Living in a One Storey Universe

A very Rohr quote, from Stephen Freeman, “One-Storey Universe” (here), 17.  Freeman is an Orthodox priest.  In this blog, he describes how Orthodox Christians believe that all the cosmos is sacred and God-drenched.  There is no separation into “sacred” or “common”: everything & every activity is (or can, or should be) sacred.

Some implications of this worldview:

“The more the secular world is exalted as secular, that is, having an existence somehow independent of God, the more we will live as practical atheists – perhaps practical atheists who pray (but for what do we pray?).  … The more secular the world becomes for Christians, the more political Christians will become. We will necessarily resort to the same tools and weapons as those who do not believe.

Christianity that has purged the Church of the sacraments, and of the sacramental, have only ideas which can be substituted – the result being the eradication of God from the world in all ways other than theoretical. Of course, since much of modern Christianity functions on this ideological level rather than the level of the God-Who-is among-us, much of Christianity functions in a mode of practical atheism. The more ideological the faith, the more likely its proponents are to expouse what amounts to a practical atheism.

Orthodox Christianity, with its wealth of dogma and Tradition, could easily be translated into this model – and I have encountered it in such a form. But it is a falsification of Orthodoxy. Sacraments must not be quasi-magical moments in which a carefully defined grace is transmitted to us – they must, instead, threaten to swallow up the whole world.”

This is very much of a piece with Rohr’s The Naked Now: Learning to See As the Mystics See, which I’m currently reading










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