The power of the inner work

From Brian McLaren

Video Interview Transcript

When you believe as I do that our world is facing great dangers, then you know you need to be involved. And of course the word for that is activism. You know you need to be an activist. But you don't have to go very far in activism to find people who are really frustrated and burned out. They don't like the hate out there. And so they fight against the hate and pretty soon they hate the people who hate. And eventually, they see what's happened to me, you know. I'm becoming the mirror image of what I oppose. You find people who don't like all the greedy power hungry elites and so they try to get some power away from them and then they find themselves in a battle for power. You see, you find people who had great ideals but then ended up becoming a mirror image of what they opposed.
And then you say well how do I not let that happen and not just become passive. And that's where I think we discover the power of doing our inner work. The power of paying attention, what people often call the contemplative way, the contemplative life. And when we start to go within we start to have to come to terms with what our actual vision of God is. Because if we go within and we are following a God who has a side of hate and exclusion and revenge and a God who condones torture and genocide and so on, that's going to affect the way we do our activism. But if when we go within, we discover as John wrote in The New Testament, that God is light and in God there is no darkness at all, if we discover that that's the God we actually believe in and love, it transforms the way that we then do our activism in the world.

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