Contemplative Epistemology

    January 28, 2020

    One spirit, at work in each, becomes their guide, led by more than mere human communication. -Day by Day with St. Francis

    ‘The primacy of love allows our knowing to be much humbler and more patient and helps us to recognize that other traditions—and other people—have much to teach us, and there is also much we can share with them. This stance of honest self-knowledge and deeper interiority, with the head (Scripture), the heart (Experience), and the body (Tradition) operating as one.

    Contemplation allows us to see things in their wholeness and thus with respect (re-spect means to see a second time).

    Only at a deeper level of contemplation do we begin to see the correlation between how we do anything and how we do everything else. We take the moment in front of us much more seriously and respectfully. We catch ourselves out of the corner of our eye, as it were, and our ego games are exposed and diminished.

    Such knowing does not contradict the rational, but it’s much more holistic and inclusive. It might be called trans-rational although many think it is pre-rational. It goes where the rational mind cannot go, but then comes back to honor the rational, too…“contemplative epistemology”—a contemplative theory of how we know what we know.’

    -Fr. Richard Rohr


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