A Three-Step Portrayal of the Spiritual Journey

This entry presents Father Keating’s three-step portrayal of the spiritual journey.

The beginning of the spiritual journey is the realization —not just the information, but the interior conviction—that there really is a higher power, or, God. Or, to make it as easy as possible for everybody, that there is an Other.

Second step: To try and become the Other.

And finally, the realization that there is no Other. You and the Other are One. Always have been, always will be.

~Father Thomas Keating

6 responses to “A Three-Step Portrayal of the Spiritual Journey

  1. I love it when priests get it.

  2. Totally. Isn’t it delightful?

  3. Simon the Englishman

    Hi Donna
    Excuse my ignorance but who is Father Keating?(sounds more together than your average clerical type) It would be great if everybody got it, preferabley shortly after childhood (where you’re not looking for it anyway) and so bypass the need to go “looking” for it or to become an advocate or follower of any faith. I haven’t got it except intellectually but am not worried and am just hanging around for satori sometime:).
    Ps. Full marks to your japanese student in your last but one post. Wish I had her commitment!

    Happy brick arranging

  4. Hi Simon,
    Father Keating is fascinating. He is in the line of many others in the Trappist tradtion who are equally fascinating, such as his own friend, the legendary Thomas Merton, whose writings I adore (He wrote much on Christianity and Zen and goes way beyond what you might call limiting “religiosity”). The Trappist monks take their name from La Trappe Abbey,” in France, which was built in the name of St. Benedict (hence, they are also known as “Benedictine monks”) and their reform movement in the 1600s. Their life is an intensely monastic one.

    As a result of a “spiritual crisis” and resultant insight Keating experienced as a young man in college, he has dedicated his whole life to teaching others about what he calls, “centering prayer as a contemplative practice,” by which he means “being with God,” as opposed to reflecting on, or thinking about, God. It is ironically, much like Buddhist meditation practice, in which you let go of the sense of self, with all its ego-based emotions and ideas and thoughts and surrender.

    Incidentally, there is a famous and beautiful Benedictine Abbey in Belgium, called “Orval Abbey,” near Florenville.

  5. Simon the Englishman

    Hi Donna
    Thanks for the info. The specifics of each faith always seem to be at odds with the underlying mystic core. The “faithful” go for the specifics and the likes of father Keating, having got it, then try to win the hearts and minds of their flock to the light behind the cultural accretions. Btw I know about Orval abbey but thats because the the monks brew a really good strong tasty Belgian beer called “Orval ” 🙂 Used to be my favourite belgian beer when I still bothered about those things! Simon the philistine!
    Will check out Thomas Merton. Curious how Resurrection and Zen mix.



  6. We are One with the “All”.

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