The mystic-poet, Rumi, wrote: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.” I want to paraphrase that and say: “Out beyond ideas of feminine and masculine, there is a field. I'll meet you there.”
For the West, gender is a battle; and this extends to our spirituality which traditionally divides “feminine spirituality” (the Earth/Nature based “descending religions”) from “masculine spirituality” (the Heaven focused “ascending religions”). For the Celts, the goddesses were archetypes of Nature and the gods were archetypes of Culture. Their relationship was a marriage dance, not a battle.
But now it is time for us to transcend even the Celtic notion, in an Ascension project that births a spirituality beyond gender; a project that makes sense of (a) each individual incarnation, (b) the entire concatenation of incarnations of each unique soul, and (c) the evolutionary trajectory of the cosmos itself.
Let’s meet in that field.
Although that was our intention, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, our in-person retreat was canceled. Yet, knowing how important it was for everyone to be in retreat together at this challenging time, Fr. Seán offered gatherings via Zoom for the retreat lectures and discussions. These events were held May 11 – 13, 2020.
More good news is that the complete lecture series of Fr. Seán’s retreat videos is available on this web page. Just click on the top tab of the drop-down panel and watch. Whether you wish to relive your experience or see what you missed, you’re sure to enjoy!
Zoom Retreat — May 11 — 13, 2020: Early in 2020, when we were planning this retreat, members of COJ were asked what topic they wanted as its focus. Lots of suggestions came in but the top three had to do with the Celts, Gender, and the Future of Humanity. So, I decided to try to amalgamate those into the above title.
There are two lectures for each of those three topics – and the overall objective is to create a cosmology and a spirituality which can transcend partisan, sectarian religion and help you liberate the God inside yourself while recognizing the God in all other beings.
Rediscovering the Feminine Face of God
(A) Woman as Priest
(iii) Early Church
(iv) Seder Meal
(v) Relationship of Priesthood and Eucharist
(i) The Jewish Priests
(iii) Schizophrenic Attitude
(B) The Damage of Anger – Lead Us Not into Temptation
(C) Jung on the Anima and Animus
The Ascension Project – Individual Journey
(i) Three Tracks
(ii) The Journey of a Single Lifetime
(B) Versions of the Stages
(i) Four-Stage Model
(ii) Six-Stage Model
(iii) Multi-Stage Model
(C) The Importance of Karma
(i) Aspects of Karma
(ii) Karmic Timelines
(iii) Levels of Karma
(iv) Dimensions of Karma
The Ascension Project - Cosmic Journey
(A) Many Lifetimes
(i) The Last Three Sacraments
(ii) The Secular Face of Ascension
(iii) The Spiritual Face of Ascension
(iv) Original Sin
(a) The Biblical Version - Genesis Chapter 3
(b) The Theological Version - St. Augustine
(c) My Own Theory of Original Sin
(B) The Ascension of the Cosmos
(ii) The Bodies of Gaia
(iii) Cosmic Laws
The Bishop's Ranch, Healdsburg, CA — March 17 — 20, 2019: About 2,400 years ago, Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Some 400 years later, Jesus added his own version of that (excuse my edits!) when he said, “If the householder (consciousness) knew at what time the thief (the unconscious shadow) would break in and steal (do something stupid!), he would not go to sleep (lapse into mindless behavior.)” Most of us are asleep most of the time, driven by an unconsciously acquired (thanks to “education”) and an unconsciously accessed (knee-jerk reactions) cosmology (philosophy of life.) If you think that our world is "going to hell in a hand basket”, isn’t it time for you to choose an alternative destination and a better mode of transport? This retreat/workshop will afford you the time and the companions to undertake that odyssey and create your own GPS.
What is “Life”?
(A) Life – Some Synonyms
(B) The Origin of Life
(C) When the Created Become Creators
(D) There Is Only One Life
(E) Life: Separating Illusion from Reality
(ii) The Structure of Reality
(F) The Stages of Life
(G) Life – Excerpts from the Prologue to John’s Gospel
What is “Evil”?
(A) Theory One - Satan as Shadow
(B) Theory Two - Satan as Cosmic Service-to-Self
(C) Theory Three - Satan as The Devil’s Advocate
(D) Theory Four – Evil as an Emergent Phenomenon
(i) The Meaning of Emergence
(ii) The Theory of Evil as an Emergent Phenomenon
(a) A Jigsaw Puzzle
What is My Mission?
(i) The Levels of Mission
(B) Individual Mission
(i) Emotions: Virtues and Vices
(ii) Two Kinds of Gifts
(iii) My Mission
(C) Global Mission
(i) Patriarchy, Matriarchy and Hate-Triarchy
(iv) From Gender to Androgyny to Soul-self
The Bishop's Ranch, Healdsburg, CA — March 26 — 29, 2017: There has never been a significant evolutionary shift that has not been precipitated by a major crisis. This is true in geological history e.g., the huge 1.5 billion–years–long crisis that single–celled protozoa — the first lifeforms on our planet — created, when they began extracting hydrogen from water, thus releasing oxygen, which was a deadly poison to them! Or the excess of calcium the planet was excreting which threatened to overpower it, until it found creative ways to solve the problem e.g., make coral reefs of it, build exoskeletons for shell fish, make endoskeletons for the vertebrates.
It’s true in interpersonal relationships; and — as I’m sure you can verify from personal experience — it’s true in your own life journey. Crisis properly navigated is the key to psycho–spiritual growth.
And today — as has happened many times in human history — the world political, economic and military situation presents us with issues of mammoth proportions. Hence, it bears within itself evolutionary possibilities of even greater proportions.
This retreat, and these seven lectures, is an attempt to understand the root causes of this crisis, its invitations and its hidden blessings. It looks fearlessly at the real data, not the fake news, propaganda or fear–mongering, and goes on to identify the mindset, soul–set and practices needed to turn our times towards Christ Consciousness on a planetary level.