This past Sunday’s Beyond Awakening featured my recent conversation with scholar/mystic Andrew Harvey entitled “The Ways of Passion and Illumination.”
Over the past year I have been engaged in a series of “sacred conversations” with Andrew which have led to our deciding to teach together March 4-8 in Berkeley California. There’s a wildness and a joy in our connection as two passionate mystics and activists who feel called to convene a sacred, ceremonial ritual at this time and in this space.
This latest sacred conversation is an exploration of what is organically emerging for us both including the true nature of Love; the (mostly) not talked about spiritual controversy between the ecstatic mystery teachings vs. the “cooler” nondual approaches; and the extraordinary new model of teaching that is emerging that will inspire our March teaching event.
You’ll probably be drawn to have a moment of solitude after listening to this audio, in order to integrate the intensity, the passion, and the insights you may have had. I invite you to be in that solitude with the self-compassion necessary to truly connect with the sense of possibility that opens up in sacred conversation; and the willingness to see innovation and creativity in that space and to choose it for yourself. That is the ultimate meaning, the destiny of both the illuminated mind and the passionate heart.
I’ll share some excerpts of our conversation below. But I invite you to listen in to the full audio.
On the primacy of love:
The task of a whole lifetime is to grow in our capacity to love. Love is not just something to say “yes” to, and to affirm. It’s the sternest master that asks everything of us and that you never fulfill completely. On our deathbeds we ask…did I love enough? This apprenticeship is never going to end. I will die still learning to love better. But oddly this makes me feel incredibly loved.
You can’t begin this love affair with the Love that is creating everything and think that you’re going to remain in control of anything, or even know who you are by the end of the love affair. It is going to change everything, every single moment of your life.
On the risk of spiritual bypassing by the “cooler” nondual approaches:
A great deal of the way in which they’ve constructed the path is as an avoidance of it. At the core is the denigration of the sacred feminine. That’s why the path that they are on, wise though it is, is so potentially dissociative and disembodied; and so not concerned with the burning agony of injustice in the real world, so turned away from the screams of the poor and the broken animals and burning habitats and polluted seas. It is time in the name of the divine mother that we reclaim the…sacred passion of the awakened heart.
On teaching together:
There is deep, sacred work to be done with one another. It is this passionate meeting of hearts in the subjective domain in which we come alive as illumination and come alive as loving passion. That becomes the sacred marriage out of which we become activists and that is what we want to share with people. That’s why we decided to teach together.
Inspired by Leonard Cohen’s song “Love Itself”:
Radical freedom and awakening has tended to be the basis, it seems to me, for a profound and culture-wide spiritual bypass of love. And that’s why we’re advocating so strongly for love even though on another level we simply open the door and “let love itself be gone.” Both are true .…
The more I live, the more I worship the heart of the Buddha and the heart of the Christ together. I try and attune my evolving heart to the depths in both so that a marriage beyond anything I can control can take place within me of ultimate detachment to ultimate care.