Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > DogmatismKnowingNotKnowing


Living the Royal Law

Love, not Dogmatism

May 25, 2008

Saying For Today: This knowing includes dogma, but dogma does not include it.

Love is the end [telos], the sole end, of every dispensation of God, from the beginning of the world to the consummation of all things. And it will endure when heaven and earth flee away, for 'love' alone 'never faileth.'

*The Works of John Wesley. Sermon 36, "The Law Established Through Faith."

A church excommunicated a public sinner; it forbade him entry to the church again. This man took his woes to God, "They won't let me in, Lord, because I am a sinner." "What are you complaining about?" remarked God. "They won't let me in either!"

*Anthony de Mello. Taking Flight.

Much that divides humankind, not only religiously, is dogmatism. Note: I did not say dogma, but dogmatism. For dogma is simply teaching, while dogmatism is an attitude. And the words "doctor," "document," and "doctrine" go back to the same Latin verb: "to teach." The Latin came into English via the Old French doctour; the use for medical practitioner was not firmly set until the 16th century.

Dogmatism, then, refers to a belief system. This system is an inner attitude, an inner system, of staid, inflexible belief. "I am right, you are wrong" and "we are right, you all are wrong" is an example of this mentality.

Dogmatism is mentalism. That is, the faith or belief system adhered to is viewed in mental, or purely intellectual, terms. This can indicate non-intellectual, illogical to absurd, belief. The key to mentalism, and dogmatism, is that the belief is, even when irrational, located in thought.

Below, note the words of the late Anthony de Mello, a Catholic priest, retreat leader, and author:

It is not the diversity of dogmas but our dogmatism that does the damage. Thus, if each of us did what we are firmly persuaded is the will of God the result would be utter chaos.
Certainty is the culprit. The spiritual person knows uncertainty ~ a state of mind unknown to the religious fanatic.

*Taking Flight.


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Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > DogmatismKnowingNotKnowing

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