“A Taste of Beauty, Truth and Wisdom” includes talks by both Fr. Thomas Keating and Fr. Richard Rohr from a conference in Houston in 2007. 89 minutes.
For all of their talks, see this free playlist on our YouTube channel: “Contemplative Vision: Awakening to Beauty, Truth and Goodness.”
Part 1: Fr. Thomas Keating – 13 minutes
Fr. Thomas poses the question, “What do you want to become?” He encourages us to become God on Gods terms; that is the challenge and the heart of the Gospel. “The one who saves his life bring himself to ruin” (see Luke 9: 24-25). This is the foundation of establishing the “separate self sense” – in other words, the idea that we are separate from God. “But anyone who brings themselves to nothing will find out who they are.” This is the invitation to dis-identify and detach from self.
The section includes the themes of becoming Christ; seeking to be detached from self as the prime mover; experience the oneness of God; becoming “no thing” and thus becoming everything, i.e., becoming God on God’s terms; becoming rooted in Christ who is rooted in the Father and realize there is no other — this is divinization.
Part 2: Fr. Richard Rohr – 32 minutes
After stating his deep appreciation for the work of Contemplative Outreach in expanding the meaning of prayer through Centering Prayer, Fr. Richard explores what he calls the “transcendentals,” — descriptions of Being itself: Goodness, Truth and Beauty — drawn from the teaching of Aristotle and Plato. Each of these attributes can be applied to God, People and Nature.
Goodness – sense of out-flowing, abundance, with no need for self promotion
Truth – groundedness, validity, integrity – I am what I am
Beauty – harmony, balance, pleasing, an energy that gives hope
All three are manifested in one who lives the contemplative life for the manifestation of the community of the Trinity.
Part 3: Thomas Keating and Richard Rohr – 21 minutes
This dialogue covers non-dual perspectives and these themes: creation as on-going; unity in diversity; experiencing the fourth dimension of life; creation as the womb of God; insights from science which enhances our understanding of the Mystical Body of Christ; deepening insights into the Incarnation and Trinity; suffering as an experience of receptivity leading to joy.
Closing comments from each: Thomas quotes John of the Cross, “God spoke one Word and the Word was spoken in silence.” Richard reminds us, “God does not love us because we are good; God loves us because God is Good.”
Part 4: Thomas Keating’s Homily – 23 minutes
Without some beauty in life it is hard to find rest and peace. We need to make a space for beauty. Levels of Beauty come from an alert and eager receptivity nourished by Centering Prayer.
The different levels of beauty are material, emotional, mental, spiritual and sacrificial, e.g., Abraham.
Stop thinking and doing. Allow yourself to receive and be bathed in beauty. Silence and stillness are the most beautiful of the beautiful so that you can become beauty. Cultivate silence, plunge into it and know the greatest silence is love.