God is radically other than us and our reality, believes we can live patiently and believe in God, despite unanswerable paradoxes, and despite pain and injustice
  • sense of mystery allows for unlimited questions and answers
  • sees lack of chastity as blocking purity of heart and distortion of truth

Surprisingly this video from John Cleese says it all… Enjoy!



Filed under Contemplative Prayer

5 responses to “The Non-Contemplative Person

  1. aaron haworth

    that was genius. =)

    i wonder if any of that was predicated on our conversation? some of those “new personality” qualifiers look familiar.

  2. Tami Heim

    Loved this post – perfect video. Now I am eternally grateful for my assortment of genes. Bless you.

  3. Like the video- and I think I’ll stick to the contemplative way of doing things.
    Thanks for this clever post.

  4. Lenore

    Contemplative. It’s the way to go!

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