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The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See
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The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  1,523 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews
For Christians seeking a way of thinking outside of strict dualities, this guide explores methods for letting go of division and living in the present. Drawn from the Gospels, Jesus, Paul, and the great Christian contemplatives, this examination reveals how many of the hidden truths of Christianity have been misunderstood or lost and how to read them with the eyes of the ...more
Paperback, 187 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Crossroad
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Apr 06, 2012 Jon rated it it was amazing
I've become quite a bit more selective in the religious/spiritual books I read these days. So many seem agenda-driven and lopsided in the realities they present. This book though stands out from this muddled crowd. A gift from a good friend, The Naked Now is a profound read for anyone wanting to peel back the layers of veneer of religion, and dig into what I feel is one of the key aspects of reality. I really don't see this as a religious book (even though Rohr is an ordained priest), but as a ...more
Christopher Kanas
Mar 15, 2014 Christopher Kanas rated it it was amazing

Not a word most of Christianity is comfortable with. Too scary, too deceptive, too New Age. We want our Christianity controllable. We want clear perimeters and boundaries and borders. Tell us what our responsibilities are, then God, just be out there, anywhere, managing, because we're much be comfortable as a manager above us than being so close that You actually are IN us.

Problem is, that's a religion and religion is not what Christ came to bring and act out of.

"Do you not know that y
Jul 28, 2011 Tim rated it it was amazing
“Just learn how to see, and you will know whatever it is that you need to see”. Recently, I have encountered a new way of thinking. Of course, the IDEA of “enlightenment” I’ve heard before, but never has it been explained to me like this. It’s a concept of expanding consciousness, of moving beyond what we would refer to as intellectual thinking or simply incorporating the rational mind to examine the world according to your personal condition (environment, place of birth, life experiences, etc). ...more
Rod White
Dec 05, 2011 Rod White rated it liked it
Richard Rohr can turn most subjects into a polemic, which is why I have always loved reading him, ever since the 90's when he was a guide to my radical lifestyle. So I liked this book. He makes contemplation something you need to practice or you are missing the mark. You either do it or you are immature. I think that is true, but to hear him say it the way he does males me defensive. The reason I would not recommend this book is the same reason I would not recommend David Benner's new book ...more
Mar 10, 2010 Jeannine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
Rohr holds nothing back in describing the importance of contemplation in a Christian's life:
"...Jesus' primary metaphor for this new consciousness was "the kingdom of God" He is not talking about a place, or an afterlife, but a way of seeing and thinking now. The kingdom of God is the naked now—the world without human kingdoms, ethnic communities, national boundaries, or social identification...

How different this is from our later notion of salvation, which pushed the entire issue into the futur
Jun 20, 2014 Joseph rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystical-prayer
Superb introduction to mysticism and mystical prayer, from an acknowledged practitioner.
Sep 06, 2011 Joe rated it it was ok
It seems like it took me forever and a day to read the 162 pages of the body of this book. Maybe I just wasn't ready for it, but it struck me as something like 50 ways to say that " dualistic" thinking is inadequate, if not bad. I did find some nuggets in the book, but it just seemed to me to be somewhat repetitive. At the same time, I didn't feel that the book had much structure that I could recognize. I may have been moving too slowly to see it.

I also subscribe to Richard Rohr's daily email br
Sam Torode
Jun 16, 2016 Sam Torode rated it it was amazing
Reading this poolside, the title caught some eyes... Fantastic book.
Hayley Chapman
Dec 27, 2013 Hayley Chapman rated it it was amazing
Rohr, being a Franciscan friar, is coming from the perspective of one in the church who acknowledges the imperfections of it's current state. Having noticeable wisdom on all things contemplation, it is evident that he wants to do all he can to share this wonderful knowledge.

In The Naked Now, Rohr challenges not only our perceptions on what it is to be a mystic, but challenges the contemporary Catholic Church, the Christian movement, what it means to have morals and values, and asks the reader t
Feb 04, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-list
My editor told me to read this. So I did. And...well, it was good. I can't decide if it changed my world or if it put words to things I had already sorta had in the back of my mind. It did make me want to read more of and about the mystics themselves--I expected to have some tangible examples from and of the mystics, but there weren't. Even so, I enjoyed this book and the perspective it gave me. I suspect it planted seeds within me that will continue to grow as I keep thinking about all it said.
Feb 18, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I am slightly biased as Richard Rohr is a sort of guru for me. And I am a closet mystic you could say. This book gives so much food for thought and nudges toward letting go (of your own agenda, your own need to be central, and also all those feelings of inadequacy) and giving it up to God. Rohr also writes about how to "embrace" the suffering around you and in you, how to be a peacemaker, and living in the present moment. I read this book about a year ago, but it's on the "must read" shelf, ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Brian rated it did not like it
A confusing mix of new-age thought with Christian mysticism. I constantly found that Rohr would talk about how the Church doesn't have this or that practice of spirituality, then a few pages later give an example of the practice from St. Teresa of Avila or some other saint. Which is it? When he sticks to Church teaching, even in a contemporary way, he has some good insights. The rest is just mystic mush!
Marilyn Boretz
Oct 28, 2009 Marilyn Boretz rated it really liked it
A reminder (1) to live in the present (2) to gently accept and gradually release dual thinking (the ego, the "monkey mind," the judging mind). A simply stated view of the stages of development along with practical suggestions for moving through them. At first, I was a bit put off by the continual references to scripture, but Rohr's perspective has encouraged me to approach Christianity with fresh eyes.
Dec 08, 2010 Sue rated it liked it
Shelves: booksiveread
Eh, it was all right. I was told this book would really get me thinking about my religious beliefs, but about 4 chapters in, I realized that this was the way I already thought about religion and spirituality. So it didn't provide the awakening or food for thought that I was promised. I also thought the book could have ended around page 60 because after that, I felt the point got redundant.
Marc Arlt
Aug 11, 2016 Marc Arlt rated it liked it
I really enjoyed some parts of the book (5 stars) but other parts were beyond me (1 or 2 stars). Hence the 3 star overall rating. I feel like this is a book which will require me to return back to it at some point in the future to better grasp what Rohr is saying.
Jason Lyle
Sep 30, 2015 Jason Lyle rated it it was amazing
Rohr takes the reader on a journey through what it looks like to leave an either/or faith and embrace a both/and faith. This book was so liberating and put words to thoughts I have had for years. I will definitely read it again.
May 06, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, it is all about enhancing spiritual awareness without sacrificing reason. Very enlightening!
Tim Daily
Dec 12, 2014 Tim Daily rated it it was amazing
As this book and my experience is teaching me; God is in me and I am experiencing God all the time if I choose to recognize it. Rohr is a wonderful mystic of our time.
Nov 12, 2015 Mari rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal insight! Savored every word!!! Must-read for progressive Christians.
Robert Chamberlin
Nov 18, 2016 Robert Chamberlin rated it liked it
Rohr has some interesting insights. The book offers much for a Christian grappling with dualism/non-dualism.
Kelly Dombroski
Dec 07, 2016 Kelly Dombroski rated it it was amazing
A really refreshing book -- a modern day quietist with liberation theology leanings!
Samantha Levang
Oct 17, 2016 Samantha Levang rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this western look at mysticism, and, days after finishing this book, I can't stop thinking about it. It is so insightful and inspiring, I could have highlighted every page. The appendices were just as essential as the book itself and offer a practical guide for growing in the contemplative practice.
Oct 01, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christians, spiritual, poets
Richard Rohr says there are three stages to spirituality: being taught in a particular tradition (and many conservatives don't get past this stage), deconstructing that religion (and many liberals don't get past this stage), and reconstructing a spiritual relationship.

He makes it brilliantly clear how dumb it is that Christianity today worships Jesus for what he did a long time ago, instead of continuing that path.

"We made Jesus into a mere religion instead of a journey toward union with God. T
Kale Courtright
Oct 27, 2016 Kale Courtright rated it it was amazing
Helpful in learning to think in a non-dualistic manner. Instead of seeing the world in binary terms, mystics see the world differently.
Brendan Mckenna
May 22, 2016 Brendan Mckenna rated it it was amazing
Richard Rohr teaches a method of seeing that rejuvenated my faith. He describes the tendency of people to see in a binary lens: one or zero; right or wrong; yes or no, he calls it "dualistic thinking." This is a scientific and logical approach to thought but falls short when discussing what spirituality is... who/what/when/how/why God is. It's fascinating how Rohr ties his knowledge of philosophy, theology, psychology, biology, chemistry, and other subjects into his explanation of being present, ...more
Apr 21, 2014 Liz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual, nonfiction, own
Richard Rohr is a seeker. With an open mind he finds what leads him to ever greater understanding of the big questions: life, love, infinity, suffering and God. In this book, he focuses on the West's pattern of learning called dualistic thinking and finds it wanting. He argues that all great religions, including Christianity, have another process of knowing known by various names as contemplation. "It is living in the naked now, the "sacrament of the present moment," that will teach us how to ...more
Jan 30, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing
I'm not of Christian upbringing and normally blank out out any bible quotes. I have however read and practiced various spiritual teachings from Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Ken Wilbur, Eckart Tolle, Victor Frankl, etc. I came across Richard in an audio series from Sounds True where Tammy the host interviewed all these great spiritual teachers (including the aforementioned). She asked each one the Same opening question "What does the term waking up mean to you." As a consequence I've bought a few ...more
Dec 06, 2010 Edward rated it really liked it
As far as I'm concerned, Richard Rohr has written an excellent commentary on what it means to be a mature religious person. Such a person is able to suspend his judgments and avoid the trap of dualistic thinking, black and white, right and wrong, good and evil. There is a place for practical judgments, yes, and he has no argument with their use in everyday thinking, but when it comes to final questions about the worth of human existence, one has to live with paradox and the ability to hold ...more
Richard Lewis
May 11, 2016 Richard Lewis rated it it was amazing
The Naked Now by Richard Rohr is a gold mine. I had just begun practicing silent prayer when I first read it two years ago. I recently decided to take a second run through this marvelous book. To be honest, this is the type of book that you will need to read over and over again. You will see things that were hidden the previous time.

"I knew early on that there were different kinds of knowings. Words divided reality between either and or, but my living experience was always both-and." This book w
Evan Lenz
Jul 30, 2012 Evan Lenz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: impactful
"You can see that in this book I am a man of one major idea: immediate, unmediated contact with the moment is the clearest path to divine union; naked, undefended, and nondual presence has the best chance of encountering the Real Presence. I am approaching this theme in a hundred ways..." (p. 105)

I read this book in fits and starts, largely because I didn't want to just blow through it; instead, I spent time reflecting and engaging with each short, dense chapter. I also spent time looking up the
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Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard's teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of ...more
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“The most amazing fact about Jesus, unlike almost any other religious founder, is that he found God in disorder and imperfection—and told us that we must do the same or we would never be content on this earth. ” 50 likes
“It is hardly an exaggeration to say that “us-and-them” seeing, and the dualistic thinking that results, is the foundation of almost all discontent and violence in the world.” 2 likes
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