Gift of Life

During four days of filming in December 2010, Fr. Thomas Keating sat with Fr. Carl Arico, his long-time friend, colleague, and founding member of Contemplative Outreach in an intimate conversation focused on the transformative process of death and dying as part of, rather than the end of, life’s journey. The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living offers a vision of hope and a view of reality that counter the cultural norms that view death as a tragedy, or the end of living, or an entry into harsh judgment and retribution. The new DVD series will be released later this year. Over six hours of footage from the interview was not used in the series. Each week during 2013, bits of this unused footage will be posted to the website. We call these tidbits Gifts for Living …. May it be so.

God is Changeless, but Always Changing

Series: 
Gifts for Living
Week: 
47

The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living DVD set offers a vision of hope and a view of reality that counter the cultural norms that view death as a tragedy, or the end of living, or an entry into harsh judgment and retribution. These videos are out-takes from the video series and presented here for your enrichment. A new video will be presented every Monday.

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Transcript: 

To think of God as changeless needs some discussion.  God is changeless but the thing that is most unchanging is the fact that he is always changing!  So what doesn’t change in God is this continuing creation that adjusts to circumstances and is intrinsically guiding all creatures to the goals and ends that God had in mind in producing things.  So, first of all God is not static; he’s not sitting on a throne.  He doesn’t have human characteristics.  He has being that surpasses attributes in that there’s something in God that, of course, corresponds to everything in life but in such a high degree and in such communion and unity with all the other aspects of God that it’s just right. Whereas for us, who are not in a state of equilibrium or organized simplicity, you might say, it doesn’t work that way.


 

Spanish Transcript: 

Dios es Inmutable, pero Siempre Cambiante

Pensar que Dios es inmutable necesita de alguna explicación. Dios es inmutable pero el aspecto que es más inmutable es el hecho de que¡ siempre está cambiando! Por lo tanto lo que no cambia en Dios es esa continua creación que se adapta a las circunstancias y que guía intrínsecamente a todas las criaturas hacia las metas y fines que Dios tiene en mente al producir los hechos. Entonces, ante todo, Dios no es estático, no está sentado en un trono. No tiene características humanas. Tiene un ser que va más allá de todo atributo, ya que, si bien hay algo en Dios que, por supuesto, corresponde a toda cosa que existe en nuestra vida, esto es así en tal grado y con tal comunión y unidad con todos los otros aspectos de Dios que todo es como debe ser. En cambio, en nosotros, que no estamos, por decir así, en un estado de equilibrio o simplicidad organizada, esto no funciona de la misma manera.

God is Transcendent, but also Close

Series: 
Gifts for Living
Week: 
46

The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living DVD set offers a vision of hope and a view of reality that counter the cultural norms that view death as a tragedy, or the end of living, or an entry into harsh judgment and retribution. These videos are out-takes from the video series and presented here for your enrichment. A new video will be presented every Monday.

View Transcript

Transcript: 

One of the great ideas about God is that he’s utterly transcendent and this is the limitation of monotheistic religions.  They are so concerned about maintaining the transcendence of God that any idea of his closeness frightens at least some theologians who represent these ideas as pantheism – of God being identified completely with a creature.  So how we think of God is significant – at least from the point of view – don’t think stupid thoughts, or don’t think wrongly about God, or don’t create a God who is the biggest problem in your life!


 

Spanish Transcript: 

Dios es Trascendente pero también Próximo

Una de las grandes ideas acerca de Dios es que es absolutamente trascendente, y esa es la limitación de las religiones monoteístas. Les preocupa tanto afirmar la trascendencia de Dios que cualquier idea de su proximidad les asusta, al menos a algunos teólogos que ven en estas ideas una expresión de panteísmo, es decir, identificar completamente a Dios con una criatura. De modo que la manera en que concebimos a Dios es importante.  Lo menos que se puede pedir es que no pensemos estúpidamente o equivocadamente acerca de Dios, o que no creemos un Dios que se convierta en el problema ¡más grande de nuestra vida!

Relating to God

Series: 
Gifts for Living
Week: 
45

The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living DVD set offers a vision of hope and a view of reality that counter the cultural norms that view death as a tragedy, or the end of living, or an entry into harsh judgment and retribution. These videos are out-takes from the video series and presented here for your enrichment. A new video will be presented every Monday.

View Transcript

Transcript: 

Let’s play for a few moments with the Mysterium Tremendum, which is another word for God.  We tend to think of God with our newly found rational consciousness as a thing, as an object, someone you can relate to outside yourself.  So, this point of departure is just inadequate.  It may not be absolutely wrong because God can be known in some degree, but in a very limited degree, by reason, but the chief gift of reason would be that religion and God are not irrational or unreasonable, but what they are is what the Scripture and the early Greek Fathers say that God is calling us to – calling us to a relationship that changes according to our level of faith – not necessarily our level of beliefs, because beliefs involve a serious of doctrines that are concepts and ideally these concepts point to the relationship.


 

Spanish Transcript: 

Relacionarse con Dios

Consideremos por un momento el Mysterium Tremendum, que es otra forma de referirse a Dios. Tendemos a pensar acerca de Dios con nuestra recientemente descubierta conciencia racional como si fuera una cosa, un objeto, alguien con quien podemos relacionarnos que está fuera de nosotros. Sin embargo este punto de partida es simplemente inadecuado. Puede no estar totalmente errado porque Dios puede ser conocido, hasta cierto punto, por medio de la razón, pero el don más importante que podría brindarnos la razón sería comprender que la religión y Dios no son irracionales ni contrarios a la razón, sino que son, lo dicen las Escrituras y los primeros Padres Griegos, un llamado de Dios a  una relación que va cambiando según nuestro nivel de fe – que no necesariamente se corresponde con nuestro nivel de creencias, porque las creencias implican una serie de doctrinas, que son conceptos e  idealmente esos conceptos se refieren a dicha relación.

Concepts are not Reality

Series: 
Gifts for Living
Week: 
44

The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living DVD set offers a vision of hope and a view of reality that counter the cultural norms that view death as a tragedy, or the end of living, or an entry into harsh judgment and retribution. These videos are out-takes from the video series and presented here for your enrichment. A new video will be presented every Monday.

View Transcript

Transcript: 

No one with reason alone can know the God who actually is. Our rational consciousness does not go beyond the concepts and concepts are not reality and concepts are conditioned by the cultural background we have, our ignorance, our illusions, our expectations; and we know so many cases where the obvious truth we deny, even sincerely, because inside there are defense mechanisms that don’t allow us to see or hear what’s being said.  As in the case of Jesus’ teaching, he says quite openly: if you have ears to hear what I am saying, please hear.


 

Spanish Transcript: 

Los Conceptos no son la Realidad

Nadie, solo por medio de la razón, puede conocer quién es Dios en realidad. Nuestra conciencia racional no va más allá de los conceptos, y los conceptos no son la realidad, son condicionados por nuestro trasfondo cultural, nuestra ignorancia, nuestras ilusiones, nuestras expectativas; y sabemos de tantas situaciones en las que negamos la obvia verdad, si bien creyendo que actuamos sinceramente, porque en nuestro interior obran mecanismos de defensa que no nos permiten ver ni oír lo que se nos está diciendo. Ese es el caso con las enseñanzas de Jesús, que dice muy explícitamente: si tienen oídos para oír lo que estoy diciendo, por favor oigan.

God and Human Consciousness

Series: 
Gifts for Living
Week: 
43

The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living DVD set offers a vision of hope and a view of reality that counter the cultural norms that view death as a tragedy, or the end of living, or an entry into harsh judgment and retribution. These videos are out-takes from the video series and presented here for your enrichment. A new video will be presented every Monday.

View Transcript

Transcript: 

God certainly treats us in a personal way since we are persons.  And since God sustains all creation, he obviously must relate to every creature according to its nature and their level of consciousness. So, we are still at the very dawn of studying human consciousness but some things are already clarifying.  And one is that the human organism is an extraordinary complex creature that sums up all of the worlds that are known to philosophy or metaphysics of matter, human life, human things and the trans-human things, chief of which we call God in the Christian/Jewish tradition.


 

Spanish Transcript: 

Dios y la Conciencia Humana

Sin duda Dios nos trata de manera personal, puesto  que somos personas, y puesto que de Dios depende toda la creación, obviamente Él debe relacionarse con cada criatura según sea su naturaleza y su nivel de conciencia. Entonces, aún estamos en los albores del estudio de la conciencia humana, algunas cosas ya nos quedan claras. Y una de ellas es el hecho de que el organismo humano es una criatura extraordinariamente compleja, que resume en sí misma todos los mundos conocidos por la filosofía o a la metafísica de la materia, de la vida humana, de los objetos humanos y de los objetos que trascienden lo humano, principalmente el que llamamos Dios en la tradición Judeo Cristiana.

What Religion Is to Do

Series: 
Gifts for Living
Week: 
42

The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living DVD set offers a vision of hope and a view of reality that counter the cultural norms that view death as a tragedy, or the end of living, or an entry into harsh judgment and retribution. These videos are out-takes from the video series and presented here for your enrichment. A new video will be presented every Monday.

View Transcript

Transcript: 

A religion is supposed to train us, educate us, and heal the wounds of a lifetime by providing us with the tools and the inspiration and the conceptual background to surrender to the very difficult work of deconstructing our own image of who we are, what we want to be, and to allow ourselves to be open to the truth.  So, this means emptying our minds of our idea of ourselves and our hearts of over attachments to finding happiness in transitory pleasures that are only an idea and which don’t deliver.


 

Spanish Transcript: 

Lo que debe hacer la religión

Se supone que una religión debe prepararnos, educarnos y sanar las heridas de toda una vida suministrándonos las herramientas y la inspiración y el fundamento conceptual para que nos entreguemos a la difícil tarea de desarmar nuestra propia imagen, para reconsiderar lo que queremos ser, y para que nos permitamos estar abiertos a la verdad. Esto implica vaciar nuestra mente de las ideas que tenemos acerca de nosotros mismos y vaciar nuestros corazones de apegos que nos hacen buscar la felicidad en placeres efímeros que son solo ideas y que no pueden satisfacernos.

Category: 

World Religions and Faith

Series: 
Gifts for Living
Week: 
41

The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living DVD set offers a vision of hope and a view of reality that counter the cultural norms that view death as a tragedy, or the end of living, or an entry into harsh judgment and retribution. These videos are out-takes from the video series and presented here for your enrichment. A new video will be presented every Monday.

View Transcript

Transcript: 

The world religions are becoming more interactive, more aware of each other.  Less than a hundred years ago most of them hadn’t the slightest idea what the others held and this massive ignorance of other people’s cultural approaches to the same basic questions: Who am I? What is the meaning of life? Is there a God? If so, what is he like? Or she like? And so on. Or, is it personal or impersonal?  So this issue about what faith is crucial today when the globalization process seems to be accelerating and will certainly take place more and more substantially.


 

Spanish Transcript: 

Las grandes religiones del mundo y la fe

Las grandes religiones del mundo  se están volviendo más interactivas, más conscientes las unas de las otras. Hace menos de cien años la mayoría de ellas no tenían ni la menor idea de lo que las otras proponían, y mostraban una total ignorancia respecto de los diferente enfoques  culturales para responder a las mismas cuestiones fundamentales ¿quién soy?, ¿cuál es el sentido de la vida?, ¿hay un Dios?, y si lo hay, ¿cómo es él?, o ¿ella?, y así sucesivamente. O, ¿es personal o impersonal? Así que este tema acerca de la fe es crucial hoy en día, cuando los procesos de globalización parecen estar acelerándose y sin duda serán cada vez más preponderantes.

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The Gift of Purification

Series: 
Gifts for Living
Week: 
40

The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living DVD set offers a vision of hope and a view of reality that counter the cultural norms that view death as a tragedy, or the end of living, or an entry into harsh judgment and retribution. These videos are out-takes from the video series and presented here for your enrichment. A new video will be presented every Monday.

View Transcript

Transcript: 

Death then is the final achievement of the process in which all the stages of purification and releasing the fruits and gifts of the spirit and the beatitudes. This is the gift of grace, a kind of Divine DNA, which is present in us waiting to be activated by enough reduction of our selfish or self-centered projects for happiness that can’t possibly work.


 

Spanish Transcript: 

El don de la purificación

La muerte, entonces, es el resultado final del proceso, en el que culminan todas las etapas de purificación y entrega de los frutos y dones del espíritu y las bienaventuranzas. Este es el don de la gracia, una especie de AND divino que está presente en nosotros y aguarda,  para ser activado, a que  se hayan reducido en grado suficiente nuestros proyectos para obtener felicidad, egoístas y auto referenciales, que nunca pueden funcionar.

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Relating to God in a Transpersonal Way

Series: 
Gifts for Living
Week: 
39

The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living DVD set offers a vision of hope and a view of reality that counter the cultural norms that view death as a tragedy, or the end of living, or an entry into harsh judgment and retribution. These videos are out-takes from the video series and presented here for your enrichment. A new video will be presented every Monday.

View Transcript

Transcript: 

Most people haven’t the slightest idea of who God is and are living out of a set of cultural images that are highly anthropological, at least in the Abrahamic religions.  And the very purpose of those religions is – seems logical at least to me – is to be a means of bringing people to the transpersonal stages of consciousness, to the awareness of their unity as a human species and their belonging to the universe and their relating to God in a transpersonal way, or, at least, a personal way.


 

Spanish Transcript: 

Relacionarnos con Dios de una manera transpersonal

La mayoría de las personas no tienen la menor idea de quién es Dios y viven aplicando un conjunto de imágenes que son básicamente antropológicas, por lo menos en las religiones abrahámicas. Y el propósito fundamental de esas religiones es – y por lo menos a mí me parece lógico – ser un medio para conducir a las personas a los niveles transpersonales de conciencia, a la consciencia de su unidad como especie humana y de su pertenencia al universo y su relación con Dios de una manera transpersonal, o, por lo menos, personal.
 

 

Category: 

The Separate-Self Sense Hinders Unity with Our Deepest Source

Series: 
Gifts for Living
Week: 
38

The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living DVD set offers a vision of hope and a view of reality that counter the cultural norms that view death as a tragedy, or the end of living, or an entry into harsh judgment and retribution. These videos are out-takes from the video series and presented here for your enrichment. A new video will be presented every Monday.

View Transcript

Transcript: 

We have developed our own personality in childhood and later and have a self-image that we’re prepared to defend at almost any price – or we certainly don’t like to have it questioned in one form or another.  And that problem is rooted, as I already tried to suggest, by the separate-self sense.  That is to say, if we have a separate self then it has to be protected.  You can’t count on anybody else to protect it.  So, this makes us vulnerable in a world that has many hostile factors in it.  And it also, according to the testimony of psychologists and also of the great mystics is an enormous hindrance to perceiving our basic unity with our deepest source that is frequently called the Ground of Being.


 

Spanish Transcript: 

El Sentirse un Yo Separado Impide la Unidad con Nuestra Fuente más Profunda

Hemos desarrollado nuestra propia personalidad en la infancia y en años posteriores, y hemos adquirido una imagen de nosotros mismos que estamos dispuestos a defender casi a cualquier precio – o a la que, por lo menos, no queremos ver de ninguna forma cuestionada. Y ese problema se origina, como ya he tratado de sugerir, en el hecho de sentirnos un yo separado. Es decir, si yo poseo un yo separado entonces es necesario protegerlo. No podemos contar con que nadie más lo haga. Por lo tanto, esto nos hace vulnerables en un mundo que contiene en sí mismo muchas fuerzas hostiles. Y asimismo, según lo que atestiguan los psicólogos y también los grandes místicos, este sentimiento constituye un enorme obstáculo para que podamos percibir nuestra unidad esencial con nuestra fuente más profunda, la que frecuentemente se conoce como la Raíz del Ser.
 

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