I'm always hyped for the return of OWN's Super Soul Sunday. Oprah's discussion with Father Richard Rohr did not disappoint as they touched on various topics.
I wasn't familiar with Fr. Rohr's work, but I knew if she was opening the season with him, he was sure to be enlightening. As soon as the show began, I immediately took a liking to this man who resembled a fitter version of Santa Claus, trimmed down and without the red suit.
The show was filled with many ahas and reminders of life's essential truths. And though I enjoyed the whole conversation, there were moments that resonated deeply with me. Fr. Rohr touched on some things that diverge from mainstream thought. What can I say? I gravitate towards that.
1. "The true self includes embodiment."
Fr. Rohr spent quite a bit of time talking about the true self versus the false self. The latter mainly referring to the labels we place upon ourselves. For example, parent, spouse, gender, race, profession, etc.
He was sure to reiterate that the false self was not "bad." What was more interesting was including the concept of embodiment in the definition of the true self. This piqued my interest as I am often challenged with pondering how my physicality fits in with my spirituality.
I believe that far too often in the spiritual community, we discount and overlook our humanness. Many tend to dismiss the sometimes ugly details of reality in order to retain a pristine image of what "highly evolved" should resemble.
As I progress, I'm understanding how critical my packaging is to the discovery of my highest self. And it's only by diving deep into the complexities of the space I occupy do I test my spiritual beliefs. Only when I fully embrace my humanity do I get to transcend to this sacred space.
2. "If you don't give your partner power to change you, then I don't think you love them."
When he spoke these words, a part of me cringed. Intuitively, I knew where he was going. However, in the space between the words and the fuller explanation, I felt the ominous void where some would justify their unhealthy relationships.
As the two expanded on the point, they stated that the wrong relationship could take someone levels down from where they started. Oprah repeated Gary Zukav's concept of spiritual partnerships being one between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth.
In full context, Fr. Rohr's words make perfect sense. Though one may have a healthy sense of who they are, there is growth in a sacred connection. With love, there is dissolution of boundaries thereby allowing for that expansion.
An unwillingness for fluidity is an indication that the walls have not been let down. If that is the case, then the deepest love cannot be experienced, as vulnerability is absent.
3. "Religion is the best thing in the world and religion is the worst thing in the world."
This was the most surprising phrase that could come from someone who's deep in the club. I adored him for it.
Father Rohr went on to say that it's "one of the safest places to hide from God." For my adult life, this has been my contention with it. Though I do not consider myself religious, I still have respect for those that govern their lives in admirable and conscious ways because of it.
I think of my parents who are devoted Catholics. Devoted because they live their religion. They don't wear it as many people do. It's not about constantly quoting scripture and wearing your Sunday best. I believe this is where the "hiding" the Father speaks of comes into play.
When people use the rules of a particular religion to judge, separate and condemn, they have crossed over into the wearing of it -- and that is dangerous territory. We see the ugliest of behaviors carried out in the name of God.
When people live in the essence of Universal truths that transcend religious boundaries, it is there we find harmony. Religion itself isn't the problem, rather man's misuse of religion is.
In conclusion, Father Rohr's interview gave the audience much to digest. He has an art for making the esoteric plain. It was a fabulous start to the season.
I love that Super Soul Sunday exists. These conversations are vital for greater understanding of our selves. Teachers like Father Rohr (and Oprah!) take the big stuff and make it manageable for the masses. The significance of that is immeasurable.