wholistic spirituality wholeness can be yours

In the paper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, site of the Three Days of Darkness… er um… the 2010 "Catholic" "Education" Congress there is a wrap up of precious moments from their gatherings.

Here is a taste.

Sunday morning keynote speaker, Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Barbara Fiand, [once prohibited from teaching seminarians at the Athenaeum in Ohio, the head of her community signed the infamous sell-out letter] speaking on "Harnessing for God the Energies of Love," told how the writings of the late Jesuit mystic and scientist Teilhard de Chardin are being supported by recent scientific research in the fields of biology and astro physics showing the interconnectedness of all matter.

"We today are beginning to see the world in which we live not as dead matter, detached and indifferent to us, but as a highly complex, interconnected, living and conscious reality," she said. [My desk lamp is unimpressed.]

"Some extraordinary research has shown us that both plants and animals have much more sophisticated conscious life than we have ever given them credit for," said Sister Fiand, who noted that a study using lie detecting equipment hooked up to leaves shows that plants emotionally react to crisis situations, such as the destruction of an adjacent plant[OH NO!! SAY IT AIN'T SO!  Don't eat plants! Or animals!]

"The quantum worldview that’s emerging in our time transcends the [dualistic] split between mind and matter and sees both as interconnected and rooted in the heart of creation…. [this] worldview is wholistic and the spirituality that grows out of this perspective speaks to the wholeness both within ourselves and the larger, global community of nations, cultures, religions, life and love."

Teilhard, she explained, said the cosmic energy that is in all things is love and that this love story in the universe has now reached a self-reflective awareness in humanity. The Jesuit described creation as looking at us and asking, "Will you love?" [?]

"We are called to be shepherds of this earth and of all the creatures that dwell there," said Sister Fiand. " [I wonder if the other apples were annoyed when that woman took the first bite.  I bet the animals God slew to make garments of skins were annoyed.] …Knowing that everyone is interconnected with you – that I believe is harnessing for God the energies of love. And, with this kind of awakening within each one of us, [we will experience] once again the creativity and the energy that the discovery of fire brought to our ancestors long ago. We are children of light. Let us embrace it and live by its power."

 

I must ask my pet rock about all this.

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53 Responses to wholistic spirituality wholeness can be yours

  1. chcrix says:

    “research in the fields of biology and astro physics showing the interconnectedness of all matter”

    Actually there is some rather interesting research in these fields. And they are worth pondering. They lead perhaps toward what Pope BXVI calls “the god of the philosphers”. To me this is the “reason” wing of his “faith and reason” pair.

  2. sejoga says:

    Mythbusters had an episode about whether plants exhibited consciousness by hooking them up to various forms of lie-detectors and other similar technologies. Conclusion? “Debunked.”

    I was recently reading the letters of Flannery O’Connor, who was very enamored of Teilhard de Chardin before his writings were given some kind of warning from the Vatican. Once that hapened, she ended up concluding that the Church had been unfair to his works, but she could see where his meaning could be misinterpreted and open people to error, so she humbly conceded that the Vatican must know what they’re doing better than she did.

    Why don’t people think this way anymore?

  3. Rob Cartusciello says:

    A bunch of folks used to buy into that electrical activity & communication myth.

    Then a scientist hooked a fish to a detector and showed it pictures. The machine registered brain activity.

    It would have been a major discovery, but the fish was dead.

    It pretty much blew that whole line of thought out of the water.

    Barbara Fiand is not merely a bad scientist. She’s also a bad gnostic.

  4. Denis Crnkovic says:

    I sure hope the good sister doesn’t get hold of the information that in heaven there is a Saint Roc(k)…

  5. gsk says:

    Interestingly, her “passion” for this interconnectivity could be reasonably baptised if she would just latch onto Our Lord as Love Incarnate and link her argument to the exultant Psalms and prayers of Francis that praise creation so beautifully.

    Then, she could throw in some Aquinas and realise that the lamb and artichoke in our approaching Easter feast both are tickled pink that they’ll be consumed and evolve to a higher life form.

  6. irishgirl says:

    I wonder what the foundress of her Order, St. Julie Billiart, would think of this nonsense.

    But then, St. Julie was a simple woman….I have no patience with liberal ‘sisters’ with big fat college degrees.

    Hey ‘sister’, this world is TEMPORARY! Sure, we should care for creation, for after all, it’s God’s. But for heaven’s sake, let’s not go overboard!

    Sorry if you think that I’m ‘shouting’ on the blog, Father Z-I guess I’m in that kind of a mood today. I always like your ‘emphases’ and ‘comments’…and your last sentence about ‘asking the pet rock’….priceless….

  7. EnoughRope says:

    [My desk lamp is unimpressed.] HIlarious!

  8. Subdeacon Joseph says:

    Allow St. Gregory Palamas to speak on this one.

  9. TNCath says:

    Sister says, “The quantum worldview that’s emerging in our time transcends the [dualistic] split between mind and matter and sees both as interconnected and rooted in the heart of creation…. [this] worldview is wholistic and the spirituality that grows out of this perspective speaks to the wholeness both within ourselves and the larger, global community of nations, cultures, religions, life and love.”

    Mother Clare, perhaps you could discuss this with Sister Barbara when you make your Apostolic Visitation to her community?

  10. seanl says:

    Father, in addition to your pet rock, I wonder what Penjing would have to say about this!

  11. MargaretC says:

    “Some extraordinary research has shown us that both plants and animals have much more sophisticated conscious life than we have ever given them credit for,” said Sister Fiand, who noted that a study using lie detecting equipment hooked up to leaves shows that plants emotionally react to crisis situations, such as the destruction of an adjacent plant.”

    I was just about to cite the “Mythbusters” episode that debunked this, but I see sejoga has beaten me to it.

    I wonder if the rest of the thinking exhibited at “Three Days of Darkness” (love that title!) reflects the same degree of scientific literacy.

  12. robtbrown says:

    Teilhard, she explained, said the cosmic energy that is in all things is love and that this love story in the universe has now reached a self-reflective awareness in humanity. The Jesuit described creation as looking at us and asking, “Will you love?”

    The good sister seems to have endorsed the philosophy that all existence is a Heraclitean fire.

    Interesting that someone could get a doctorate in philosophy from a Catholic university without having a fire grasp on the problem of the One and the Many–the basic problem of metaphysics.

    On the other hand, it’s not surprising. I knew someone with a doctorate in medieval history from a Jesuit univ whose knowledge of Latin was zip.

  13. MarkJ says:

    I see by this post and the video recently posted that the Lost Angels Pan-religious De-Education Congress continues its heretical march to Hell under the approving glare of Mahony. Years ago I attended several of these “gatherings” (complete with a labyrinth to welcome me at the entrance), and I personally heard a “sister” announce that Mary was the Incarnation of the Holy Spirit; a “priest” proclaimed that Jesus didn’t actually bodily rise from the dead, and that his body was probably eaten by dogs, after which some teachers in attendance asked what the proper way would be to teach this to their children!; another “priest” told his enamored audience that the “church” of the future would have no need for priests or sacraments.

    Why again is Mahony not excommunicated?

  14. bwjb says:

    From what I’ve read of Fr. Teilhard, I think he was on to something. It’s argued that his thought was horribly misunderstood (part of that could be because of his own presentation). While Sister’s speech is a bit… trite… I don’t see anything she said as being incompatible with the Catholic faith.

    Overall, I think Fr. Teilhard gets used and abused by both ends of the spectrum. But then again, maybe I’m just unwittingly progressive.

  15. bwjb says:

    Allow me to correct myself. I noticed the second time through that she mentions the wholeness of all religions or somesuch nonsense. Yeah… that’s in contradiction to the Catholic faith. The idea that existence is holistic (we aren’t just minds or just bodies) is not.

  16. It seems like the next step after Sister Barbara’s idea would be Spinoza’s metaphysical system. (Eek!) Is that an illogical conclusion?

  17. jaykay says:

    “Knowing that everyone is interconnected with you – that I believe is harnessing for God the energies of love”

    Well, it might be. And then, on the other hand, it equally as well mightn’t be. It’s a non sequitur. One can very well know that everyone is interconnected with him or her self…and still be indifferent to that fact or downright antipathetic to others. Honestly, it sounds like she wanted to burst into a chorus of “I’d like to teach the world to sing” straight after.

    Probably did, come to think of it.

  18. gloriainexcelsis says:

    My Christmas pointsettia is finally giving up its “spirit.” It’s probably dying of loneliness – or I left it in that sunny window too long and unwatered?

  19. MarkJ says:

    Do I need to confess that I ate a squash last night?

  20. MarkJ: Did you actually murder the squash or just feast on its cadaver?

  21. MarkJ says:

    Fr. Z – I detected no pulse before I cooked it…

  22. The Egyptian says:

    does her polyester pantsuit care that it is being used to cover a steaming pile of cognizant poo, maybe your desk lamp could ask it, sheesh

  23. robtbrown says:

    Allow me to correct myself. I noticed the second time through that she mentions the wholeness of all religions or somesuch nonsense. Yeah… that’s in contradiction to the Catholic faith. The idea that existence is holistic (we aren’t just minds or just bodies) is not.
    Comment by bwjb

    In so far as you are a philosophy student, I recommend Jacques Maritain’s Introduction to Philosophy.

  24. o.h. says:

    “Even a potato in a dark cellar has a certain low cunning about him which serves him in excellent stead.”

    -Samuel Butler, Erewhon

  25. Re: the plants

    That was hot new research back in the 60′s and 70′s. I remember reading about it when I was in second grade. Since then it’s been debunked.

    So why is she mentioning it now?

    Re: quantum interconnectedness

    That was hot new research back in the 80′s and 90′s. So was her philosophizing about it.

    So why is she mentioning it now?

    My only conclusion is that either she has just stepped out of the Hot Tub Time Machine, or she doesn’t really keep up much with popular science.

    I eagerly await her lectures on the Wonders of Nuclear Power and the Discovery of Leyden Jars.

  26. M Heller says:

    Why is it that these “respect plant and animal life” types can’t bring themselves to oppose abortion?

  27. EnoughRope says:

    I just want to say THANK YOU to Fr. Z and to all of you. Sometimes, I feel like the only sane one in a world (sometimes local Church) full of crazies. Makes you wonder about yourself. We can laugh and jest at this stuff, but the truth is, this is stuff is a cancer that is eating our Church alive. When, I come here and realize how many great, funny, and holy striving people there are, it helps me to smile a bit more and to hold myself to a higher standard. All is not lost.

  28. Doc Angelicus says:

    Well, if I were a plant and the plant next to me, which was drinking all my water and blocking all my sun, got whacked, the emotion running through my leaves would be THANK YOU!

  29. Fr. B says:

    “[once prohibited from teaching seminarians at the Athenaeum in Ohio, the head of her community signed the infamous sell-out letter]”

    I had Sr. BF is class years ago at the Athenaeum, was there when she “left the faculty” after a visit from representatives from Rome, and from what I am reading, she hasn’t changed at all.

  30. capchoirgirl says:

    Dinner tonight, at my house, is Chipotle. A Chicken burrito for my father, and veggie bol for me.
    Copious amounts of plant and animal goodness will be consumed.
    WE LIKE THEM.
    Sorry, sister.

  31. Mariana says:

    “The quantum worldview…”

    When you see the word quantum used outside scientific writings you can stop reading.

  32. everett says:

    Its times and circumstances like these that make me realize how prescient Walker Percy really was. Go read his novels and compare some of the sisters there to these religious.

  33. chonak says:

    Traditionally, Ash Wednesday is preceded by the burning of the last year’s Holy Week palm fronds. Could next year’s Religious Ed Congress be preceded by the burning of the leotards used this year?

  34. Dr. Eric says:

    “Some extraordinary research has shown us that both plants and animals have much more sophisticated conscious life than we have ever given them credit for,” said Sister Fiand, who noted that a study using lie detecting equipment hooked up to leaves shows that plants emotionally react to crisis situations, such as the destruction of an adjacent plant.”

    L Ron Hubbard, the satanic creator of $cientology also hooked up his “auditing” machine The E-Meter to a tomato plant to check its spiritual intelligence

    http://freethinker.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/LRon.jpg

    Scientologists have admirably gone to the trouble to research a number of experiments in this field and have presented them to the public in their newspapers and press releases.{10} These experiments were as follows:

    1. Dr. Erwin Kapphan, in Zurich, “using a sensitive version of the skin galvanometer” (“similar to the E-meter used in Scientology confessionals” said the press release) showed that a tomato, when pierced with a nail, showed “definite emotional anxiety reactions” similar to those of humans. Kapphan also said that “plants only catch a disease or blight if they are already thinking of dying.”

    2. Dr. Bernard Grad, at McGill University in Montreal, conducted the experiments which showed that plants fertilized by a solution that had been given a flow of attention by a well-known faith healer with acknowledged extrasensory powers grew significantly faster and bigger than other plants.

    3. Dr. Rex Standord, of Duke University showed that plants which are shown love, affection and lots of warm attention grow “demonstrably faster and bigger.”

    http://www.clambake.org/archive/books/tsos/sos-18.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-meter

    It would seem that the sister is quoting very reliable sources. ;-p

  35. Dr. Eric says:

    By the way, sister, it’s spelled “holistic.”

  36. Peggy R says:

    Perhaps sister can help us with our kid’s pet fish. I think we’ve got the ammonia and alkaline down after a tank cleaning and some partial water changes, but they still seem listless at times. I’ve concluded that the room in which we have them is too bright, even though they’re not in direct sunlight. I’ll await sister’s advice.

  37. penance2 says:

    I read the article to both my doggie and flowers, apparently I lack the depth to perceive their responses, although doggie did go potty right after…hmmm maybe that was a comment, she’s is a smart dog.

  38. penance2: We need to do regular blessings and deliverance prayers over the mutts in our house…crazy behavior (do they sense the diabolical? I wonder)…your dog gives just the right response…going potty…yeah!

  39. catholicmidwest says:

    Egads. This man was a total fraud as a scientist. Google Piltdown man Chardin and read.

  40. catholicmidwest says:

    Chardin = new age trash.

  41. Dr. Eric says:

    Co-incidentally, L Ron Hubbard also lauded The Piltdown Man.

  42. catholicmidwest says:

    99.99999999999% of the time when you hear the word “quantum,” you can just save a lot of time by throwing the utterer to the curb (or the book into the trash if you’re reading). The ONLY exceptions are if you are reading a college level chemistry or physics textbook, because that’s about the only place you’ll find that word used correctly.

  43. Jack Hughes says:

    My computer is prosecuting me in the European Court of Human rights as I type

  44. AnAmericanMother says:

    So what do we do about my sentient and interconnected Labradors, who assisted in the slaying of several mallards today with joy and enthusiasm (and trampled numerous no doubt sentient blades of grass on the way to and from said mallards)?

  45. Emilio III says:

    One of my professors at a Jesuit university in the late sixties was a former student and fervent disciple of Teilhard, who was still outraged that he had been silenced by “The Vatican”. But he was almost as angry with Teilhard himself for his obedience.

    A group of them had tried to convince him to defy “The Vatican” and continue to publish. “And he looked at us, apparently surprised, and said ‘You don’t understand. *The Pope* has asked me to be silent. How can I speak out?’

    I like his earlier works, though he seems to have gone a bit crazy towards the end. But he seems to have been a good man and a good priest, and is probably embarrassed by his disciples.

  46. eiggam says:

    I actually studied quantum theory and I don’t remember hearing about worldview I was supposed to have. Just neat words like eiganvalues and lots of equations. No plants; just atoms, particles and energy.

  47. Hans says:

    I have taught quantum theory, eiggam, and I’ve never taught that worldview. I’m aware that it exists. I can’t tell if the people who hold it (still) are kooks or jokers, though I lean toward the former. None of what I’ve ever read about it bears any resemblance to sound science.

  48. Doesn’t the quantum theory say that things are unpredictable, yet the modernists are all too predictable?

  49. wanda says:

    I’m with M Heller. Just once it would be great to see people speaking out more on the outrage of abortion, 50,000,000 and counting in this country alone since 1973. I remember how people ‘went off’ here and around the world when the Michael Vick story broke. What happened there was simply awful, but we are talking about the murder of innocent, un-born children, people, human beings!! Now, thanks to our President and Democrats in D.C. and fake Catholics in politics, we will be forced against our wills and consciences to PAY for this abomination. May God have mercy on us.

    Saving the plants and the polar bears is way further down on my list of priorities.

  50. j says:

    Just FYI, NETWORK, the fringe organization of religious that NYT and AP (among others) picked up as representing “59,000 nuns” also supposedly skirts the abortion issue, stressing INSTEAD, “Ecological Justice”, namely the premise that defending life of “all creation” has primacy. I suppose they are against SPECIE-ist Bishops. Feel free to come up with mock slogans for this bizarre organization.

    http://www.networklobby.org/issues/2009 Issue Agenda/ecology_page.htm

    Ecological Justice

    * a God-centered and sacramental view of the universe, which grounds human accountability for the fate of the earth;
    * a consistent respect for human life, which extends to respect for all creation;
    * a worldview affirming the ethical significance of global interdependence and the common good;
    * an ethics of solidarity promoting cooperation and a just structure of sharing in the world community;
    * an understanding of the universal purpose of created things, which requires equitable use of the earth’s resources;
    * an option for [those living in poverty], which gives passion to the quest for an equitable and sustainable world;
    * a conception of authentic development, which offers a direction for progress that respects human dignity and the limits of material growth.”

  51. cl00bie says:

    We can’t eat plants or animals? I guess the only thing left we’ll be able to eat are human fetuses. :P

  52. wanda says:

    EnoughRope, 30 Mar 1:11

    Me too!

  53. catholicmidwest says:

    Ah yes, ecological justice. Feed these idiots to the polar bears. That ought to do it.