Orthodoxy in communion with Rome
Well, I decided to join the Catholic church this April 2020. Now I have finished the Catholic RCIA program. And I did hang out and study with (AKA Catechumenate or catechumen), the Eastern Orthodox OCA Church – for a year. And I’m doing some Saint Benedict press online videos, as a Catholic candidate.
The problem with the EO church was the fasts. They are extensive and I did have medical issues while doing them. This is what I communicated, to the Eastern Orthodox priests via email:
My intention was to become Orthodox. But to continue with the RCIA, to learn more about them. But if asked about my background, I would have shared this info. It never occurred to me, to share this.
The Catholic position is that the Orthodox, have valid orders and sacraments. However, there is no official Orthodox position, on Catholic Orders and sacraments. The majority opinion seems to be, that the Holy Spirit left the Catholic church – due to theological additions. But there are stories, to the contrary. Like a Native American heard God speak, to become a priest. And a nun heard this. And he didn’t listen for 7 years. And all kinds of bad things happened to him. Until he became a priest. Or an active Catholic Charismatic tradition. Or God working miracles, through Catholic saints. And I realize that Orthodoxy would have similar stories. And some might attribute these stories, to the devil’s influence or natural causes.
Also, I had health issues. And trouble doing the fasts. And it would be expensive and time-consuming, to have traditional doctors run tests – to determine a root cause. And get official medical excuses.
I’ll always treasure the richness of the Orthodox liturgy, theology and the clergy and priests.”
Well, the Roman Catholic church does teach:
- Christian inclusivism
- And allows for Hopeful Universalism.
And if any is in hell - even temporary… the Eastern Orthodox / Eastern Catholic perspective is the best way - of understanding it.
This doesn’t mean I’m dropping anything, that provides healing and contemplation help. And I’ll still work on becoming, an aspiring Holy Fool.
We are all surrounded inside and outside by an invisible field of divine grace. All the time. Even in deep sleep. Then why do we have to pray for it to descend? That is the divine design. The path opens when we feel the cool breeze on a hot summer day. The Grace touches you and you are awake to touch it. This is a divine touch. Whenever fear comes to consume you, touch base with the grace field. Assure yourself that the power of Grace is more than all fears of the world put together.
Grace alone is the reality! Grace and God are One!
I call my theological path and position: Orthodoxy in communication with Rome via Holy Foolery. And I make alliances with spiritual groups and individuals - for spirituality. As long as they follow the Quaker principles of light, silence, healing, and ethics. The ultimate objective of both processes is Theosis..
"He who always abides in the present now, in him does God beget his Son without ceasing. - Meister Eckhart.
I decided that in addition to religion, I will seek spirituality.
- Light was best emphasized, in the Heartfulness, Quaker, Hesychasm, Dzogchen, Sukyo Mahikari and Johrei traditions.
- And wisdom came from decades, hanging around Native American medicine people (and ceremonies) and Eastern holy people.
- My daily routine is to quiet my mind…with daily practices of Heartfulness / Mindfulness, and the Bruno Groening / Golden Key / Quaker light meditation methods. But I also quiet my mind, in Red Road ceremonies. And Bruno Groening , Heartfulness, Sukyo Mahikari and Johrei gatherings. And also the Catholic Mass.
Then I bring my spirituality back, to the field of religion. They go hand-in-hand. Which now that I’m into Francasian and Eastern Catholic theology. And can be found in books, by Catholic writers. Like you find in the Catholic author books
- The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions by Wayne Teasdale
- Without Buddha I Could Not be a Christian by Paul F. Knitter
- The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe by Richard Rohr from CAC.
Or in the Native American books
- Fools Crow by James Welch
- Fools Crow: Wisdom and Power by Thomas E. Mails
- Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition by John G. Neihardt
And on the Eastern front
- This House Is On Fire: The Life of Shri Dhyanyogi by Shri Anandi Ma
- The Heartfulness Way: Heart-Based Meditations for Spiritual Transformation by Kamlesh D. Patel.
- Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings by Paul Reps.
- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams
- The headspace guide to meditation and mindfulness by Andy Puddicombe
Let me quote from this article:
Spirituality is a solitary experience of the divine, while religion involves a group of people brought together by their common faith or beliefs about the divine. Religion aims to build one’s character. It shapes one’s beliefs, attitudes, and actions by giving importance to the adherence of rules.
Spiritual Energy and Light
“The darkness is not the absence of light, but the terror that comes from the blinding light” - Jacob Boehme
There are groups and individuals, that do “allegedly” share light and energy – for healing and contemplation. I will still be part of those:
- In the East, it’s called Shakti or transmission. And can be found in groups and individuals, like the Dhyan Yoga Center, Heartfulness, Shiva Bala Yogi, Karunamayi, and Ammachi.
- In Japan it’s called Johrei, with groups like Sukyo Mahikari and Johrei
- In Germany it’s called Heilstrom, with the Bruno Groening Circle of friends
- In the Sufi tradition, it’s called Baraka
- The Eastern Orthodox call it God’s energies.
(Barakah) is a subtle spiritual energy that flows through everything but is strongest within the human. The more purified the human becomes, the greater the flow of barakah. Overpowering barakah can be experienced in sacred places, in sacred art and in sanctified people, all of which are theophanies, revealing and manifesting the Divinity - here on earth.
Let me quote from Talks with a Sufi Shaykh.
When I ask Shaykh Taner about these things he tells me that he does nothing. That things happen by the will of Allah, who has all power to do and not by the will of Shaykh Taner who has no power at all.
I have asked Shaykh why he does not let people know that he can do these things.
His reply is always “I can’t do anything. If Allah wishes for something to happen, then it does. If I think that I can do anything else it is my Nafs talking, and if I say I can do this or do that, then I am saying that “I” have power, which is not true. Only Allah has power, only Allah can “Do”. To think anything else is saying that Allah has a partner.”
Perhaps this is the biggest miracle of all.
Native American Medicine
- They are conducted in a Native American church setting under a legally protected environment (i.e. ONAC, Peaceful MountainWay, and Soul Quest). Or in a country where it’s considered legal, such as Peru, Costa Rica or Italy.
- Are conducted by qualified elders or medicine people, in the Native American way. Who follow the Red Road code of ethics.
- One’s intentions are for ‘therapeutic’ purposes, as defined by M.D. and Ph.D. researchers - studying the subject matter. See Dr. Joe Tafur Explains Peyote and Ayahuasca, The Future of Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy , and Psilocybin Sessions: Psychedelics could help people with addiction and anxiety.
- One must have the proper frameworks, for observing and integrating any experiences. Duke of the Two Feathers Medicine Clan, emphasized that unexplained healing - can and does happen. For observation experiences, I like the Eastern Witness Consciousness. For Integration, I like the framework of Carl Jung (i.e. Jungian archetypes and collective unconsciousness).
- And one must be in sound, medical condition and follow any dietary regulations (i.e. as mentioned on the Peaceful Mountain Way and Soul Quest websites).
And I will neither confirm nor deny, whether I have ever participated in such ceremonies (or taken such medicines).
When I wanted to learn about Native American practices and ceremonies, I joined the extended family of the Two Feathers Medicine Clan with Duke Big Feather. He had a spread called ‘The Spirit of Crazy Horse’, in Crete, Illinois USA? Well, he is now deceased and that place no longer exists. He was also the spiritual leader, of the Two Feathers Medicine Clan - now defunct. And he used to talk about the miraculous healing that took place, in the medicine ceremonies.
But he relayed a story to me once. First, I need to mention two things. Peyote and ayahuasca are viewed in two ways, in Native American spirituality.
- First as a sacrament (like the Eucharist).
- And secondly, as a medicine (similar to how western doctors would view medicine).
Anyway, Duke knew a Roman Catholic priest, who had a crisis of faith. So he invited this priest, to one of these all-night peyote ceremonies. After the ceremony, the priest no longer had - a crisis of faith. And went back to serving the Christian community, as a Roman Catholic priest.
If we limit how God reaches folks, to just Sacred Scripture. Then we throw out everything learned, in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Sacred Tradition. Or outside of Christianity, in what I call the wisdom tradition. And we tend to judge, how God can reach folks - outside of Holy Scripture.
See What Should Christians Take from the Native American Church Peyote Ceremony?
But I do use homeopathy…I’ll point you to Washington National…A US homeopathic pharmacy, that has been around since 1873
Let me quote a bit:
There is a large and growing body of scientific research in the field of homeopathy. Available papers cover basic science studies (looking at the physical and chemical properties of remedies), pre-clinical studies (looking at the effect of homeopathic remedies on plants and animals), and clinical studies (looking at the effects of homeopathic remedies on humans). Those who try to portray homeopathy in a negative way often argue that there is little scientific research available on the topic. This claim is false. Homeopathy has been widely studied for over 200 years.
Dr. Iris Bell M.D., Ph.D. (University of Arizona College of Medicine) has compiled the most comprehensive list of research papers available in this field (over 6,000) and made it available to members of the homeopathic community. We, in turn, make it available to you. To view the list, click here: Homeopathic Research
Finally, here are the first of many well-done summaries on research in the field on homeopathy for patients suffering from a variety of ailments. The information in the following articles is intended for informational purposes only. Please remember, if you have any of the conditions mentioned in the research below, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed practitioner for treatment options.
You can also spend some time at:
But I still avail myself to modern medicine - when needed. And other ancient healing modalities, like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. And the history of American homeopathy is covered in this song.
Note: I’m an academic field researcher and a scientific person. I don’t SELL homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Native American healing ceremonies, Charismatic Christian healing, spiritual healing groups, etc. Nor do I advocate that these replace modern medicine, but complement it.
- The US TCM site Active Herb has produced articles showing TCM and modern medicine, working together in China on COVID-19.
- When I was with the Two Feathers Medicine Clan (AKA Native American medicine people), folks with them used BOTH Native American healing ceremonies and modern medicine.
- And when I hung around Roman Catholic priest Father A., who “allegedly” had the gift of healing and hearing God speak. Well, when he got sick he used prayer, church sacraments, modern medicine and TCM.
People have got to do the research for themselves… Then make up their own mind.
One could also argue that Christian healing (and other spiritual and ancient healing approaches) is a placebo effect.
- But it would render all the scientific research, that Roman Catholic medical doctors and scientists do, before declaring visiting a site like Lourdes - a miracle.
- Or the success report investigation around the world, of the Bruno Groening Circle of Friends medical group.
- Or the 6000 + scientific research studies I referenced earlier, by a Ph.D. and MD researcher.
In Native American spirituality, I have been in gatherings, ceremonies, and teachings with:
- The Two Feathers Medicine Clan
- Lakota medicine man Duke Big Feathers
- Ute Medicine man Joseph Many Horses
- Ojibwe medicine man Black Wolf
- Lakota elder Quentin Young
- Peruvian medicine people Diego and Gloria.
And from the East:
- Dhyan Yogi Madhusudandas and Dhyan Yoga Center.
- Chicago based Swami Kriyananda and Temple of Kriya Yoga.
- Ram Chandra and Heartfulness.
Christian view of other religions
Eastern Orthodox Archbishop Kallistos Ware said:
“We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not . . . “
What is the majority view, of those of Orthodox church theologians? See
The approach taken in this paper is to emphasize “the middle way,” that of inclusivism. It seems clear that the way of exclusivism is properly rejected as a matter of Truth. At the other extreme, the thin ice of cultural pluralism is fraught with danger.
It is a basic Christian doctrine that the Holy Spirit may act wherever and whenever. Presuming to constrain the activity of the Holy Spirit - to limit God Himself- is not the way. Orthodoxy recognizes and accepts the mandate to seek Truth and to follow the Holy Spirit wherever He leads, including in other religions or philosophies when his Truth is to be found there.
The salvation of all people, including non-Christians, depends on the great goodness and mercy of the Omniscient and Omnipotent God who desires the salvation of all people. Those who live in faith and virtue, though outside the Church, receive God’s loving grace and salvation. Saint Paul reminds us, “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!” (Rom. 11: 33).
Which is also the current view, of the Roman Catholic church. And some Protestant churches, like the Methodists.
The inclusivist position has a long and distinguished history in the church. Such widely divergent thinkers as Justin, Thomas Aquinas, John Wesley, C. S. Lewis, and Pope John Paul II have affirmed it. Today, it is the dominant view of the Roman Catholic Church and of mainline Protestants. Though the Eastern Orthodox Church has no officially sanctioned position, the inclusivist views of Justin and other Greek fathers are widely cited with approval and many of the arguments for inclusivism are employed. Inclusivism represents the closest thing to a consensus among Christians today.
Let me end, with an interesting article - from today’s Patheos’ Catholic newsletter
Let me share a Nasruddin Holy Fool Story
Mulla Nasruddin was walking in the bazaar with a large group of followers. Whatever Nasruddin did, his followers immediately copied. Every few steps Nasruddin would stop and shake his hands in the air, touch his feet and jump up yelling “Hu Hu Hu!”. So his followers would also stop and do exactly the same thing.
One of the merchants, who knew Nasreddin, quietly asked him: “What are you doing my old friend? Why are these people imitating you?”
“I have become a Sufi Sheikh,” replied Nasreddin. “These are my Murids (spiritual seekers), I am helping them reach enlightenment!”
“How do you know when they reach enlightenment?”
“That’s the easy part! Every morning I count them. The ones who have left - have reached enlightenment!”
Once Nasreddin was invited to deliver a sermon. When he got on the pulpit, he asked, Do you know what I am going to say? The audience replied “no”, so he announced, I have no desire to speak to people who don’t even know what I will be talking about! and left.
The people felt embarrassed and called him back again the next day. This time, when he asked the same question, the people replied yes . So Nasreddin said, Well, since you already know what I am going to say, I won’t waste any more of your time! and left.
Now the people were really perplexed. They decided to try one more time and once again invited the Mulla to speak the following week. Once again he asked the same question – Do you know what I am going to say? Now the people were prepared and so half of them answered “yes” while the other half replied “no”. So Nasreddin said Let the half who know what I am going to say, tell it to the half who don’t, and left.
Note: There are really four approaches, to this pandemic.
Herbology (Western, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tibetan, Unani; Native American, etc.)
Spiritual healing and prayer
All can be used, in treating a pandemic. Just a few footnotes here.
Homeopathic case taking is often not needed. The key should be, according to a homeopathic expert I studied with - is focus on the pathology first. In online sections, I had recently with Indian and Canadian homeopathic experts…there are really a dozen or so remedies, that fit the bill completely - for this pandemic.
Certain Native American Medicine people, actually micro-dose herbal preparations. It appears to work. An anti-viral remedy would be one small drop, 3 times a day. It probably works similarly to an iron supplement, stimulating the cells to manufacture red blood count.
Spiritual healing makes modern, herbal and homeopathic medicine more effective. I’m not quite sure why, but I have some ideas. I learned this from a Native American medicine person.
Hypothetically speaking, if I ever had symptoms similar to COVID-19. And I didn’t need emergency
care, then my approach would be to:
Use the Native American micro-dose herbal preparation, to kill the virus.
Choose from among the dozen or so homeopathic remedies, to build-up immunity.
Add a TCM cold and flu tea remedy, to also build up immunity.
Use spiritual healing, to make the medicine more effective (i.e. Bruno Groening Circle of Friends, Johrei, Sukyo Mahikari, Fox Golden Key, etc.).
Remember that Native American medicine people and Eastern Indian holy people, see things differently.
Lakota medicine man Quentin Young heard the creator say:
“When the dead leaves fall from the trees, so shall the coronavirus (COVID-19)."
“with respect to COVID-19, fill your pipes and ask to take down and put away.
And Eastern holy person Karunamayi said things will be better after May 15, 2020.
So we can hope for the best.
Note: This could just “be my imagination”, as the Temptation song mentioned. Or some insight, that came to me… But Coronavirus is a ‘strong disease’. And it will take ‘strong medicines’ to beat it. And in the absence of modern medicine having yet developed ‘strong medicines’ - unless old medicines do the trick. I would have to look at what both the homeopathic community and the Native American medicine people, have to offer. And in the homeopathic community, it would be remedies that work and protect - the respiratory tract. And also those that work as historical viral nosodes, similar to the Coronavirus.
Hopefully, I’ll never have to use that “spiritual insight” or what is “just my imagination”.