Book Review: The Divine Dance by Richard Rohr

While Trinity is not named in the Bible, it has been named by saints and mystics through the ages as they tapped into the Flow personified as God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Richard Rohr explores this and other three-in-one concepts as a modern mystic in his book, The Divine Dance.

Rohr seems to elevate spirituality by tearing down institutional walls and rebuilding the idea of God through inner experience. He remains gracious by including himself in the missteps of religion through the millennia although he has clearly grown beyond many of its faults.

One of the things that sets Rohr apart from many of his religious counterparts is his emphasis on embracing mystery. Mystery "is something that you can endlessly understand." Exposing these ideas aids postmodern seekers in loosening their possible death grip on fundamental religious traditions that may have broken free from Truth.

Rohr's level of research is apparent as he smatters the text with quotes from ancient mystics of all religions. In this, he reminds us that these ideas have been around for centuries despite being covered over by much of religion for almost as long. He manages to consistently use inclusive language to draw in those who are rightly sensitive to the ideas behind the church's persevering off-putting language.

In simple terms, he unpacks an important term for budding mystics everywhere: panentheism, the realization that God is in everything. One freeing statement from Rohr is: "Everything is holy, for those who have learned how to see."

There is also the beautiful, artistic hook of using Rublev's "The Trinity" icon from the Russian painter to understand how we can each be pulled into the flow or dance that is always available to us if we can ground ourselves in the present and seek communion with the Divine. There is great value in seeking an identity transplant out of church authority and into God reflection.

Finally, Rohr does a nice job of using ideas from Integral Theory to cement his ideas into a bigger realm of evolution and philosophy with mentions of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty.

I have heard Richard Rohr discuss this book on various podcasts and he terms it his life's work. I sincerely hope this is not his last book and it is a nice culmination of his past writings where he continues to explore deep concepts in plain language. It is refreshing to have a spiritual teacher who can take an immense concept like the Trinity and acknowledge the three persons of God and the space between the three persons all while inviting the common man into the eternal circle that always has room for one more dancer.

I hope to meet and talk with this gentle, reformer soul and great spiritual teacher one day. Shalom, my Friend! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Paul Kolak
October 31, 2016

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

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